Jose Veloso Abueva, 93

Dr. Jose Abueva | Photo from University of the Philippines, National College of Public Administration and Governance webpage.

JOSE VELOSO Abueva, who served as president of the University of the Philippines, and a former trustee of CMFR, died in his home in Antipolo, Rizal, in the early morning of Wednesday, August 18.  His daughter, Rosanna Abueva posted the announcement on her Facebook page, saying that her father “passed away peacefully.” He was 93.

In his first year as UP President in 1987, Dr. Abueva introduced the Socialized Tuition Fee Assistance Program. He was also responsible for the institutionalization of the Filipino language policy in UP. In 1989, he signed the UP-Department of Defense Accord which disallowed the police and military from entering UP campuses without prior consultation with the university. 

Before being UP his President, Abueva was Assistant Dean for Academic Instruction and Research of what was then the UP College of Public Administration (CPA ) from 1963 to 1970. When his term as UP President ended in 1993, he resumed teaching as a Professor at the UP CPA. He retired in 1998 as a Professor Emeritus of Political Science & Public Administration. Post-UP, Abueva founded Kalayaan College in 2000 which modeled its curricula after those of the state university. 

Abueva finished A.B. Arts/Law (cum Laude) at the University of the Philippines in 1951 and proceeded to take his Master of Public Administration in 1954 at the University of Michigan where he also received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1959.  He was named among the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 1962.

He served government in various positions, He was Executive Director of the Joint Executive-Legislative Local Government Reform Commission from 1970 to 1971; Secretary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention and the Metro Manila Councilor’s Assembly in 1973. After the fall of the Marcos regime, he accepted President Corazon Aquino’s appointment in 1989 as Chair of the Legislative-Executive Council which drafted the plans for the conversion of the US military bases. In 2005, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed him chair of her Consultative Constitutional Commission to study charter change. 

His academic career included a year as visiting Fulbright professor at Yale University, teaching courses at the Brooklyn College of the City of New York, University of Michigan, University of Hawaii, Cornell University, Columbia University, Duke University, and the United Nations University in Tokyo. 

A prolific writer, he published numerous books on decentralization, federalism, and charter change. He was editor of academic publications, including “PAMANA: The UP Anthology of Political Socio-Political Thought since 1872” and the “Handbook of Philippine Public Administration.” Born in Bohol, he also wrote for The Bohol Times as a columnist 

Dr. Abueva served as a  member of the Board of Trustees of CMFR. Executive Director and founding  trustee Melinda de Jesus recalls that while “Pepe” Abueva had lived many years abroad, his heart was always home. 

“During the critical passage after Ninoy’s death,” Mrs. De Jesus recalled, “he showed up unannounced at our gate, having arrived from somewhere in the world, wanting to make sure he could pass on for possible publication an article he had written on the country’s prospects for change and transformation. 

“We did not always agree, but I never doubted his patriotism and sense of duty. I also saw a man of many interests, picking up on his brood’s diverse talents.”

The family will be holding daily prayers every 7 p.m. until his fortieth day on September 26. See information here.