Official Month in Review: March 16 – March 31, 1958

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March 16.PRESIDENT Garcia spent his Sunday quietly in his workshop in Quezon City. He heard mass at about 8 a.m. together with the First Lady and children.

After breakfast the President and Mrs. Garcia strolled in the garden. The President then went to his study and read the Sunday papers.

After luncheon the President had a brief rest. In the evening he went over state papers. He conferred with Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison and then issued his statement on the state visit of President Diem on March 19 to Sunday, March 23.

CHAIRMAN Eduardo Z. Romualdez of the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation will remain as acting presiding officer of the National Economic Council until the permanent appointee for that office has been named. Romualdez remains in the Cabinet,

THE following is the text of President Garcia’s statement on the occasion according to an announcement issued by Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison today of President Ngo Dinh Diem’s state visit to the Philippines:

“The goodwill state visit to the Philippines of President Ngo Dinh Diem opens an era of closer and more cordial relations between the Filipinos and the Vietnamese. We have seen the gallant fight of the Vietnamese for their independence under the leadership of their courageous President Diem. We have witnessed the rise of the Vietnamese Republic and the establishment of a democracy dedicated to the cause of peace and freedom. That young Republic is now gradually establishing economic security for its people.

“During the formative stage of the new Vietnam we have in our humble way, through Operations Brotherhood, helped in the amelioration of the masses of the Vietnamese people, many of whom were thrown out of their homes by reason of the political upheaval at that time. Under the leadership of President Diem, the Vietnamese have the storms and stresses that have characterized the first years of their democratic life, and now we share in the pride that this young Republic has won, not only the recognition but also the admiration and faith” of all the peoples in the free world.

“The Philippines, therefore, feels happy and honored to welcome the distinguished President of South Vietnam on his first state visit to our country on March 19 to 23,”

March 17.THE PRESIDENT Garcia this morning conferred posthumously on the late President Magsaysay the Golden Heart presidential award in an impressive ceremony held at Malacañang in connection with the first anniversary observance of the death of the late President.

After Mrs. Luz B. Magsaysay had received the award, President Garcia spoke briefly and lauded the “great record of devoted and patriotic service to our country” of the late President. He added that the award “stands out as a warm and grateful recognition from our people of the many signal achievements in his lifetime which have all brought about the consummation of the desired objective of returning once again the government to the people.”

Present at the ceremony were high government officials led by members of the Cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps led by their Papal Nuncio Egidio Vagnozzi, members of the Philippines and U. S. armed forces, relatives, friends, and admirers of the late President.

Also present were immediate members of the family of the late President, including his father Don Exequiel Magsaysay, his son Ramon, and daughters Teresita and Milagros.

The President stood at the south end of the ceremonial hall, flanked by Mrs. Garcia, Mrs. Magsaysay, Mrs, Diosdado Macapagal, Don Exequiel Magsaysay, Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Misses Teresita and Milagros Magsaysay, while members of the diplomatic corps and of the Cabinet stood at the sides.

The citation, read by Col. Emilio O. Borromeo, senior aide-de-camp of the President, dwelt on the “dedicated and patriotic service” to the country of the late President as a guerrilla fighter, military governor of Zambales, congressman, secretary of national defense, and finally as President.

As Secretary of National Defense, the citation read, the late President “proved to the world that the spread of Communism could be effectively contained in the Far East, as it actually was suppressed within our shores through a systematic military campaign waged on the communist Huks, tempered with the implementation of socio-economic reform measures.”

President Garcia received from Salvador M. Buazon, national vice-president of the Barrio Lieutenants of the Philippines, a bust of President Magsaysay made by sculptor Isauro Flaviano, who also presented another bust to Mrs. Magsaysay at Malacañang after the award ceremony.

Earlier, President and Mrs. Garcia motored to the Pro-Cathedral of San Miguel to hear mass offered by Archbishop Rufino Santos of Manila for the repose of the soul of the late President.

After the ceremony at Malacañang, the President and the First Lady led a pilgrimage to the tomb of President Magsaysay at the North Cemetery. Upon arrival at the cemetery, the President laid a wreath on the tomb amidst a 21-gun salute. Mrs. Luz B. Magsaysay and her children followed in laying a wreath on the tomb of the departed leader while taps was played. Honor guards were mounted around the tomb. Members of the diplomatic corps, ranking government officials, and people from all walks of life gathered around the tomb to pay tribute to the “Guy.”

THE President today received Lions International First Vice-President Dudley L. Simms to whom he gave presidential proclamation No. 493 declaring March 11-17 as Lions Week.

Simms was accompanied to Malacañang by Governor Eugenio Eusebio of the Philippine Lions.

Simms, the incoming president of Lions International, personally brought the Lions two-year scholarship offered by Lions International, California Lions, and Nevada Lions, recently accepted by Mrs. Ramon Magsaysay for her son Ramon.

Justice Secretary Pedro Tuason informed President Garcia during his call today that he would turn over his office to newly-appointed Justice Secretary Jesus Barrera.

President Garcia thanked Secretary Tuason for his long and fruitful services to the government. The President said that Secretary Tuason’s stay as secretary of justice has helped strengthen the faith of the people in the government. He praised the outgoing secretary of justice for his invaluable services to the country and to the people.

The President, after thanking Secretary Tuason, personally directed Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo to write an official letter thanking Tuason for his services.

PRESIDENT Garcia today marked his first year as Chief Executive of the country with a “quiet dinner” at his new residence on Bohol Avenue, Quezon City.

President Garcia invited those who were with him in Camberra, Australia, when he received the shocking news xhat President Magsaysay died at a plane crash in Cebu and that he was to take over the presidency of the country.

The President then was head of a Philippine delegation to a SEATO conference in Camberra when he got a flash report that he was succeeding President Magsaysay, who had perished in a plane disaster at Mt. Manunggal in Cebu.

