#TheLeaderIWant: Erin Tañada on being a voice for farmers, laborers

MANILA, Philippines – Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III had long wanted to follow in the footsteps of both his father and late grandfather.

If all goes well for the former Quezon congressman and House deputy speaker, Tañada will be the 3rd bearing the Tañada name to walk the halls of the Senate. 

He is the grandson of the late senator Lorenzo Tañada, who was known for his fiery speeches against the abuses of the Marcos administration. His father, ex-senator Wigberto Tañada, staunchly fought to rid the country of American military bases in Clark and Subic. 

But the scion of the Tañada clan has already carved a name for himself as a politician. In the 14th Congress, Tañada was instrumental in the passage of the Freedom of the Information bill at the House of Representatives, though the lower chamber failed to ratify the measure then. 

In 2012, Tañada supported the 71 coconut farmers who marched from Mindanao to Malacañang to demand the return of the estimated P75-billion coco levy fund to its rightful owners.

Fast forward to 2018, Tañada introduced himself as a “friend of farmers, friend of laborers” when the opposition coalition launched its senatorial ticket for the 2019 polls.  

It will be a long road to the Senate for Tañada, who has so far fared poorly in pre-election surveys. His dismal performance in pre-election  surveys in 2013 was said to have been one of the reasons why the Liberal Party – of which Tañada has been a member since 1992 – had dropped him in their senatorial lineup then.

What will the 3rd generation Tañada do to change his election story this time around?

How will he make the name Tañada stand out for voters clamoring for more jobs, lower prices of goods, and the end to drug war killings?

Tune in to our interview with Tañada on Monday, November 5, at 6 pm. – Rappler.com