Known to be one of the “Davides of Argao” in Cebu, Hilario Gelbolingo Davide, Jr., was previously the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York City. He became the 20th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from November 1998 to December 2005. On June 30, 2010, President Noynoy Aquino appointed Davide to head the truth commission that will examine closely important issues in the nation.
On the 25th of December in the year 1935, Hilario P. Davide, Sr. and Josefa L. Gelbolingo, celebrated the birth of their sixth child, Hilario G. Davide Jr. No one ever knew yet that one day this child will become one of the most prominent personalities in the country.
Hilario climbed his way to the top from humble beginnings. He studied in Argao Central Elementary school and finished his secondary education in Abellana Vocational High School. Through hard work and dedication to finish his studies, he worked as a dorm assistant at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Despite the financial crunch and odds he faced, he still managed to maintain good grades. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1959. His sacrifices paid off in the end and soon enough, his budding career took shape.
His track record proved to be very impressive. In 1988, he became head of the COMELEC, and was able to lead a peaceful and clean election during his term. He was a record holder of having passed the most number of resolutions during his term as a delegate of the Constitutional Commission (ConCom) in 1996. In November 1998, Davide became the 20th Chief Justice of the Philippines as appointed by former President Joseph Estrada. Of the crucial events in his life was his declaration of then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in December 2000 as the constitutional successor during the impeachment trial against former President Estrada.
It is without a doubt that he is a man worthy of praise. He was hailed as one of the eight Most Outstanding Cebuanos during the 430th anniversary celebration of the province of Cebu. Among the numerous awards he received were the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2002, the 2003 Man of the Year Award by the Philippine Free Press, and the 1999 The Outstanding Filipino Award in Environmental Law.
He is married to Virginia Jimenea, who is from Surigao del Norte. They have five wonderful children, namely Hilario III, Joseph Bryan Hilary, Sheryl Ann, Noreen, and Delster Emmanuel.