LAST March 20 a great woman who had fervently devoted her life in the service of her country and immensely contributed to its welfare had crossed The Great Beyond. I refer to none other than the late Senator and former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Leticia Ramos Shahani who passed away at the age of 87. She was the younger sister of former President Fidel V. Ramos, the 12th President of the Philippines. She was an educator, having served as member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines, Dean of the Graduate School of the Lyceum of the Philippines, member of the faculty of Queens Borough Community College in Brooklyn College, New York and former Dean of the College of International, Humanitarian and Development Studies of Miriam College. She became the UN Assistant Secretary General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs. When she left her UN post and returned to the Philippines she was elected Senator and became the Deputy Minister for Philippine Affairs after the l986 Edsa Revolution. While in the
Senate, she became the first woman Senator to be elected as Senate President Pro Tempore.
In l987 she authored the Moral Recovery Program, and passed many other bills on women’s welfare such as the Rape Victims Assistance and Protection Act of l998. She introduced the inclusion of the Mandatory Five Percent (5%) budget allocation for all government departments for gender and development. Her most notable contribution to society was the drafting of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which later became the International Bill of Rights for Women. The late Senator once described herself as a politician by accident, but she has proven to be one of the most influential and distinguished politicians of our time.
Belated birthday greetings to my younger brother Ernie (retired Brig. Gen. Ernesto K. Maristela) who celebrated his 77th birth anniversary last March 24. He now resides in Victoria, Laguna.
Birthday greetings in advance also to Sis Marilyn Aman of the Enjoy Realty and Development Corporation and Haciendas de Naga on the occasion of her Nth birthday anniversary this coming 31th day of March.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“A WOMAN IS THE FULL CIRCLE. WITHIN HER IS THE POWER TO CREATE, NURTURE AND TRANSFORM.”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH GIVE PRAISE TO THE LORD. HALLELUJAH!”