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Chief Justice

Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee

Tenure: April 02, 1986 - April 18, 1988
Appointed by: Marcos/aquino

Birthdate: April 18, 1918
Died: November 27, 1989
Place of Birth: Manila

  1. A.B., Ateneo de Manila, 1938 (summa cum laude)
  2. Bachelor of Laws, Ateneo de Manila, 1940 (summa cum laude)
  3. 1st Place 1940 Bar Exam with an average of 94.35%
  4. Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa (Ateneo de Manila University);
  5. Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (University of the Philippines);
  6. Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (Ateneo de Davao University);
  7. Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (Centro Escolar University);
  8. Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (University of Iloilo);
  9. Doctor of Laws honoris causa (Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan)
  10. Doctorate of Philosophy, honoris causa, by the Fu-Jen Catholic University of Taiwan.
Professional Career:
  1. Law Practice, 1941
  2. Undersecretary of Justice, January 15, 1966
  3. Secretary of Justice, August 17, 1967 – December 16, 1968
  4. Chairman, Board of Pardons & Parole
  5. Chairman, Anti-Dummy Board
  6. Chairman, Peace and Order Council
  7. Chairman, Presidential Advisory Panel
  8. Head, President’s Action Group
  9. Vice-Chairman, Peace and Order Coordinating Council
  10. Member, Council of State
  11. Member, National Security Council
  12. Member, Development Council
  13. Member, Surigao Mineral Reservation Board
  14. Member, Cabinet Committee on Public Bids
  15. Associate Justice, Supreme Court, April 19, 1979
  16. Acting Chief Justice, March 7, 1986
  17. Chief Justice, Supreme Court, April 2, 1986
  1. Citation of the Ateneo de Manila University in conferment of Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (1986):
  2. "In the Supreme .Court, during the dark days of martial law, no one knew, certainly not President Marcos, that Mr. Teehankee would defy the tyranny of numbers and cast doubt on the validity of his regime, question the justness of its cause, and belie its adherence to the rule of law. Consistently, Mr. Teehankee's dissenting opinions valiantly stripped away the curtains of legality that Mr. Marcos draped over his regime.
  3. "True to the Supreme Court's tradition of independence, Mr. Teehankee's erudite dissents during the dark days of the Marcos regime, remained a steady flicker of light, encouraging the fainthearted and inspiring hope. With the courage of his convictions, and with integrity, he rose above the loneliness of his cause, the risk to his life and liberty, as he fought to preserve the rule of law.
  4. "The days of the Marcos regime may have been the darkest in Philippine history. They were also days when Mr. Teehankee's courage shone the brightest."
  5. Citation of the University of the Philippines in conferment of Honorary Doctorate of Laws (1987):
  6. "For his steadfast devotion, selfless courage and singular dedication to the principles of liberty, morality in government, constitutionalism, and the rule of law as a jurist, administrator of justice -and public servant;
  7. "For his deep and consistent advocacy of human rights, justice, and freedom, without regard to the expediency of his cause, and at risk to his life and liberty as he uncompromisingly upheld the rule of law.
  8. "For his extraordinary strength of character demonstrated by keeping faith, when it was convenient to lend it away, with the maintenance of a strong and independent judiciary, thereby keeping alive, during the critical period of our history as a nation, the hope of the Filipino people for a judiciary worthy of their respect and confidence. "
  9. Citation of the Ateneo de Davao University in conferment of Honorary Doctorate of Laws (1986):
  10. "For public service as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by dauntless adherence to the Rule of Law, by his unprecedented legal opinions to preserve the people's faith in constitutional guarantees on human freedom."
  11. Citation of the CentroEscolarUniversity in conferment of Honorary Doctorate of Laws (1986):
  12. "For his deep and consistent advocacy of human rights, justice and freedom as shown in the opinions he has been rendering during his seventeen years of service in the Supreme Court."
  13. Citation of the University of Iloilo in conferment of Honorary Doctorate of Laws (1987):
  14. "In recognition of his selfless dedication and unfaltering loyalty to the cause of truth, justice and equity;
  15. "For his judicial leadership in preserving the people's trust and confidence in the Supreme Court as demonstrated by his uncompromising adherence to the Rule of Law during all his years of government service;
  16. "For his relentless crusade against infringement of civil liberties by powerful forces, thus giving fuller meaning to constitutional guarantees on human freedom;
  17. "For his unswerving devotion to high ideals and principles and his undaunted patriotism."
  18. Human Rights A ward conferred by the Concerned Women of the Philippines(1985):
  19. "For his uncompromising stand in protecting the victims of abuse and injustice perpetrated by those in power.
  20. "For providing an inspiring example of love of country, and of professional integrity and judicial independence in this dark period of Philippine history."
  21. Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines' Perspective Magazine's Award of 1985 Man of the Year:
