Press Release
July 27, 2022

Office of Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa
(Senate Resolution Nos. 10, 28, 60)
Shinzo Abe

"Abe was a good and loyal friend, a staunch supporter of my administration and a strong ally of the nation. As the world mourns the loss of this great man, we remember him for his compassionate service and remarkable leadership. Indeed, one of the most influential world leaders of our time."

Mr. President, that was how former President Rodrigo Duterte spoke of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Indeed, today, as we gather in the halls of this Senate, we mourn the loss of one who was a dear friend, not only to our President, but more importantly to our Republic.

As Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe was able to strike that much-needed balance between formality and friendship. When former President Duterte was elected President, Prime Minister Abe was the first foreign leader to visit the Philippines, surely to strengthen ties between the Philippines and Japan, but also to enjoy the life that our country has to offer - eating bibingka, kutsinta, and durian, adopting a Philippine Eagle and naming it Sakura, and visiting then President Duterte at his home in Davao City and eating munggo soup with him.

During Duterte's administration, the Philippines and Japan entered the "Age of Strategic Partnership." Zooming in on the field of infrastructure, we can rightly say that a huge bulk of the Build, Build, Build Program owes itself to our ties with, and the support of Japan.

To lose him is painful to accept, but that we lost him to an assassination is an even more bitter pill to swallow. It might be tempting to succumb to the seeming hopelessness of it all. Napakadaling sumuko at mawalan ng pag-asa.

But no, Mr. President. We here at the Senate shall refuse to give up and give in to the darkness of the situation, and instead we shall move forward with hope. We shall choose to remember Prime Minister Abe as the statesman who was also a genuine friend. And in remembering, may we also extend the same diplomacy and friendship to all those that we may encounter along the way.

To Prime Minister Abe's family and loved ones, please accept our deepest condolences.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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