Press Release
June 12, 2023

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the passing of former Senator Rodolfo "Pong" Biazon

Together with the nation, I mourn the passing of a great soldier, statesman, and solon, Senator Pong Biazon. He passed on this Independence Day, a reminder of his formidable, lifelong fight for our Inang Bayan.

Indeed, much can be said about all that he has done for the Filipino people, from his time as a Philippine Marine to his years in Congress, but what remained true all throughout was his unwavering love for the Philippines.

Long before I met him in person, I read about Sen. Pong in an 1981 Who magazine feature about his being a Marines commander in Davao. I remember being taken by his critical mind and his respect for human rights, qualities essential for an officer and a gentleman.

Years later, I finally met him at the EDSA Shrine just when EDSA Dos was unfolding. It was unforgettable not only because he had a crushing handshake, but also because it was the start of the many struggles we fought together.

A true patriot, Sen. Pong always answered the call of duty even when he was no longer in office. When the former administration could not express a clear stance vis-a-vis China's incursions in the West Philippine Sea, Sen. Pong did not hold back from calling on our top officials to take a united position against China.

Time and again, when he saw that our nation was in peril, he stepped out from his private life and gave us public servants clarity and a sense of direction.

Even before I became senator, Sen. Pong was a steady source of strength for us women and women's advocates in our fight for the passage of the Reproductive Health Law. Regarded as macho due to his military background, he challenged stereotypes to stand not just for, but with women.

That was the Sen. Pong I knew -- never afraid to stand up and speak out for what is right even when others wouldn't.

Paalam, Sir. Maraming salamat sa walang hanggang pagmamahal sa Pilipinas.

My snappy salute. Ooorah!

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