Lorenzo Sumulong

Lorenzo Sumulong (September 5, 1905 – October 21, 1997) was a Filipino politician who served in the Philippine Senate for four decades, and as a delegate of his country to the United Nations. He was noted for having engaged in a debate with Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations General Assembly that allegedly provoked the Soviet Union Premier to bang his shoe on a desk.

Lorenzo Sumulong
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1949 – December 30, 1967
In office
December 30, 1969 – September 23, 1972[1]
10th Senate President pro tempore of the Philippines
In office
January 17, 1966 – December 30, 1969
PresidentFerdinand Marcos
Preceded byFernando Lopez
Succeeded byJose Roy
Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from Rizal's 2nd District
In office
May 25, 1946 – December 30, 1949
Preceded byEmilio de la Paz
Succeeded byEmilio de la Paz
Member of the Philippine Constitutional Commission
In office
June 2, 1986 – October 15, 1986
PresidentCorazon Aquino
Personal details
Born(1905-09-05)September 5, 1905
Antipolo, Rizal, Philippine Islands
DiedOctober 21, 1997(1997-10-21) (aged 92)
Political partyLiberal, Nacionalista

Early life and educationEdit

Sumulong was born in Antipolo, Rizal.[2] He finished law at the University of the Philippines College of Law and went on to top the 1929 bar examinations.[2] In 1932, he obtained a Masters of Law degree from Harvard Law School.[2]

Political careerEdit

Sumulong began his political career as a municipal councilor in Antipolo.[2] In the 1946 general elections, Sumulong won a seat in the House of Representatives, representing the 2nd District of Rizal. In 1949, Sumulong was elected to the Philippine Senate. He won re-election to the Senate in 1955 and in 1961. He did not seek re-election in 1967, but would return to the Senate in the 1969 elections. In all, Sumulong remained in Congress for 24 years, initially under the Liberal Party, but later under the Nacionalista Party. He served through the 1st Congress until the 7th Congress.

During his 21-year stint as senator, Sumulong became the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accountability (also known as the Blue Ribbon Committee). Through that high-profile position, he investigated noted national controversies such as the Tambobong-Buenavista Estate deal and the Harry Stonehill scandals.[2]

Faceoff with KhrushchevEdit

Sumulong also served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, and in that capacity, he led a Philippine delegation to the 902nd Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in 1960. During that meeting, Sumulong took the floor and delivered the following remarks challenging the Soviet Union to allow the people of Eastern Europe the free exercise of their civil and political rights.

My delegation, the Philippine delegation, attaches great importance to this item entitled Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the allocation of which is now under discussion.

We have been a colonized country. We have passed through all the trials and tribulations of a colonized people. It took us centuries and centuries to fight, to struggle, and to win our fight for the recognition of our independence, and, therefore, it would only be consistent with our history, our experience and our aspirations as a people that we vote in favour of having this item referred to the highest possible level of the General Assembly.

While this is not the occasion to discuss the substance of the item, I would like to place on record my delegation's view on the import as well as on the scope, the extent, the metes and bounds of this item. We feel this to be necessary in view of the statements made at the start of our meeting by the Premier of the Soviet Union. It is our view that the declaration proposed by the Soviet Union should cover the inalienable right to independence not only of the peoples and territories which yet remain under the rule of Western colonial Powers, but also of the peoples of Eastern Europe and elsewhere which have been deprived of the free exercise of their civil and political rights and which have been swallowed up, so to speak, by the Soviet Union.[3]

Khrushchev was incensed by Sumulong's remarks. He denounced the Filipino senator as "a jerk, a stooge and a lackey of imperialism".[4] Khrushchev then took out his shoe, waved it at Sumulong, then banged the shoe on the desk in front of him.[5] The following day, Khrushchev acknowledged that he had offended Sumulong but also asserted that he was likewise offended by the delegate from the Philippines.[6]

Later lifeEdit

Sumulong's service in Congress ended in 1972, with the abolition of the Philippine Senate upon the declaration of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos. In 1987, President Corazon Aquino named Sumulong to the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Philippine Constitution.[7]

Lorenzo is the father of Victor Sumulong, who served as congressman and mayor of Antipolo during the Estrada and Arroyo administrations.

Personal lifeEdit

He was married to Estrella Rodriguez and had six children.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Term cut short due to the declaration of Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Senators Profile: Lorenzo Sumulong". Former Senators. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-01-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Official Records, 15th Session of the UN General Assembly
  4. ^ Nina Khruscheva. "The Case of Khrushchev's Shoe". New Statesman.
  5. ^ Eric Pace (1988-12-05). "Recalling Year of Banging Shoe". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "The Thunder Departs". Time Magazine. 1960-10-24. Retrieved 2009-01-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ gov.ph
House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Emilio de la Paz
Representative, 2nd District of Rizal
1946 – 1949
Succeeded by
Emilio de la Paz