Isagani Cruz, SC justice, Inquirer columnist; 88


Shortly before retired Supreme Court Justice Isagani A. Cruz died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday at the age of 88, he called his wife Salvacion to his bedside and held her hand.

She had breakfast with him and a little later, she went back to bed to lie beside him as she used to do.

But then when the 81-year-old wife turned to her husband and checked his pulse she learned that he had died. This was at 7:10 a.m. yesterday, Cruz’s only daughter, Cynthia “Candy” Cruz-Datu, told the Inquirer.

“My mother did not realize it. He had gone very peacefully,” Datu said of her father, who was appointed to the high court by then President Corazon Aquino in 1986.

The couple were to mark their 61st wedding anniversary on May 3.

Series of strokes

Datu said her father had been weakened by a series of strokes since 2004, prompting him to give up writing his Inquirer column, “Separate Opinion,” in 2010 after 15 years.

In 2011, another stroke left Cruz bedridden, said the 45-year-old Datu, who added that her father still managed to go out once in a while in a wheelchair. But on Jan. 1, he had a mild stroke and never recovered from it. He had lost his appetite for food and consequently lost weight.

Datu shared with the Inquirer what her father wrote in his last will and testament.

“Love our country despite its faults and always remain Filipinos,” he wrote. “Remember me only in private pages and not rituals. Talk to me when you need my advice and you will get it somewhere wherever I may be.”

Memorial vigil

In keeping with her father’s wish not to remember him in rituals, Datu said the family would hold a memorial vigil starting Thursday night and ending on March 23 at Memorial Chapels of Our Lady of Beautiful Love Parish Church, Washington Street, Merville Park, Parañaque City.

Cruz’s remains were cremated Thursday.

He is survived by his wife, Salvacion, children Cesar, Claro, Celso, Carlo, Isagani and Cynthia and their spouses and grandchildren.

Cruz served as associate justice in the high court for eight years until his retirement on Oct. 11, 1994, according to a statement released by the Supreme Court’s public information office.

Law dean, bar reviewer

A native of Manila, Cruz graduated cum laude from the Manuel L. Quezon School of Law in 1951. He placed eighth in the bar examinations in 1951 with a rating of 90.12 percent.

Before his appointment to the high court, Cruz served as chairman of the Code of Commission of the Department of Justice (1966-72); senior partner of the Laurel law office; and dean of the Lyceum School of Law (1963-68).

From 1975 to 1986, he served as a bar reviewer on political law and international law at the University of the East, San Beda College, Ateneo de Manila University and University of Manila.

Datu said her father published several books, including several editions on Constitutional Law, International Law and Philippine Political Law, Decisions and Dissents of Justice Isagani Cruz, among others. Father and daughter co-authored Res Gestae: A Brief History of the Supreme Court.

Among the significant decisions he wrote for the high court was the court ruling that favored Evelio Javier who questioned Arturo Pacificador’s proclamation as assemblyman by the Commission on Elections in the 1984 election.

Devotion to wife


In her tribute to her parents and their 60 years of marriage, Datu wrote in an Inquirer article last year on her father’s deep devotion to her mother: “He cannot bear to be without her for more than an hour. Even now he calls her hija, delights in her beauty and tells her “mahal na mahal kita,” somehow forgetting that his darling is an octogenarian like him.”—With Tetch Torres-Tupas,

Originally posted at 08:21 pm | Thursday, March 21, 2013

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • regie

    condolence to the family of one of the greatest constitutionalist in the country…….

  • 12JEM

    One of the most decent GENTLEMEN and a loving husband and father.

  • endurex

    He was definitely one of my favorite opinion writers here in The Inquirer. Big loss.

  • boybakal

    One of the best Professors in Law.

    • magiting78

      When people died they became the best person….I wonder if Pnoy and GMA died today or take their lives today does they become good presidents?…lol

      • boybakal

        He was my professor then, I can vouch his greatness.
        As to Pnoy and GMA, no close up and personal.

  • boytz

    The best Chief Justice the Philippines never had. A true Renaissance Man.

    • Guest

      He was never a Chief Justice… just an associate justice… but he was brilliant.

      • boytz

        Please reread and comprehend my post. Thank you.

    • Orlando P. Batallone


  • Horst Manure

    He would be in tears now to see what left of the Just US system


    His columns provided me with valuable insights and lessons.

    Blessed be and Merry Part Ex-SC Justice Isagani A. Cruz-a gentleman of old breed!

  • rjgc

    I read his columns when I was a teen-ager and in my 20s. His writing was always readable and direct. I remember him lambasting the culture of cheaply acquired Phd’s and master’s degrees. He did not have one, but he was confident about his abilities.

  • Mike Henry French

    it was a joy reading his column all throughout my teenage years. he’s a part of how i think today in my late 20s

  • axe musk

    RIP….Pray for our beloved Philippines!!!

  • siJuanDalandan

    R.I.P, Justice Cruz.

  • Eddie AAA Calderon

    Sorry to hear the death of Justice Cruz. He was in my international email and now I know why he had been inactive in our email exchange.

  • chimney45

    hes totally different than doronila who have a backward thinking.

    • tarikan

      I was about to write it in my post just seconds ago but on second thought I did not. Doronila’s “Analysis” which is actually a copy/paste column is a “no-brainer” to be polite.

  • tlb6432

    rest in peace po.. you have done good with your God-given talents.. your family may say, “there he goes..” but on the other side He will say;”Here he comes..” .. I liked your columns and insights (even poking fun/wit)

  • Cabesang_Tales

    Requiescat in pace.

  • cato_the_younger

    RIP. They no longer make justices like him and RP is a much worse place for it.

