Official Week in Review: June 23 – June 29, 1963

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June 23.—THE President woke up early this morning although he had stayed up to midnight the previous night working on bills passed at the last regular session of Congress.

After a light breakfast with members of his family, the President stayed in his study poring over a pile of pending state papers.

President Macapagal motored today to Baras, Rizal, to inaugurate a new municipal hall. Accompanied by the First Lady, the President’s visit to the town some 45 kilometers from Manila, was his first out-of-town trip in several weeks.

Leaving Malacañang about 3 p.m., the President and the First Lady were met at the entrance to Baras by the townspeople who turned out in large numbers to give them a rousing welcome.

The President then alighted from his car and, followed by the huge throng of welcomers with brassbands and fireworks display, walked the kilometer-long distance to the new municipal hall located at the center of town.

Mrs. Macapagal unveiled the commemorative plaque of the new build ing. Mrs. Edith Fabella Pelaez, wife of the Vice-President, cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Following the unveiling ceremony, the President and the First Lady mounted a gaily-decorated platform set in front of the municipal hall. The President was introduced by Dr. Valentin A. Francisco.

Other speakers were Rep. Jovito R. Salonga of Rizal and Mayor Alejo D, Digma, who delivered the welcome address. Estanislao Jimenez was master of ceremonies.

The President and the First Lady returned to Malacañang from Baras late in the evening.

The President has vetoed House Bill No. 146, granting a Christmas bonus to every official and employee of the government, it was announced by Malacañang today. The bill authorizes provincial, municipal, and city governments to grant similar bonuses.

In a veto message sent to the House of Representatives, the President said he was “aware of the immeasurable joy and welcome relief that the proposed Christmas bonus would bring not only to government officials and employees but to their families as well.”

“I would be the last, one to dampen that enthusiasm and prevent the realization of the noble gesture, considering my abiding concern for the general welfare and upliftment of our deserving public servants, but for some constitutional and legal defects which render approval of the measure not legally feasible,” the President added.

Accordingly, he directed his economic and fiscal advisers to “find ways and means and devise plans for accomplishing the laudable objective of giving financial relief to government employees during Christmas.”

Moreover, he said, the appropriation bill for Fiscal Year-1964 carries a total outlay of about P70 million for the increase of salaries of government employees. This will give them a permanent benefit which will be the basis of their vacation and sick leave and their retirement pay”

President Macapagal approved H. No. 4898, authorizing the sale of all dwelling units of the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation to the present registered tenants or their successors-in-interest, Malacañang also announced today.

It provides that all past rentals paid by a registered tenant or his successors-in-interest “shall be credited and applied in full.”

June 24.—PRESIDENT Macapagal today met with key officials of the Department of Public Works and Communications at the Malacañang Heroes Hall in the second of a series of department-by-department seminars he is personally conducting in connection with his moral regeneration program.

In his remarks before the public works officials, the President said that their department shoulders the bulk of the implementation of the Administrations socio-economic program. He urged thorn to eliminate red tape in their department, as this had been the cause of much graft and corruption in the past, aside from delaying the progress of the economic development of the country.

Headed by Secretary Brigido Valencia, those present were Undersecretary for Transportation and Communications Jose Lachica, Undersecretary for Public Works Rafael M. Contreras, Presidential Assistant on Public Works Manuel Feliciano, and some 280 division chiefs.

In the afternoon the President was guest of honor and speaker at the celebration of the 392nd anniversary of the founding of Manila.

Fetched by Mayor Antonio Villegas and Vice-Mayor Herminio Astorga, the President motored at 3 p.m. to Arroceros Street bounding the City Hall, the center of the celebration, where he viewed a loyally parade from an improvised platform.

In his extemporaneous remarks in Filipino and Spanish, the President called upon the city officials to cooperate with one another in order to insure the continued progress of the city. The President was introduced by Mayor Villegas,

During the program the President, assisted by Mayor Villegas, presented the awards to winners of the first City of Manila Cultural Awards contest.

From the City Hall, the President motored back to Malacañang where he went over pending state papers.

