Official Month in Review: June 1948

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PRESIDENT Elpidio Quirino, during the month, signed a total of 118 House and 7 Senate bills, and exercised his power of veto over 24 measures, out of some 151 passed by the Congress in the last regular session Principal bills signed included House Bill No. 1491, authorizing the retirement and redemption of the circulating notes lawfully issued by the Philippine National Bank and the registration and deposit of such notes illegally issued; House Bill No. 1692, increasing the sales tax on luxuries from 20 per cent to 30 per cent and semi-luxuries from 10 per cent to 15 per cent; House Bill No. 1693, authorizing the Philippine Government to negotiate for a loan not exceeding ₱200,000,000 with which to finance their initial steps in the industrialization of the country (all signed on June 1); House Bill No. 1890, otherwise known as the Public Works Bill, appropriating ₱56,020,000 for public works (signed on June 14); House Bill No. 1704, creating the Central Bank, which the President hailed as the charter “of our economic sovereignty” (signed on June 15); the “Armed Forces Officer Personnel Act of 1948,” which provides for the procurement, promotion and elimination of regular officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (signed on June 16); House Bill No. 1953, otherwise known as the “backpay” measure (signed on June 18); and House Bill No. 944, the “Public School Salary Act of 1948,” which provides for revised salary allocations and automatic salary increases for public school officials, teachers and other school personnel (signed on June 19).

SPEAKING to members of the National Federation of Parent-Teacher Associations the Philippines and the Philippine Public School Teachers Association, in whose honor he gave a tea at Malacañan on June 3, President Elpidio Quirino said that public school teachers in the Philippines deserve greater consideration from the Government and assured them he would sign the Public School Salary Bill. (The President signed the bill on June 19.)

AS principal speaker at the 50th anniversary celebration of the declaration of independence promulgated in Kawit, Cavite, on June 12, 1898, the President, addressing a large group of veterans of the Revolution from the balcony of the historic home of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit on June 12, appealed to them to help make this Republic survive the unreasonable attacks of certain Filipinos who have been trying to lower the dignity of the present administration. Speaking extemporaneously, the President decried that now that we are enjoying the liberty and independence that we fought for centuries to achieve, some should deliberately try to “destroy the fruit of our struggles and even the good name of our race.”

PRESIDENT Elpidio Quirino, on the morning of June 13, received in the Social Hall of Malacañan a delegation of the USAFIP NL, led by their commanding general, Brig. Gen. Calixto Duque, who paid their respects to the Chief Executive on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Fall of Bessang Pass. The delegation took up with the President matters pertaining to the welfare of the veterans and  urged that the Government take steps to insure security of the nation in view of the present international situation.

A PLEA for friendship and goodwill above partisan politics was made by the President in a brief talk at a dinner he gave on June 17 in Malacañan in honor of majority and minority senators and members of the cabinet. He pointed out that the responsibility for the success of the Government depends not only upon the Liberal Party but also upon the Opposition, the Nacionalista Party. The role of the Opposition, he said, should not be limited to criticism and obstruction but should also include cooperation with the majority in those programs of government that are essentially non-political and non-partisan in nature.

FOLLOWING secret negotiations between Luis M. Taruc, Hukbalahap chief, and Judge Antonio Quirino, the President’s brother, the Hukbalahap supremo, with seven leading associates, finally presented himself to President Elpidio Quirino at Malacañan late afternoon of June 21. The historic meeting was immediately followed by a Presidential proclamation, at 6:25 p.m., granting amnesty to the Hukbalahap and PKM organizations. The following day, the President sent a copy of the amnesty proclamation to the Congress together with a letter urging immediate legislative concurrence in the proclamation. The President told the Congress that he had issued the amnesty proclamation in the belief that it will insure peace and order and the resumption of the normal processes of government in the troubled areas of the country. In the longest sine die session on record, the Congress concurred in the Presidential proclamation early morning of June 25 and less than two hours later, at 6:30 a m., the House of Representatives voted to seat Luis M. Taruc as representative for the second district of Pampanga.

SPEAKING as guest of honor of the Manila Rotary Club on June 24, President Elpidio Quirino declared that amnesty has assured peace of mind among the people and will result in the resumption of economic prosperity in the troubled areas of the country, as well as prevent further loss of life and property through fratricidal wars. “Our moral influence abroad is enhanced because we have shown what we can do if we just employ intelligence and good will in the solution of even our most bloody conflicts,” he said.

PRESIDENT Elpidio Quirino told a big delegation of sidewalk vendors who marched to Malacañan in the morning of June 26, that he did not wish to commit himself on their petition to be allowed to continue doing business on Manila’s streets. He said that while he was sympathetic with and responsive to their request, he believed in the principle of the separation of powers upon which the Government is based.

Meanwhile, at 11:20 a.m. the same day, the Philippine flag was raised by Dr. Diosdado Macapagal, Department of Foreign Affairs officer, over Taganak Island, biggest of the islets comprising the Turtle and Mangsee Islands. The brief ceremony marked the formal transfer of the administration of the islands group to the Government of the Philippine Republic. Shortly after the flag-raising, Princess Tarhata Kiram, deputy governor of the southernmost islands of the Republic, unveiled a marker erected by the Philippines Historical Committee.

PRESIDENT Elpidio Quirino, Congressman Luis M. Taruc, Judge Antonio Quirino, Brig. Gen. Mariano Castañeda and Col. Alberto Ramos, Chief and Chief of Staff, respectively, of the Philippine Constabulary, conferred at length in Malacañan on June 27 on a two-pronged implementation of the President’s amnesty proclamation. One prong concerned the early surrender of Taruc’s men and the other prong had for its objective the immediate launching of a program of social amelioration as a consequence of amnesty. It was agreed that General Castañeda and Congressman Taruc would map out the places of surrender and the units to surrender in those places. Regarding the second phase, Taruc offered several plans to the President which the latter promised to consider.

AT the regular cabinet meeting on June 29, President Elpidio Quirino defined the policy of the Government as one of liberal and sympathetic attitude to private schools. He instructed Acting Secretary of Public Instruction Prudencio Langcauon to regard the efforts of private parties to set up and run schools with sympathy and to give them proper encouragement in view of the lack of adequate school facilities in many Philippine communities.

Source: University of the Philippines, College of Law Library

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1948). The Official Month in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 44(6), 1783-1784.