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Former Sen. Sotero Laurel passes away at 90

September 16, 2009 9:38am
EDUCATOR. Ex-Senator Sotero Laurel, 90, passed away on Wednesday. Before serving under the Aquino government, he was awarded the prestigious Order of Academic Palms in France. Photo from Laurel family
Former Senate President Pro Tempore Sotero Laurel, son of former President Jose P. Laurel, passed away Wednesday morning. He was 90 years old.

"Former Senator Sotero H. Laurel of the respected Laurel clan passed away peacefully this morning," his family said in a statement.

The statement was sent via email by the family’s close friend, Gerard Zorilla.

In a phone interview with GMANews.TV, Zorilla said the Laurel family told him that the former senator "died because of a lingering illness."

The exact time of Laurel’s death is also unknown. "One of the daughters just told me that Senator Teroy (Sotero’s nickname) died peacefully early this morning," Zorilla said.

Laurel’s remains lie in state at the Heritage Park in Taguig City. The wake will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Zorilla added.

Laurel is survived by his wife, Lorna, and their eight children, the statement said.

The former senator is the third son of former President Laurel and the older brother of former Vice President Salvador "Doy" Laurel, who served under former President Corazon Aquino’s administration.

Vice President Laurel died on Jan. 27, 2004 from lymphoma in California.

Sotero Laurel was a senator from 1987 to 1992, during the Aquino presidency. He was the Senate President Pro Tempore from 1990 to 1991.

The statement said that Laurel "was one of the ‘Magnificent 12’ who voted against the extension of the United States Military Bases" in the Philippines in 1991.

Laurel earned his law degrees from the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, Georgetown University and Harvard University in the US.

He was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Lyceum of the Philippines University System. He also served as president of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) from 1963 to 1965. He received the Chevalier de France dans l’ordre des Palm academique (Order of Academic Palms), a prestigious award given to academics and educators, in 1986.

Before his demise, Sotero was the only surviving brother of former Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr., former Vice President Doy Laurel, former Ambassador to Janpan Jose S. Laurel III, the late banker Mariano Laurel, and the late sportsman Jonjie Laurel.

He had three sisters: Nene L. Guinto, Rose L. Avancena and Nita L. Yupangco - the last two surviving him. - GMANews.TV