Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee as a beacon of truth, integrity and justice

December 20th, 2014 is glad to inform that Philippines Post has introduce a special commemorative stamps honoring Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee. The stamp depicts a portrait of Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee as rendered in 1988 by 2009 National Artist, Don Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, with the iconic flaming torch and book and phrase ( as engraved in his tombstone at the Libingan ng mga Bayani) in the foreground, symbolizing his being a beacon of truth, integrity and justice during the martial law years.

Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee (April 18, 1918 – November 27, 1989) is the 16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He was known as a competent and honest administrator at the justice department but, most importantly, as a courageous justice of the Supreme Court especially during the Martial Law. He wrote critical opinions that stripped away the shroud of legality that Marcos sought to drape over his abuses and one-man rule and penned bold dissents against the majority position.

Under his leadership, he fought to keep the judiciary strong and independent, and worthy of the people's respect and confidence. He was drafted into government service by President Marcos who appointed his justice undersecretary in 1966, and secretary, later in 1968. He became associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1979, and chief justice in 1986. Teehankee served as ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations. He co-founded the Nationalist Citizen's Party with Senator Claro M. Recto and Lorenzo Tanada.

His organizations include the Civil Liberties Union of the Philippines, of which he was once Chair and Vice-Chair, and the National Movement for Free Elections, of which he was once director. "Dingdong" to his friends, graduated with top honors in college and in law school, and topped the bar examinations in 1940. He started the active practice of law in 1941 and after the war, opened a partnership with former senators Lorenzo Tañada and Emmanuel Pelaez. He died of natural cause in 1989.

He was married to Pilar D. Javier with whom he had nine children: Claudio Jr. Robert, Evelyne, Priscilla, Ramon Gonzalo, Raul, Manuel and Ricardo.