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Former senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw dies at 96

MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw died on Thursday, May 25, at the age of 96.

Estrada-Kalaw's granddaughter Ria Kalaw, in an Instagram post, announced the passing of her grandmother.

"To me she is Lola Eva. She has joined our creator to meet Lolo Ted In heaven today, May 25, 2017. Please include her in your prayers. May her soul rest in peace," she said.

No other details were given on the former senator's death.

As of 6 pm, the Philippine flag at the Senate was flown at half-mast in mourning. The necrological rites will be next Thursday, June 1.

Estrada-Kalaw was born on June 16, 1920, in Murcia, Tarlac.

She earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of the Philippines, then took up post-graduate studies in social work. She later taught at Far Eastern University, National Teachers College, and Centro Escolar College.

In 1944, she married lawyer and businessman Teodoro Kalaw Jr, son of former Batangas legislator Teodoro Kalaw.

She founded the Jayceerettes organization, becoming its first president. She also founded a grassroots women's movement, the Samahang Pilipina.

During the administration of President Carlos P. Garcia, Estrada-Kalaw headed the National Economic Protectionism Association.

She was elected senator in 1965, and served until the start of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, when the legislature was abolished.

She won under the Nacionalista Party (NP) banner, but moved to the Liberal Party (LP) shortly before the 1971 polls following a rocky relationship with the NP.

She was among the LP members injured in the Plaza Miranda bombing on August 21, 1971. She was reelected senator that same year – the first Filipina to achieve the feat.

During her term, she was the chairperson of the Senate committee on games, amusements, and tourism, as well as the Senate committee on national minorities.

Estrada-Kalaw ran for vice president twice, but lost. She did not have a running mate in the 1986 snap elections, while her standard-bearer in the 1992 polls was then-outgoing Vice President Salvador Laurel. The NP's Laurel-Kalaw ticket placed last.

Under the Ramos and Estrada administrations, Estrada-Kalaw was the chairperson of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan. – with reports from Michael Bueza / Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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