MANILA- Philippines – Former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani has been diagnosed with colon cancer; this was reportedly according to a Facebook post by daughter Lila Shahani on Thursday, May 21.
A report from ABS-CBN News says Shahani is suffering from stage 4 colon cancer and is currently undergoing treatment for the disease.
“Mom diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, which has since metastasized to her liver and lymph nodes. She remains strong, as always, and is currently receiving several treatments. I am personally heartbroken. We would greatly appreciate your prayers,” the younger Shahani’s Facebook post read.
Leticia Ramos-Shahani was one of the only two female senators elected in the 1987 senatorial election under President Cory Aquino’s Laban Party against Marcos’ Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD). The other was Senator Santanina Rasul.
The former senator from Pangasinan had a long and colourful career in Foreign Service, having served as Philippine Ambassador to Australia from 1981 to 1986 before quitting her post to run for senator.
She also once served as UN Secretary-General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs and Secretary General of the World Conference of the UN Decade of Women in Kenya in 1985.
Shahani, the younger sister of former President Fidel Valdez-Ramos, served two terms in the Senate – from 1987 to 1992, then form 1992 to 1998. During her last term, he rose to become the Senate President Pro-Tempore at one point under her brother’s administration.
She was married to the late Professor Ranjee Shahani from India with whom she has three children. Their eldest Ranjit Shahani once served as vice-governor of Pangasinan.
Shahani, a seasoned diplomat, once criticized the Philippine government for its supposedly ‘wimpy’ response to the Chinese threats in the West Philippine Sea, urging the Foreign Affairs department to go beyond diplomatic protocol to protect the interest of the country.
“We seem to be losing the psychological aspect of war, as if Filipinos are wimps compared to the Chinese, as if Filipinos are cowards compared to the Chinese. Because we don’t say anything,” Shahani was quoted as saying more than a week ago.