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Biography of Jorge Bocobo (1886-1965)


Jurist, writer, and Philippine intellectual, born in Gerona (Tarlac province, Luzon) on October 19, 1886, and died on July 23, 1965, which is considered one of the most prominent figures of the cultural landscape of the Philippines during the American colonial period and the early days of the independent Republic.

Born in a family of middle-class Filipino Creoles, Jorge Bocobo received the first formation of their own parents and devoted to letters playing the office of City Clerk in his hometown. In 1903 he moved to Manila to learn laws in a private school, even though that same year was selected among the contingent of Philippine scholarship students to pursue studies in the United States Centers; Thus, after completing secondary education at a secondary school of California (September 1904), Bocobo could study law at Indiana University, where he graduated in June 1907. Back in the Philippines, he entered law school and began to teach at the Faculty of law of the University of Manila (1910), Center which in 1917 was appointed interim dean. Man rigid moral principles, during these years was fashioned already fame of competent in the exercise of the teaching profession, inculcating in students the importance of the legal system and the need for a body of Jurists fully trained for their management.

In political terms, Bocobo highlighted by its support for the position of the nationalist leader Manuel Quezón, in the sense of advocating gradual reforms in the Philippine separatist regime that finally lead to the achievement of full independence. So he took part in several committees sent to Washington to negotiate the granting of greater autonomy status - 1919, 1922, 1923 and 1924 - and advised the future filipino President, becoming one of his most trusted aides. In 1930 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Civil law, and after the proclamation of the Philippine Commonwealth (1934) happened to be in charge of the Presidency of the University of the Philippines, since he served until 1939. Last year the President Quezón appointed him Secretary of public instruction, since he contributed to give prestige to the country's educational institutions, improve the quality of teaching, following the model of the American centers and above all to consolidate the implementation of nationalist ideology in the field of education through the vindication of its own Filipino culture.

During the period of the Japanese occupation (1941-1944) Jorge Bocobo exercised several public positions in the administration of President Laurel, reason why after the release was accused of Collaborationism by U.S. authorities and imprisoned as a result; However, shortly after was exempted him from all blame, being rehabilitated with full honors. In 1947 he was elected to chair the Committee responsible for drafting the Civil Code of the new Republic of the Philippines, in which left its mark and text by which received the "Presidential Award" from the President Elpidio Quirino (1949). Among other merits and honors, Bocobo was Doctor Honoris causa of several universities (California, Indiana, Manila) and chaired various civic or religious associations.

In the facet of writer, in addition to publishing works of legal character, Bocobo highlighted in the essay genre and in the task of translating classical English nationalism filipino as Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo of José Rizal, the Decalogue of Andrés Bonifacio, Philippines of Ferdinand Blumentritt. He was the author in addition to Light and Freedom, a book about the work of Rizal.


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