Florin Hilbay Biography

Florin Hilbay is a Filipino lawyer, former government official, author and politician. He is currently serving as dean of the Silliman University College of Law in Negros Oriental.

In the 2019 election, he ran as as a candidate for senator of the Philippines under the Liberal Party but he did not win.

Personal Information
Real Name –> Florin Ternal Hilbay
Nickname –> Pilo
Birthdate –> March 19, 1974
Birthplace –> Tondo, Manila
Father –> Rodrigo Hilbay, a high school graduate who worked as a messenger
Mother –> Lydia, a housewife who finished grade six. She is from Sto NiƱo, Cagayan.

Florin Hilbay attended Holy Child Catholic School in Manila for his elementary education and the University of Santo Tomas for high school. He went to the same university for college and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Later, he finished a law degree from the University of the Philippines and topped the bar in 1999. He continued his studies and gained a Master’s degree in law from Yale University Law School.

In 1999, he passed the Bar Exam and placed 1st with a rating of 88.5. He tied the no. 1 slot with Edwin R. Enrile while his girlfriend Karen B. Caparros was in seventh place. The two had broke up later.

Work Experiences

Before passing the Bar examination, Florin Hilbay was a staff member of Justice Vicente Mendoza. In 2001, Atty. Hilbay became a Fulbright Visiting Scholar. Since then, he has been invited to lecture at several universities and institutes including Max Planck Institute in Germany. In 2002, he joined the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) under then Solicitor General Simeon Marcelo. Subsequently, he became a consultant of the Commission on Election, director of the Institute of Government and Law Reform of the University of the Philippines Law Center, editor-in-chief of the Philippine Law and Society Review, and editor of IBP Law Journal.

On August 20, 2014, Florin was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as acting solicitor-general and the appointment became permanent the following year. One of his most important job was to lead the country’s legal team in the arbitration case against China regarding the West Philippine Sea dispute. Another was his defense of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law before the Supreme Court.

After President Aquino’s term ended in 2016, Florin returned to the academic world as a constitutional law professor at University of the Philippines Diliman. He was also hired as part of the legal team that is defending Senator Leila De Lima in her drug-related case. In 2008, he handled the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes against the the government’s nullification of his amnesty. 

Florin Hilbay resigned from Aksyon Demokratiko in 2021 in order to help the presidential campaign of then Vice President Leni Robredo.
In 2022, Hilbay accepted the invitation to become the dean of the Silliman University College of Law.

Book and Advocacies

Florin Hilbay authored a book on the Philippine Constitution. It was published by the University of the Philippines Press. He is a staunch critic of the Duterte Administration regarding its policies on drugs, West Philippine Sea dispute with China, and human rights violations.

In 2023, he authored a book on Bitcoin which he hopes would help in the understanding of the interconnection of the various disciplines such as law, economics, banking, finance, philosophy, history, politics, governance, etc.

Florin Hilbay
Florin Hilbay (Credit: Rappler)

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See also: List of Candidates for Senator, May 2019 Election

See also: Bar Topnotchers from 1903 to Present

Asian Law Institute

One comment

  1. He is truly an inspiration to all aspiring lawyers out there. There are only few, like him, who had humble beginnings before achieving success.

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