H.E. Mr. Hilario G. Davide Jr. is the former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York. As such he was elected to such important posts as Vice President of the 61st session of the General Assembly, Vice President of the ECOSOC(March 2007 – 13 January 2008), and during the 64th session of the General Assembly he was Chairman of the Credentials Committee, Vice Chairman of the First Committee, and Vice Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development.
He was the 20th Chief Justice of the Philippines and head of the Judicial Branch of government from November 1998 to December 2005. As the highest judicial official, he presided over the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Immediately after retirement he served as Senior Presidential Adviser on Electoral Reforms to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
On June 30, 2010, at his inauguration and oath taking and assumption of office as President of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III announced that Davide would head a truth commission that would investigate graft and corruption issues in the country. In August 2010 he was ultimately appointed as Chairman of the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010.
Ambassador Davide has had a distinguished career in public service which he entered upon graduating from the University of Philippines College of Law in 1959. He held a number of high positions in the Philippines such as Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1971, where he was elected Chairman of the Committee on Duties and Obligations of Citizens and Ethics of Public Officials; Assemblyman in the Interim Batasang Pambansa; Commissioner of the Constitutional Commission of 1986, where he served as Chairman of the Commission’s Committee on the Legislative Power and as member of the Committees on the Executive Power, the Judiciary, Style and Public Hearings. He was also Chairman of the Commission on Elections, and Chairman of the Fact-Finding Commission that investigated the 1989 military rebellion and various other coup attempts and recommended measures to prevent the occurrence of similar attempts at a violent seizure of power.
Ambassador Davide is the recipient of many awards, such as the 2002 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, Most Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, the 2003 Man of the Year Award by the Philippine Free Press, the 2000 Filipino of the Year Award by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the 2001 Rule of Law Award, the 1999 Outstanding Filipino Award in Environmental Law, the 2003 Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion Award for Legal Aid by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the 2006 American Bar Association International Rule of Law Award and 14 honorary doctoral degrees in law, public administration, and humanities.
In 2011 Ambassador Davide was conferred by Pope Benedict XVI one of the highest honours of the Holy See - the Knight Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of St. Sylvester.
Presently, Ambassador Davide is Vice Chairman of the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, which publishes The Manila Bulletin, the oldest and most widely-circulated newspaper in the Philippines, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines.