Jose P. Laurel (1891-1959)

Dates            : Born on March 09, 1891

                             Died on November 6, 1959

Birthplace:  Tanauan, Batangas

Parents       : Sotero Laurel and Jacoba Garcia

  Sotero Laurel (father) - Licentiate in Jurisprudence, University of Santo Tomas; Justice of the Peace under the Spanish and American Regime; Secretary of the Interior of General Aguinaldo's revolutionary government; and member of the Malolos Congress.

  Jacoba Garcia (mother)

Spouse         : Paciencia Hidalgo

Children     : (from the eldest to the youngest) 

  Jose Bayani Junior (Pepito) - 1st son, born on August 27, 1912; LI.B.;

                                                               LI.M.; D.C.L.; Attorney; and Professor

                                                               of Law.

  Jose Sotero III (Pepe)             - 2nd son, born on August 27, 1914;

                                                              Graduate, Japanese Imperial Military

                                                              Academy; First Lieutenant, Philippine

                                                              Army and Aide-de-Camp to His

                                                              Excellency, the President of the


  Natividad (Nene)                     - 1st daughter, born on December 25,


  Sotero Cosme (Teroy)           - 3rd son, born on September 27, 1918;

                                                             LI.B.; LI.M.; and J.S.D.

  Mariano Antonio (Maning)   - 4th son, born on January 17, 1922.

  Rosenda Pacencia (Rose)      - 2nd daughter, born on January 9, 1925.

  Potenciana (Nita)                     - 3rd and youngest daughter, born on

                                                              May 19, 1926.

  Salvador Roman (Doy)          - 5th son, born on November 18, 1928.

  Arsenio (Dodgie)                     - 6th and youngest son, born on

                                                             December 14, 1931.

Residence   : The old 625 Peñafrancia, Paco, Manila


Achievements and Honors


» Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

» Senator (by district and at-large)

» President of the Second Philippine Republic

        No other Filipino leader has had the honor of serving with distinction in all branches of government--judicial, legislative and executive--as Jose P. Laurel did. History will always remember his labors as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Senator and President of the Second Republic.


Professorial Career


» Chancellor, National Teachers College

» Founder and First President, Lyceum of the Philippines

» Member, Law Faculty:

College of Law, University of the Philippines

Philippine Law, Lacson College

Faculty of Law, University of Santo Tomas

National Law College, University of Manila

Institute of Law, Far Eastern University

College of Law, Central University

College of Law, Adamson University

» Professorial Lecturer on Municipal Government and Municipal Problems, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, University of the Philippines

» Professorial Lecturer in Comparative Constitutional Law and Law Reform (Post-graduate), University of Santo Tomas

        Jose P. Laurel was by profession an educator, in addition to his multi-sided career as statesman, practicing lawyer, jurist and scholar. In private life, he was a moralist, humanist, musician (a virtuoso with five-string instruments), sportsman (an ace in golf), administrator, and family man.


Academic Background


» Elementary, Tanauan, Batangas; San Juan de Letran

» Secondary, Manila High School (Araullo High School)

» A.B., La Regeneracion (University of Santo Tomas), Manila

» (1915) LI. B., College of Law, University of the Philippines, Manila - Salutatorian

» (1919) LI.M., Escuela de Derecho, Manila  - Licenciado en Ciencias Juridicas

» (1920) D.C.L., Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

» (1920) Special Studies, Sorbonne University, Paris 

» (1920) Special Studies, Oxford University, United Kingdom

» (1936) Ph.D., University of Santo Tomas, Manila

» (1938) LI.D., Tokyo University, Japan - Honoris Causa

        Jose P. Laurel was an honor law student at U.P. and was awarded a set of expensive law books for submitting the best thesis. He placed second in the bar examinations of 1915 and then won a scholarship as government pensionado to study in the United States. At Yale, his dissertation on Constitutional Law was adjudged the best. He was among the first Filipinos to win academic honors abroad during his time and was admitted to the prestigious District of Columbia Bar. He was accorded the honor of practicing his law profession before the United States Supreme Court.


Public Service


» (1909) Temporary Clerk (Messenger), Bureau of Forestry

» (1912-1914) Permanent Clerk, Code Commission

» (1915) Permanent Clerk, Executive Bureau

» (1918) Chief Clerk, Law Division, Executive Bureau

» (1921) Chief Clerk, Administrative Division, Executive Bureau

» (1922) Undersecretary, Department of the Interior

» (1923) Secretary, Department of the Interior

» (1925) Senator and Floor Leader, Philippine Senate Congress

» (1934-1935) Delegate and Temporary Chairman, Constitutional Convention

» (1936) Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines

» (1936) Member, Electoral Commission

» (1939) Member, Moral Code Committee

» (1941) Vice-Chairman, Code Committee

» (1941) Acting Secretary, Department of Justice

» (1941) Chief Justice, Supreme Court

» (1942) Commissioner, Department of Justice

» (1942) Commissioner, Department of the Interior

» (1943-1945) President, Second Philippine Republic

        Jose P. Laurel began his public career at the Bureau of Forestry as a part-time laborer. As Secretary of the Interior (the youngest in Philippine history; 32 years old) under Governor-General Leonard Wood, he resigned as a protest over Wood's controversial reinstatement of dismissed Manila Police American detective, Ray Conley into the service (the 1923 cabinet crisis during the administration of Governor-General Wood).

        As a Constitutional Convention Delegate (1934), he took the initiative in the making of the Constitution of the Philippines, authored the Bill of Rights of the 1935 Constitution and was among the so-called Seven Wise Men of the Convention.

        As President of the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation, he advocated self-sufficiency through his Magtanim Upang Mabuhay policy as a means of national survival and refused the demand of the Japanese to conscript Filipino soldiers to fight the U.S. Allied Forces during World War II.

        As Senator of the Third Republic, he authored the Rizal Law (requiring the reading in all schools of Jose Rizal's novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo) and was chief negotiator of the Laurel-Langley Trade agreement between the Philippines and the United States.




» Member of the Bar, United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia and the Philippines

» Member of the Institute de Droit Internationale Publique, Paris, France

» Member of the Board of Directors, Philippine Academy of Social Sciences

» Former President and Vice-President, Lawyers' League of the Philippines

» Former President, Yale Alumni Association

» Member of the Board of Citizens, University of the Philippines

» (1935) Most Distinguished Alumni, University of the Philippines Alumni Association

» (1940-1941) First Vice-President,  University of the Philippines Alumni Association

» (1940-1941) President, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

» Member, Aklatang Bayan

» Member, Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club

Other Awards and Distinctions


» Medallion, Knight Commander, Grand Cross of the Knights of Rizal

» Medal, Kapulungan Sa Wika, Lions International

» Distinguished Service Award, Philippine Association of School Superintendents

» Tribute of Honor, Courageous Champion of Justice, Philippine Association of Doctors of Civil Law

» (1953) Man of the Year, Philippines Free Press

» Medallion, Miembro de Honor, Instituto de Cultura Hispanica

» Medallion, A La Lealtad Agrisolada, Isabela La Catolica

» Medallion, King Frederic IX of Denmark

» 2 Medallions, First Class, Order of the Rising Sun