Salvador Roman Hidalgo Laurel (November 18, 1928 – January 27, 2004), also known as Doy Laurel, was Vice President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992 under Corazon Aquino. Before that, he briefly served as Aquino’s first (and only) Prime Minister from February 25 to March 25 of 1986.
Laurel is the fifth son of President José P. Laurel, president of the second Philippine Republic. He first enrolled at Centro Escolar de Señoritas (1933-35) then Paco Elementary School (1935-36) followed by Justo Lukban Elementary School (1936-1937) and he graduated from elementary at Ateneo de Manila in 1941. He graduated from high school at De La Salle College High School in 1946.
At La Salle he joined a group of young men who planned to go to Indonesia to join Sukarno in his struggle for independence from the Dutch, but local authorities stopped them at the pier.
Although all his older brothers were lawyers, Laurel took up medicine at the University of the Philippines, but after two years switched to law. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1952.
Without waiting for the results of the bar exams, he left for Connecticut to study at Yale University, where he earned his Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in 1953. He earned the title Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.) also Yale University in 1960.
He married Celia Diaz, a society debutante, but left his family behind to finish his studies. He got the degree of Doctor in Judicial Science in 1960, and upon his return practiced law with his brothers.
It was not until 1967, a decade after his father’s death, that he seriously entered politics when he ran and won a Senate seat. He became the youngest Nacionalista senator. Laurel was named the most outstanding senator from 1968 to 1971. He was the author of five “Justice for the Poor” laws, also called “Laurel Laws,” nine laws on judicial reforms, the Government Reorganization Act, and the amendment to the Land Reform Code.
He founded United Nationalists Democratic Organizations (UNIDO) that became the main voice of opposition in the 1980s. Laurel was unanimously nominated standard bearer of the opposition in 1985. Laurel decided to run for president of the Philippines against Marcos. However after long negotiations with Corazon Aquino, the widow of Laurel ally Ninoy Aquino, at the last minute he withdrew his candidacy in favor of her and decided instead to run for vice president. Aquino and Laurel became president and vice president respectively in February 1986.
In 1996, he was appointed by President Fidel V. Ramos as the chairman of the Philippine National Centennial Commission. Through his unwavering leadership, he revived Filipino nationalism by promoting the Filipino heritage and culture using heavy advertising. The Philippines celebrated its Independence Day centennial on June 12, 1998.
He was supposed to resign after the centennial celebrations, but President Joseph Estrada extended his term. Estrada abolished the commission in 1999. A few months after, he was charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan (Anti-graft court) for misappropriation of funds in constructing the regarding the controversial construction of a P1.165-billion Centennial Expo in Clarkfield, Angeles City, Pampanga. Laurel, whose family has never been tainted with corruption vehemently denied the allegation and chose to stand as his own defense counsel.
He returned to private life and spent most of his retirement in the United States. He died from lymphoma on January 27, 2004 at Atherton, California. His remains were cremated days after and were buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
- Name : Salvador Roman Hidalgo Laurel
- Also known as : Doy Laurel
- Birthday : November 18, 1928
- Birthplace : San Juan, Rizal
- Died :January 27, 2004 (aged 75), Atherton, California
- Nationality :Filipino
- Political party :UNIDO (1984-1989), Nacionalista (1989-2003)
- Schools Attended :
- Centro Escolar de Señoritas (1933-35)
- Paco Elementary School (1935-36)
- Justo Lukban Elementary School (1936-1937)
- Ateneo de Manila (1941)
- High school, De La Salle College High School (1946)
- Medicine, University of the Philippines
- Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree, University of the Philippines College of Law (1952)
- Father : Jose Laurel
- Spouse : Celia Diaz
- Religion :Roman Catholic
- 10th Vice President of the Philippines (2nd Vice President of the 4th Republic, 1st Vice President of the 5th Republic), (February 25, 1986 – June 30, 1992)
- 5th Prime Minister of the Philippines (2nd Prime Minister of the 4th Republic), (February 25, 1986 – March 25, 1986)
- Secretary/Minister of Foreign Affairs (March 25, 1986 – February 2, 1987)
- Philippine Presidential Son (1943–1945)
- Senator of the Philippines (1967–1972)
- Assemblyman, Region IV (1978–1984)
- Chairman, National Centennial Commission (1996–1999)
Awards and Recognitions
- Most outstanding senator (1968 to 1971)