Pablo Ángeles y David

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Pablo Ángeles David
Portrait by Rafael D. Maniago
Born Pablo David Angeles
August 17, 1889
Bacolor, Pampanga, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died May 16, 1965(1965-05-16) (aged 75)
Quezon City, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Other names Ambo
Occupation Magistrate, Statesman
Known for Champion of the Poor Against Communist, Landowner and Military Abuses "He entered politics a very wealthy man and sold everything he had to spend his substance to save those caught in the cross-fire of Communist Insurrection."

Pablo "Ambo" David Ángeles (Bacolor, August 17, 1889 - May 16, 1965) was a Filipino magistrate and statesman. During his career, he became a Judge, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, Governor of Pampanga[1][2][3] and a member of the Senate of the Philippines. When he first ran for public office as governor, the Spanish y in his name was accidentally left out in streamers made by friends, so his name is often cited as "Pablo Angeles David".

Early life[edit]

David Ángeles was born in the town of Bacolor, Philippines in the house of Carlos de los Angeles y de los Reyes (of Barrio San Vicente) and Ceferina David y Mesina (of Barrio San Isidro) on August 17, 1889.[4]

Early on (up to 1901), Pablo displayed brilliance as a juvenile student at the private Spanish school (equivalent to present primary and intermediate school) of Don Modesto Joaquin, a former Katipunero. His other students would later grow as famous personalities like Justice Jose Gutierrez David, Nicolas Dayrit and Benigno Aquino, Sr., grandfather of the former Philippine President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. He earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1906 at Liceo de Manila and the degree in law in 1909 at Escuela de Derecho, the nation's leading law school.[5][5] In 1910, at the age of 20, he passed the Philippine Bar Examination, placing Third, (after Don Felix Gurrea, #1 and Don Jose Escaler, #2) and became the youngest person to qualify the Philippine Bar Examination. He had to wait another year to take his oath of law.[4][6]


Bacolor, Pampanga statue

David Ángeles chose to serve his province, Pampanga. From 1911 to 1912, he was appointed as Justice of the Peace for Sasmuan, Santa Rita and his hometown of Bacolor. From 1913-1915, he served as Deputy Provincial Fiscal. He was elected for three years as a provincial councilor in 1916 and later in 1918 became chairman of the Census Board. In 1919 he was elected to the House of Representatives for the 1st District of Pampanga.[7]

David Angeles became acting Governor of Pampanga at the age of 27 when Don Honorio Ventura was appointed as Secretary of the Interior, being the number one board member. He was elected as governor in 1931 and was re-elected in 1934.[7]

He retired to private practice in 1937. But in 1939, he was appointed by the late President Manuel L. Quezon as District Judge of Maasin, the birthplace of his wife, and later was transferred to Bulacan, where World War II overtook him.

During the first days of the Japanese Occupation, he was practically forced to serve either as Governor of Pampanga, or as District Judge of Bulacan. He chose the latter as being less sinecure, serving therein as such in Malolos, Bulacan and later in Pampanga. In October 1944, he was kidnapped in his home by the Hukbalahap/HMB. Within days of his return to his home, the Japanese Kempeitai seized him as "Father of Guerrillas" in Pampanga and brought him to San Fernando. Immediately, the late Don Jose Urquico and the late Don Sergio Aquino obtained custody of him from the Kempeitai head who was their friend and guaranteed to keep him incomunicado in Tarlac.

The reason for the Kempeitai's action was that no prominent personality taken by the HMB had ever been surfaced alive except for Angeles David. They came to the conclusion that Angeles David must have agreed to work for them.

Doña Concepcion languished at the arrest of her husband and succumbed on December 24, 1944. When news reached Tarlac of this, Angeles David was allowed to go home to Bacolor, Pampanga, with the understanding that he would return to Tarlac. But he never did.

When the family escaped the path of the battles of liberation, Angeles David was again kidnapped by the HMB at Barrio Pulung Masle, Guagua in February 1945 and again brought to Barrio Santa Cruz Pambilog, San Luis. Word got to Sixth U.S. Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps at San Fernando by a boy who overheard the HMB plan to execute him to shut him up. David Angeles once more adamantly refused to openly support the HMB. With the boy as a guide, two American officers jumped into a jeep and drove pellmell to Barrio Santa Cruz Pambilog. They demanded to see him but the commanders led by Pedro Taruc denied he was around. The two officers spoke with certainty that he was there and that in 36 hours, the U.S. Sixth Army would mount an all-out assault at the headquarters of Luis Taruc should Don Pablo not appear to them with sound mind and body. The HMB commanders relented and led them to the hut where he and his son, Ciceron, were detained. While speaking loudly on niceties, they communicated by hand-written notes. The next day, David Angeles and his son, Ciceron, rode a horse-drawn caretela to the CIC headquarters.