Invited to the “reunion” among the members of the presidential entourage to Camberra were Lt. Gen. Alfonso Arellano, chief of staff of the Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Pelagio Cruz, Assistant Executive Secretary Niconor T. Jimenez, Mrs. Rafaelita Hilario-Soriano, Gov. Rafael Lazatin of Pampanga, former Press Secretary and Mrs. J. V. Cruz, Artemio A. Garlit of the Philippines Herald, Nati Valentin of the Manila Times, and Col. Jorge Delarmente, military aide.

Malacañang said that there were other unidentified guests who were invited to join the blessed group.

In his Bohol Avenue residence the President received the officials of the Peace and Amelioration Fund Campaign headed by Manolo Elizalde, who presented a progress report to President Garcia on the drive.

March 18.THIS morning President Garcia called upon all provincial governors and city mayors to drum up support among the people in their respective localities for the government’s program for self-sufficiency in rice, corn, and other basic needs of the people.

In an extemporaneous address delivered before the provincial and city executives at the opening of their three-day convention at the Malacañang Park this morning, the President outlined his plans of increasing production of food, clothing, and shelter and appealed for general cooperation in the implementation of these plans.

The President asked the provincial and city executives to generate enthusiasm in the campaign being waged by the government for increased production. He said that the local officials were in the best position to assist in this campaign, as they were the ones directly in contact with the masses.

The Chief Executive devoted a considerable portion of his speech to enumerating various projects earmarked by the government, such as, the establishment of an integrated steel mill, the indoctrination of the people in scientific methods of farming and livestock raising, and other plans aimed at attaining self-sufficiency in basic commodities. He expressed hope that the local officials, irrespective of whatever party they belonged to, would support his program for the good of the country.

The President arrived at the convention hall about 10 a.m. He was accompanied by a five-man committee formed by the conventionists earlier this morning to fetch him from his “workshop” in Quezon City. The committee was composed of Govs. Amado Aleta of Nueva Ecija, Bernardo Torres of Leyte, Alejandro Almendras of Davao, and Esmeraldo Eco of Camarines Norte, and Mayor Cesar Climaco of Zamboanga City.

Other speakers at this morning’s session were Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo, who dwelt mainly on the President’s austerity program, and former Gov. Sofronio Quimson, assistant executive secretary for local governments, who delivered the opening remarks.

After the President’s speech, the conventionists proceeded with the election of officers for the current year. Gov. Isidro Rodriguez of Rizal was unanimously elected chairman of the league.

The Chief Executive spoke before the governors find city mayors after the luncheon he tendered in their honor in Malacañang.

President Garcia came out in favor of synchronizing elections even as he urged governors and city mayors to generate enough congressional support to insure its approval.

The President said that even when he was still a senator he was in favor of the idea, saying that one election every four years would be enough.

The President cited the move in Congress to give senators a district so that they could have a specific area of service, saying that he was in favor of restoring the former senatorial districts. However, he pointed out the obstacles, constitutional in character, that bar the approval of the synchorization of elections.

First of all, he said, a constitutional amendment must be approved to extend the term of the senators to 8 years, instead of the present 6 years, and hold elections for 12 senators every 4 years.

Pointing out that this is the only way to synchronize elections, the President expressed his doubts, however, that Liberal solons would agree to it.

Other after-luncheon speakers were Gov. Isidro Rodriguez of Rizal, chairman of the League of Governors and City Mayors; Iloilo City Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon, vice-chairman of the League; and Gov. Dominador Chipeco of Laguna, secretary of the League.

The three LGCM officials promised to implement the food production campaign of the administration and pleaded for more local autonomy.

Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr., and Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez declared that they were in favor of granting more autonomy to local governments. Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo acted as toastmaster.

After the luncheon, President Garcia administered the oath of office to Gov. Rodriguez, City Mayor Ganzon, and Gov. Chipeco. Other LGCM officers elected at the opening day of the convention held at the Malacañang recreation hall who were absent during the occasion were Gov. Rafael Lazatin of Pampanga, treasurer; Gov. Juan Frivaldo of Sorsogon, PRO; and Basilan City Mayor Leroy Brown, sergeant-at-arms.

In the afternoon session, Ramon Binamira, head of the PACD lectured on the master p^n for increased food production. The League adjourned at 4:30 p.m. They will resume their meet tomorrow at 8 a.m.

Presidetial callers this day were former Sen. Francisco Delgado, Oscar Arellano, and Reps. Canuto M. S. Enerio of Zamboanga del Sur, Bejamin T. Ligot and Felipe Garduque of Cagayan, Emilio Cortez of Pampanga, Faustino Tobia and Godofredo Reyes of Ilocos Sur, Pedro Venida of Camarines Norte, Ricardo Y. Ladrido of Iloilo, Francisco Ortega of La Union, Cesar Fortich of Bukidnon, Wenceslao R. Lagumbay of Laguna, Alberto Ubay of Zamboanga del Norte, and Jose Moreno of Romblon.

The President held a conference with Budget Commissioner Dominaddr R. Aytona and Rep. Tobias Former of Antique, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, with whom he discussed budgetary matters.

March 19.—PRESIDENT Garcia, in welcoming Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem this morning, said that it was “an honor to have you the leader of the Viet Nam people and defender of freedom and democracy, with us.”

The President said that he was looking forward to a hearty conversation with President Diem on the reaffirmation and strengthening of the close relationship between the Philippines and Viet Nam.

In his reply to the President at the Manila International Airport a few minutes after his arrival, President Diem said that “it is with a deep sense of emotion and delight that I set foot on this, land of freedom.” President Diem praised President Garcia as “a man who has an impressive record as a champion of the cause of freedom not only in his country, but also throughout the Free World, and to whom the Filipino people entrusted the task of continuing the work left unfinished by your predecessor.”

President Diem and his party arrived at 11 a.m. at the Manila International Airport on board of four engine Air Viet Nam plane which was escorted by six PAF mustangs. President Garcia, who led high government officials and members of the diplomatic corps in welcoming the Viet Nam chief of state, arrived at the MIA at 10: 50 aim.

