José V. Abueva

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José Veloso Abueva
OnofreCorpuzEulogiesUPDilimanjf2693 03.JPG
Dr. Jose V. Abueva (Onofre Corpuz April 1, 2013 eulogy)
16th President of the University of the Philippines
In office
President Corazon Aquino
Preceded by Edgardo Angara
Succeeded by Emil Q. Javier
3rd Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman
Concurrently President of the University of the Philippines
In office
President Corazon Aquino
Preceded by Ernesto Tabujara
Succeeded by Emerlinda Roman
Personal details
Born Jose Veloso Abueva
(1928-05-25) May 25, 1928 (age 86)
Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines
Spouse(s) Socorro Encarnacion Abueva
Children Lanelle Abueva
Jobert Abueva
Rosanna Abueva
Jonas Abueva
Parents Teodoro Abueva
Purificacion Veloso
Alma mater University of Michigan
University of the Philippines
Occupation University administrator, professor, political scientist
Profession Academe

Dr. José Veloso Abueva was the 16th president of the University of the Philippines. A Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee for political science in 1962, he has devoted much of his career in academic circles. He has been faculty member of the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines Diliman and visiting professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York and Yale University. He has also worked with the United Nations University in Tokyo. Dr. Abueva's service to the nation includes stints as secretary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, executive director of the Legislative-Executive Local Government Reform Commission and Chairman of the Legislative-Executive Council that drew up the conversion program for former military bases. Dr. Abueva has written a number of books, including "Focus in the Barrio: The Foundation of the Philippine Community Development Program" and "Ang Filipino sa Siglo 21." Among the publications he has edited is the 20-volume "PAMANA: The UP Anthology of Filipino Socio-Political Thought since 1872."

Abueva is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of the Philippines Diliman.[1] He also chairs the advisory board of the Citizens Movement for a Free Philippines.[2] He was elected by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as chairman of the consultative constitutional commission in the Philippines. He is a strong supporter of federalism and parliamentary government for the Philippines.[3]

He forms the team of analysts of Pulse Asia, a public opinion polling body in the Philippines.[4]

Abueva is the founder and current president of Kalayaan College.

Biography and career[edit]

Dr. Abueva was born in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on May 25, 1928 to Teodoro Lloren Abueva, a former Bohol congressman and Purificacion (Nena)Veloso, head of Bohol's Women’s Club and women's suffrage campaign. His father was a friend and contemporary of former Philippine President Manuel Roxas and Ambassador Narciso Ramos. He was a member of the underground Provincial Board of Bohol, while his wife headed the Women's Auxiliary Service. He ended his career as a Congressman in 1934. Both of Abueva's parents were executed by the Japanese occupation army serving their country.

As a young boy of 16 during World War II in the Philippines, he had to search for his parents who were taken by the Japanese, eventually finding them dead.[5]

Dr. Abueva has six other brothers and sisters: Teodoro (Teddy), Jr., now based in New York, USA; Purificacion (Neny - dec.), married to Atty. Ramon Binamira (dec.) of Tagbilaran City; Napoleon Abueva (Billy), Philippines National Artist for sculpture; Amelia (Inday) Martinez, now living in Chicago; Teresita (Ching) Floro, now living in Sydney, Australia; and Antonio (Tony), a landscape artist who met a tragic fate aboard Princess of the Orient; his body has not been found.[6]

After the war, the orphaned Abueva children pulled together to take care of each other, growing into fine adults. Jose studied at the University of the Philippines and then the University of Michigan before eventually becoming a professor at his alma mater in the Philippines.[5]

He earned his A.B. (Arts-Law, cum laude) at U.P. and his Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Ph.D in political science at the University of Michigan. In 1968, he received the Distinguished Scholar Award of U.P. He was Visiting Professor at the City University of New York (1966–1967) and Yale University (1969–1970). He also worked with the Ford Foundation (1973–1977), and with the United Nations University in Tokyo and New York, 1977-1987. He served as Secretary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention and as Chairman of the Legislative-Executive Military Bases Council under President Corazon C. Aquino. He heads the research and advisory panel of the Citizens’ Movement for a Federal Philippines.

Professor Emeritus Abueva served as President of the University of the Philippines in 1987-1993. He introduced the Socialized Tuition Fee Assistance Program (STFAP) in 1987. Dr. Abueva also institutionalized a Filipino language policy within the university.

He is currently the President of Kalayaan College as well as U.P. Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration.[1]

He is author, co-author, or editor of several books published in the Philippines and abroad, including Focus on the Barrio; Ramon Magsaysay - A Political Biography; The Philippines Into the 21st Century; Filipino Nationalism; Leadership and Authority in Asia; Political and Administrative Development; Development Administration in Asia; and New Challenges for Development and Modernization.

Professor Emeritus Abueva is married to Mrs. Ma Socorro Encarnacion Abueva from Surigao and Manila. Their children are Lanelle, Jobert, Rosanna and Jonas

Significant contributions to Philippine governance[edit]

Dr. Abueva, who was also an elected delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, has been a staunch advocate for constitutional reforms particularly the shift to a unicameral parliamentary government and the march towards federalism in the Philippines.[7]

He chaired the Consultative Commission formed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005. The commission came up with a draft constitution that called for unicameral parliament with both a president and a prime minister.[7]

To Professor Emeritus Abueva, the adoption of a federal form of government will address the country's woes. According to him: “Countries under the federal system are more productive, are able to accelerate their development and the people are more resourceful. Under the present system we have not solved our problems." Abueva said the present political set-up does not fit the country's archipelagic nature and diverse cultures.[8]

On September 4, 2007, the Presidential Task Force on Education under the Office of the President named Bienvenido Nebres, chairman. Nebres will be joined by 4 others—Angeles University Foundation President Emmanuel Angeles, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Donald Dy, Asian Institute of Management Professor Victor Limlingan, and former University of the Philippines president Jose Abueva. The 5 with Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, Romulo Neri, and Augusto Syjuco, complete the task force. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Executive Order 635 on August 24 creating a presidential task force to assess, plan and monitor the entire educational system.[9]


  • "There were many reasons (for the proposal to scrap the 2007 polls). That is just one of them." (referring to popularity)
  • "Our electoral system may not be reformed at that time (2007). This would raise questions on the credibility of the elections."
  • "I respect his (Ramos) opinion but I am standing with the commission's recommendation. He is entitled to his opinions but we should look at the substantive proposals."[10]


Additional readings[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Edgardo Angara
President of the University of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Emil Q. Javier