Emmanuel Pelaez

Emmanuel Neri Pelaez (November 30, 1915 – July 27, 2003) was a Filipino public servant and politician who served as the 9th Vice President of the Philippines from 1961 to 1965.

Emmanuel Pelaez
VP Emmanuel Pelaez (cropped).jpg
6th Vice President of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1961 – December 30, 1965
PresidentDiosdado Macapagal
Preceded byDiosdado Macapagal
Succeeded byFernando Lopez
Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States
In office
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
In office
December 30, 1961 – 1963
PresidentDiosdado Macapagal
Preceded byFelixberto Serrano
Succeeded bySalvador P. López
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1967 – September 23, 1972
In office
December 30, 1953 – December 30, 1959
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Misamis Oriental's Lone District
In office
December 30, 1965 – December 30, 1969
Preceded byVicente de Lara
Succeeded byPedro Roa
In office
December 30, 1949 – December 30, 1953
Preceded byPedro Baculio
Succeeded byIgnacio Cruz
Regional Mambabatas Pambansa for Northern Mindanao
In office
June 12, 1978 – June 5, 1984
Personal details
Emmanuel Neri Pelaez

(1915-11-30)November 30, 1915
Medina, Misamis, Philippine Islands
DiedJuly 27, 2003(2003-07-27) (aged 87)
Muntinlupa, Philippines
Political partyLiberal
Other political
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan
Spouse(s)Edith Fabella

Early life and careerEdit

Pelaez was born in Medina, Misamis (now Misamis Oriental) to Gregorio Pelaez, Sr. and Felipa Neri (second wife). He was fourth among eight children between Gregorio and Felipa: Rosario, Concepcion, Gregorio Jr., Emmanuel, Jose Ma., Lourdes, Antonio, and Carmen.[1] He studied in Cagayan de Misamis (former name of Cagayan de Oro) Elementary School where he got the highest honors. He then went to the Ateneo de Manila High School and got his Associate in Arts at the Cebu UP Junior College.

He received his law degree from the University of Manila in 1938, and in the same year topped the Bar examinations. He worked as a Senate Clerk at the Journal Division from 1934 to 1935, Debate Reporter from 1935 to 1937, and court translator from 1937-1938. He was employed as assistant court reporter at the Court of Appeals from 1939 to 1940, then later Special Prosecutor of the People’s Court from 1945 up to 1946. Peláez practiced law and at the same time professor of law at the University of Manila from 1946 up to 1963. In 1949, he was voted Congressman, representing his home province. During his term as representative (1949–53) he was adjudged one of the Ten Outstanding Congressmen by the Congressional Press Club, one of the Ten Most Useful Congressmen by the Philippine Free Press, and one of the two Most Outstanding Congressmen by the League of Women Voters of the Philippines.

Such achievements in the Lower House of Congress literally brought him to the Senate floor in 1953-60. He was unanimously chosen Most Outstanding Senator by two organizations, the League of Women Voters of the Philippines and the Senate Press Club.

Vice presidency (1961–1965)Edit

U.S. President John F. Kennedy receives Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez on 26 June 1962

Pelaez was elected Vice President in 1961, simultaneously performing the functions of Foreign Affairs Secretary. He resigned in 1963 as Secretary, after a dispute with the Macapagal administration. In the same year, he was chosen Man of the Year by the Examiner and the following year was adjudged the Most Outstanding Alumnus during the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the University of Manila.

On November 22, 1964, Pelaez lost the Nacionalista Party nomination for President of the Philippines to Ferdinand Marcos.[2]

Election to Philippine CongressEdit

Pelaez was again elected as representative to Congress in 1965. Two years later he held the office being a senator until the September 1972 proclamation of martial law. While he went back to private life and devoted his time to his family and law practice, he nevertheless continued to take an active interest in public affairs. In 1978, the 63-year-old lawyer of Misamis Oriental was elected Assemblyman in the Interim Batasang Pambansa and served as Minister of State.


Pelaez was Chairman and/or ranking member of Philippine delegations to various international conferences among which were: the UN 10th Commemorative Conference at San Francisco in 1955; the UN General Assembly meeting in 1957 and 1962; Interparliamentary Union Conference at London in 1957; in Peru and the Cameroon in 1972. He had been a member, consultant body of the Philippine Delegation to the SEATO in 1963. In 1973, President Marcos designated him as a member of the Philippine panel in the military bases negotiations with the United States. The RP-US Military Bases Negotiation was held in Washington, D.C. in 1975. This was his second time to serve the panel, the first time being in 1956 when he was the spokesman of the panel in the RP-US military bases negotiations then. Peláez served as Philippine ambassador to the United States of America during the Aquino administration. Pelaez served on the Committee of Honor of the Agri-Energy Roundtable (AER)- a United Nations accredited non-governmental organization and participated in the AER's ASEAN agro-industrial regional conference in May 1987 at the Manila Hotel.

Civic leaderEdit

Pelaez involved himself actively in various civic and professional societies. He served as Chairman of the Cadang-Cadang Research Foundation of the Philippines, Inc., the first Filipino scientific research foundation jointly financed by the government and the private sector for the eradication of cadang-cadang, an infectious viral disease which had threatened to wipe out the coconut industry. He also headed the Philippine Coconut Planters Association, Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan Association and the Philippine National Red Cross Fund Drive in Mindanao (1958).

Personal lifeEdit

Pelaez married Edith Fabella with whom he has nine children: Emmanuel Jr., Ernesto, Elena, Esperanza, Eloisa, Eduardo, Enrique, Edmundo and Elvira. A failed assassination attempt prompted Pelaez to end his political career and devote his life to Bible studies. He served twice as president of the Philippine Bible Society and chairman of its board of directors, and was later made honorary president for life by the organization.

He died July 27, 2003 at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa due to cardiac arrest.


  1. ^ What's Happening to Our Country? The Life and Times of Emmanuel Pelaez by Nelson Navarro
  2. ^ McCoy, Alfred W. (2009). "Rent-seeking Families and the Philippine State: A History of the Lopez family". In McCoy, Alfred W. (ed.). An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. p. 507. ISBN 978-0-299-22984-9. Retrieved July 21, 2020.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Pedro Baculio
Representative, Misamis Oriental
Succeeded by
Ignacio S. Cruz
Preceded by
Diosdado Macapagal
Vice President of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Fernando Lopez
Preceded by
Felixberto M. Serrano
Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Salvador Lopez
Preceded by
Vicente Butao De Lara Sr.
Representative, Misamis Oriental
Succeeded by
Pedro M. Roa
Preceded by
Assemblyman for Misamis Oriental
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Benjamin Romualdez
Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America
Succeeded by
Raul Rabe