9th Secretary of National Defense

May 14, 1954 to January 2, 1956

Associate Justice Sotero B. Cabahug of the Court of Appeals has a varied government career. He was a justice of the peace, deputy provincial fiscal, provincial fiscal, municipal councilor, member of the House of Representatives, provincial governor, judge, Secretary of public Works, provincial board member, Administrator of the Economic Coordinating Council, Secretary of National Defense and Associate Justice, Court of Appeals.

He was born on April 22, 1891 in Mandaue, Cebu, the son of Narciso Cabahug and Cirila Barte, a farming family. He studied at the Mandaue Public Schools, Colegio Seminario de San Carlos in Cebu City and San Juan de Letran College in Manila, where he was a consistent honor student and winner of scholarship and educational medals

He graduated meritissimus from the University of Santo Tomas with a Licentiate in Jurisprudence. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree. His government record is quite impressive.

Justice of the Peace, Surigao, 1917–1918;  Deputy Provincial Fiscal, Cebu, 1918–1919; Municipal Councilor, Mandaue,Cebu, 1920–1925;  Acting Municipal President, Mandaue, Cebu, Representative, 2nd District of Cebu, 1928–1931 and 1931–1934 (for 2 terms); Cebu Provincial Governor, 1934–1937;

Judge, Court of First Instance, Negros Oriental and Suquijor, 1938–1945; technical assistant to the President, 1945; Judge of First Instance, Leyte, 1945;

Secretary of public Works and Communications, 1945–1946; Cebu Provincial Board Member, 1952–1954; Administrator of Economic Coordination, 1954; Secretary of National Defense, 1954–56; and Associate Justice, Court of Appeals, 1956.

He also had held ex-officio positions as Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Power Corporation, Metropolitan Water of District, presidential Committee on the Minimum Wage, Nacionalista Party Directorate in Cebu, and member of the Export Control Committee, and of the Nacionalista Directorate and Executive Committee.

As Legislator, he was the author of the law penalizing any act of disrespect to the National Anthem. As Cebu Governor, he led Cebu in donating a light bomber, “Spirit of Cebu”, to the Philippine Armed Forces.

When he was Defense Secretary, he worked for the expeditious construction of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center as well as for the implementation of the rural development program of President Ramon F. Magsaysay, then President Carlos P, Garcia.

Justice Cabahug believed firmly in honesty, integrity, and punctuality. His formula for success was “hard work, perseverance in work even in the face of failure and difficulties”.

He married Vicenta Labucay with whom he had nine (9) children. They resided at Times Street corner Road 24, Diliman, Quezon City.