Senator Leila M. de Lima mourns the passing of former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman, who she says spent years of her life serving the Filipinos. De Lima extended her deep sympathies to the families of Soliman as a colleague and a friend.
“I am again engulfed with sadness upon learning of the loss of a very dear and loving friend, a brave and beautiful soul, Sec. Dinky,” she said.
“My fervent prayers and deepest condolences to Hector, Dino and Marikit. May you find strength and comfort with the showers of love and thoughts from loved ones, friends and the thousands of people whom Sec. Dinky had helped, touched and inspired. She has lived a fulfilled life and served our country well,” she added.
Soliman died due to complications from renal and heart failure last Sept. 19. She was 68. She served as DSWD Secretary during the administrations of former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and later, Benigno S. Aquino III, who also passed away this year.
Under Aquino, Soliman headed the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster and helped lead massive rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda that devastated Tacloban City and Eastern Visayas.
Under Soliman’s term as Social Welfare Secretary during PNoy’s administration, household beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) swelled from 800,000 to about 4.4 million.
As DSWD Secretary, De Lima recalled how Soliman, whom she called “a very strong and caring leader,” worked double-time and remained always very focused.
“Hindi siya nauubusan ng sipag, dedikasyon at malasakit. Hindi iniinda ang pagod o panganib. Sa Gabinete, kahit galing siya sa magdamag na trabaho, sasalubungin ka pa rin ng malambing na ngiti,” she said.
“Kung saan may kalamidad at kailangan ng saklolo, mapa-bagyo man o lindol, pupuntahan niya. First in, last out lagi. Sisiguruhin niya na nakahanda na ang mga kailangan para makatugon nang maayos bago pa ang sakuna at pagkatapos ng delubyo. Laging una ang kapwa at bayan, bago ang sarili,” she added.
De Lima said she will always be grateful to Soliman for having her back and for always supporting her causes.
“Sec. Dinky always defended me and proclaimed my innocence. She was in fact an indefatigable member of the Committee for the Freedom of Leila M. de Lima. But as I look forward now for my freedom and vindication, it pains me knowing that I won’t see her anymore. Ni hindi ko rin siya nabisita at nakamusta nang personal,” she said.
“I take comfort in the fact that Sec. Dinky will now be in the loving grace of our Creator. Makakapagpahinga ka na, Sec Dinky. Pero, humanda ka sa mga biro na naman sayo ni PNoy. Miss him terribly. Say Hi for us to PNoy and also to Sec Mon J and Chair Karina. Will be missing you too, so much,” she added. (30)