First to board the plane carrying president Diem when it stopped in front of the MIA building was President Garcia followed by his aide, Lt. Col. Emilio Borromeo, and Sen. Pacita M. Gonzalez, A few minutes after President Garcia stepped down the plane, President Diem, dressed in the Viet Nam national costume, followed and was met with a warm applause by the welcomers.

President Garcia introduced the Viet Nam President to the ranking government officials, including Vice-President Diosdado Macapagal, Speaker Daniel Romualdez, and members of the Cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps, and the top brass of the Armed Forces led by Lieut. Gen. Alfonso Arellano. Members of the Philippine Jaycees were also at the airport. After the introductions, the National Anthem of Viet Nam was played amidst the booms of a 21-gun salute.

A composite company of men of the Philippine Army, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Air Force served as the honor guard. After the playing of the Viet Nam National Anthem, President Diem and President Garcia, with Lieut. Gen. Arellano and Brig. Gen. Le Van Kim, aide to President Diem, inspected the guard of honor. The Philippine National Anthem was played after the inspection of the guard of honor.

Proceeding to the improvished platform, President Garcia and President Diem delivered their messages of welcome and response. President Diem expressed the belief that his visit here would be “most inspiring and will contribute to strengthen still further the very happy and brotherly relations existing between our two countries.”

Members of President Diem’s arty included Vu Mau, secretary of state for foreign affairs; Tran Huu The, secretary of state for national education; Bui Van Luong, high commissioner general for agricultural development; Quach Tong Due, director of Cabinet of the President; Hoang Thuc Dam, director of protocol; Brig. Gen. Le Van Kim, aide-de-camp; Vo Van Hai, chief of Cabinet of the President; and Ton That Thien, press secretary to the President.

From the airport after the ceremonies, President Garcia and President Diem boarded a cream colored Cadillac top-down with plate No. 1 and headed a motorcade to Malacañang passing through Dewey Boulevard, Taft Avenue, Escolta, Rizal Avenue, Azcarraga, and Aviles streets.

President Garcia and President Diem arrived at Malacañang at 12:30 p.m.

President Garcia was conferred by visiting President Ngo Dinh Diemx with the Kim Khanh, the highest decoration within the gift of the Viet Nam Government, in a ceremony held in Malacañang shortly before lunch today.

President Diem, in confering the award, said: “It gives me great pleasure in presenting to you the Kim, Khanh as a token of the friendship of the Vietnamese people and in acknowledgement of your services in the cause of Filipino-Vietnamese friendship.”

President Garcia responded: “It is to me a great pleasure as well as an honor to receive this decoration which your government has deemed appropriate to confer upon me and, subject to approval by Congress, I shall vocally accept it. I hope it will grow in significance as our friendship and our relations grow closer and warmer.”

The Kim Khanh consisted of medals in the form of miniature gold crowns. Its presentation which was held at Malacañang’s ceremonial hall was witnessed by Mrs. Garcia, Foreign Affairs Secretary Felixberto Serrano, Mr. and Mrs. Fernando Campos members of President Diem’s party, and Philippine Government high officials.

Escorted by a fleet of motorcycle cops and prowl cars of the Manila Police Department, Presidents Garcia and Diem arrived at Malacañang about 12:30 p.m. at the head of along motorcade from the airport. They rode in an open, gray convertible.

The visiting Viet Nam President inspected an honor guard formed by Companies A and B of the presidential guard battalion, which played the Vietnamese and Filipino national anthems.

After acknowledging the raffles and flourishes offered by the honor guard, President Diem was accompanied up the Palace by President Garcia.

At the music room the President offered a toast to the “continued good health” of his guest. The toast was made with basi, which has become the official ceremonial wine in Malacañang.

After a brief exchange of pleasantries at the music room, President Diem was shown to his room on the northeast corner of the Palace. About 1 p.m. Presidents Garcia and Diem were at the ceremonial hall for the award presentation ceremonies which lasted about 10 minutes.

President and Mrs. Garcia were later presented with a laminated bamboo wind screen, with a lacquered painting of a typical Vietnamese rural scene. Said to be the third of its kind produced in Viet Nam the first having been presented to the President of Korea and the second to the King of Thailand, the wind screen is said to last for centuries.

President Garcia had lunch with his visitor at the state dining hall. With them at the lunch table were Mrs. Garcia, Mr. and Mrs. Fernando Campos, Foreign Affairs Secretary Felixberto Serrano, and Vu Van Mau, Viet Nam secretary of state for foreign affairs.

President and Mrs. Garcia gave a state dinner in honor of visiting President Ngo Dinh Diem of Viet Nam at the social hall in Malacañang in the evening.

President Liem’s party who were present at the dinner were Va Van Mau, secretary of states for foreign affairs; Tran Huu The, secretary of state for national education; Bui Van Luang, high commissioner for agricultural development; Quach Tong Due, director de Cabinet of the President Hoang Thuc Dam, director of protocol; General Le Van Kim, presidential aide-de-camp; Vo Van Hai, the chief de Cabinet of the President; Ton That Thien, press secretary; and Dr. Bui Kien Tin, personal physician of President Diem.

Vice-President and Mrs. Diosdado Macapagal, Senate President and Mrs. Eulogio Rodriguez, Speaker Daniel Romualdez, and Chief Justice Ricardo Paras; the chief of foreign missions; Cabinet members, Congress leaders and their ladies, and top brass of the Armed and U. S. Army were invited to the state dinner.

March 20.PRESIDENT Garcia was kept busy the whole day today attending to his state visitor, President Ngo Dinh Diem of Viet Nam.

President Diem, who arrived Wednesday, is the house guest of the President at Malacañang.

However, the Vietnamese Chief of State had breakfast alone in his room, while the President had his with the members of his family.

In the morning, the President motored to his residence in Quezon City to wait for President Diem, who was moving from Malacañang to the house on Bohol Avenue.

President Diem, on the other hand, went to Camp Murphy, where he was honored by the Armed Forces.

After the Camp Murphy ceremonies, the President received President Diem at his residence.

