Vicente Abad Santos

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Vicente Abad Santos
96th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
In office
January 17, 1979[1] – July 12, 1986
Appointed by Ferdinand E. Marcos
Preceded by Fred Ruiz Castro
Succeeded by Abraham Sarmiento
Secretary of Justice
In office
August 2, 1970 – January 16, 1979
President Ferdinand E. Marcos
Preceded by Felix Makasiar
Succeeded by Catalino Macaraig, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1916-07-12)July 12, 1916
San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippine Islands
Died December 30, 1993(1993-12-30) (aged 77)
Relations Jose Abad Santos
Pedro Abad Santos

Vicente Abad Santos (July 12, 1916 – December 30, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.


He was born in San Fernando, in Pampanga province of central Luzon. Two paternal uncles were prominent Filipinos during the American period, Chief Justice José Abad Santos, and his brother Pedro, a leading socialist leader during the Commonwealth era.

Santos earned his Bachelor's degree and degree in law at the University of the Philippines before earning a master's degree at Harvard Law School in the United States. After serving briefly as a trial court judge, he joined the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law as its dean in 1958. He would serve as dean for the next 11 years.

Public service[edit]

Abad Santos was appointed Secretary (later Minister) of Justice by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1970. He would serve in that capacity until January 1979. As early as June 1977, he was appointed to the Supreme Court, but he deferred accepting the appointment until January 17, 1979 when he was finally seated on the High Court.

Long viewed as a supporter of Ferdinand Marcos, he displayed considerable independence from the Marcos government once he was seated on the Supreme Court. By 1986, he was asked by the anti-Marcos opposition to swear into office Corazon Aquino's vice-presidential candidate Salvador Laurel at the height of the EDSA Revolution. When Aquino assumed the presidency on February 25, 1986, she asked for the resignation of the incumbent justices of the Supreme Court to allow her a free hand in reorganizing the Court. Abad Santos and fellow incumbent Justice Claudio Teehankee, Sr. were the President's first two appointments to the reorganized Supreme Court. However, Abad Santos retired shortly after, in July 1986, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reappointed to the Court on April 3, 1986


  • Sevilla, Victor J. (1985). Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Vol. III. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers. pp. 137–138. ISBN 971-10-0139-X. 
Preceded by
Fred Ruiz Castro
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Abraham Sarmiento
Preceded by
Vicente G. Sinco
Dean of the U.P. College of Law
Succeeded by
Irene R. Cortes