  22. "An apt tribute to (an) outstanding citizen whose moral courage in a period of moral bankruptcy and social degradation has provided the Filipino people (a) role model worthy of admiration and emulation."
  23. Knights of Rizal Pro-Patria A ward (1987):
  24. "In humble tribute to and grateful recognition of his unselfish dedication to the cause for which the Order stands, . . . his courageous and uncompromising adherence to the Rule of Law, espousal of democratic ideals and civil liberties, and respect for human rights, unmindful of the risks and disadvantages attendant thereto during the regime of an authoritarian ruler; and his exemplary government service characterized by unparalleled competence and unquestioned integrity, . . .
  25. "A true patriot and an undisguised nationalist, he is the epitome of what Rizal undoubtedly expected every Filipino who loves his country should be."
  26. United Nations Associations of the Philippines' Carlos P. Romulo Award (1986):
  27. "For his being the tireless guardian of the rights of people whose joy is the justice he brings through his jurisprudence, whose strength is his fidelity to peace, whose heart is with the, muffled cries of all whose basic rights have been denied."
  28. Citation of the Fu-jen Catholic University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa (1987):
  29. "The Fu-jen Catholic University established in Taiwan on October 23, 1960 by His Holiness Pope John XXIII by virtue of its lawful authority granted by the Apostolic See, with the approval of the General Council of the University and consent of The Ministry of Education of the Republic of China, hereby grants the degree to Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee for his profound juridical doctrine and rectitude and integrity in political matters as well as his fervent friendship with the people of China."
  30. Third Distinguished Award for Justice (1988): "From the Philippine Bar Association in recognition of his contributions to the development of law and jurisprudence and exemplary conduct in the administration and pursuit of justice which have inspired the people to value their sovereignty and regard law as an instrument of justice, peace and order."
  31. Citation of the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in conferment of Honorary Doctorate of Laws (1988): (
  32. "The man our University has chosen to honor this evening, embodies to an extraordinary degree those four qualities Moses sought among the first judges. His academic record at the Ateneo de Manila, his topping of the bar examinations of 1940, his lucid, superbly crafted and meticulously researched opinions as Justice of the Supreme Court, his decisions and policies as Secretary of Justice – all these point to a brilliant mind at the service of the nation.
  33. "If we are to glean the God-fearing quality of a judge from his consistent and uncompromising stand on the protection of the rights and liberties especially of the powerless and voiceless, and the congruence between his words and his actions, between his private and public life, then our honoree clearly possesses the second quality Moses demanded of his judges.
  34. "The third quality of a judge was that he should be trustworthy. This test our honoree meets as we go through the records especially of his courageous opinions and actions during the dark years of martial rule which saw our Supreme Court reduced to the degrading role of disguising tyranny with the veil of legality.
  35. "Finally, Moses required of those first judges that quality, rare then and rarer still today, of incorruptibility. Our honoree could have easily taken advantage of his access to high places and connections had he been willing to betray the cause of justice whose integrity he was sworn to uphold. At a time when the expedient thing was to remain silent, he courageously proclaimed his adherence to the rule of law.
  36. "For his singular and splendid capability and competence as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as Secretary of Justice, and as public servant;
  37. "For his God-fearing adherence to our Faith that demands and does justice;
  38. "For his trustworthiness in the many important during a lifetime of service to the Republic;
  39. "For his incorruptibility in the face of a regime that cynically thought every man, even a Justice of the Supreme Court, can be bought;
  40. "For being a beacon of light, courage, and hope to our nation during its own exodus from dictatorship back to democracy.”

About Him:
He attended several international conferences on the law and the judiciary. Thus, he was: Delegate, Third International Congress of Jurists held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 11-15, 1962; Delegate, First International Conference of Appellate Judges, Manila, 1977, Second International Conference of Appellate Judges, Sydney-Canberra, Australia, 1980, Third International Conference of Appellate Judges, New Delhi, India, 1984, and Fourth International Conference of Appellate Judges, Kuala Lumpur, April 1987; and Delegate, World Peace Through Law Conference, Cairo, Egypt, 1983; Head, Philippine Delegation, General Assembly of the Asean Law Association (ALA), Bangkok, Thailand, 1986; Closing Speaker, International Conference on "A New Road for the Philippines", sponsored by the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, et al., at Tufts University, Medford, Mass., U.S.A., 1986; Conference Participant, LAWASIA Conference of Chief Justices at Islamabad, Pakistan; and Panel Speaker, Columbia University School of Law Bicentennial Conference on the U.S. Constitution, 1987.
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