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Farewell, Tito Nap

By: Ricky Poca January 11,2016 - 11:23 PM

It’s a sad time for the Rama family. Last Sunday afternoon, Napoleon G. Rama passed away in Manila in a private hospital due to an illness. Tito Nap was 93 years old and is survived by his wife Paz Ramos Rama and five loving children. My family, in particular my mother, was close to Tito Nap’s. We also had the same line of business, buying and selling antiques.

I knew Tito Nap since teen years. My mother encouraged me to go to Manila and stay with his family because Tito Nap would always welcome a Rama to his home in New Manila, Quezon City.

One time, Tito Nap invited me to go to Baguio City with his family for a vacation which I enjoyed a lot. That was my first outing away from home. That’s how I first observed how Tito Nap loved his family and took good care of them.

In 1973, he sponsored a resolution in the Constitutional Convention to ban Ferdinand Marcos from becoming president under any system of government. Tito Nap was then a writer of the Philippine Free Press magazine.

He helped start the momentum for the claim over Sabah through his writings. He opposed the excesses of the Marcos administration and was jailed with Senators Ninoy Aquino, Pepe Diokno, Monching Mitra, Soc Rodrigo and others when Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972.

Tito Nap believed in democracy and was against the government abuses that burdened Filipinos. In 1987, Pres. Cory Aquino appointed him as one of the members of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution. He was elected its majority floor leader.

Tito Nap was a prolific writer. He was also a wide reader. His home library is proof of that.

He was with me when I graduated from law school at the Ateneo de Manila University. My father couldn’t make the trip because my mother was very ill. Tito Nap was my second father, especially when I was in Manila for my studies and work. When I got married in Manila, he walked me to the altar in behalf of my father who was stuck in Cebu where a coup d’etat was happening.

A simple, loving and intelligent person, Tito Nap was a statesman, a constitutionalist, a journalist, a lawyer and a loving family man.

He will be missed by most of us, his nephews and nieces, whom he was close with. It was an honor to know him.

As a writer, Tito Nap was kind enough to give me tips on how to write my column and be an effective communicator. He told me to write simply in a language that ordinary people could understand. I’m profoundly grateful to my mentor Tito Nap for his advice on this—and many other aspects of my life.

* * *

I believe Acting Mayor Edgar Labella of Cebu City did the right thing when he humbly asked the help of the Department of Budget and Management to resolve the controversy over which budget to use – the one passed by the City Council which lacked a sufficient number of councilors or the reenacted budget of 2015.

It is in the best interest of the city to resolve the impasse immediately because it would affect the delivery of basic services. Labella, who is a lawyer, believes the proposed 2016 budget was not valid. The votes of ten councilors (for an absolute majority), are needed, he said, but it was passed with affirmative votes of nine councilors, who make up a simple majority (half of the legislators plus one).

With the disagreement between the executive and legislative departments over the validity of the budget ordinance, they need the DBM to step in with a ruling. I pray, like other concerned citizens, that the DBM give its stand soon.

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TAGS: journalist, Ninoy Aquino, Rama

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