Edgardo Angara
Edgardo Javier Angara is a Filipino politician who served as President of the Senate of the Philippines
President of the Senate of the Philippines
The President of the Senate of the Philippines, or more popularly known as the Senate President, is the presiding officer and the highest ranking-official of the Senate of the Philippines. He/she is elected by the entire body to be their leader...

 from 1993-1995. He is currently serving his fourth term in the Senate which ends in 2013.

Early life and career

Edgardo Angara was born in Baler, Aurora
Baler, Aurora
Baler is a 4th class municipality in the province of Aurora, Philippines. It is the provincial capital of Aurora. According to the latest census, it has a population of 34,492 people and 5.955 members per household....

. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines
University of the Philippines
The ' is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through Act No...

 in 1958. While in university, he joined the Sigma Rho Fraternity. Upon graduation, he was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu
Pi Gamma Mu
Pi Gamma Mu or ΠΓΜ is the oldest and preeminent honor society in the social sciences. It is also the only interdisciplinary social science honor society. It serves the various social science disciplines which seek to understand and explain human behavior and social relationships as well as their...

 and Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society established 1897 to recognize and encourage superior scholarship without restriction as to area of study and to promote the "unity and democracy of education"...

 international honor societies. He earned his LL.M.
Master of Laws
The Master of Laws is an advanced academic degree, pursued by those holding a professional law degree, and is commonly abbreviated LL.M. from its Latin name, Legum Magister. The University of Oxford names its taught masters of laws B.C.L...

 from the University of Michigan Law School
University of Michigan Law School
The University of Michigan Law School is the law school of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Founded in 1859, the school has an enrollment of about 1,200 students, most of whom are seeking Juris Doctor or Master of Laws degrees, although the school also offers a Doctor of Juridical...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1964.

In May 1972, Angara together with classmates (and fraternity brothers from Sigma Rho) from the UP College of Law and Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile is a Filipino politician. As a protege of President Ferdinand Marcos, he served as Justice Secretary and then Defense Secretary under the Marcos regime. He later became one of the leaders of the 1986 People Power Movement that drove Marcos from power...

, founded the ACCRA Law Offices, which became the country's most recognized and prestigious law firm in less than a decade. From 1981 to 1987, Angara became president of the University of the Philippines.He rallied alumni in the country and abroad to pool their resources for various projects to mark UP's diamond jubilee in 1983, including the creation of additional professorial chairs and faculty grants. Through his efforts, the liberal arts curriculum was strengthened, a seven-year honors medical curriculum installed, humanities and science were energized, and a multi-campus university organization was instituted.

He defended the state university's tradition of dissent and fiscal autonomy, while maintaining its reputation for academic excellence. He established stronger links with the business community and alumni organizations, raising the biggest faculty endowment in the university.

Senator of the Philippines (1987-1998)

Angara's achievements brought him into politics. He first served as senator from 1987 until 1992. By this time, he had established a reputation as a resolute reformer and firm leader, winning praise for his non-confrontational stance on contentious domestic and international issues, while building consensus at the same time.

Senate Presidency (1993-1995)

He was senate president from 1993 to 1995. As a Senate Chief, Angara, with his aggressive and consensus-building approach, rallied the chamber to pass bills and resolutions for an Executive-Legislative cooperation in economic reforms, which resulted in the Economic Summit of August 1993. It was likewise during his term that the Senate adopted a policy to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes and saw the ratification of the “ Earth Summit “ treaty, along with five pro-environment treaties, many of which have already been enacted into law. He made a difference in the lives of millions of Filipinos by pushing for the passage of laws on arts and culture, agriculture, education, good governance, health and social welfare.

Educational and economic initiatives

As chairman of the Congressional Commission on Education, Angara sponsored laws that resulted in the creation of the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority, both of which enabled the Department of Education to focus on its main concern - basic education.

He authored the Free High School Act that ensured secondary education even for the poorest; the Senior Citizens Act (or The Angara Law) that allowed the elderly to avail of substantial discounts when buying medicine or riding public transport; the National Health Insurance Act, or PHILHEALTH, that provided insurance to every citizen; and the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE), the biggest scholarship program.