Many years later, Ciceron recalled sadly that they mutually recognized and hailed many prominent citizens from all over Pampanga there in a weird kind of last gathering as in an execution camp, but they never saw them again years later. As this is being written, there is a national amnesia of this killing field except for Luis Taruc's letter to President Manuel A. Roxas complaining about the "fascist governor of Pampanga", and boasting later in the same letter that they executed 15,000 fascist traitors.[8]

After the Liberation from the Japanese in World War II, the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr. re-appointed him as District Judge of Bulacan.

Nobody wanted to accept the position of Governor of Pampanga as the Pampanga capitol and town halls were occupied by HMB Mayors and bearded dissidents festooned with ammo bandoleers, not only in Pampanga, but in the Central Luzon. The late President Manuel A. Roxas prevailed upon David Angeles to restore the provincial government as Acting Governor of Pampanga in 1945. Beginning from his home town of Bacolor, he formed the Civilian Guards and wrested control of the provincial capitol and the town centers (poblacion) and drove the Hukbalahap|HMB to the hinterlands (Mount Arayat, Candaba swamps and Zambales mountains). In 1946, he was elected Governor of Pampanga. In one year of administration, he was able to pacify the province sufficiently to enable the farmers to work the farms and produce enough for themselves and their landlords.

The late President Manuel A. Roxas again prevailed upon him to run for the Philippine Senate in 1947.

He was elected and he served for six years, until 1953.[6] As a senator, he always stood up in the Senate for an "Iron Fist" policy against the HMB in contrast to the voices urging appeasement.

As a senator he was known for his fiery speeches. One such example is of April 1950 expose when he contested President President Elpidio Quirino's announcement that the Hukbalahap rebels had already been decimated. He then revealed that a massacre occurred in his hometown Bacolor, the Maliwalu Massacre (April 7, 1950 Good Friday) which was perpetrated by members of the Civilian Guards/Serrano private army in retaliation for the death of one of their commanders, Captain Nonong Serrano.[4][9][10]

In the Chinese Immigration Quota Scandal, Senator Pablo Angeles y David was one of the four solons who were cleared of guilt by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee led by then Senator Lorenzo M. Tañada.[11]

Personal life[edit]

At 5'11" tall David Angeles was a towering figure compared to the average Filipino. His first wife was Concepcion "Concha" Galang Baro, a mestiza of Basque descent. They had six children, named Luis "Sito", Ciceron "Aring", Ernani "Nani", Estrella "Nining", Maria Divina (died at 2 years old) and Florita "Flor". In 1948 then 58 years old, he married Estela "Telang" Cano Galura (Feb 25, 1924), a local beauty queen. They had five children: Estela "Baby", Pablo II "Boy", Pablo III "Amblit", Maria Corazon "Khorrie", and Carlos "Titus". David Angeles served his province and stayed in Bacolor until he suffered a stroke. He spent his later years of life with his family in Aragon Street corner Governor Forbes Avenue (now Arsenio Lacson), Sampaloc, Manila and Tendido Street, San Jose, Quezon City until his passing on May 16, 1965. Beloved by his hometown, a statue of him was erected at the plaza in front of the famous San Guillermo Parish Church in San Vicente, Bacolor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Pampanga and Governors". Pampanga Famous People. March 24, 2007. 
  2. ^ "The Past Governors of Pampanga". Official Website for the Province of Pampanga. 
  3. ^ Camiling, Andro. "Governors of Pampanga". Andro's Kapampangan page. 
  4. ^ a b c "HON. PABLO ANGELES DAVID: "No Fear" Governor". VIEWS FROM THE PAMPANG. August 14, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Profile of Atty. Pablo Angeles David". Filipino Lawyers Database. 
  6. ^ a b "Former Senators: Pablo Angeles David". Senate of the Philippines. 
  7. ^ a b John A., Larkin (1993). "Sugar and the Origins of Modern Philippine Society". Berkeley: University of California Press. 
  8. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro A.& Alfonso, Oscar M. (1967). "History of the Filipino People". Second Edition. Malaya Books, Quezon City.
  9. ^ "THE PHILIPPINES: Labulabu". Time Magazine. May 1, 1950. 
  10. ^ "THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. CENON SERRANO alias PIPING, ET AL., defendants. DOMINGO CADIANG, SANTIAGO YUMUL and FILEMON CENZON, defendants-appellants.". 
  11. ^ Quirino, Carlos. "Amang - The Life and Times of Eulogio Rodriguez Sr." New Day Publishers, Quezon City. 1983.