Anacleto Díaz

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Anacleto Díaz
Anacleto Diaz.jpg
31st Associate Justice
of the Philippine Supreme Court
In office
July 20, 1933 December 19, 1941
Appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Ignacio Villamor
Succeeded byNone (reorganized after Japanese organization)
Member of the Philippine Assembly from La Union's Second District
In office
Preceded byFrancisco Zandueta
Succeeded byFlorencio Baltazar
Personal details
Born(1878-11-20)November 20, 1878
Aringay, La Union, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedFebruary 10, 1945(1945-02-10) (aged 66)
Manila, Commonwealth of the Philippines

Anacleto Díaz (November 20, 1878 February 10, 1945) was a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Jurist legal scholar or academic, a professional who studies, teaches, and develops law

A jurist is someone who researches and studies jurisprudence. Such a person can work as an academic, legal writer or law lecturer. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and in many other Commonwealth countries, the word jurist sometimes refers to a barrister, whereas in the United States of America and Canada it often refers to a judge.

An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court. Traditionally, the Chief Justice is deemed primus inter pares among the Justices.

Supreme Court of the Philippines Highest court in the Philippines

The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the highest court in the Philippines. It is presided over by a Chief Justice and is composed of fifteen (15) Justices, including the Chief Justice. Pursuant to the Constitution, the Supreme Court has "administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof".



Díaz earned his law degree from the Escuela de Derecho de Manila. He was elected as a representative from La Union to the Philippine Assembly in 1910, and served in that capacity until 1912. That year, he was named a provincial fiscal for Ilocos Sur. In 1917, he was appointed city fiscal of Manila. He was later appointed as a trial court judge. [1]

La Union Province in Ilocos Region, Philippines

La Union is a province in the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in the island of Luzon. Its capital is the city of San Fernando, which also serves as the regional center of the whole Ilocos Region.

Philippine Assembly

The Philippine Assembly was the lower house of the Philippines from 1907 to 1916. Along with an upper house, it formed the bicameral Philippine Legislature during part of the American Colonial Period.

Ilocos Sur Province in Ilocos Region, Philippines

Ilocos Sur is a province in the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in Luzon. Vigan City, located on the mouth of the Mestizo River is the provincial capital. Ilocos Sur is bordered by Ilocos Norte and Abra to the north, Mountain Province to the east, La Union and Benguet to the south and the South China Sea to the west.

In 1927, while serving as a judge, Díaz was appointed to head a commission tasked with revising the penal code of the Philippines. By 1930, his committee had finished drafting the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, which remains as the basic penal law in the Philippines.

Revised Penal Code of the Philippines

The Revised Penal Code contains the general penal laws of the Philippines. First enacted in 1930, it remains in effect today, despite several amendments thereto. It does not comprise a comprehensive compendium of all Philippine penal laws. The Revised Penal Code itself was enacted as Act No. 3815, and some Philippine criminal laws have been enacted outside of the Revised Penal Code as separate Republic Acts.

Díaz was appointed to the Supreme Court by the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 20, 1933. Among his more notable opinions was in People v. Cu Unjieng, 61 Phil. 236 (1935), which was one of the more widely talked-about criminal cases of its day.

Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd president of the United States

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. Roosevelt is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Though he has also been subject to much criticism, he is generally rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Díaz's service in the Court was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. The ensuing Japanese invasion of the Philippines in December 1941 effectively prevented the Supreme Court organized under the Commonwealth government. When the Japanese reestablished the Court in 1942, none of the incumbent members of the old Court were appointed to the new tribunal headed by José Yulo.

Commonwealth of the Philippines 1935-1946 republic in Southeast Asia

The Commonwealth of the Philippines was the administrative body that governed the Philippines from 1935 to 1946, aside from a period of exile in the Second World War from 1942 to 1945 when Japan occupied the country. It replaced the Insular Government, a United States territorial government, and was established by the Tydings–McDuffie Act. The Commonwealth was designed as a transitional administration in preparation for the country's full achievement of independence.

José Yulo Filipino politician

José Yulo Yulo was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation and was Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1939 until World War II started in 1941. Yulo served in all of the branches of government: Legislative, as House Speaker and Representative; Executive, as Secretary of Justice and member of the Cabinet; and the Judiciary as the Chief Magistrate. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines


Díaz was one of two Supreme Court Justices who were executed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Battle of Manila in 1945. On February 10, the then-paralyzed Díaz and two of his sons were among 300 men herded by the Japanese army and lined up along the corner of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura in Ermita, Manila. Japanese soldiers then opened machine gun fire, killing Díaz and his sons as well as scores of others. [2] Two days later, Diaz's colleague on the Court, Antonio Villa-Real, was murdered by Japanese forces in nearby Pasay.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

Battle of Manila (1945) battle in 1945 during World War II fought between Japan and the United States with the Commonwealth of the Philippines

The Battle of Manila was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944-45, during the Second World War. It was fought by American forces from both the U.S. mainland and the Philippines against Japanese troops in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The month-long battle, which resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater. Japanese forces committed mass murder against Filipino civilians during the battle. Along with massive loss of life, the battle also destroyed architectural and cultural heritage dating back to the city's foundation. The battle ended the almost three years of Japanese military occupation in in U.S. colony of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (1942–1945). The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest. It is the last of the many battles fought within Manila's history.

Machine gun fully automatic mounted or portable firearm

A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm designed to fire rifle cartridges in rapid succession from an ammunition belt or magazine for the purpose of suppressive fire. Not all fully automatic firearms are machine guns. Submachine guns, rifles, assault rifles, battle rifles, shotguns, pistols or cannons may be capable of fully automatic fire, but are not designed for sustained fire. As a class of military rapid-fire guns, machine guns are fully automatic weapons designed to be used as support weapons and generally used when attached to a mount- or fired from the ground on a bipod or tripod. Many machine guns also use belt feeding and open bolt operation, features not normally found on rifles.

The area where Díaz was executed would later become part of the Supreme Court compound when the Court relocated to Padre Faura after the war.

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  1. Justices of the Supreme Court, p. 156
  2. By Sword and Fire, p. 253-255
Legal offices
Preceded by
Ignacio Villamor
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Succeeded by
none (reorganized upon Japanese occupation)