Under his Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), farmers and fisher folk benefited from improved seeds and plant materials, better irrigation, better financing and market access.

He authored the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers and was the principal author of the laws that created the new National Museum and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.

1998 Vice-Presidential bid

Angara prepared to run for president in the 1998 Philippine election
Philippine general election, 1998
The senatorial election was held in the Philippines on May 11, 1998. The two main competing coalitions in the senatorial election were the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP and the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino -led coalition composed of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino , Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino , the...

, but decided against it when it became clear that he could not win over the popular vice president Joseph Estrada
Joseph Estrada
Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. Estrada was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency.Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in...

. He accepted a deal offered by Estrada to run as his vice presidential candidate. Although Estrada overwhelmingly won the presidential race, Angara placed second in a field of 9 candidates, losing to Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 of Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino
Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino
The Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino , formerly the Kabalikat ng Mamamayang Pilipino , was a political party in the Philippines. It is the mother party of the incumbent Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo...

. Macapagal-Arroyo won 12.6 million votes compared to Angara's 5.6 million.

Agriculture Secretary (1999-2001)

In 1999, Angara was appointed Secretary of the Department of Agriculture by Estrada. During his term as Secretary of Agriculture (1999–2001), he had the opportunity to implement his own creation, AFMA. He oversaw an improvement of food production programs and support services that led to a bigger harvest of rice, a development that underscored the drive to attain food security. Overall, the agricultural sector saw a growth rate of 3.6 percent a year since 2000, compared with a 1.2 percent growth over the past two decades.

Executive Secretary (2001)

On January 6, 2001, as Estrada's presidency was crippled by an impeachment trial and widespread allegations of corruption, Angara was appointed Executive Secretary following the resignation of Ronaldo Zamora, who was running for Congress. He only served for 14 days, as Estrada was toppled by the EDSA II Revolution on January 20. Angara remained loyal to Estrada until the end of his presidency, though he later asserted that his support for Estrada was contingent on the latter's undertaking to pass reforms.

Return to the Senate (2001-present)

Angara successfully ran for senator in the 2001 Philippine election
Philippine general election, 2001
The senatorial election was held in the Philippines on May 14, 2001. Independent candidate Noli de Castro, a former television anchor of TV Patrol of ABS-CBN was announced as the topnotcher...


He was re-elected to a fourth term in 2007, making him the longest serving senator in the post-EDSA revolution legislature. Angara authored or sponsored many laws including the Free High School Education Act, the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education or GASTPE Law, the Generics Act, the law which created Philhealth, the original Senior Citizens Act, Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act, Government Procurement Act, the Renewable Energy Act, among several others.

In 2007, Senator Edgardo Angara and Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara
Juan Edgardo Angara
Juan Edgardo M. Angara , most widely known as Sonny Angara, is a Filipino politician and lawyer. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004, representing the Lone District of Aurora, re-elected to a second term in 2007, and a third term in 2010...

 (Lone District of Aurora) authored Republic Act No. 9490 which created the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the body tasked to administer the economic zone in Brgy. Motiong, Casiguran
Casiguran, Aurora
Casiguran is a 3rd class municipality in the northern part of the province of Aurora, Philippines. According to the latest census , it has a population of 22,403 people in 4,366 households.-Geography:...

, Aurora. Later on, Republic Act No. 10083 was enacted which amended the name to Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority or better known as APECO
The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport, also known as APECO, was established by virtue of , otherwise known as the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007...

The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport, also known as APECO, was established by virtue of , otherwise known as the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007...

 was created to generate jobs and livelihood not only for Aurora but its neighboring provinces. As a logistics hub, it is a very timely and strategic infrastructure investment for the Philippines catering to Trans-Pacific ocean traffic.

In the Senate, Angara currently chairs the Committee on Education, Arts and Culture Committee on Science and Technology, and the COMSTE
The Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering was created by a joint resolution of the 13th Congress to create, amend, or repeal laws and propose budgets that will make the Philippines competitive in science and technology...

 (Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering).

External links

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