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Former Senate President Ernesto M. Maceda, 81, fondly called “Manong Ernie,’’ is an “All-Weather Man, a Man for All Seasons.’’
That was how former Senate President Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. remembers Maceda. He said some people say Maceda, the 15th Senate President of the Republic (1996-1998), as “the epitome of adaptability in politics and he probably was.’’
As the 18th Senate President of the country, Pimentel said Maceda showed how one could work with ruthless political figures without being merciless, himself.
“Or, with the compassionate without being consumed by tearful tenderness,’’ he pointed out.
Maceda, according to Pimentel, wielded a trenchant pen that brought down would-be angels from their imagined pedestals to stark reality.
“But, on the birthdays or on other happy occasions, he did wish some chosen few well in the opinion pieces that he wrote,’’ he said.
“Hence, in a manner of speaking, Ernie was, indeed, a man for all seasons. May the Good Lord bless his soul and grant him eternal peace,’’ Pimentel said.
Out-going Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong’’ R. Marcos Jr., son of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, said Maceda “was among the best and brightest who served in my father’s Cabinet.’’
Maceda was Marcos’ Executive Secretary in 1968 after the resignation of Paeng Salas who joined the United Nations, according to Jimmy Policarpio, former chief of staff of Maceda at the Senate.
Young Marcos said Maceda’s “entire life record of public service is a “testament not only to his brilliance but dedication to his calling.’’
“But most of all, he was a true friend and second father to many of us,’’ he said.
To young Sen. Nancy Binay, daughter of out-going Vice President Jojo Binay, said ‘’Manong Ernie distinguished himself during his decades-long service to the country and to our kababayans as a legislator, statesman, Cabinet executive and a newspaper columnist.’’
Binay said Maceda’s devotion in serving our countrymen was marked by his outstanding performance in the various capacities he had served as well as the numerous scams he exposed during his terms as a Senator.
‘’He was also recognized as an advocate of women’s rights, and continued to give the poor and the marginalized in his columns. I learned a lot from him, as he was generous in giving his advice and sharing his experiences,’’ she said.
The lady senator said she was fortunate to have joined him during his stint as campaign manager of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) political campaign where she successfully ran for a Senate seat. (MARIO CASAYURAN)