The Law of the Sea

Arturo M. Tolentino: I wish people will remember me for The Law of the Sea

Senate President 1965 to 1967

My father is a realist. He knows that the only promise made to us at birth is that some day we will die; that anything else that we may experience is either fortuitous or fortunate. The only certainty of life is death. He aims high but says, “Man proposes, but God disposes”.

Having said that I don’t mean that when things don’t work out the way he would like he simply shrugs his shoulders, sighs and say, “Que sera sera.” On the contrary, he has always fought tooth and nail for what he believes in and like the rest of us, feels deflated and disappointed when his path though life takes an unexpected turning.

It’s just that, given time, the scars heal.


My father told me:

"I seem to have a lot of frustrations that come along in my life without invitation. When I was Senate President, my term was for two years. But somehow I understood later that President Marcos had made an agreement with another Senator, - Senator Puyat, that after one year he (Puyat) would take my place. In other words we would split the two year term between us.

I was not aware of that arrangement. President Marcos never informed me. So, after twelve months of my term as Senate President, Puyat insisted that he takes over. Naturally I resisted and pointed out that my term had not yet expired. He kept citing an agreement, but I pointed out there was no such agreement.

But at the next session of the Senate, Marcos maneuvered the other Senators to comply with this “commitment”, and voted for Puyat. As a result I got ousted as Senate President half way through my term of office.”