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Today in History

May 28, 1896

MANILA, May 28 — On May 28, 1896, Cesar Bengzon, the first Filipino to be appointed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the United Nations, was born in Camiling, Tarlac.

A few months before his retirement in November 1966 as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Bengzon was admitted to the ICJ commonly referred to as the world court, which is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations that settles legal disputes submitted to it by states.

Notably, Bengzon graduated as class valedictorian at the College of Law of the University of the Philippines in 1919 and placed second among the bar examinees of the same year.

In 1919, he started as law clerk, then promoted to solicitor General in 1932 and Undersecretary of Justice under Governor-General (later U.S. Supreme Court Justice) Frank Murphy in 1933 and, at the same time, Chairman of the Board of Pardons.

Later on appointed in 1936 to the Court of Appeals, he became an associate Justice in 1945, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from April 28, 1961 until May 29, 1966.

He was Chairman of the Senate Electoral Tribunal from 1950 to 1957.

He was declared Most Outstanding Social Scientist in 1963.

He passed away on September 5,1991 at the age of 95.(PNA)

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