Jose Casten Zulueta was a Congressman of the 1st district of Iloilo (1928-1946) and Senator (1951-1957) of the Philippines. In the Commonwealth period he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Interior. He was elected provincial governor (1959) of Iloilo.
Zulueta was a graduate of Escuela de Derecho de Manila (later to be renamed Manila Law College, the oldest Filipino law school. In his young life Zulueta was 6-term Representative of the 1st district of Iloilo, serving 18 years from 1928 to 1946, a period which spanned tumultuous political changes in the Philippines.
Zulueta was the fourth Secretary of the Interior during the Commonwealth period, succeeding Rafael Alunan. During the Japanese Occupation Zulueta was accused of collaboration, along with Jorge Vargas, Jorge Bocobo, and Manuel Roxas, being the first to respond General Homma's order to form an Executive Commission. Afer the establishment of the Philippine Republic in 1946, the Department of Interior was restored and Zulueta was appointed by President Manuel Roxas once again to head the agency until 1948. Zulueta's term was marked by heightened tensions with the Hukbalahap movement, with Zulueta instituting a pass system that was required of Central Luzon residents wishing to travel outside their towns. Like his mentor Roxas, he adopted a hardline attitude toward the Huks, declaring in 1947 that the Huks faced only two choices: surrender or annihilation. He gave carte blanche to the Philippine Constabulary in all their operations against "dissidents". He was in charge of negotiating several times with its leaders, including Luis Lava, Luis Taruc, Juan Feleo, and Jose de Leon.
In 1946 Zulueta was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the inaugural session of the Congress.
He became Senator (1951-1957), representing the Liberal Party and was briefly elected the Senate President in 1953. He became Provincial Governor of Iloilo in 1959.
During the Marcos regime, he was made the Presidential Consultant on Local Government.
He is among the few Filipinos included in the World Biography, 1948 edition and in the International Who’s Who, 1952 edition.
Zulueta was married to Soledad B. Ramos.
- Philippine Senate bio of Jose C. Zulueta, the first parts of which have been erroneously conflated with the life of the bibliographer Clemente Jose Zulueta (1876-1904), accessed 12 September 2007).