Hon. Delfin J. Jaranilla
Born in La Paz, Iloilo on 24 December 1883 to Antonio Jaranilla and Juana Jebucion, Delfin Jaranilla started his schooling at the La Paz and Iloilo public schools, and at the Seminario de Jaro in Iloilo. He topped the examination for government pensionados given in 1903 and was sent to the Sta. Ana California High School, Orange County, California. He then transferred to the State University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. where he obtained the degree of bachelor of laws. (Lim, Rodrigo: “Who’s Who in the Philippines”; p. 92-94, 1929.)
He passed the bar examinations shortly upon his return in 1907. He served as clerk of court of Cagayan in Luzon; interpreter, Court of First Instance, 10th Judicial District; then deputy fiscal, and acting fiscal of Iloilo. Later he became, successively, assistant attorney and attorney of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu; assistant attorney of the Bureau of Justice in Manila, auxiliary judge of the First and Seventh Judicial Groups, and judge of the Twenty-Second Judicial District. He became Attorney General on September 1, 1925. (“Justices of the Supreme Court”, volume 2) In 1933, he returned to the bench as judge of the 9th Judicial District in Manila. He resigned four years later and went into private practice.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was named Judge Advocate General, with the rank of full colonel. During the surrender to the Japanese, he was captured in Bataan, imprisoned by the Japanese, and made to walk the whole length of the death march. (Paras, Corazon and Salcedo, Ma. Corona: “The Justices of the Supreme Court”; p. 103-105, 1971) When liberation came, he was appointed as Secretary of Justice, and later Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on June 6, 19 45. In 1946, he was nominated and served until 1948 as one of the eleven justices in the International War Crimes Tribunal.
Delfin Jaranilla was married to Angela Salzar with whom he had four children. Upon her death, he married Sofia Hechanova. He died in 1980 at the age of 96.