House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez led the sweet tributes for the late Justice Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro on Thursday morning, May 19 at the Sanctuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City.
From 1976 to 1986, Lazaro was the Government Corporate Counsel (GCC) with the rank and privileges of Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA).
Lazaro is the late chairman of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), a non-stock and nonpartisan organization committed to defend, preserve, and protect the Constitution. Romualdez is the Philconsa president.
Romualdez is the current Philconsa president.
“We are all here today and we are still in disbelief that our leading light, Justice Lolong, has gone ahead of us,” he said in his eulogy for Lazaro.
Romualdez, the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) president, described Lazaro as “a great man, one who exemplifies the best in public service and legal profession.”
“He had set the bar so high for a former member of the Court of Appeals. A justice par excellence,” the Leyte solon said in a message.
“He belonged to that rare breed of lawyers in the country who masterfully balanced his work as justice and family man. Throughout his career in the judiciary and even in his private life, Justice Lolong served as an immovable defender of the Constitution, the likes of whom are few and far between,” the leading contender for Speaker in the 19th Congress said of Lazaro.
Also delivering eulogies were former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Philconsa President Emeritus; lawyer Fe Barin, Philconsa governor and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman; Jose Leviste, Philconsa Governor; and Nona Ricafort, Philconsa treasurer.
Lazaro is survived by his wife Rose Marie B. Lazaro and children Melinda L. Castillo, Matthew B. Lazaro, Maybelle L. Villadolid, Melanio B. Lazaro, and Michelle B. Lazaro.
“He will be missed, but those he has inspired among us will continue to carry the torch that he left behind. Farewell, my friend. May you continue to guide us as we toil to build a better future for our people. And thank you, for a job well done,” Romualdez said of Lazaro.
Philconsa is the oldest association of legal luminaries in the country. It has been in existence for almost 60 years.