Claro M. Recto

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Person.png Claro M. Recto  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Claro Mayo Recto.jpg
BornClaro Recto y Mayo
February 8, 1890
Tiaong, Tayabas, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedOctober 2, 1960 (Age 70)
Rome, Italy
Cause of death
"heart attack"
Alma materUniversity of Santo Tomás, Central Philippine University
Spouse • Angeles Silos
• Aurora Reyes
Victim ofassassination

Claro Mayo Recto Jr. was a Filipino statesman, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation. He is remembered for his nationalism, for "the impact of his patriotic convictions on modern political thought", and has been seen in the same class as Dr. Jose Rizal, Sen. Jose W. Diokno, and Sen. Lorenzo Tañada.[1][2]

Recto died of a heart attack in Rome, Italy, on October 2, 1960, while on a cultural mission, and en route to Spain, where he was to fulfill a series of speaking engagements.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is suspected of involvement in his death. Recto, who had no known heart disease, met with two mysterious "Caucasians" wearing business suits before he died. United States government documents later showed that a plan to murder Recto with a vial of poison was discussed by CIA Chief of Station Ralph Lovett and the US Ambassador to the Philippines Admiral Raymond Spruance years earlier.[3][4]


Recto began his political career in 1919 when he was first elected a member of the House of Representatives, representing the 3rd constituency of Batangas Province. He later was Minority Floor Leader in the House of Representatives for a number of years .

In 1931 he was first elected a member of the Senate and sat there until 1935. During this time he was also President of the Commission drafting the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and presented the draft Constitution to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt for final consideration. He is therefore considered the "Father of the Philippine Constitution".

After leaving the Senate, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court in 1935 by President Roosevelt and gained notoriety in debates with then- US Attorney General Homer S. Cummings on status US Army bases in the Philippines. He held the office of Associate Justice until 1936.

In November 1941 he was again elected a member of the Senate and was a de facto member of that body from 1942 to 1946, with the Senate meeting only once, in June 1945. However, only 16 of the 24 senators attended this session, as the remaining senators were imprisoned for collaborating with the Japanese occupying power .

In addition, Recto was Commissioner for Education, Health and Public Welfare from 1942 to 1943 before becoming Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in the government of President Manuel Quezon from 1943 to 1944

In 1949 he was re-elected Senator and re-elected as such in November 1955. In 1957 he ran for President but was defeated by Carlos P. Garcia.

In addition to his extensive political activity, he was also the author of books on politics and contract law.

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