Hon. Lorenzo M. Tañada
1945 - 1948
Born in Gumaca, Quezon on 10 August 1898 to Vicente Tanada and Anastacia Martinez, Lorenzo Tanada finished his elementary schooling at the Gumaca Primary School and his secondary schooling at La Salle. He took a two-year Bachelor of Arts course at the University of the Philippines. He took up law in the same university and finished 1924. After passing the bar examinations in the same year, he worked as an assistant attorney at the law firm of Camus and Delgado. (Valenzuela, Wilfredo P.: “Know Them – A Book of Biographies”; p. 160-162, 1966.)
He took the government examination for pensionados to be sent to the United States and topped it. He enrolled and obtained his Master of Laws Degree from Harvard in 1928. He also attended Oxford Universityin London and the Universidad Central de Madrid. His career in law started with his assignment in 1929 as assistant fiscal in Manila. In 1936, he obtained his degree of Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Santo Tomas. During the Second World War, he headed the Civil Liberties Union. After the war, he was awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor. He was named Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila in 1945. In the same year, he was appointed Solicitor General and chief of the Office of the Special Prosecutors. He was elected Senator of the Republic in 1948 and was re-elected in 1953, 1959 and in 1965. After the declaration of martial law, he served as counsel to the detainees, who included Jose W. Diokno and Benigno Aquino. He was among those arrested and detained in Bicutan for joining protests against fraudulent Batasang Pambansa elections. After the EDSA People Power Revolution, he was honored with the Philippine Legion of Honor, degree of Chief Commander, on his birthday in 1988.
Lorenzo Tanada was married to Expedita Zaballero Ebarle. He died on May 28, 1992.