|Blas F. Ople was elected
to the Senate in 1992 and reelected in 1998. Previous to his term in the
Senate, he was technical assistant to President Ramon Magsaysay, member
of the Social Security Commission, labor secretary, member of the Batasan
Pambansa (National Parliament), member of the Constitutional Commission
that wrote the 1987 Philippine Constitution. His last position was as secretary
of foreign affairs.
A former journalist, he had
worked as desk man and columnist of the Daily Mirror, sister publication
of the Manila Times. He was a bilingual writer who wrote with equal facility
in both English and Filipino. He was a prolific contributor to mass media
and academic journals. He wrote columns for the Manila Bulletin, Panorama
Magazine, Kabayan and Balita, a Tagalog daily.
He was the author of 10 books
and numerous monographs.
In the Senate, he served
as president, president pro tempore, member of the Commission on Appointments
and the Senate Electoral Tribunal. He chaired the Committee on Foreign
Relation for many years. He had steered to approval no fewer than 37 international
and bilateral treaties that opened links between the Philippines and the
rest of the world in trade, investments, employments, cultural exchanges,
workers protection and the environment.
In 1975, he was elected president
of the International Labor Conference, the first Filipino to hold that
prestigious post. He was the recognized doyen and spokesman of the world's
Ople's nationalism combined
a passion for conserving Filipino indigenous roots with the outlook of
a global citizen who sought to enrich the Filipino legacy from world civilization
and broaden its access to the world's common storehouse of knowledge.
He hailed from the fishing
town of Hagonoy, Bulacan on February 3,1927. He died in line of duty on
December 14, 2003.