José Avelino

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José Dira Avelino
3rd President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
May 25, 1946 – February 21, 1949
President Sergio Osmeña (1946)
Manuel Roxas (1946-1948)
Elpidio Quirino (1948-1949)
Preceded by Manuel Roxas
Succeeded by Mariano Jesús Cuenco
Senator of the Philippines
In office
May 25, 1946 – December 30, 1951
Secretary of Public Works and Transportation
In office
President Manuel L. Quezon
Preceded by Mariano Jesús Cuenco
Succeeded by Quintin Paredes
Secretary of Labor
In office
November 15, 1935 – 1938
President Manuel L. Quezon
Succeeded by Sotero Baluyut
4th President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
1935 – November 15, 1935
Preceded by Jose Clarin
Succeeded by Post Abolished
Post later held by Elpidio Quirino
Senator of the Philippines from the 9th Senatorial District
In office
1928 – November 15, 1935
Served with:
Jose Ma. Veloso (1928-1935)
Preceded by Pastor Salazar
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Samar's First District
In office
Preceded by Pedro K. Mendiola
Succeeded by Tiburcio Tancinco
Personal details
Born José Dira Avelino
(1890-08-05)August 5, 1890
Calbayog, Samar
Died July 21, 1986(1986-07-21) (aged 95)
Nationality Filipino
Political party Nacionalista (before 1946)
Liberal Party (since 1946)
Spouse(s) Enriqueta Casal
Children Jose Jr., Enrique, Antonio, Baltazar II, Pilar

José Dira Avelino (August 5, 1890 – July 21, 1986) was the first President of the Senate of the Third Republic of the Philippines and the second President of the Liberal Party. He was Senate President Pro tempore to President Manuel Quezon prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth.

Early life and career[edit]

Avelino was born in a town called Calbayog in Samar to Ildefonsa Dira and Baltazar Avelino. Avelino was educated at the Ateneo de Manila where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree and the University of Santo Tomas where he graduated with his Bachelor of Laws. Calbayog became a City in 1948 at Avelino's instance, when as President of the Senate he pulled together three contiguous municipalities (Oquendo, Calbayog and Tinambacan) and made it into the 19th city of the Philippines, October 16, 1948.

Personal life[edit]

Avelino was married to Enriqueta Casal and had four son Jose Jr., Enrique, Antonio, Baltazar II, and has one daughter Pilar.

National Politics[edit]

He served concurrently as Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Public Works and Transportation under President Manuel L. Quezon. As Secretary of Labor, Avelino accomplished something unprecedented in the Philippines and perhaps the world - he unified the labor unions by organizing them into two Commissions: The National Commission of Labor (NCL) and the National Commission of Peasants (NCP)- and he was designated Chairman over these two Commissions. To quote from the Manila Bulletin: "The new Secretary of Labor José Avelino became not merely the head of the Department of Labor in the government but the head of labor organization, the head of labor in fact."

Avelino is known as the Father of the Philippine Workmen’s Compensation Law; one of the most famous bills which he passed during his term in Senate which focused on creating a contingency insurance fund for workers as a way to protect the workers from the various economic problems that plagued the post-war economy.

Avelino also founded the first labor union in Eastern Visayas, Gremio Obrero de Stevedores and considered to be a founding member of the Liberal Party. He was instrumental in the passage of the Social Security System and pushed for the establishment of public high schools in every province in the Philippines. The final office held by Avelino before retiring was serving as Ambassador Plenipotentiary under President Elpidio Quirino.

Unfortunately, the quotations alluded to or attributed to Avelino, particularly, "what are we in power for?" have been taken out of context due to political motivations[citation needed].

Avelino ran for being President of the Philippines during the 1949 elections, where he became the third party candidate in a race between incumbent president Elpidio Quirino and former president José P. Laurel. Avelino tried to divide the Liberal votes for Quirino by declaring his faction as the other wing of the Liberal Party but the latter still won with 50.93% of the votes. Avelino garnered a mere 11.85%. His vice presidential mate, Vicente Francisco, garnered a far lower percentage (1.73%).

Later life[edit]

Avelino retired from public life and devoted himself to the practice of law. Avelino died at the age of 95 on July 21, 1986.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Manuel Roxas
President of the Senate of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Mariano Jesús Cuenco