  • Anqui

    Sir Isagani Cruz, thanks for your columns. They were my favorites when reading the Philippines Newspaper (PDI).

  • Barak_O

    justice isagani cruz

    a good man

    a good filipino

  • JV Velarde

    I grew up reading the Inquirer, never missing his column. He always seem to have the best views & opinions, anything about law, politics & love for our country. Rest in Peace Justice Isagani Cruz. We may have never known each other nor met in person but I have to thank you for molding me of what I am right now.

  • YoungGen

    Thanks for the columns. Yours are my reason for subscribing PDI then. Always be your fan.

  • regie

    The best constitutionalist , his books are really a big help to the students. Explaining the constitution as if you are just reading layman’s book.

  • padrefaura

    one of the best justices of all time. brilliant and independent. he died a simple man with a clean reputation. nobody can say that he was a corrupt person.


    A sunshine side by side with Corona.

    • roansanjuan

      excuse me, corona?

      • UrHONOR

        OK, I excuse you!

        In case you didn’t get my drift, GANI is SUNSHINE when placed side by side with Corona who is a dark matter. Hope that helps.

      • Jr Derha

        i guess coronas darkness will prevail vs gani’s. too dark…. rip sir

  • bogart

    my favorite writer in PDI. condolence to the family.

  • Tomas Malihan

    One of the “Few Good Men”. Good bye, Justice Isagani Cruz.

  • IsipPinoy

    My favorite Inquirer columnist. May you rest in peace.

  • Guest

    Just when did Justice Neal became incapacitated to write? Are his articles lately his or someone else is writing for him. I noticed this somewhat change of tones and taste. If that was so, it is unfair for the late SC Justice. May he rest in peace.

    • Rizal

      Please check if you are referring to the same person. Isagani Cruz and Neal Cruz I believe are two different persons. (I apologize for the mistake which I already removed.)

      • marionics

        retired sc justice ba si neal cruz????

      • Orlando P. Batallone

        nope… we are talking about Isagani Cruz, not Neal Cruz

      • marionics

        i know but our national hero (Rizal) just said in his above comment that both isagani and neal cruz are retired sc justices. that’s why i’m asking him. although i can’t remember any sc justice named neal cruz but i was giving him the benefit of the doubt that he could come up with one. i guess he can’t he he

      • tarikan

        Haaay Joe Rizal, tama na sana yung first part ng second sentence mo eh dinagdagan pa ng mali. Neal Cruz is a journalist through and through, former president of the NPC, National Press Club.

  • marionics

    my favorite columnist before

  • cogito728sum

    Current and future justices of the Supreme Court have a lot to learn from this simple but decent and erudite mind. Certainly the last of a breed that’s no longer produced these days in any branch of the government. A true and loyal Filipino indeed deserving the title YOUR HONOR. Merci!

  • Rizal

    He lived a simple life. So far from the examples of not so honorable justices of our day. I used to save his articles to a diskette way back 14 years ago when I was still a student in college. Condolences to the family of Isagani Cruz.

  • Ct

    Like an old soldier, never dies, just fade away.

  • kilabot

    if justice icruz were that good,
    unfortunate he didn’t leave a mark on the present crop of sc justices.
    current sc readily surrendered its independence to noykapon.
    need your advice on this justice and hope to get your reply everywhere.

    hope your welcome were this: “well done, good and faithful servant.”

  • artgarcia

    One of the few good men in PH. Farewell sir.

  • alex_diaz2014

    One of the best justices that our Supreme Court had. Rest in Peace!

  • pangittalagaako

    A person who from his writings influenced me to hone my skills albeit my deficiency in the english language. May you rest in peace sir.

  • pangittalagaako

    Is there anyone here who can lead me to a link about his article after his daughter cynthia got married…it is one of my favorite which I failed to save a copy…

  • Jericho Natividad

    One of my favorite columnists. A great man who will be remembered for his love of country and for helping the public understand and appreciate the Constitution through his writings.

  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

    i miss his column. a rare gift to the philippine republic.

  • tarikan

    I am an avid reader of his PDI column. I remember it clearly when he wrote about his son’s resignation from the San Beda Law faculty because of the dean’s breaking the school policy of “one failed subject you’re out” for a couple of favored students. He resigned instead of kowtowing to the dean because “he was the son of his father”. I missed his column.

    • rodolfo r. zabella, jr.

      that was prof. Carlo “Caloy” Cruz, yes, a principled man like his father

  • mchang1978

    A true patriot was Gani: “Love our country despite its faults and always remain Filipinos.”

  • pubringjuandelacruz

    61 years in marriage. that is rare in today’s day and age.

    May you find peace and rest in to our Divine Creators hands

  • basilionisisa

    wish we had more of the likes of him.

  • Brutal_na_Katotohanan

    A great light has gone out. Justice Cruz will always be my favorite PDI columnist — a true nationalist and a man of honor and integrity. Rest in peace, good sir!

  • ian martinez

    rest in peace

  • rodolfo r. zabella, jr.

    we always knew that he wanted to be in the Supreme Court. And he was very critical of Marcos. We were first year in law school at that time (1985), still Marcos’ time, when a classmate asked him: Sir, if Marcos should appoint you to the High Court, would you accept? Dean Cruz smiled, but said gravely: “I will decline!”….. That speak volumes of the man….Condolences to his family, especially to Prof. Caloy, who’s been a friend to his students, and a principled man like his father. he almost recruited me to bonifacio

  • rodolfo r. zabella, jr.

    Justice Cruz also had his sense of humor. In his book on Constitutional Law, he wrote: “Fortunately for the greater number discrimination against the ugly is also not allowed.”

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos