Senate honors Herrera
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A necrological service was held at the Senate yesterday for former senator Ernesto Herrera.

Among Herrera’s former colleagues who delivered eulogies were former senators Heherson Alvarez, Jose Lina Jr., Ernesto Maceda, Edgardo Angara and Sens. Loren Legarda and Vicente Sotto III. 

Senate President Franklin Drilon said Herrera was one of the “revered figures of the labor sector, a champion of the working class and an esteemed colleague and a friend.”

Drilon also cited Herrera’s achievements as trade union leader and a member of the Agrava Commission that investigated the assassination of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

“He was the 20th century Apolinario Mabini, who courageously overcame polio to become one of the country’s public servants,” he said. 

Angara described Herrera as a “true democrat,” who dedicated his entire professional life to upholding workers’ rights and welfare. 

“He shunned populist and hard-left rhetoric,”  he said in his eulogy read by his son, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara. “Boy Herrera’s drive and enthusiasm was undiminished by his physical handicap since he contracted polio in his youth. He achieved far more than his able-bodied counterparts and he lived a life of singular purpose.”

Herrera was also credited for the Migrant Workers Act, Paternity Leave Act and the creation of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as well as the Citizens Drug Watch Foundation.

No contractualization law

In his response, the senator’s son and namesake, Ernesto II, defended his father from criticisms he paved the way for the contractualization of workers. 

“One of the things for which my dad has been unjustly lambasted is the so-called contractualization law that he supposedly authored. Sadly a lie, if repeated often enough could often and quite unfortunately be accepted as fact,” the young Herrera said. 

“The truth is, there was no contractualization law. My dad never passed a law that allows for labor-only contracting. He would never have done so. You will never find contractualization law in the Senate archives,” he added. 

He said what his father authored was a bill that provided for the mandatory regularization of employees who have rendered six months of continuous service. He said it was among the provisions of the revised Labor Code. 

“It is unfair to blame the contractualization on my dad. It was totally a misguided opinion, twisted truth and it’s downright unfair,” he said.

ACIRC AGRAVA COMMISSION AMONG HERRERA APOLINARIO MABINI AQUINO JR. BOY HERRERA DRILON DRUG WATCH FOUNDATION EDGARDO ANGARA AND SENS HERRERA NBSP
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