IN the evening, the President and the First Lady motored to the Vietnamese Embassy in Forbes Park, where President Diem gave a dinner in honor of the First Couple.

At the dinner Mrs. Garcia was given a corsage by President Diem.

It was the second dinner the two residents had in two days since President Diem’s arrival in Manila.

The two presidents conferred at the anteroom of President Garcia’s Bohol Avenue residence. They exchanged views on matters of mutual interest between the Philippines and Viet Nam. A joint statement will be issued later by the two presidents prior to President Diem’s departure for Saigon.

President Garcia thanked President Ngo Dinh Diem for making possible the importation by the Philippines of 30,000 tons of rice from Saigon. He also thanked the Vietnamese President for donating some rice to the Philippine Government for distribution among the needy.

President Garcia thanked President Diem after Ambassador Mariano Ezpeleta had informed him last night that through the intervention of President Diem, the Philippines had succeeded in importing 30,000 tens of Vietnamese rice.

According to Ezpeleta, the Philippines could not have imported the total of 30,000 tons of rice because of government regulations limiting the amount of rice to be exported per quarter.

It was through the personal intercession of President Diem, Ezpeleta said, that an exception was made, allowing the approval of the Philippine importation of the needed amount of rice.

President Diem arrived at the residence of President Garcia at 9:20 a.m. after attending the ceremonies in his honor at Camp Murphy. President and Mrs. Garcia greeted him at the entrance of their residence. President Garcia then personally conducted President Diem to his room and later on showed him the other parts of the house. Then the two presidents went into a huddle. The conference lasted from 9: 35 to 10:15 a.m.

March 21.HIGH officers of the Philippine Copra Exporters Association today informed President Garcia of their determination to increase the volume of exports in order to bolster the dollar reserves of the country and strengthen the national economy.

Led by their president, Tommy Qua, members of the board of directors of the association presented a resolution to the Chief Executive promising to cooperate with the Administration.

After receiving the resolution, President Garcia expressed his gratitude for the promised cooperation.

In promising to increase the tonnage of copra export to the United States, Europe, and other countries, the association members informed the President that a goal of from 30,000 to 40,000 tons of copra was set for export within 20 days.

The association placed at the disposal of President Garcia its facilities in the solution of the problems of the country, particularly the need for the immediate purchase of rice and other basic foodstuffs, consistent with existing rules and regulations of the Central Bank.

Other PCEA officers who saw President Garcia were C. Richard, first vice-president; J. Jacobi, second vice-president; M. Igual, J. Lim, C. L. Tan, F. Tussing, directors; and J. Collas, PCEA secretary Jose Corominas, B. Rocca, and N. T. Whitting accompanied the group.

Earlier this morning, President Garcia saw Victor Laurel, president of the Worldwide Progressive Company, Leonardo Padilla, and Alfredo R. Gomez. The callers informed the President of their plan to establish a plant to exploit a new process to utilize the food value of the coconut.

The President also received Michael Tsur, director of foreign trade of Israel, who presented on behalf of President Ben Zvi a silver and gold chess set. Tsur was accompanied by Israeli Consul General Ernest E. Simke.

Ambassador Horace Smith called on the President before leaving on Tuesday for his new post at Laos. President and Mrs. Garcia are honoring Ambassador Smith with a farwell breakfast on Monday.

Other presidential callers were Andres Castillo, deputy governor of the Central Bank; Marcial P. Lichauco; A. G. Norrhan, managing director of Thomas de la Rue & Co., Ltd. of London; M. C. Fitz Gerald, Southeast Asia sales manager of the same firm; Mrs. Mary Ford; and Mr. and Mrs. A. J. McGuire of California.

PRESIDENT Garcia this afternoon branded as “absolutely baseless” charges of alleged anomalies in the implementation of the reparations agreement, but refused to comment on the departure at noon of two congressmen on a fact-finding trip to Japan.

At his weekly press conference, the President said he had “very little to do with the reparations schedules.”

The President’s statement was apparently intended to exculpate himself from charges of irregularities even as he emphatically denied there is “such a reparations mess.”

President Garcia devoted a great portion of his press conference to explaining that reparations schedules were prepared by the “ad interim” reparations office and approved by both the Cabinet and the Council of State.

At the same time, the President said he will meet the Council of Leaders next week to discuss the composition of the three-man Reparations Commission.

He said he is considering the appointment of a political lame-duck, possibly former Sen. Jose Locsin, to the reparations body.

The President told newsmen he was in favor of appointing “lameducks” to non-Cabinet positions, depending on their “ability and integrity.” At the press conference the President also:

1. Said that while the Philippines is an Asian country and is a part of Asia, this does not preclude her from associating with the West, especially with the countries to which she is historically linked—the United States and Spain.

2. Indicated he may go to Europe after his state visit to the United States on June 16;

3. Claimed as “unnecessary a proposal in Congress to have the nominations of holdover Cabinet members submitted to the Commission of Appointments for re-confirmation; and

4. Inducted Guillermo V. Sison as press secretary.

In explaining the reparations schedules, the President pointed out that the Reparations Commission was created by law only last June.

He said that in the presentation to Japan of the last two schedules, his participation was “merely in the capacity of a Cabinet member,” as the then vice-president and secretary of foreign affairs.

The President also pointed out that rules and regulations have been adopted to govern the preparations of the yearly schedules.

He took occasion of the news conference to praise the work of Minister Caesar Z. Lanuza, head of the Reparations Mission in Tokyo.

“I believe he has been implementing the reparations agreement very well,” the President said.

However, President Garcia refused to comment on the trip of Reps. Francisco Ortega of La Union and Antonio Raquiza of Ilocos Norte, who left if or Japan shortly before noon today.

The two solons went to Tokyo to conduct an on-the-spot inquiry into disposition of the reparations items. They make up a bipartisan team, to check on the reparations instalment.

House members had asked the President to recall Lanuza to Manila to testify on the disposal of war indemnity good. However, they abandoned the plan and instead decided to send the bipartisan team to Japan.