The President also received Defense Secretary Macario Peralta, Jr. This raised speculations that the latter submitted his report on the security mission of Defense Undersecretary Alberto de Joya to Thailand and Burma.

June 25.—AT breakfast this morning President Macapagal met with the members of the Liberal Party executive committee on the composition of the LP senatorial line-up for the coming elections.

Present at the conference were Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez, concurrently foreign affairs secretary, Senate President Ferdinand Marcos, Speaker Cornelio T. Villareal, Executive Secretary Salvador L. Mariño, Majority Floor Leader Justiniano Montano, Defense Secretary Macario Peralta, Jr.; Senators Gaudencio Antonino, Estanislao Fernandez, Maria Kalaw-Katigbak, Manuel P. Manahan, and Camilo Osias; Reps. Floro Crisologo of Ilocos Sur and Manuel T. Cases of La Union; Gov. Mohammad Ali Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, Public Works Secretary Brigido Valencia, Presidential Executive Assistant and EEA Administrator Eleuterio Adevoso, and Legislative Secretary Manuel Concordia.

After the conference which lasted from 8: 30 to 10 o’clock in the morning, the President received 22 provincial governors, vice-governors, and city mayors who consulted him on matters affecting their respective localities.

In the course of his meeting with the provincial and municipal officials, the President reenacted his signing of House Bill No. 5209, creating the City of Dapitan. Dapitan was the town in Zamboanga del Norte where Dr. Jose P. Rizal was exiled by the Spaniards.

The President also witnessed the induction into the Liberal Party by Speaker Villareal of Councilor Tranquilino de la Cruz of Digos, Davao.

The President also received Messrs. Raul Urra and Antonio de Veja, both businessmen, who informed him of their plan to establish a factory for building materials and to construct low-cost housing units.

They were accompanied to Malacañang by Health Secretary Francisco Duque,

In the afternoon the President received Msgr. Salvatore Siino, Papal Nuncio, who invited the President and the First Lady to attend a pontifical mass at the Sto. Domingo church in Quezon City on July 12 to be said in honor of the new Pope Paul VI.

In the evening the President inducted into the Liberal Party Govs. Benigno Aquino, Jr., of Tarlac and Claro M. Robles of Quezon. With Gov. Aquino in joining the majority party were Mayors Manuel Cabrera of Camiling, Hipolito Castañeda of Tarlac, Romeo D. Yumul of Concepcion, Rodolfo Llamos of Paniqui, and Melanio Cuchapin of Moncada.

With Gov. Robles were some 80 Nacionalista leaders of Quezon, includ ing Board Member Paterno Abcede and Mayors Amado Clemente of Mauban, Amadeo Almandores of Perez, Epifanio Crisistomo of Real, and Leon Rindera of Gen. Nakar.

Among those who witnessed the formal induction were Speaker Villa-real, Defense Secretary Macario Peralta, Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador L. Mariño, Reps. Eladio Caliwara of Quezon and Jose Cojuangco, Jr., of Tarlac, Govs. Manuel Barretto of Zambales and Constantino Navarro of Surigao del Norte; and Legislative Secretary Manuel Concordia.

Later this evening the President had dinner with Justice and Mrs. Roberto Regala.

The President directed today Public Works Secretary Brigido Valencia to speed up work on national flood control projects to prevent destructive floods this rainy season.

The President specifically mentioned projects in the Greater Manila area. Central Luzon, and Agusan in Mindanao. These have been the areas hit worst by typhoons and floods in recent years.

The Chief Executive stressed the necessity of controlling floods in these areas to save lives and property. He noted that destructive floods in the past had caused not only loss of numerous lives and property but also damage “in the millions” of pesos in public works repairs and rehabilitation work.

June 26.—PRESIDENT Macapagal today met with the members of the Board of Censors for moving pictures in connection with his moral regeneration program. In Ills talk with the members of the board, the President stressed the vital role which the board plays in the realization of the objectives of the moral regeneration drive.

