Renato L. "Compañero" Cayetano
Born to mechanic Pedro Santiago Cayetano of Marilao, Bulacan and public school teacher Julianna Cabrera of Pateros, Renato Luna Cayetano rose above his humble beginnings and continues to soar to greater heights. A product of public schools, he graduated from Pateros Elementary School and Rizal High School. He earned his political science and law degrees from the premier State University as a working student. Destined to go far, he was a recipient of scholarship grants in the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor USA where he acquired three graduate degrees - Master of Public Administration, Master of Laws and Doctor of Laws.
MODEL FAMILY MAN
A strong adherent of family values, Senator Cayetano is married to Sandra Schramm of Ann Ardor, Michigan, US and they are blessed with four siblings, each successful in their own fields: corporate lawyer Pia Cayetano; Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano (youngest congressman of the lone district of Pateros and Tagiug during the 11th Congress); Muntinlupa Councilor Rene Carl Cayetano and Lino Edgardo Cayetano, a New Yor University filmmaking graduate.
PUBLIC SERVANT PAR EXCELLANCE
Public service has brought him several honors and recognition. In 1998, former President Fidel V. Ramos conferred on him the Legion of Honor; and the Philippine Jaycees chose him as TOYM finalist in the field of law. Earlier, the Order of the Purple Feather of the UP College of Law adopted him as member and the Philippine Jaycees named him as outstanding Jaycees president. The University of Michigan and Princeton University in United States gave him various grants. He also received a doctorate in humanities, honoris causa, by Misamis University in 1997.
After his 1984 election as an assemblyman to the Batasan Pambansa, he was appointed Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Administrator of the Export Processing Zone Authority (now Philippine Export Zone Authority).
In 1995, he was appointed chief presidential counsel by Former President Ramos. In recognition of his efforts in crime prevention and improvement of the criminal justice system, he was named Vice Chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC).
A founding partner of CASELAW (Cayetano, Sebastian, Dado and Cruz Law Office), he was Chairman of the House of Delegates and Governor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. He is the past president of the Rizal Chapter of the IBP and Legal Management Council of the Philippines. As a member of the JCI Senate, the Philippine Constitution Association, The Manila Overseas Press Club and the European Chamber of Commerce, to name a few, he is former president of the Rotary Club of Parañaque Jaycees.
Prior to his government post, Senator Cayetano was active in private law practice, handling many sensational cases pro bono. He acted as private prosecutor in the Pepsi Paloma rape case; Manila Filmfest Scandal on behalf of Mayor Alfredo Lim; co-defense counsel for Luis Beltran in the libel case filed against him by former President Corazon Aquino. Beltran was later acquitted by the Court of Appeals. Most famous of these cases was the Vizconde, In January last year, all the accused were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
To reach a wider audience, hi host “Compañero y Compañera”, a popular public service program that offers free legal advice to television viewers and radio listeners.
In May 1998, Cayetano was elected senator, garnering the second highest number of votes. The freshman senator became the Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs. He is also the Minority Leader of the Commission on Appointments and was a member of the Judicial Bar Council and BIR Oversight Committee. Before the 11th Congress adjourned February 9, he became the Senate Minority Leader Floor Leader, making him an ex-officio member of all Senate committees.
In his first term as a lawmaker, Senator Cayetano has filed a number of Senate bills and resolutions aimed at speeding up the dispensation of justice for criminal cases and in curbing graft and corruption. Through his efforts, the Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 51-96 designating special criminal courts in Metro Manila and other cities to hear cases involving heinous crimes and finish the trial within 60 days. A strong exponent of the rights of the consuming public, he filed Resolution No. 579 and fought for the ban on collection of parking fees by shopping malls. The Senate Committee on Commerce and Industry jointly with the Justice and Human Rights Committee found the collection of parking fees, and the provisions of the waiver of liability, stated in parking tickets are illegal.
He authored and co-authored landmark pieces of legislation during the 11th Congress which includes RA 8972 –“An Act to Facilitate the Acquisition of Right-of-Way, Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects and for Other Purposes”; RA 8975 – An act to Ensure the Expeditious Implementation and Completion of Government Infrastructure Projects by prohibiting Lower Courts from Issuing a Temporary Restraining Orders, Preliminary Injunctions or Preliminary Mandatory Injunctions”, RA 8799 – The Securities Regulation Code; RA 8749 “An Act providing for a Comprehensive Air Pollution Control Policy, and For Other Purposes (Clean Air Act); RA 8792 – “An Act Providing for and Electronic Commerce Law and for Other Purposes (E-Commerce Law) RA 9139 – “Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000”; RA 9136 – Electronic Power Industry Reform Act of 2201” and RA 9006 – The Fair Elections Act.
He is also responsible for Republic Act 9048 aimed at correcting clerical and typographical errors in an entry in personal legal documents as the city or municipality civil register level. It will dispense with the tedious and expensive judicial process where the interested party has to hire the services of a lawyer and bear the cost of lengthy litigation.
As vanguard of truth, during the historic impeachment trial of former President Estrada, he was one of the ten Senator-Judges who courageously voted for the opening of the second envelope, an event that triggered People Power II, which eventually led to the ouster of the former president.
Senator Cayetano continues to make legislative history by way of passing key economic reforms aimed to create more jobs, thereby alleviating poverty.
He is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, and the Senate Committee on Energy for the 12th Congress.