Sunday, September 14, 2014

Condolence Letter of Dr. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

September 8, 2014

Dear Doctora Pacita and family,

On behalf of our family and the Arroyo cabinet, Mike and I express our profound condolences and offer our fervent prayers on the passing of our esteemed Raul Gonzalez, my Secretary of Justice.

His decades of public service, especially in upholding the rule of law in our land, have left a legacy of justice, stability, and development in his constituencies, the national government, and the Republic.

We most admire and appreciate particularly his staunch defense and advocacy for what was just, rightful and lawful in the face of partisan and even subversive agitation as well as media attacks.

His mettle was on full display during destabilization attempts and in the 2004 congressional canvassing, when he stood his ground against efforts to delay and derail the election tally and provoke a constitutional crisis.

Raul was so devoted to the demands of state and politics that sometimes they stood in the way of his family life and affection.  I fondly recall times when Doctora Pacita would phone him while he was at a cabinet meeting and, to the amusement of the cabinet members who observed it, Raul would whisper into the cell phone to cut short the conversation so that he could return his undivided attention to the meeting.

If the phone calls from Doctora Pacita he would parry during cabinet meetings were amusing, a more alarming conflict between his devotion to duty and accommodating the concerns of his family about his health came to a head when his children visited me one day to ask me to fire him in order to save his life because they feared that if he continued his work, his serious kidney condition would kill him.  That was the time when a kidney transplant was prescribed for him.

Seeing how he loved his work, though, I felt that if I accepted his resignation, that would kill him, too.  So the compromise I thought of was to force him to go on an extended leave of absence for surgery and recuperation.  He went on leave as I urged him to do, but he returned to work much earlier than his family and I judged to be for the good of his health.

Though he went back to work earlier than for his own good and our peace of mind, we surely cherish the extra years that his forced leave of absence and his transplant allowed him to serve his country some more and then give his time to his family before last night, when Mama Mary called him to join her Son for her birthday.

In his own way, the man who argued and orchestrated our cases before Congress and court was most solicitous and caring toward kith and kin.  I saw firsthand how he helped his sons in public service achieve success in their careers.

I was literally witness to the special 45th wedding anniversary he and Doctora Pacita celebrated in Iloilo City, and I still have the beautiful blue gown they gave me to wear for that occasion.  No one knew then whether Raul would reach their golden anniversary.  We thank the Lord that Raul's extra years stretched until their 50th anniversary and beyond, and gave the opportunity for their whole family to travel together, including the grandchildren.

May the memories of those extra years of Raul's life after surgery soften this moment of sorrow.  This is our prayer as we join the Gonzalez family in sympathy.  May the memory and legacy of Raul the fond father of the family and the consummate public persona lift our spirits, inspire our lives, and advance our Republic as he had always sought in his time with us.

God bless Raul and the Gonzalez family.

With deepest condolences,

(signed) Gloria

No comments:

Post a Comment