Claro M. Recto

February 8, 2012 by staff 

Claro M. Recto, Claro Mayo Recto, Jr. (February 8, 1890 – October 2, 1960), was a Filipino politician, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation. He is remembered mainly for his nationalism, for “the impact of his patriotic convictions on modern political thought”.

He was born in Ti?ong, Tayabas (now known as Quezon province) of educated, upper middle-class parents, namely Claro Recto [Sr.] of Rosario, Batangas, and Micaela Mayo of Lipa, Batangas. He studied Latin at the Instituto de Rizal in Lipa, Batangas from 1900 to 1901.

 Further schooling was at the Colegio del Sagrado Coraz?n of Don Sebasti?n Virrey. He moved to Manila to study at the Ateneo de Manila where he consistently obtained outstanding scholastic grades, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree maxima c*m laude. He received a Masters of Laws degree from the University of Santo Tom?s.

Claro M. Recto, Jr. launched his political career as a legal adviser to the first Philippine Senate in 1916. In 1919, he was elected representative from the second district of Batangas. He served as minority floor leader for several years until 1925. His grasp of parliamentary procedures won him the accolades of friends and adversaries alike.

He traveled to the United States as a member of the Independence Mission, and was admitted to the American Bar in 1924. Upon his return he founded the Partido Democrata. In 1928, he temporarily retired from active politics and dedicated himself to the practice and teaching of law.

Recto found the world of academia restrictive and soporific. Although he still engaged in the practice of law, he resigned from his teaching job in 1931 and reentered politics when he ran and won a senate seat and was subsequently elected its majority floor leader in 1934. He was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1935 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As a jurist he held his own in famous debates even against the U.S. Attorney General with whom he waged a war of words on the question of ownership of military bases in the Philippines.

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