Brigadier General Macario Peralta Jr, the ubiquitous scholar of the UP College of Law where he was Valedictorian of his class (1936), was equally a renowned personality of the Corps of Cadets where he was Corps Commander in 1934. He was one of the few ROTC graduate to get a Regular Commission in the Army.
World War II found him with the 61st Division in Panay Island, and with the fall of the Philippines on 06 May 1942, he refused to surrender, and instead led the 6th Military District in guerilla warfare against the Japanese.
After the War, he rose to be the youngest Brigadier General, as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army. He resigned and went on to Veteran’s Affairs, and eventually to the Philippine Senate. He later became the Secretary of National Defense.
“Mac” as he was called, was a fighter to the last, never forgetting his origins as a UP Vanguard and a brilliant son of the University of the Philippines.
From the Senate of the Philippines Archives
Senator Peralta was born in Manila on July 30, 1913.
He was educated in a public school where he quickly learned to take care of himself in the rough and tumble of the streets and became a student leader in a various activites. He obtained the degree of Bachelor of Laws, valedictorian (cum laude) at the University of the Philippines in 1936 and passed the bar examinations with flying colors.
Senator Peralta served in Cebu for two years as Commandant of Cadets of the Visayan Institute now University of the Visayas and was later on transferred to Adamson University and sent to various military school where he graduated with honors.
With the invasion of Japan, Peralta was sent to the Commander and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to acquaint himself with the latest military techniques. He was promoted as Brigadier General and appointed Deputy Chief of Staff in late 1945.
Senator Peralta was the youngest member of the Senate in 1949, at the age of 36. Among his creditable achievements as a Senator is the authorship of the resolution which investigated the notorious Tambobong – Buenavista Estate deal and also giving priority to veterans in employment in the government and then compelling members of the Senate to bore their assets and liabilities and his term expire at the end of 1955.
He married Natividad Kasilig with whom he had two children.