March 22.PRESIDENT Garcia and Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo this morning exchanged views on all questions concerning Philippine-American relations which, it was understood, would be discussed by President Garcia during his forthcoming state visit to the United States. They also discussed the details of the President’s trip to the United States.

Ambassador Romulo, who had been called to Manila by the President, arrived early this morning by plane. Immediately upon arrival, he proceeded to President Garcia’s residence on Bohol Avenue. He arrived there before 8 a.m. A few minutes later, the President arrived from Malacañang and then invited the Ambassador for breakfast. Present at the breakfast were Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo and Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison.

After the breakfast, the President, Ambassador Romulo, and Secretary Pajo went to the President’s anteroom and resumed their talks behind closed doors.

Ambassador Romulo presented to the President a gift consisting of a chess set suitable for use during airplane trips. Together with the chess set was a time clock for chess players.

The conference started from 8 a.m. at breakfast and lasted up to 10:30 a.m. After the breakfast, President Garcia received Reps. Lorenzo Teves of Negros Oriental, Bartolome Cabangbang, Maximino Garcia, and Natalio Castillo, all of Bohol, with whom he discussed matters pertaining to their respective districts.

The President ate his lunch at his residence. In the afternoon he returned to Malacañang and went over state papers.

March 23.—PRESIDENT Garcia and President Ngo Dinh Diem of Viet-Nam issued a joint communique after holding their final talks this morning.

Earlier in the morning a mass was held at the Malacañang chapel attended by President and Mrs. Garcia and President Diem, together with Vietnamese Ambassador Cao Thai Bao and some members of his entourage. Also present were Mr. and Mrs. Fernando Campos.

AFTER the mass, the President accompanied President Diem to the Palace. Before entering the family dining room, President Diem presented to Mrs. Garcia a token sack of rice representing President Diem’s donation of rice for poor and needy families.

Breakfast was served at the family dining room. After breakfast, President Garcia presented President Diem and ranking members of his entourage with souvenirs. President Garcia also presented President Diem with an album containing a pictorial account of his visit. The album was prepared by the Malacañang press office.

Before leaving the Palace, President Diem thanked President and Mrs. Garcia for their hospitality. President Diem then motored to the residence of President Garcia on Bohol Avenue where some ceremonies were held. From there President Diem proceeded to the Manila International Airport, where he boarded his plane for Saigon.

President Garcia motored to the Manila International Airport this morning, arriving there at 10:15 to bid goodbye to President Diem, who had been his house guest during Diem’s state visit to the Philippines. President Diem and his entourage arrived at the airport five minutes later.

Upon Diem’s arrival a 21-gun salute was fired. President Garcia and President Diem then mounted an improvised platform to receive military honors. First, the Vietnamese National Anthem was played. It was followed by the Philippine National Anthem.

President Diem then shook hands with the members of the diplomatic corps and other Philippine officials who had assembled at the airport to see him off. President Garcia accompanied President Diem to the ramp of President Diem’s plane where they shook hands. President Diem thanked President Garcia for the hospitality accorded him during his stay here and President Garcia wished President Diem bon voyage.

Before entering his plane, Diem faced the people at the airport and waived his hand. The plane carrying President Diem taxied out of the airport at 10: 30 a.m., the scheduled time of its departure.

PRESIDENT Garcia today directed Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo to look into the reason why Sen. Mariano Jesus Cuenco’s letter to Secretary Pajo had not been received by the executive secretary although it was reportedly receipted for at the Records Division of Malacañang.

The President said that after an investigation of the case, the person who may be found remiss in the performance of his duty would be properly dealt with.

President Garcia gave this directive upon reading Sen. Cuenco’s statement in the newspapers refuting Secretary Pajo’s assertion that he had not received Sen. Cuenco’s letter to him. Cuenco, according to news reports, attached a photostat copy of the return registry receipt showing that the letter had been received at the Malacañang Records Division.

Secretary Pajo earlier had denied receiving the Cuenco letter.

The President also ordered this morning all government relief agencies to rush aid to the fire victims in Iloilo City.

The President’s order was given upon receiving reports that a fl million fire had hit Iloilo City, rendering many families homeless.

Ordered to coordinate in the distribution of relief goods were the Social Welfare Administration and the Philippine National Red Cross.

The President also ordered the Constabulary to maintain order in the fire stricken area and to determine the extent of damage wrought by the conflagration.

The Department of Health was also ordered to extend medical aid to the fire victims.

President Garcia this day started his yearly two-week fasting.

During his first day of fast, the President took water with only a dash of sugar.

At the breakfast which President and Mrs. Garcia gave in honor of President Diem, President Garcia did not take anything but water.

The President fasts annually as a health measure which he has been observing the past several years.

March 24.THIS morning the President urged coconut producers to take A the necessary steps to take advantage of scientific discoveries about the nutritive value of coconuts and to assume the initiative in research. He assured them of government help in this respect.

The President cited the progress made by the sugar industry through scientific research with government help. He expressed the hope that coconut producers would seize the initiative for progress.

At the same time, President Garcia approved in principle the recommendation made by Gov. Juan Triviño of Camarines Sur, president of the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, that producers be allowed to barter copra outside the Philippines so that funds could be raised for the establishment of a research center and the purchase of machinery for the industrialization of the coconut industry.

The President spoke extemporaneously at the opening day of the sixth national convention of the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation held at the Manila Hotel’s Winter Garden.

By viva voce vote, President Garcia was named honorary president of the federation, upon motion of Davao delegate Roque Monfort, seconded by another Davao delegate, Angel Villarica.

The President suggested that copra producers exert more effort to seize more of the European market where Philippine copra is finding more buyers owing to the improvement of its quality and displacing those of other countries.

The President decried that until now no report had been submitted on the progress of operations of the Hiller machine. He urged the conventionists to study the means to solve the marketing problem facing the coconut industry.

Earlier in the morning, President and Mrs. Garcia gave a farewell breakfast in honor of American Ambassador Horace C. Smith, who is leaving soon for his new post in Laos.

