By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Members of the House of Representatives and key political figures, including a former president and three former House Speakers paid yesterday tribute to late LPG Marketers Association partylist Rep. Rodolfo Albano Jr., who was remembered as a “great mentor,” “great parliamentarian,” “a man for all seasons,” and a “dedicated family man.”
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano led the Lower Chamber in paying last respects to the 85-year veteran lawmaker, who died of heart failure on Tuesday evening.
“In terms of public service, wala namang regret ang inyo ama, ang inyong lolo. He was a dedicated family man. I never heard anyone na nagsabing nawalan ng time ang tatay ninyo sa inyo (In terms of public, your father, you grandfather has no regrets. He was a dedicated family man. I never heard anyone telling that your father had no time for you),” he said in his eulogy.
“He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten,” Cayetano said, recalling Albano as a trustworthy and respectful public servant.
Former President and former Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who appointed Albano as chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in 2004, attested how her loyal political ally and friend stayed with her during her darkest political days.
“Summing up Rudy Albano’s public life, I keep coming back to one thought. Never will you meet a man who more faithfully lived the value of loyalty. Rudy was a man for all seasons, a man whose behaviour was always appropriate to every occasion, and appropriate to every role he played in political life,” she eulogised.
She recalled first meeting Albano when she was working in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“In 2010, Rudy Albano returned to Congress and stayed with me in the opposition during my darkest political days,” Arroyo said.
Former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Batangas representative, cited that when Albano served as the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, a total of 228 laws were passed.
Former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr. described Albano as a “great parliamentarian from Isabela.”
He said their colleagues in the 8th, 9th and 10th Congress will truly miss Albano’s “leadership, brilliance and friendship.”
For his part, former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said, “Rudy is the most humble and selfless man. He never put down a colleague. Instead, he pushed them up and helped them make a mark in Congress.”
He said Albano mentored many young legislators, including now Deputy Speaker and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II.
Gonzales recalled how Albano “trained” him to become a Majority Leader.
The House leader thanked Albano for trusting him to lead the Thursday plenary deliberations during the 10th Congress.
“The experiences I had as a neophyte lawmaker under Manong Rudy gave me confidence, a confidence that became my backbone in succeeding years of my legislative life in the House of Representatives,” Gonzales, who became the Majority Leader in the 12th Congress, said.
Deputy Speaker and ABONO partylist Rep. Conrado Estrella III, for his part, said, “He was an excellent mentor. He trained us. He was one of the best parliamentarians. You are truly a model.”
Isabela Rep. Antonio “Tonypet” Albano thanked his colleagues and country’s political leaders for paying tribute to his father.
“He lived a full life as a public servant. His legacy will continue,” he said. “Thank you for your love for my father,” the emotional Albano said.
At 25, Albano was elected as vice governor in 1959. After his vice gubernatorial stint, he served 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 15th and 18th Congresses. He even served as Deputy Minister of State, Region II of the Interim Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984 and became the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1985.