Image courtesy of the Filipinas Heritage Library
Francisco Delgado served little more than a year as the Philippine Islands’ Resident Commissioner, bridging the brief period between passage of the landmark Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934 and the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1936.
On this date, Resident Commissioner Francisco Delgado
of the Philippines died in the capital city of Manila. Born in Bulacan Province on January 25, 1886, Delgado attended some of the top schools in the Philippines before moving to the United States as an exchange student. After earning degrees from Indiana University and Yale University, Delgado briefly worked in an Indianapolis law firm. When Delgado returned to the Philippines in 1908, he worked as a law clerk and later as chief of the legal division of the executive bureau. In 1913 he left government service to start his own law firm. After two-decades in private practice, Delgado won election to the Philippine house of representatives in 1931. On August 22, 1934, following two terms in the Philippine house, the territorial legislature elected Delgado Resident Commissioner to the United States. Resident Commissioners at the time
had limited legislative power. The rules of the U.S. House prevented them from voting or sitting on committee, meaning that Delgado spent the bulk of his time testifying before committees and lobbying key lawmakers and administration officials. Throughout his tenure, Delgado worked to build personal relationships and entertained colleagues at his home in Washington. On February 14, 1936, when the Philippines inaugurated a new commonwealth government, Delgado’s term of service in the House came to an end. Upon returning to the Philippines, Delgado served as an appeals court justice and worked as a private attorney. In 1945, President Harry Truman appointed him to the Philippine War Damage Commission, helping to calculate the cost to rebuild the islands after the destruction of World War II. Delgado later served prestigious stints in the Philippine senate and as the Philippines’ ambassador to the United Nations.