Vicente Abad Santos
Supreme Court Justice
Supreme Court Justice
Vicente Abad Santos, the namesake of the father of former Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, and his nephew, was born on July 12, 1916 in San Fernando, Pampanga. He finished his early schooling in hometown, then went to Manila for his higher studies. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude. He obtained his master’s degree in law from Harvard University.
He entered the government service as technical assistant in the department of justice in 1954. In 1956, he was appointed judge of the Court of First Instance in the 15th judicial district. After two years in the judiciary, he became dean and professor at the College of Law of the University of the Philippines. He also served as a supervisor of the UP Law Center and, in 1962, a member of the Board of Pardons and Parole. He was appointed secretary of justice by President Marcos in 1977. In June of the same year, Marcos named him to the supreme Court as an associate justice, but he did not immediately assume the post and, instead, continued on as justice secretary.
Abad Santos was one of the most learned legal luminaries harnessed by President Marcos in his, lamentably. tainted pursuit of the New Society goals. Nevertheless, his integrity as a public remained unsullied
Abad Santos was a participant in various international law gatherings, among which were: the United Nations Seminar on Human Right, in Canberra, Canada, in 1963; South Asian and Pacific Conference in Jurist on the Dynamic Aspects of the Rule of Law, in Bangkok, 1965; World Peace Through Law Conference in Washington, DC, 1965 and 1975; Regional Conference on International Law, In Hong Kong, 1967; United Nations Interests on Treaties, In Vienna, 1969; United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed, in Geneva, 1971; Third World Congress on Medical Law, in Ghent, 1973; and Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, in Caracas, 1974, Geneva, 1975 and New York, in 1976.
He was a senior fellow at the Yale Law School, 1965 to 1966; charter member and past president (two terms) of Philippine Society of International Commission of Jurists; member, Philippine Bar Association and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and president of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Prior to his appointment as secretary of justice, he was governor of the Philippine Red Cross, and board member of the Philippine National Bank, the National Teacher’s College, Philippine Exchange, National Warehouse Corporation, National Sugar Development Corporation, and the Subic National slipways. He was also a member of the Petroleum Board and of the Dangerous Drugs Board.
He was married to Lydia Raquel Santos, who bore him two sons and two daughters. He died on December 30, 1933.