He was known as an outstanding politician in the Philippine Politics Arena and was named as the “Father of the Philippine Archipelagic Doctrine”. Aside from this, this veteran politician is also an expert in the “Law of the Sea”. Who is this seasoned politician who only seated at the Vice-Presidential seat for only 9 days?
Arturo Tolentino was born on September 19, 1910 in Manila as comes in a humble family. During his study age, Tolentino was a valedictorian at the Manila East high School (now called the V. Mapa High School) in Sta Mesa Manila. We went to college atthe University of the Philippines College of Law where he top the Law Degree as a Cum Laude. He also take the Bachelor of Philisophy as finishes the same as a Cum Laude. After which is takes up his Master of Law and Doctor of Civil law at the University of Sto Tomas.
Before becoming a prominent politician, Tolentino practiced his law profession after passing the Bar Exam in 1934. He also becomes a Law Profession at various University and Colleges in Metro Manila like UP, UST, UE, UM, AU, FEU, and San Beda College to name a few.
Tolentino entered the Philippine Politics as served as a Congressman from 1949 until 1957. He also becomes a member of the Senate from 1957 until 1972 to which he act as the Senate President from 1965 until 1967. In 1984-85,he was assigned by former Ferdinand Marcos as the head of the “Minister of Foreign Affairs.
After the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino in 1983, the Filipino masses had pressured Marcos to resign as President. Of course, Marcos did not resigned but rather proclaimed a Snap election on February 1986. He ask Tolentino to be his running mate for the Vice-president position.
Corazon Aquino becomes Marcos contender while Tolentino faces Salvador Laurel for the vice-presidential seat. As history tells us, Marcos and Tolentino was proclaimed as the winners by the Batasang Pambabsa. But because of the allegations of a nationwide electoral cheating, this ended up in the People Power revolution.
In the heat of the revolution, Marcos left the country while Tolentino tried to preside over Marcos as the legal President, but he failed. He tried to subdue the Filipino protest but did not materialized. And on February 26, 1986, Tolentino respected the decision made by the Filipino citizens. Tolentino only seated for vice-president for 9 days only.
Tolentino made a comeback to the Philippine politics and run for the Senate seat in 1992 and served until 1995. On August 2004, Tolentino died due to a heart attack.
Author’s note: Another compiling story and history of my motherland and its citizens.