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Jose Abad Santos ( 1862 - 1942 )

"Hero - Martyr of World War II"


Works / Contributions


Jose Abad Santos, eminent jurist and patriot, was born in San Fernando Pampanga, on February 19,1886. His parents were Vicente Abad Santos and Toribia Basco.

He was married to Amanda Teopaco in whom he had five children. They were Jose, Osmundo, Luz, Amanda and Victoria.

Jose Abad Santos took his segunda enseñanza at the private school of Roman Velez, in the neighboring town of Bacolod. During the early part of the American regime, he studied in the public high school established by the American soldiers in San Fernando.

In 1904, he was sent to the United States to complete his high school studies at Santa Clara College in San Jose, California. He studied law in the University of Illinois and later transferred to the law school of Northwestern University, where he received his Bachelor of Laws on June 4,1908. He pursued graduate studies at George Washington University and received his Master of Laws on June 19,1909.

Jose Abad Santos was executed at Parang, Cotabato, and finally to Malabang, Lanao del Sur,. After kneeling down together and reciting a brief prayer, both father and son embraced each other. After a few minutes the father was taken out and a volley of shots was heard. It was two o’clock in the afternoon of May 2, 1942.


Works / Contributions

He worked as temporary clerk in the Archives Division of the Executive Bureau. Later, he was appointed clerk in the Bureau of Justice and was, subsequently, promoted to court interpreter after passing the Philippine Bar on October 12,1911. On July 31,1914, he was appointed assistant-attorney at the Bureau of Justice. On July 16,1918, he became a special attorney for the Philippine National Bank. He later went into private practice while the PNB retained him as its counsel. In 1919, he was re-appointed assistant attorney in the Bureau of Justice and served concurrently as one of the six technical advisers to the First Parliamentary Independence Mission to the United States. Upon his return he resigned as assistant attorney and counsel of PNB.

In January 1922, Abad Santos was appointed Undersecretary of Justice and later Secretary of Justice under Governor-General Leonard Wood, a position he held up to June 28,1932.

On December 5,1938, he took his oath as Secretary of Justice for the third time and served the position until July 16,1941. On December 24, 1941, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and served as Secretary of Finance, Agriculture and Commerce.

He was designated caretaker of the commonwealth government when President Manuel L. Quezon went into self-exile to the United States in 1942. He was executed a few months later for refusing to cooperate with the Japanese.


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