Lorenzo Tañada

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Lorenzo M. Tañada (10 August 1898 – 28 May 1992) was a Filipino politician known for being the longest-serving congressman in Philippine history, serving for 24 years from 1947 in the First Senate of the Philippines to 1971.


Early life

Tañada was born on 10 August 1898 in Gumaca, Quezon to Captain Vicenta Tañada, who was the last Gobernadorcillo of his hometown, and Anastacia Martinez Tañada. He received his elementary education in his hometown. He then finished his intermediate and secondary schooling at De La Salle College. Tañada got his college diploma and law degrees from the University of the Philippines.

Tañada proceeded with his masteral degree at Harvard University and got his doctorate for Civil Law from the University of Santo Tomas.

Together with prominent justices and lawyers, they founded the Manuel L. Quezon Law School. Upon the signing of charter granted by the Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture, it was elevated as the Manuel L. Quezon University in 1958.

Political career

Tañada started his political career as the assistant fiscal of Manila in 1929. After getting his doctorate in 1936, he formed the law of Delgado and Tañada with Justice Francisco Delgado. In 1945, President Osmeña appointed him judge of the Court of the First Instance of Manila. That same year, he was made solicitor general and chief of the Office of Special Prosecutors.

Tañada was elected senator in 1948. He got re-elected in 1953, 1959 and 1965. He was the president of the nationalist - citizens Party under whose banner he ran for vice - president together with presidential candidate Claro M. Recto.

He was described as a crusader of various causes. Apart from being characterized as an esteemed nationalist, he was also regarded as the leader of the “parliament of the streets.” He had a stance against graft and corruption, inequality, and tyranny. As such, he was the chief prosecutor against Japanese collaborators. He was also a longtime opponent of the Americans. He organized the Anti-Bases Coalition and other groups that rallied public opposition to the presence of American troops inn the Philippines.

Regarded as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Politics,” Tañada was a familiar fixture during the Martial Law Era of Ferdinand Marcos. He led rallies and demonstrations as the founding chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

During President Corazon Aquino's term, Tañada was an an anti-US bases activist and an anti-nuclear power plant advocate.

On 16 September 1991, he rejected a new lease for the Subic Bay naval base, which was the last American military installation in the Philippines, and received a standing ovation from the Philippine Senate.


Tañada died at the age of 93 on the way to a hospital. Prior to his death, Tañada was already been undergoing kidney dialysis. He was survived by his wife Expedita and their nine children.




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