Jose Abueva

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To read this article in Filipino, see Jose Abueva.

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José Veloso Abueva (25 May 1928 – 18 August 2021) was a Filipino political scientist, educator, political expert, and public administrator scholar who served as the 16th president of the University of the Philippines (UP).

Abueva’s specializations include democracy and governance, political science, politics and administration, and decentralization and federalism. He was a strong supporter of federalism and parliamentary government for the Philippines. He was a Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee for political science in 1962. He was also a recipient of the distinguished scholar award in UP in 1968, the first time it was given under UP president Carlos Romulo.

He was a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He was also the founder and former president of Kalayaan College. He was also the former director of the Institute for Federal-Parliamentary Democracy and the Institute for a Nonkilling Philippines.

He was the chairman of the advisory board of the Citizens Movement for a Free Philippines. He formed the team of analysts of Pulse Asia, a public opinion polling body in the Philippines.

Early Life and Education

Abueva was born in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on 25 May 1928 to Teodoro Lloren Abueva, a former Bohol congressman and Purificacion (Nena) Veloso, head of Bohol Women’s Club and women’s suffrage campaign. One of his siblings is National Artist Napoleon Abueva.

He was 16 years old when during World War II in the Philippines, he had to search for his parents who were taken by the Japanese, and eventually finding them dead.


Abueva was the secretary of the Philippine Constitutional Convention of 1971 and the chairman of the Legislative-Executive Military Bases Council form 1989 to 1990 that worked on the conversion for former US military bases.

He served as president of UP from 1987 to 1993. During his term, he introduced the Socialized Tuition Fee Assistance Program (STFAP). He also institutionalized a Filipino language policy within the university. He was professor emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration and chancellor of UP Diliman from 1990 to 1991. Under his leadership in UP, the Leadership, Citizenship, and Democracy Program was established in 1992 which eventually became the Center for Leadership, Citizenship, and Democracy.

He was a signatory to the now abrogated UP-Department of National Defense (DND) Accord of 1989 which guarantees the university’s autonomy from military intervention. The accord, which was signed by Abueva and then Secretary of DND Fidel V. Ramos on 30 June 1989, established protocols governing relations between the university and military and police forces. Among these were prior notifications by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the UP administration before conducting any military or police operations in any of the UP campuses of the eight UP constituent universities. The accord was scrapped by the Duterte government in January 2021.

He was the Assistant Dean of the Institute of Public Administration, the predecessor of what is now the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of UP Diliman. He was a visiting professor at Yale University and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and guest lecturer at the University of Michigan, University of Hawaii, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, City University of New York, Columbia University, and University of California, Berkeley among others. He has also worked with the United Nations University in Tokyo.

In 2005, he served as chairperson of the Consultative Constitutional Commission during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In 2007, he was part of the Presidential Task Force on Education, which was created to assess, plan, and monitor the entire educational system.

Abueva has written a number of books including Focus in the Barrio: The Foundation of the Philippine Community Development Program and Ang Filipino sa Siglo 21. Among the publications he has edited was the 20-volume "PAMANA: The UP Anthology of Filipino Socio-Political Thought since 1872."


Abueva was married to Ma Socorro (Coring) Encarnacion Abueva. They have four children: Lanelle, Jobert, Rosanna, and Jonas.


He passed away on 18 August 2021 at the age of 93. No details of cause of his death was given by his daughter Rosanna. She stated on her Facebook account that he died peacefully at his home in Antipolo City.


Further reading



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