Malacañang yesterday joined the nation in mourning the passing of former senator and seasoned diplomat, Leticia Ramos-Shahani. She was 87.
In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said “the Palace is saddened by the news of former senator and career diplomat Leticia Ramos Shahani’s passing this morning.”
“Senator Shahani served the nation well as Senator of the Republic and worked tirelessly in the executive branch in various capacities under different administrations,” he said.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III led the upper chamber in expressing sympathy to the family of Shahani.
“I grieve with the family and friends of former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani on her passing. In her life, she accomplished much to advance the cause of women, not just in the Philippines, but all over the world. Her life and work will never be forgotten,” he said.
Although he never had the chance to work with Shahani in the upper chamber as it was his father and namesake, former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., was her colleague in previous Congresses, Koko said the late lawmaker was a recognized voice in foreign relations.
This was also highlighted by Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara, Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Grace Poe, Gregorio Honasan and Richard Gordon.
The leadership of the House of Representatives also expressed condolences to the family of the former senator.
“Together with the entire House of Representatives, my family and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late former Sen. Leticia Ramos Shahani,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said in a statement.
“With her passing, we have lost a member of an illustrious family of public servants who dedicated their lives to the service of the Filipino people that reached its zenith with the election of her brother Fidel V. Ramos as the 12th President of the Philippines,” he added.
For former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, the death of his former colleague in the Senate is a big loss to the country.
“She never rested until her term as senator has ended, she continued serving the Filipino people. She’s a big loss,” Estrada said after learning of the former lawmaker’s death yesterday morning.
“On behalf of the City of Manila, we convey our deepest condolences to the family of Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani. The Filipino nation lost a true-blue public servant, a fierce defender of women’s rights, a seasoned diplomat, and a devoted environmentalist,” the Manila mayor said.
Estrada served with Shahani at the Senate from 1987 to 1992, even becoming Senate President pro-tempore in the 9th and 10th Congresses, and chaired the committees on foreign relations, education, agriculture, and women and family relations.
“Naging close kami niyan sa Senate,” he recalled, adding that he considers Shahani one of his mentors.
Shahani died at 2:40 a.m. yesterday morning due to cancer of the colon.
She is the sister of former President Fidel V. Ramos.
She worked in the United Nations (UN) Division of Human Rights from 1964 to 1968, and chaired the Commission on the Status of Women in 1974.
Shahani became the Philippine ambassador to Australia, Romania, Hungary and West Germany before she was appointed undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the National Commission on Women.
Shahani became senator from 1987 to 1998 where she chaired the committees on foreign affairs, education, culture and arts, agriculture and appointments, among others.
She has three children with the late Indian professor and writer Ranjee Shahani — Ranjit, Chanda and Lila. Angie M. Rosales, Pat Santos and PNA