Jose Abad Santos
Born on February 19, 1886 in San Fernando, Pampanga to Vicente Abad Santos and Toribia Basco and his Brother Pedro. He finished a pre-law course at the Santa Clara College in Santa Clara, California; his Bachelor of Laws at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and his Masters of Laws at George Washington University in 1909. Admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1911, he served as Assistant Attorney at the Bureau of Justice from 1913 to 1917.
He was later appointed the first Filipino corporate lawyer of the Philippine National Bank, Manila Railroad Company and other government corporations. He returned to the Department of Justice where he became Attorney-General, Undersecretary of Justice then Secretary of Justice from 1921 to 1923.
Made a Master Mason in Bagumbayan Lodge No. 4 on September 6, 1919. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of F.&A.M. of the Philippine Islands 1938-39. Member, Philippine Bodies, A.&A.S.R. 32nd Degree KCCH, 1941, Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A. The Fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines at the outbreak of World War II.
When President Manuel L. Quezon left for the United States , Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos was given the choice to go with him. But he preferred to remain in the Philippines and carry on his work and stay with his family. President Quezon appointed him Acting President with full authority to act in the name of, and on behalf, of the President of the Philippines in areas unoccupied by the Japanese.
Jose Abad Santos was able to talk to his son José, Jr. His last parting words to his son were “Do not cry, Pepito, show to these people that you are brave. It is an honor to die for one’s country. Not everybody has that chance.” Executed by a firing squad on May 2, 1942 in Malabang, Lanao.
Courtesy of Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Mason of the Philippines