Press Release
May 31, 2023

Senate honors the "Legend of the North"

The Senate on Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing the profound sympathy and sincere condolences on the death of Carlos M. Padilla, the former governor of Nueva Vizcaya and considered as the "Legend of the North."

Sen. Cynthia Villar, sponsor of Sen. Resolution No. (SRN) 610, remembered Padilla as a stalwart of Nacionalista Party and held in high regard by his colleagues and constituents for his "warmth, quiet dignity, and genuine dedication to public service."

The Senate unanimously adopted SRN 610, taking into consideration SRNs 615 and 646, authored by Senators Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Joel Villanueva, respectively.

"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," Villar said.

"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," she added.

Padilla began his journey in public service as the mayor of the Municipality of Dupax and later of Dupax Del Norte.

He become a seasoned veteran when he entered in the legislative department which included six years as an assemblyman and 23 years as a member of the House of Representatives.

He was deputy speaker during the 11th Congress and minority floor leader during the 12th Congress. 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 title of the "Father of Free Public Secondary Education."

"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," Villar said.

'Escudero, in his sponsorship speech, said Padilla was doing what he loved most and performing the job that he was best at: public service.

"Manong Kaloy was a true leader and a public servant as exemplified by his actions throughout his five decades in government service as a mayor, legislator, and as a local chief executive of his beloved province of Nueva Vizcaya," Escudero said.

Villanueva, for his part, said Padilla will be remembered not only by his fellow Novo Vizcayanos, by fellow countrymen, but also by the people of El Salvador.

He said that in March 2017, Padilla testified in the Latin American country the destructive effect of mining in the province. His testimony, he said, was instrumental in historic Salvadoran legislature vote that made El Salvador the first nation in the world to ban metal mining to save its waterways.

"And for this, Mr. President, he has been regarded as a visionary environmental leader by many Salvadoran environmentalists," Villanueva said.

The resolution was adopted with all senators as co-authors.

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