PRESIDENT Garcia administered the oath of office to former Gov. Bernardo Torres of Leyte as general manager of the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation, vice former Public Works Secretary Vicente Orosa, retired, in a ceremony held at Malacañang this afternoon.

In inducting Torres the President said that the PHHC was considered one of the most important branches of the social services program of the Administration. He said that its success so far has been due to the interest of the Administration in uplifting the lot of the masses.

Stating that the PHHC should carry on until every citizen of this country owns a home in accordance with his means, the President continued: “A man who lives in his own house acquires a better perspective in life, develops a sense of self-reliance, and brightens his chances of advancement. That is why the housing program is considered one of the most essential services of the government.”

The President then impressed upon the PHHC officials, particularly the new inductee, the enormity of their responsibilities. He cautioned them to be careful in carrying on with the installment system of home-acquisition to prevent the possible breakdown of the corporation.

Manager Torres, in turn, thanked the President for the opportunity given him to serve in such a responsible position. He said he considered it a challenge and promised to do his best to measure up to the responsibilities of the post.

The President also inducted this afternoon officers and members of the supreme council of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines. Among those inducted were Col. Jose Razon, president; Ben Florentino, executive vice-president; Col. Nicanor Jimenez, Jose del Rosario, and Jose Ma. Barredo, vice-presidents; Col. C. B. Rigor, secretary general;. Augusto Espiritu, treasurer general; Col. Daniel Victoria, auditor; and the following council members: Vice-Mayor Jesus Marcos Roces of Manila, Antonio Varias, Fausto Alberto, Tereso Pia, Francisco Offemaria, Col. Dionisio Ojeda, Eugenio Recto, Lt. Gen. Alfonso Arellano, Col. Jose G. Arambulo, and Onesimo Soriano.

Present at the oath-taking of Manager Torres were Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez, Rep. Dominador Tan of Leyte, NAWASA General Manager Susano Negado, and the following PHHC officials: Directos Salud Pareño and Isidro Retiroz; Benjamin Gray, board secretary; Jacobo de Vera, assistant general manager, Vicente Mercado, treasurer; and Jose Barce, Simeon Garcia and Jesus Merritt, technical assistants.

The President appealed this afternoon to the nation’s scientists for united and concerted effort to resolve the current economic problems of the country through science and technology.

In his brief extemporaneous remarks before reading a prepared speech in the ceremony held at Malacañang social hall ushering in the 1858 National Science Week, the President outlined his plan to harness the collective know-how available in this country towards attaining self-sufficiency in essential items; such as food, clothing, and shelter.

The President was introduced by Commander Marcelino Calinawan, Jr., (PN), who called the President’s attention that among the personages gathered to witness, the ceremony were industrialists, agriculturists, legislators, scientists, engineers, and educators.

The President replied: “With the array of personages I see before me, I feel more confident than ever that there is no impossibility to the solution of our economic problems.”

The ceremony was featured by the President’s disseminating the staccato sound effect of atomic radiation over the air for one-half minute with the aid of a scientific gadget. The proceedings were broadcast by radio stations by remote control from Malacañang.

FIFTEEN Nacionalista senators this evening assured President Garcia of speedy action on 24 administration measures which he had referred to Congress for legislative implementation.

The senators’ assurance was made at a dinner-conference held this evening with President Garcia at the latter’s residence on Bohol Avenue, Quezon City.

Legislative Secretary Jose C. Nable said late in the evening that President Garcia’s meeting with the senators was cordial and discounted early reports that the solons would convert the dinner into a “gripe session.”

It was learned that the senators had agreed to take immediate action on the President’s request for a price control law in an effort to arm him with powers to go after profiteers and hoarders.

At the same time, the senators promised to take up the budget as soon as the House approves the general appropriations bill.

President Garcia and the senators also agreed to consider “integrity and capability” as the overriding qualifications in the choice of the membership of the three-man Reparations Commission.

The President pointed out that “integrity and capability” should be the main consideration in the choice of members of the Reparations Commission following reports that many candidates have been recommended for this body.

The President, it was learned, was considering the appointment of former Sen. Jose Locsin to head the commission.

Others mentioned to compose the reparations body are Commissioner on Public Highways Rodolfo Maslog, Gov. Juan Alberto of Catanduanes, Gregorio Abad, Francisco Ortigas, Jr., and Judge Jesus de Veyra.

The President and the senators took up the case of Sen. Mariano Jesus Cuenco, staunch critic of President Garcia and Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo. Some senators defended Cuenco during the conference, while others took the cudgels for Secretary Pajo.

Cuenco boycotted the meeting saying that he did not want to embarrass the President and the senators with his presence. The Cebu solon said that he wanted the Chief Executive and the senators to take up his case “freely.”

At the dinner conference this evening the President and the senators also agreed to appoint the undersecretaries of foreign affairs and of justice next week.

Present at the conference last night were Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, and Sens. Cipriano Primicias, Oscar Ledesma, Lorenzo Sumulong, Francisco Rodrigo, Eulogio . Balao, Quintin Paredes, Ale jo Mabanag, Domocao Alonto, Emmanuel Pelaeiz, Edmundo Cea, Gil J. Puyat, Pedro Sabido, Pacita Madrigal Gonzalez, and Decoroso Rosales.

March 25.MEMBERS of the League of Provincial Governors and City Mayors, led by their president, Gov. Isidro Rodriguez of Rizal, this morning presented President Garcia with a resolution approved during their recent convention lauding the appointment of Juan C. Pajo as executive secretary.

In approving the resolution, the provincial and city executives cited the distinguished government career of Secretary Pajo as provincial fiscal, provincial board member, and provincial governor, as well as his tact, diplomacy, and courtesy in his dealing with government officials and the general public in his present job.

In another resolution presented to the President, the League members pledged an all-out cooperation in the effective and successful implementation of the food production campaign of President Garcia.

