Agriculturist and Statesman; former Governor, Representative, Senator Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Chairman of the Board on Pension for Veterans, and Secretary of Labor; res., 707 Wright, Malate, Manila.
Born in Bais, Negros Oriental, on Sept. 25, 1876; son of Hermenegildo Villanueva and Anselma Tevesde Villanueva; received his elementary education from a private tutor employed by his parents; then continued his studies in one of the best schools in Cebu, where he finished his secondary and collegiate courses. But the time he was through schooling and just entering his full manhood during the early part of the revolution, he took pride in serving his native country by joining the revolutionary Army in Negros, where he was largely responsible for the strong organization and morale of the local forces, of which he became chief. Later, he was appointed member of the Legislative Council of the island of Negros and took an active part in the deliberations of said body which distinguished him as a leader. Soon after peace was restored, he was appointed justice of the peace of his home town, Basis; then in 1902 he was chosen municipal vice-president, and subsequently elected municipal president, 1903-05; re-elected, 1905; provincial governor, 1909; renounced the office of governor and ran for a seat in the Philippine Assembly, having been elected representative from the first district of Negros Oriental, 1909-12; re-elected in 1912, serving his four-year term until 1916; senator from the eight senatorial district, 1919-25; re-elected for another term of six years, 1925-31; provincial governor of Negros Oriental, 1931-34; re-elected for another term, 1934-37 and, during his incumbency as governor, he was elected delegate to the constitutional convention from the first district of his province. In the Constitutional Convention, he was chairman of the Committees of National Defense, Special Provinces, and Sponsorship. He is a progressive agriculturist or sugar planter, having been a member of the board of directors of the Central Azucarera de Bias and Tanjay, and a labor leader. As a well-known war veteran, he was appointed Chairman, Board on Pensions for Veterans in 1938; and, in December of same year, he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Labor, which position he held until April, 1939, when he tendered his resignation to Pres. Quezon. He is married to Doña Assuncion L. Villanueva. He is a member of the Nacionalista Party, and of prominent Clubs in Manila. He is a Roman Catholic. The Family residence is at Tinañgan, Manjuyud, Negros Oriental.