Press Release
February 10, 2021

Incumbent and former Senators honor late Senator Victor S. Ziga

Incumbent and former senators honored former Sen. Victor S. Ziga, who passed away on January 31, 2021 at the age of 75, during a hybrid necrological service held at the Senate session hall Wednesday.

Ziga was accorded arrival honors led by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, the family of the former senator, and Senate officials.

The Senate President presented to the family of the late senator Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 84, expressing the profound sympathy and sincere condolences of the Senate on the death Ziga who served the chamber from 1987 to 1992.

"The passing away of a great and dedicated public servant, who had established standards of excellence in and devotion to public service, is a great loss to the nation," SRN 84 read.

Sotto, in his eulogy, said Ziga's life as a public servant truly mirrors the ideals as a man for the masses, being involved in numerous typhoon relief operations and other civic organizations.

"When the pages of our history would be reviewed by the coming generations of students and the public, they would be convinced that there was a man who did his work quietly and without fanfare and pomposity but only the best interest of his country," Sotto said.

"We say goodbye to our dear colleague and friend, Filipino, and statesman, Sen. Victor S. Ziga. We shall all strive to follow your example of extraordinary simplicity while holding extraordinary power," the Senate President added.

For Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri, Ziga was a brilliant legislator who was behind landmark legislations like the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education, the Local Government Code of 1991, and the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.

"Sen. Victor Ziga was a doer through and through; a workhorse who got things done without needing much fanfare. Instead his legacy persists through the work he has left behind... Even beyond his political career, he devoted himself to helping the Filipino in any way he could--medical missions, relief operations, emergency response," Zubiri said.

Ziga, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, is a simple man who was raised to be of service to the Filipino people.

Apart from being one of the magnificent 12 who voted against the extension of the Phil-US bases treaty in 1991, Ziga also ensured that health care workers were protected by passing the Magna Carta of public health workers, a measure that is significant today because of the pandemic health workers would have to address, Drilon said.

"I did not have the honor to work with Vic (Ziga) in this august chamber, but I consider it a distinct privilege to have worked with him in the Liberal Party (LP). Sen. Ziga as well as his mother, former Sen. Tecla San Andres Ziga, were stalwarts of the LP," Drilon added.

Former Laguna governor and Sen. Joey Lina, in his virtual eulogy, described Ziga's pursuit of excellence in life as inspiring, noting that apart from becoming a lawyer, he was also a highly successful politician.

"Indeed, fixed sterling accomplishment in life and pursuit of excellence certainly deserve the admiration not only of Bicolandia but the entire Philippines," Lina said.

Sen. Win Gatchalian said apart from being a statesman, a lawyer and a business leader, Ziga is also a family friend.

"Vic Ziga earnestly carried on this proud family tradition by making significant contributions to nation building in these turbulent times in our republic's history. Throughout his distinguished career as a member of the Batasan Pambansa, cabinet secretary, and senator of the 8th Congress of the Philippines. Sen. Ziga embodied the patriotism, integrity and competence we should expect from every Filipino leader," Gatchalian said

Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go, who consider Ziga as an inspiration, vowed to continue his advocacy against the use and abuse of illegal drugs.

"As a new senator, former Sen. Ziga is an inspiration to me and to the new generation of senators and public servants. Aside from the proposed bills he pushed as a senator and as a member of the Batasang Pambansa, nothing could diminish his significant contribution to the executive and the private sector. We cannot repay all of this and for this we are truly thankful," added Go, who first crossed paths with the former senator when he joined the group campaigning for the presidency of then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2015.

Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao described Ziga as a noble public servant who used his influence to protect the weak and the vulnerable sector, including the youth and the senior citizen.

"We take comfort knowing that he maximized his potentials by serving the people. He was a noble public servant, lived his life to the fullest and we are all inspired... I am inspired. Today, let us make a commitment to honor his legacy by also loving our country with utmost courage and determination. When we do so, we glorify and magnify our Almighty God and Father, the creator of heaven and earth," Pacquiao said in his virtual eulogy.

In response, Albay Board Member Vic Ziga Jr. expressed his gratitude for the honor given to his father by the Senate.

"I'm sure he will visit the Senate halls where he once was honored by the Filipino people in having a seat and being of service to his country," he added.

Ziga also authored and co-authored 295 bills and resolutions, the most notable of which was the measure which sought to require all primary and secondary schools to integrate the teaching of the dangers of drug dependence and drug abuse in their curriculum, and the bill which sought to prohibit the manufacture, distribution, and sale of cigars and cigarettes without the warning "Smoking is dangerous to your health" printed on their labels, packs, cartons, or packages.

During Ziga's stint as senator, he served as chairman of the Committee of Public Works and Highways and as Vice-Chairman of the Committees on Agriculture and Food, Public Services, and Tourism, and was member of 12 other committees.

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