Members of the League who saw the President were Govs. Amado Aleta of Nueva Ecija, Mariano Peñaflorida of Iloilo, Ccnrado Estrella of Pangasinan, Jose Briones of Cebu, Fernando Veloso of Samar, Diego Ty Deling of Oriental Misamis, Dominador Chipeco of Laguna, Manuel Barretto of Zambales, Marcelo Adduru of Cagayan, Jesus Almero of Masbate, Marcos Malupa of Batanes, Leon Fernandez of Sulu, Esmeraldo Eco of Camarines Norte, Serafin Teves of Negros Oriental, Bienvenido Ebarle of Zamboanga del Sur, Juan Frivaldo of Sorsogon, Alfredo Abueg, of Palawan, and Arsenio Lugay of Tarlac, and City Mayors Teopisto Cordova of Bacolod, Leroy Brown of Basilan, and Jose Dorado of Roxas.

Reps. Pascual Espinosa, Domitilo Abordo, and Pedro Trono and Gov. Peñaflorida, all of Iloilo, in separate conferences with President Garcia, asked for more funds for the fire victims of Iloilo City.

The Chief Executive stated that he would look for funds for the fire victims and added that he had no more contingent funds.

The Iloilo solons told the President that the recent fire was the biggest ever to hit Iloilo City.

President Garcia also received Lady Olave Baden-Powel, world chief guide, who had arrived by plane in the course of a round the world trip. The widow of the founder of the Boy Scouts movement was accompanied to Malacañang by high officials of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. Miss Betty Haugh, secretary to Lady Powell, was with the group.

The GSP officials who accompanied the distinguished visitor were Mesdames Concepcion R. Gonzales, Angelina Chipeco, Pilar Hidalgo-Lim, Mary Kalaw-Katigbak, Geronima T. Pecson, Trinidad F. Legarda, and Concepcion Gil.

President Garcia approved the immediate purchase of eight vitally needed fire and rescue trucks for distribution to important local airports, Malacañang announced today.

Responding to the need of local airports for fire fighting and rescue equipment of the specialized nature, the President had earlier ordered the immediate release of the fund appropriated by Congress in 1953 for the procurement of fire and rescue trucks.

It will be recalled that the Cabinet had approved the procurement of fire and rescue trucks through the Philippine Procurement Mission in New York. The Civil Aeronautics Administration has been negotiating for the fire and rescue trucks since last year.

Major Arturo D. Sevilla, Malacañang technical adviser on aviation, had been designated to follow up the early procurement of the much needed equipment. The eight fire and rescue trucks will be distributed to the airports in Manila, Cebu, Baguio, Bacolod, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Naga.

THE President this day reprimanded Edilberto Y. David, deputy collector of customs (airport) and former acting commissioner of customs, saying that the evidences submitted to substantiate the charges against the former acting customs commissioner were “not of such nature as to warrant the taking of drastic disciplinary action against the respondent.”

In an administrative order reprimanding David, the President warned the respondent that the commission of similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely. David had been charged with, and investigated for, (1) maladministration, (2) conduct prejudicial to the service, (3) corruption in office, and (4) moral unfitness in public office.

The President said that after a thorough review of the records of the case, he was satisfied with the explanations offered by the respondent except that he (David) overstepped his powers by interfering with functions properly belonging to the collector of customs in connection with the case of a certain shipment of undeclared saccharine and jewelry involved in the first charge, and that he made a poor choice of occasion in boarding a ship owned by a strike-bound company for his inspection trip to the South embraced in the second charged.

The President further said that with regard to the third charge, David had already been properly rebuked while he was arrastre superintendent in 1949. The fourth charge, according to the findings, had not been properly established.

THIS afternoon the President appealed to the members of the Chamber of Agriculture and Natural Resources to help the greater production of the country’s prime necessities: food, shelter, and clothing. He laid stress on food production and the exploitation of the natural resources and mineral deposits “so that we can attain economic security.”

The President was guest speaker at the first convention of the CANRP at the Manila Hotel.

“We must do first things first and there is nothing more urgent than the matter of food because the average man needs three meals a day,” the President said.

Citing food, shelter, and clothing as the three fundamental necessities of life, the President said that agriculture was an institution created by man to answer his need for food, shelter, and clothing. “I am appealing for help to a composite group that can produce all the necessities of life,” the President remarked.

Touching first on the subject of increased food production, the President said that modern methods of technology should be applied, including more irrigation systems, fertilizers, insecticides, and selected seeds for planting. He urged the bringing down of the cost of production as the best means of helping the farmers. He said that the giving of a price support of ₱12 per cavan of palay would be perpetuating the high cost of production. He stated that if the farmers would be able to produce 100 cavans of palay per hectare instead of 21 cavans, the cost of the production of rice would be reduced to about one-fourth of the present ₱.81 per ganta. This, the President said, would mean lower cost of rice and more profit for the producers.

As regards natural resources and mineral deposits, the President cited the fact that the Philippines was importing as much as ₱300 million worth of construction materials every year “in spite of our rich forests and mineral deposits.”

The President told the CANRP members that the government was establishing integrated steel industry in order to process local iron ore but only on a pioneering basis to prepare private firms and nationals to take over when they were prepared for the job. He appealed to the CANRP members to “help in this movement so that you will be able to prepare yourselves when you take over.”

Speaking extemporaneously, the President also touched on the development of the textile industry and said that it was experimentally proven that we could produce raw materials, especially cotton for the textile industry. He called upon the farmers to help in the raising of raw cotton and other raw materials for the textile industry.

On other matters which included foreign exchange, controls, and marketing brought to his attention by the CANRP members, the President counselled them “to approach the problems with caution.” He assured them that he would give a firm decision on the said matters after a thorough study.

Arriving at the Manila Hotel with Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison about 5 p.m., the President was met by officials of the CANRP led by Alfredo Montelibano, president. From the lobby, the President proceeded to the Winter Garden, where the convention was held.

