Press Release
May 31, 2023

Sponsorship Speech of Sen. Cynthia Villar
Resolution expressing deepest sympathy and sincere condolences of the Senate of the Philippines on the Death of Governor Carlos M. Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya.
31 May 2023

Mr. President, my esteemed colleagues in the Senate . . .

I stand before you today with a heavy heart to sponsor our Resolution, expressing our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences on the passing of Governor Carlos "Caloy" M. Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya. He was a stalwart of the Nacionalista Party and held in high regard by his colleagues and constituents for his warmth, quiet dignity, and genuine dedication to public service.

I had the privilege of first working with Gov. Padilla during my term as a Congresswoman when he served as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. He graciously shared his wisdom and exemplified learned insight, diplomacy, and unwavering integrity in fulfilling his responsibilities. Gov. Padilla demonstrated strong leadership and was a true statesman, embodying the very essence of the Nacionalista Party's motto, 'Ang Bayan Higit sa Lahat!' He wholeheartedly worked towards the progress and improvement of our country, always prioritizing the well-being of the people.

Governor Padilla's remarkable political career encompassed various positions. He began his journey in public service as the Mayor of the Municipality of Dupax and later of Dupax Del Norte. However, it was in the legislative department that he showed his mettle, becoming a seasoned veteran. He dedicated a total of twenty-nine (29) years to faithfully fulfilling his duties and responsibilities as a legislator representing the lone district of Nueva Vizcaya. This included serving six (6) years as an Assemblyman and twenty-three (23) years as a Member of the House of Representatives.

He held notable roles such as Deputy Speaker during the Eleventh Congress and Minority Floor Leader during the Twelfth Congress. Additionally, he chaired the Committees on Education and Indigenous People and served as a member of the Commission on Appointments and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. His authorship of significant laws, including the Free Public Secondary Education Act, the Philippine Librarianship Act, and the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act, earned him the well-deserved title of the "Father of Free Public Secondary Education." He has always been a strong advocate for the accessibility of quality education, and in his province, he played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Nueva Vizcaya State University and the Philippine Science High School - Cagayan Valley Campus.

After his illustrious career in the legislature, Carlos Padilla was elected as the Governor of the Province of Nueva Vizcaya for three terms until his untimely demise. As Governor, his affinity for the Novo Vizcayanos was unparalleled as he consistently demonstrated his deep connection and genuine care for the welfare of the people. He spearheaded numerous programs focusing on education, infrastructure projects, sustainable livelihood programs, agri-fishery development, and clean energy, among others. His relentless efforts to improve the lives of the people of Nueva Vizcaya have left an indelible mark on the province, solidifying his legacy of service and dedication.

Governor Padilla, known as "The Legend of the North," received several prestigious awards for his exceptional leadership and significant contributions. He was recognized as the "Most Outstanding Congressman" in multiple congresses, honored as an outstanding alumnus of his alma mater, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and received the esteemed "Dangal ng Wika Award" for promoting the Filipino language, among other accolades.

To my family, Manny and I, he will forever be Caloy or Tito Caloy to my children -- a dear friend whose warmth and kindness will always be cherished and whose departure has left a void that we deeply feel. Let us honor his memory and pay tribute to his remarkable achievements.

To his beloved wife and my friend Ruth, and their children Carlos "Jojo" II, Ruthie Maye, and Carlo Paolo, I share in your grief. My colleagues in this esteemed body and I extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to all of you and to the people of Nueva Vizcaya as well.

May Caloy Padilla's legacy continue to inspire us to live an inspiring and meaningful life, as he exemplified throughout his remarkable journey.

Thank you, Mr. President

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