Manny Villar on Joker Arroyo’s death: ‘I lost a friend, mentor’ | Inquirer News

Manny Villar on Joker Arroyo’s death: ‘I lost a friend, mentor’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:57 PM October 07, 2015



With a nation still suffering from the same problems that former Senator Joker Arroyo liked to rant on, then perhaps, “the joke is now on us,” his friend and former colleague said on Wednesday.

For former Senator Manny Villar, he lost a “dear friend and mentor” with Arroyo’s passing.


READ: Joker Arroyo passes away at 88 | Remembering Joker Arroyo


“Others would surely say the country lost a genuine patriot, a fighter, a human rights defender. and a great Bicolano. They will say that you would be missed. They will say your contributions to the nation were invaluable. I will simply add that I just lost a dear friend and mentor,” Villar said in a statement.

The two former senators belonged to the so-called Wednesday Group when they were in the Senate, along with Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and former Vice President Noli de Castro

“Joker Arroyo loved a good fight – and never runs away from it. He served his country right. And he deserved a big “Thank You” from all of us,” said Villar.

He said Arroyo was always the “maverick.”

“He rose to the occasion when standing up to what is right and just was becoming a hazardous job. He always chose his country over friendship and personal ties. But sometimes, Joker Arroyo could be a loyal friend to a fault,” he said.

“But this is where the magnificence of the man lies. He will stick by your side no matter what.”


Villar said Arroyo stood by his beliefs “with the tenacity of a wild bear.”

“To understand Joker is to understand the wind and the mist,” he said.

Villar said Arroyo would be leaving behind a nation that still suffers from the same problems that he liked to rant about with “fierce dedication.”

“And now he left us to face all these. Perhaps, the joke is now on us,” he said. “My Wednesdays would never be the same again. Paalam, mahal kong Kaibigan (Goodbye, my beloved friend).”

Former Senator Panfilo Lacson also bid farewell to Arroyo, whom he described a “political foe, personal friend, and fellow anti-pork barrel advocate.”

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“Farewell Senator Joker — a political foe, personal friend, and fellow anti-pork barrel advocate. Rest in peace,” Lacson wrote on his Twitter account. IDL

TAGS: death, eulogy, Joker Arroyo, Manny Villar, Politics, Senate

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