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Angara, Juan Edgardo M.

Juan Edgardo Manalang Angara (born July 15, 1972), most widely known as Sonny Angara, is a Filipino legislator and advocate of educational reform. He was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the 2013 Philippine Senate election.[1] He served as representative of the lone district of Aurora from 2004 to 2013,[2] acting as the chairperson of the House committee on higher and technical education, making him ex officio member of the board of regents of the University of the Philippines (UP).

Personal life

and Mrs. Gloria M. Angara, a former teacher and chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CPP). He is a nephew of incumbent Aurora Representative Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo and of former BalerMayor Arturo “Arthur” J. Angara. He is a cousin of incumbent Aurora Vice Governor Rommel Rico T. Angara and incumbent Baler Vice Mayor Karen G. Angara-Ularan.

He married Elvira “Tootsy” Echauz in 2003. They have three children, namely Manolo, Ines, and Javier.[3]

Education

He finished his grade school and high school studies at the Xavier School in San JuanMetro Manila, afterwhich he studied at theDouai School in Upper WoolhamptonEngland. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Economics (International Relations) degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science in England in 1994. He took law at the UP College of Law, where he was a member, and later captain, of the UP Law Basketball Team, and a member of the UP Law Debate Society, the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society, and the editorial board of the Philippine Law Journal. He finished his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree in 2000 and passed the Philippine Bar Examinations in the same year. He continued his post-graduate legal studies and finished his Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) at the Harvard Law School in CambridgeMassachusettsUSA in 2003.

Professional life

He worked as a trainee at the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank) in Makati in 1991. He worked as a news reporter for The Philippine Star in 1992. He served as an apprentice and member of the delegation in the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York in 1994. He worked as an associate attorney at the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) law firm from 2001 to 2003. He taught as a professor at the New Era University (NEU) College of Law and at the Centro Escolar University (CEU) School of Law and Jurisprudence.[4]

Political career

He was first elected to public office in 2004 as the representative to Congress for the lone district of Aurora, where he succeeded his aunt, Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo, a three-term representative and erstwhile governor of Aurora. Elected at age 31, he was one of the youngest members of the 13th Congress. He was a member of the House minority and served as House deputy minority leader, thereby becoming an ex officio member of all standing and special committees of the 13th Congress. He authored a number of laws of national significance and was able to focus on work in his constituency, where he used the funds alloted to his office to build over 100 classrooms and provided funds for indigent constituents in 12 government hospitals and hundreds of scholarships to deserving students at various state universities and colleges (SUCs). He also worked together with socio-civic groups on various projects and funded the creation of the Gawad Kalinga villages for the homeless in three of Aurora’s municipalities and the provision of computers and Internet access to Aurora’s public high schools, together with the GILAS Foundation, and access to vocational, skills, and livelihood trainings through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other groups.

He was elected to a second term as congressman in 2007, when he ran unopposed under the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), the same political party as in 2004. He served as deputy majority leader and vice chairman of the committee on rules, also as an ex officio member of all standing and special committees in the House during the 14th Congress (2007–2010).

He was one of the remaining congressmen who offered aid to some of the wounded persons and personally took some of the survivors to the nearby Far Eastern Hospital along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City for treatment when a bomb was planted by still unknown suspects at the premises of the House of Representatives in 2008 which resulted in the death of Congressman Wahab Akbar and the death and serious wounding of other congressmen and congressional staffers.

He topped the list of “prolific and hardworking members of the House of Representatives” for filing the most number of bills of national importance that were enacted into law in the 14th Congress. A report by the House Indexing and Monitoring Group of the Bills and Index Department showed that in the 14th Congress of 2007-2010, he, then deputy majority floor leader, filed 10 national bills that eventually became laws of the land.[5]

He was elected to a third term as congressman for Aurora in May 2010.

He was one of the signatories of the impeachment complaint against then Chief Justice Renato Corona, which was signed by the 188 members of the Philippine House of Representatives in December 2011,[6] was eventually adopted as the Articles of Impeachment, and was passed for consideration of the Senate impeachment court. He acted as deputy spokesperson of the House prosecution panel, together with Marikina Representative Romero Federico “Miro” S. Quimbo and Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada III, in the impeachment trial of the Chief Magistrate.[7]

As a three-term congressman, he authored several measures signed into law by the President of the Philippines, such as the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710),[8] the Pre-Need Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 9829),[9] the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007 (Republict Act No. 9490),[10] the Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners Law (Republic Act No. 9504),[11] the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9586),[12] the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9497),[13] the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) Act of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9505),[14] the Tourism Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9593),[15] the University of the Philippines Charter of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9500),[16] An Act Providing for the Legitimation of Children Born to Parents Below Marrying Age, Amending for the Purpose the Family Code of the Philippines, as Amended (Republic Act No. 9858),[17] the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10066),[18] the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (Republic Act No. 9994),[19] the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010 (Republic Act No. 10142),[20] the Kindergarten Education Act (Republic Act No. 10157),[21] the Credit Information System Act (Republic Act 9510),[22] the Health Workers’ Day Act (Republic Act 10069),[23] and the Domestic Workers Act (Republic Act No. 10361).[24]

On October 1, 2012, he announced his candidacy for senator in the 2013 Philippine election under Team PNoy. Eventually, he was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the May 13, 2013 Philippine Senate election.

Awards

He was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines awardees for 2010, along with Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano, 2009 CNN Hero Efren Peñaflorida, and a cousin of President Benigno S. Aquino III. He received his trophy from President Aquino in a ceremony held at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan.[25] He was also a recipient of the Tanglaw ng Bayan 2011 award, the highest award given by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila to individuals with exemplary achievements in their respective fields.[26] He was conferred honorary doctorate in law (honoris causa) by the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU) in IbaZambales in November 2011.

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