Senator Tobias Enverga laid to rest

Senator Tobias Enverga laid to rest
The late Senator plays the traditional Filipino game of ‘sungka’ with a Filipina senior. (Facebook)

Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. was laid to rest on November 29 at St. Michael’s Basilica in Toronto. He died on November 16.

Enverga’s less known advocacies

CommunityNews & Features Nov 24, 2017 at 5:51 pm
The Philippine Reporter

Enverga with Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ) co-Board members and caregiver guest speakers, Aug. 30, 2009 at the North York Civic Centre. Front, from left: Malaya Canchela, Nancy Quinon, Helen Reyes, Elvie Paneda, Paulina Corpuz, Julie Nanquil. Standing from left: Jonathan Canchela, Mithi Esguerra, Alex Felipe, Rick Esguerra, Ben Corpuz, Lilac Caña, Bert de Lara, Enverga and Hermie Garcia. (Reporter file photo)

Enverga with Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ) co-Board members and caregiver guest speakers, Aug. 30, 2009 at the North York Civic Centre. Front, from left: Malaya Canchela, Nancy Quinon, Helen Reyes, Elvie Paneda, Paulina Corpuz, Julie Nanquil. Standing from left: Jonathan Canchela, Mithi Esguerra, Alex Felipe, Rick Esguerra, Ben Corpuz, Lilac Caña, Bert de Lara, Enverga and Hermie Garcia.
(Reporter file photo)

By Mila Astorga-Garcia

Long before the late Tobias Enverga, Jr. was appointed Senator for Ontario by the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he was already well known as an active volunteer and leader in the Filipino-Canadian community.

His most high profile role was that of president of the Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) that spearheads Mabuhay Festival, the celebration related to June 12 which is the Philippine Independence day.

What is not much known of his community involvement was that he was one of the board members of the Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), a broad alliance of individuals and groups that emerged out of the campaign for justice in the shooting death of a Filipino teenager, Jeffrey Reodica, by a Toronto police officer Dan Belanger in 2004.

Enverga displayed solidarity with Filipinos fighting for justice not only for Jeffrey but for caregivers Jocelyn Dulnuan, who was found murdered in her employer’s home in Mississauga; and Juana Tejada, who, before she died of cancer, campaigned successfully with the community for the right to become landed with her family after serving the required years of service and passing medical examinations just once, not twice. The latter campaign led to the creation of the Juana Tejada Law. Enverga was proud of his advocacy work for justice, and he once said he was also an activist and a member of the nationalist youth group Kabataang Makabayan (KM) while still a student at Letran College. He believed that the best way to help people was through charity work, hence his involvement in fund-raising for typhoon victims in the Philippines and organizing medical missions to rural areas in Quezon, his home province. Thus he, with his wife Rosemer Enverga, founded the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF).

He made a lot of friends with social justice advocates, even those who did not share his political position on certain issues. He respected the diversity of people’s views on caregiver and immigration issues. He would often ask in jest activist friends, “what have I done wrong this time?” recognizing the many criticisms against immigration policies of the Conservative government.

Arrogance was not one of his traits. He was humble enough to say he still had to study well certain issues before he could be interviewed for an article.

Enverga, the good natured person that he was, welcomed different opinions, but always remained loyal to his political party’s position on issues.

Jason Kenney (left), then immigration minister, with Enverga, speaks with cancer patient caregiver Juana Tejada (right) at the PIDC’s Salu-Salo sa Earl Bales Park, June 14, 2008.

Jason Kenney (left), then immigration minister, with Enverga, speaks with cancer patient caregiver Juana Tejada (right) at the PIDC’s Salu-Salo sa Earl Bales Park, June 14, 2008.

Jun Enverga, PIDC president, at ‘Light A Candle for Jocelyn Dulnuan Memorial’ at St. Simon The Apostle Church, Toronto on October 14, 2007.

Jun Enverga, PIDC president, at ‘Light A Candle for Jocelyn Dulnuan Memorial’ at St. Simon The Apostle Church, Toronto on October 14, 2007.

Sen. Enverga with former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo receiving the Linkkapil Award (or Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Presidential Award), Dec. 10, 2008 Malacañang Palace.

Sen. Enverga with former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo receiving the Linkkapil Award (or Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Presidential Award), Dec. 10, 2008 Malacañang Palace.

From left: Sen. Enverga, Rosemer Enverga, Hermie Garcia and Mila Garcia at the Reporter’s 28th Anniversary on March 31, 2017.

From left: Sen. Enverga, Rosemer Enverga, Hermie Garcia and Mila Garcia at the Reporter’s 28th Anniversary on March 31, 2017.

Comments (1)

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  1. We are asking in Memory of Honourable Tobias Enverga that Bill C-210 be sent back to the House of Commons where it belongs.

    PLEASE CONTACT the @SENATEca with your support.

    Honourable Senator Enverga’s RECENT amendment on Bill C-210 argued that changing the words to ‘in all of us command’ creates a grammatical error — a ‘fatal flaw.” He was accused of trying to ‘kill the bill’

    Thank you.
    Mona Matteo

    With shock and our heartfelt condolences to Honourable Senator Enverga’s family, especially to his children.

    We thank Honourable Senator Enverga for his kind support and respect for the Canadian people in opposing change to Canada’s treasured National Anthem.

    Honourable Senator Enverga’s RECENT amendment on Bill C-210 argued that changing the words to ‘in all of us command’ creates a grammatical error — a ‘fatal flaw.” He was accused of trying to ‘kill the bill’

    Canada’s National Anthem thy sons history currently in 3rd reading in the Senate is the root of who we are as Canadians. If you rip out the root of a tree you will never get it back.

    Honourable Senator Tobias Enverga and a handful of conservative senators understood that the National Anthem belongs to the people of Canada, who were excluded and ignored by the House of Commons last year.

    The Senate is supposed to be a place of sober second thought. It is owed to Canadians to separate as much as possible from the goings-on on that side ~ House of Commons and its personal self serving agendas.

    Honourable Senator Enverga understood with great respect for Canada and its people that you don’t change Canada’s National Anthem to use for personal agenda by the House or by Senate members.

    We are asking the Senate to send Bill C-210 back to the house of Commons in memory of Honourable Senator Tobias Enverrga who had true patriot love for his country Canada.

    REST dear Honourable Senator Enverga in your seat beside God. PEACE to your family.

    Breaking: First Filipino senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. dies

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