Senator Rafael Martinez was born in Tubigon, Bohol on October 24, 1873 to Celestino Martinez and Carlota Corro.
He studied in Porcuña and Bilbao, Spain, where he resided for many rears during the Spanish regime in the Philippines. Upon his return to the country, he engaged himself in farming, cattle raising, and other agricultural activities and entered local politics.
In 1934 he was elected as Delegate to the Constitutional Convention from the first district of Leyte. In the convention, he was made a member of the committees on industry, coinage and bank, and commerce and agricultural development.
In July 1936, he was appointed Provincial Governor of Leyte, and was elected to the same office in the general election held on December 14, 1937.
He was senator from 1941-1945.