Arturo Tolentino

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Arturo Tolentino (September 19, 1910 – August 2, 2004) was a Filipino politician who served as Senate President and briefly as the Vice President of the country. He was born in Manila from relatively poor parents and earned his way through hard work and his notable scholarly powers and skills as a politician.


Tolentino had always been noted as an excellent student, beginning with his valedictorian position in the Mapua High School in 1928. He eventually studied law in the University of the Philippines where he graduated with the title of Cum Laude. He entered the Philippine Bar as one of the top-notchers in 1934, and followed up his education with a degree in Philosophy, also from the University of the Philippines. He received the title Master of Law and Doctor of Civil Law while studying in the University of Santo Tomas. He was an active debater and orator. He also engaged in teaching in various universities, including UST, UP, UE, FEU, Manila Law College, San Beda College, and many others.

Political career

Tolentino’s political career began with his position as a congressman from 1949 to 1957. He later on ran for senate and won. While in senate, he was selected as the Senate president. Because of Tolentino’s prestigious educational and academic background, he was also appointed various other posts in government including the position of Minister in Foreign Affairs during Marcos’ term. Apart from being the Senate President, another top position which Tolentino held was the Vice Presidency while Marcos ran for President against Corazon Aquino. Tolentino’s role as the Philippine Vice President, however, was short lived since he was selected as Marcos’ running mate during the snap election which quickly escalated to the People Power revolt that placed Aquino as president.

Law of sea

Tolentino’s greatest work during his stay in public service was with the Law of Sea, which created boundaries in sea territories. Previously, the idea which demarcated the rule of the oceans was the 17th century concept of the ‘freedom of the seas.’



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