By Emmanuel Mongaya
(This article was earlier posted in www.inbetweencolumns.wordpress.com)
Lorenzo ‘Erin’ Tañada III mingled with current officers of the USC Student Council belonging to the Student Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (STAND) when we arrived at the Cebu City Sports Center last September 2, 2011.
Hosted by Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) Commissioner and head of the OPASCOR head Atty. Tomas Riveral, the occasion was a gathering of sorts of STAND alumni, current STAND stalwarts lead by USC SC President Ces Villarino, and friends.
Tañada, who is the son of former Senator Wigberto ‘Bobby’ Tañada and grandson of the late Senator Lorenzo ‘Ka Tanny’ Tañada, was a former student leader who once stood in kapit-bisig with the former student leaders present at the dinner.
I came with Doris and my two sons Karlo Mikhail, and Andre Sandino.
Karlo, the current Kabataan Party-list Panay Coordinator, thanked Erin for his support for the Kabataan bill against the “no permit, no exam” policy of private schools. The bill is now at the Senate awaiting support of our current batch of senators.
Erin likewise expressed agreement with Kabataan’s stand to reform, not abolish, the Sangguniang Kabataan.
In a way, Erin showed knowledge and unity with the concerns raised by the youth leader. Aside from youth issues, the young Tañada briefly discussed his causes: the freedom of information, anti-trust, and anti-smuggling.
Come to think of it, Erin Tañada is unlike most congressmen who are more concerned with issues affecting their own respective districts. He is pushing landmark laws that seeks to empower the people, curb corruption, and strengthen democracy.
As Deputy Speaker, I am sure Erin can do so much in pushing his causes at the Lower House. Nevertheless, I believe these are national concerns fit for a senator. With a Philippine Senate that does not have anymore strong, principled senators with the stature of a Lorenzo Tañada and Pepe Diokno, I think the time has come for Erin Tañada to run for a Senate seat.
The Philippine Senate today needs Erin Tañada!