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Friday, October 31, 2014

Ex Senator Flavier's Sterling Senate, Public Health Legacies Cited

Senators yesterday relived and remembered with fondness and admiration the life and legacy of former Sen. Juan M. Flavier, one of the most respected lawmakers in the Senate whom they came to know as a humble and funny man. Senate President Franklin Drilon said the country has lost a great statesman, while he lost a “dear friend.”
“I join the entire nation in mourning the passing of Senator Juan M. Flavier. While the country has lost a statesman who achieved greatness in dedicating his entire life to public service, I have lost a dear friend,” Drilon said in a statement.
Drilon said what defined Flavier as a public servant is his “humility and simplicity.”  Flavier first served as a young rural physician in several barangays in Nueva Ecija, under the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, rather than taking on a  more lucrative training and residency program overseas.
“He was a doctor who shunned the lure of a financially rewarding private practice to be a ‘doctor to the barrios’,” Drilon said.
“He continued his selfless ways by joining public service as a Secretary of Health who bravely campaigned for his advocacies, and as a senator who placed the interest of our people above all else,” the Senate leader also said.
“That was JMF or Johnny, who I came to know—a man whose integrity and devotion to duty only a few can match,” added Drilon.
Drilon, who was Senate President at the time Flavier joined the 10th Congress, said he is fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him.
During his Senate stint, Flavier chaired the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, having been known as a health advocate and public health care servant.
“I am fortunate for having had the opportunity to work with Senator Flavier both in the cabinet and in the Senate. I am personally thankful for his dedication and hard work as my Senate President Pro-Tempore, and his loyalty to the institution,” Drilon said.
“On behalf of the Senate, I extend our condolences to the family of Johnny,” the Senate chief stressed. 

Former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. likewise, hailed Flavier as a heroic icon in the struggle to inform the public of the deadly menace of cigarette smoking through the  catchy ‘Yosi Kadiri’ campaign.
“Against all odds, he succeeded in requiring cigarette packets to carry the warning of the toxic effects of smoking,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel was Senate President when Flavier got re-elected in 12th Congress.
Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, for his part, said Flavier “was the best friend of people whose lives he touched.”
“Sen. Flavier was a rare breed of public servant and politician that I’ve ever known and worked with. We will miss his with and humor,” Lacson said in a text message.
“I hope he gets to meet my parents in heaven because they were his fans here on earth. May he rest in peace,”added Lacson, who was named post Yolanda rehabilitation czar Assistance from non-party mate.
Neophyte Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, for his part, recalled Flavier’s generosity even when he was still at the House of Representatives.
“When I was in my first term as Aurora congressman, we wrote all senators for help with PDAF (priority development assistance funds) projects for the province. Sen. Flavier, a non-partymate, promptly gave one and that I will always remember and cherish,” Angara said.
Flavier was known for pushing landmark legislation such as the Traditional Medicine Law, the Poverty Alleviation Law, Clean Air Act and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act.
He also authored and sponsored Republic Act No. 9160  or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001; R.A. 9177, Declaring Eid’ul Fit’r as a National Holiday; R.A. 9178, the Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises;  R.A. 9163 or the National Service Training Program for Tertiary Students of 2002; R.A. 9165, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;  R.A. 9168 Plant Variety Protection Act; R.A. 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002; and R.A. 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act.

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