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Salvador Ponce Lopez (May 27, 1911 – October 18, 1993), born in Currimao, Ilocos Norte, was a Filipino writer, journalist, educator, diplomat and statesman.

Salvador Ponce Lopez
9th Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs
In office
PresidentDiosdado Macapagal
Preceded byEmmanuel Pelaez
Succeeded byCarlos P. Romulo
12th President of the University of the Philippines
In office
PresidentFerdinand Marcos
Preceded byCarlos P. Romulo
Succeeded byOnofre D. Corpuz
Personal details
Born(1911-05-27)May 27, 1911
Currimao, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
DiedOctober 18, 1993(1993-10-18) (aged 82)
Manila, Philippines
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines

He studied at the University of the Philippines and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1931 and a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1933. At UP, he was drama critic for the Philippine Collegian and member of Upsilon Sigma Phi.[1][2] From 1933 to 1936, Lopez taught literature and journalism at the University of Manila. He also became a daily columnist and magazine editor of the Philippine Herald until World War II.

In 1940, Lopez's essay "Literature and Society" won the Commonwealth Literary Awards. His essay posited that art must have substance and that poet Jose Garcia Villa's adherence to "art for art's sake" is decadent. The essay provoked debates, the discussion centering on proletarian literature, i.e., engaged or committed literature versus the orientation of literature as an art for the sake of art itself.

He was appointed by President Diosdado Macapagal as Secretary of Foreign Affairs and then became ambassador to the United Nations for six years before reassigned to France for seven years.

Lopez was the president of the University of the Philippines from 1969 to 1975. He established a system of democratic consultation wherein decisions such as promotions and appointments were made through greater participation by faculty and administrative personnel; he also reorganized UP into the UP System.

It was during Lopez's presidency that UP students were politically radicalized, launching mass protests against the Marcos regime right from the so-called "First Quarter Storm" in 1970 to the "Diliman commune" in 1971. During the latter, Lopez called on all UP students, faculty, and employees to defend the university and its autonomy from Marcos's militarization, as the military sought to occupy the campus in search of alleged leftists, activists and other opponents of the regime. Due to his defense of UP's autonomy and democracy, many considered him a progressive and a militant member of the UP academe.


  1. ^ "UP's gangland wars: A historical note". Rappler. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  2. ^ Company, Fookien Times Publishing (1986). The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook. Fookien Times. p. 226. ISBN 9789710503506.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Carlos P. Romulo
President of the University of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Onofre D. Corpuz