Palace, lawmakers pay tribute to Ernesto Herrera
Even in death, former senator and labor leader Ernesto Herrera will continue to be an inspiration, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon.
“He was a giant of Philippine labor. Our country’s workers have lost a champion,” said Drilon in a statement as he joined the nation in mourning Herrera, 73, who died last Thursday after suffering a mild stroke.
He was a senator from 1987 to 1998 and was also a House representative for Bohol from 1998 to 2001.
According to Drilon, in the decades that he had known Herrera, he had seen how committed he was in fighting for the rights and welfare of workers.
“As a union leader and as a senator, Boy Herrera was a tireless crusader for the welfare of the Filipino worker,” he said.
“I am proud to have worked and shared the Senate floor with such a principled and distinguished public servant. He will remain an inspiration to all of us,” Drilon added.
Malacañang yesterday hailed Herrera as a Filipino who served “the country with distinction.”
“We join the nation in mourning the death of former Sen. Ernesto ‘Boy’ Herrera. He served the country with distinction as a legislator, trade union leader and as a human rights advocate, for which he also received international recognition,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also hailed Herrera’s accomplishments.
“We have lost a strong pillar of the labor sector, who took it as his mission in life to champion the causes, rights and welfare of Filipino workers. He was also a tireless and courageous crusader against the drug menace,” Marcos said in a statement.
He said the country is indebted to Herrera and owed it to him to continue his cause of improving the situation of Filipino workers.
Former Sen. Richard Gordon said Herrera lived a life of “tireless service for the labor movement, the cause of justice, and for his beloved Boholanos.”
“Boy never allowed himself to be imprisoned by his disability but instead spread his wings to help others,” Gordon said.
He said Herrera was a longstanding member of the Bohol Red Cross and a great husband and father.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Herrera’s leadership in trade unions was something he had looked up to for many years.
“The name of Boy has been synonymous with his staunch advocacies relating to trade unions in the country and had been general secretary of the Trade Union Congress since 1983,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte said the Filipino people had much to thank Herrera for, especially his valuable service to the nation as a former member of Congress, a consultant of the International Labor Organization, and a member of the Agrava Commission, which investigated the assassination of martyred opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr.
He commended Herrera’s record as a senator and a “hardworking and vocal member of the House” during the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th Congresses, when he represented the first district of Bohol.
“We join our fellow Filipinos and his family in mourning his loss, especially those in our trade unions who have looked up to Boy’s leadership of many years,” Belmonte said. With a report from Nikko Dizon