Present at the conference were Executive Secretary Salvador L. Mariño; Jose Guevara, board chairman; Dean Feliciano Ledesma, board vice-chairman; and Fr. Anselmo Bustos, Gabriel Daza, Justo Lopez, Felix Opimo, Nick Joaquin. Prof. Ramon Tapales, Jose Ricafort, and Mesdames Pura Castelo, Anita Borromeo, Rosalina Castro, Alexandra Antonio, Carmen Crisologo, and Nieves Moran, board members.

After his meeting with the Board of Censors, the President received 18 members of Congress led by Speaker Protempore Salipada K. Pendatun, who consulted him on matters concerning their districts.

In the afternoon the President met with several groups of businessmen who saw him on problems affecting the business community in general.

Later, the Chief Executive presided over his regular weekly press conference.

At his press conference this afternoon President Macapagal said the Philippines will not deal directly with communist countries as he commented on Commerce Secretary Rufino G. Hechanova’s statement in the United States that the country will trade with Red China if the latter is admitted into the United Nations.

The President reaffirmed his “hard line” anti-communist policy. He said the Philippines will deal with communist countries, only through the instrumentalities of the UN.

Asked to comment on Hechanova’s statement, the President said that Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez, concurrently secretary of foreign affairs, has been asked to check on the veracity or the Cabinet member’s statement in America.

At his weekly ‘press conference, the President:

1. Expressed optimism that the government, will not meet serious problems in the admission of the increasing number of students at the opening of the academic year next week;

2. Stressed that the prices of essential commodities have not increased for the last few weeks;

3. Denied press reports that he will reassign Vice-President Pelaez to the proposed Land Authority in connection with the controversial land reform bill; and

4. Reaffirmed his continuing confidence in the members of the Board of Censors for Moving Pictures.

Elaborating on his anti-communist “hard line” policy, the President said he would not allow any trade and cultural intercourse with communist countries.

Asked if he would allow some members of Congress to attend the proposed interparliamentary Congress in Yugoslavia, the President said he will act on the request when it is formally presented to him.

June 27.—PRESIDENT Macapagal today met with officials of the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation on a plan to consolidate nil the housing activities of the government in order to provide adequate housing for the masses.

Present at the conference were PHHC General Manager Angel Macapagal; Assistant Manager Jacobo de Vera; Board Members Avelino Sta. Maria, Manolo C. Cruz, Tomas de la Cruz, and Enrique Ruiz; Jesus Capati; and Morris Juppenlatz, UN housing expert detailed with the PHHC.

Earlier this morning the President received Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon, who paid him a farewell call before enplaning for Rome tomorrow evening as chairman of the Philippine delegation to attend the coronation of Pope Paul VI on June 30.

He also received Dr. Edward W. Mill, professor of diplomacy and world affairs of the Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, who is on a tour of Southeast Asian countries in connection with a book lie is writing on Southeast Asian governments and politics. During his call Mill briefly interviewed the President on the Administration’s objectives and the progress it has so far attained.

Mill expressed admiration for the initial success of the President’s socio economic program, including his dedication to infuse honesty and integrity in the government.

Aside from being a specialist on Southeast Asia, Mill had been a director of Philippine foreign affairs training program in Washington from 1945-48. He said he had trained 40 Filipinos, 25 of whom are now ambassadors or chiefs of mission.

Following his meeting with Mill, the President received William E. Schlink, president of the Love International, Inc., who arrived here recently on a business survey. Schlink was accompanied to Malacañang by Rep. Tereso Dumon of Cebu.

Other morning nailers were Reparations Chairman Benedicto Padilla and Gov. Bado Dangwa, Rep. Luis Hora, and former Gov. Dennis Malintas, all of Mountain Province.

In the afternoon the President presided over a meeting of his Cabinet.

June 28.—PRESIDENT Macapagal today received a total of 1,845 men, women, and children who trooped to Malacañang from 8:10 o’clock this morning up to 2:20 p.m. notwithstanding intermittent rains caused by typhoon Biding. Carrying along dripping raincoats, umbrellas, and native salacots, they formed lines at the Malacañang Heroes Hall awaiting their turn to talk to the Chief Executive.

