Hon. Antonio O. Villareal
1921 - 1925
Born in Arayat, Pampanga on 17 January 1880 to Luis E. Villareal and Francisca Ochangco, Antonio Villareal secured his early education in a parochial school in his hometown, in a private school in Tondo, Manila, and later shifted to the Ateneo Municipal in 1895. It was in that same year when he had to leave the Ateneo Municipal on account of his father and one of his brothers having been killed by the Spaniards.
The death of his father forced him to work his way through college. He left for Japan in 1895, with the expectation of coming back to the Philippines to join his brothers in arms against the Spanish authorities. Rejected by the Japanese military authorities, he sought enlistment in a French army in Algeria, but again his attempt failed on account of his being a Filipino. (Lim, Rodrigo: “Who’s Who in the Philippines”; p. 199-201, 1929.)
Having failed in these, he enrolled in School of the Morning Star in Tokyo, Japan, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1901. He subsequently enrolled in the Imperial University of the same city and studied political economy and pubic finance until 1903. Upon his return to the Philippines, he was employed as an interpreter and translator in the Bureau of Justice. At the same time he pursued his study of law, first in the Academia de Leyes, and later in the Jurisprudencia Filipina. He finished the law course in 1909 and was admitted to the bar that same year.
He was appointed Assistant Attorney in the Attorney General’s Office in 1910 and served as such until 1916 when he was designated auxiliary judge of the Court of First Instance for the district comprising the provinces of Iloilo, Negros, Capiz, Romblon and Antique. (Lim, Rodrigo: “Who’s Who in the Philippines”; p. 199-201, 1929.) Four years later, he was promoted to full judge to preside over the court of First Instance of Negros Occidental. He became Attorney General in November, 1921, serving in the said position until 1925.
On June 16, 1925, he reached the acme of his career when he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, from which he retired on June 5, 1940. (Paras, Corazon and Salcedo, Ma. Corona: “The Justices of the Supreme Court”, A Biographical Directory; p. 164-165, 1971.)
Antonio Villareal was married to Paz Doronilla with whom he had two children. He was one of the two justices of the Supreme Court executed by the Japanese during the liberation of Manila.