Quintín Paredes y Babila (September 9, 1884 – January 30, 1973) was a Filipino lawyer, politician, and statesman. He served as the first Resident Commissioner to represent the Philippines after it became a commonwealth of the United States, from 1936 to 1938.
Born in Bangued in the Spanish Philippines’ Abra Province, he attended his father’s school until he was about 11 years old, at which point he began studying at a satellite campus of the University of Santo Tomas and later at the Colegio de la Purissima Concepción in the coastal city of Vigan. After the Spanish-American War, Paredes served as deputy treasurer of Abra, collecting taxes from all corners of the province. He eventually moved to Manila and studied law under the direction of another of his brothers, Isidro. In 1908 Paredes joined the solicitor general’s office in Manila as a prosecuting attorney and rapidly rose to the solicitor general post in 1917. The very next year, Paredes accepted the job as attorney general, becoming the Philippines’ top lawyer. Within two years, he became secretary of justice in the cabinet of Governor General Francis Burton Harrison. President Woodrow Wilson nominated Paredes to serve as an associate justice on the Philippine supreme court, but Wilson’s administration ended before the confirmation went through. Paredes also served as an officer in the Philippine national guard during the mobilization for World War I.
After 13 years as an attorney for the government, Paredes resigned as secretary of justice ahead of the administration change in Manila and formed his own law firm in 1921. In 1925, after four years of private practice, he was elected to the Philippine House of Representatives to represent the Abra's at-large congressional district in 1925. Re-elected in 1928, 1931, and 1934, he would serve as Speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives from 1929 to 1931, and as the Speaker itself from 1933 till 1935. In 1935 he was elected as a member of the Philippine Assembly but he resigned to serve as the Philippines' Resident Commissioner.
As Resident Commissioner, Paredes focused on two main objectives. First, he remained committed to revising the tariff rates in the Tydings–McDuffie Act, fearing the restrictions in Tydings–McDuffie would “breed discontent and unrest, and perhaps disorder in the islands.”. Secondly, he sought to convince Congress to protect a nearly $24 million line of credit at the Treasury Department after a reserve fund the Philippines stored with the United States missed out on an easy chance to gain in value with the gold standard. Desiring to return to the Philippines, he resigned from the House on September 29, 1938.
Once back in the Philippines, Paredes reclaimed his seat as a representative of the Abra Province, serving as floor leader in the assembly. He later won election to the Philippine senate, serving from 1941 to 1945. With the outbreak of World War II, Paredes did not flee the islands, but served in the Japanese occupation government as a commissioner of public works and as secretary of justice. In the spring of 1945, U.S. military forces arrested Paredes, and the commonwealth government later charged him with 21 counts of treason as an active collaborator. Despite these accusations, voters elected Paredes, who was out on bail, to the Philippine house a month later in 1946. After courts acquitted him in 1948, Paredes returned to serve in the Philippine legislature throughout the 1950s. In 1952 the Philippine senate elected him as its president. He also resumed his law practice and was later president of a bank. He died in Manila on January 30, 1973.