The President was assisted in attending to the “Common Man’s Day” callers by the First Lady, their children, Arturo and Gloria, and an array of Malacañang assistants.

Among the callers were 14 delegations which asked for assistance in community development projects or submitted petitions for the expropriation of landed estates or the release of public lands.

The President attended to the general public continuously for more than six hours, taking time out only once for a light lunch.

In the afternoon the President received Indian Ambassador Mohammad Solaiman Sait, who paid him a courtesy call. Ambassador Sait arrived June 22 after a month’s absence during which he attended a conference at New Delhi of Indian ambassadors in Southeast Asia.

Also received by the President was Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Justiniano Borja.

The President issued an administrative order today creating a national committee to take charge of the celebration of Philippine-American Friend ship Day on Thursday, July 4.

The committee is composed of the Education Secretary, chairman; the Secretary of National Defense, vice-chairman; the Secretary of Public Works and Communications and the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, members; and the Presidential Protocol Officer, member-secretary.

President Macapagal has signed House Bill No. 2649 prohibiting the cutting, destroying, or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants, and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school promises, or in any other public pleasure ground.

The new law provides that any person, who shall cut, destroy, or injure trees, flowering plants, and shrubs, or plants of scenic value, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum period to prision mayor in its minimum period.

Prision correccional is imprisonment for a period ranging from six months and one day to six years, while prision mayor is equivalent to six years and one day to 12 years in jail.

The only forms of cuttrag allowed are in cases “when the cutting, destroying, or injuring of same is necessary for public safety, or when such pruning is necessary to enhance its beauty, but only upon the approval of the Director of Parks and Wildlife.”

June 29.—THE President undertook today a major reshuffle of his Cabinet. The reshuffle was prompted by the inclusion of Justice Secretary Juan R. Liwag in the LP senatorial line-up.

The Cabinet revamp included:

1. Sec. Salvador L. Mariño, who was shifted to the justice department;

2. Sec. Rufino G. Hechanova, to take over as executive secretary, vice Mariño;

3. NEC Chairman Cornelio Balmaceda, as secretary of commerce and industry, vice Hechanova;

4. PIA Director General Sixto K. Roxas III, as NEC chairman, vice Balmaceda; and

5. Armand Fabella, Monetary Board member, as PIA director-general, vice Roxas.

This afternoon President Macapagal motored to the Philippine General Hospital to cheer a patient who was fighting for his life.

Gerato E. Campo, with the help of his brother, had written the President stating: “But before I die I have two wishes, forgiveness from God Father Almighty for my sin, and a shake hands you and me your Excellency.”

Twenty-three years old and still single, Gerato is the youngest of four brothers and two sisters. His family resides at 575 P. Faura, Ermita, Manila.

A balut vendor, Gerato was stabbed by an unknown assailant at the Luneta in the night of May 26. He had been in critical condition since.

The President, accompanied by the First Lady and their daughter Gloria, left Malacañang for the PGH at 4:30 p.m. The three proceeded to the bed of Gerato, who was indeed a pitiful heap of flesh and bones.

Mrs. Macapagal handed the patient some medicines, but he was too weak to receive them. The attending physician, Dr. Ariston Awitan, Jr., accepted the drugs from the First Lady. The President ordered the giving of 1,000 cc. of type O blood to the patient.

From the PGH, the President’s party proceeded to Roxas Boulevard (Dewey) and inspected construction work on a welcome tower at the boundary of Pasay City and Parañaque, Rizal.

The controversial pylon, which was removed from the Rizal monument at the Luneta last Easter, is being installed as a permanent fixture for welcoming state visitors.

On hand to receive the President was Federico Ilustre and Hilario de la Cruz from the Bureau of Public Works, and Rodolfo Martin from the Ace Engineering Corporation. The President and his party returned to Malacañang at 5:30 p.m.

The President spent most of the clay working on pending state papers. Early in the evening the First Couple heard mass officiated at the Palace chapel in observance of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1963). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 59(26), ccv-ccx.