Before he spoke, the President inducted the members of the board of directors of the CANRP, among whom were Mario Moreno, Alberto Dimayuga, Juan Ledesma, Gov. Juan Triviho of Camarines Sur, Felix Maramba, Benjamin Guiang, Manuel Gallego, Alex Reyes, Jr., Jose Mapa Gomez, Juan T. David, and Conrado S. Ramirez.

The President was flanked on the platform by Sen. Oscar Ledesma, Montelibano, Moreno, and Gov. Triviño, and the other officers of the chamber.

President Garcia today said, “I have no plans to change General Carlos P. Romulo as ambassador to Washington.”

Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison said the President made this statement in view of some news reports giving the impression that Ambassador Romulo might be affected by the plans to reshuffle Philippine diplomatic personnel.

According to reports, Foreign Affairs Secretary Felixberto Serrano said that he had left entirely in the hands of the President the question of the diplomatic assignment of Ambassador Romulo in Washington.

Sison said that this statement was interpreted in some quarters as meaning to say that Romulo might be affected by the projected reshuffle of diplomatic personnel.

March 26.PRESIDENT Garcia this morning motored to his Quezon City residence, where he conferred with Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona on the f 1.2 billion budget he had proposed for the next fiscal year.

The budget is now with the House of Representatives. Rep. Tobias Fornier, chairman of the House appropriations committee, has recommended its approval but some dissenting voice has been heard.

Aytona assured the President that Rep. Fornier and other Nacionalista solons are taking the cudgels for the budget measure and its approval in the House is expected before the Congress recesses for the Holy Week.

The President’s conference with Aytona lasted up to almost noontime. He did not receive any other caller until lunchtime.

The President, on his fourth day of fasting, rested in the forenoon.

He motored back to Malacañang shortly before four o’clock and presided over the Cabinet meeting.

During the Cabinet meeting, the President signed an executive order fixing the office hours during the summer season from 7:30 in the morning to 12:30 in the afternoon.

The summer schedule will be enforced from April 1 to June 15.

The President was elated by reports that the Monetary Board had lifted its dollar restrictions in the importation of essential commodities. He said that the MB action proved that the government had “taken the right path” in launching its austerity program late last year.

He congratulated Finance Secretary Jaime Hernandez during the Cabinet meeting for the MB action. Hernandez is concurrently MB chairman.

The President concluded his Cabinet meeting at 8 o’clock and retired to his new residence in Quezon City for the night.

March 27.THIS morning, the President received Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo, who called to say goodbye prior to his return to his post in Washington D.C. During their brief conference, the President and Romulo discussed further details of the President’s forthcoming visit to the United States.

PRESIDENT Garcia this evening received Agriculture Secretary Juan de G. Rodriguez, who rendered a preliminary verbal report on the result of his mission. Members of his mission were Benjamin Gozon, director of mines, in Surigao.

Secretary Rodriguez informed the President that American capitalists had indicated to him their willingness to invest some $100 million for the development of the Nonoc mines. Rodriguez said he would submit a formal written report on the matter at the earliest possible time.

The President said he was very glad to know of the favorable reaction shown by American businessmen on the development of the mines which would be a great source of dollars for the Philippines and at the same time provide employment to the people.

Rodriguez recently returned from a few months abroad as head of a mission. Members of his mission were Benjamin Gozon, director of mines, and Leopoldo Abad.

The President this evening also received officials of the Department of Health headed by Secretary Paulino Garcia, who reported some of the effects of the recent implementation of the reorganization plan of their department as recently effected by the President through an executive order.

Secretary Garcia explained that with the decentralization of his department, health services had been brought closer to the people. His explanations were graphically illustrated by charts.

March 28.PRESIDENT Garcia this morning had a breakfast conference with ranking officials of the Mindanao-Palawan-Sulu Association who made a formal bid for more participation in the national government.

Headed by Sen. Emmanuel Pelaez, president of the association, the MPSA officials told the President that to implement more effectively the development of Mindanao, Palawan, and Sulu able men from these areas should be in the national government.

The President assured his guests that he will give the matter a serious consideration. He also told the MPSA officials to submit the names of their recommendees with their respective qualifications and experiences.

Present at the breakfast conference were Sens. Roseller T. Lim and Domacao Alonto; Reps. Cesar Fortich of Bukidnon, Salipada Pendatun of Cotabato, and Guillermo Sanchez of Agusan; Govs. Alejandro Almendras of Davao, Diego Ty Deling of Misamis Occidental, and Vicente Lara of Misamis Oriental; and City Mayors Carmelo Porras of Davao City and Leroy Brown of Basilan City.

Also discussed at the conference were the general conditions of Mindanao and Sulu, particularly, peace and order and smuggling problems in these regions.

The breakfast conference lasted from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

THE President this day directed Central Bank Governor Miguel Cuaderno to find means to release ₱1 million in order to rush the completion of the ramie textile mills of the National Development Company in Davao.

The establishment of the NDC ramie textile mill had been authorized under the bond issue at a cost of ₱8 million, with the NDC advancing about ₱3 million from its operating capital.

In order to finish the construction of the buildings, the NDC entered into a financing plan with the RFC, which in turn requested the Monetary Board to release the amount needed for the purpose.

However, the Monetary Board denied the RFC request to support the approved arrangement for financing the ramie textile mill in view of the austerity program of the Administration which suspended the release of funds from bond issue.

The delay in the construction of the buildings was brought to the attention of the President by Davao Gov. Alejandro Almendras at a conference with the Chief Executive. Present at the conference were NDC General Manager Jose Panganiban, Davao City Mayor Carmelo Porras, Ricardo Ledesma, president of the Ramie Planters Association, Angel Padilla, former Rep. Carmen Dinglasan-Consing, and Batak, Davao, Mayor Isario Daguman.

Panganiban informed President Garcia that most of the machinery ordered from Europe are already stored in Davao warehouses. Installation of the machinery is awaiting completion of the buildings.

Ramie planters told President Garcia that the early operation of the Davao mill would stop further drain on the Philippine dollar reserves, as ramie at present sent to Japan for processing can be processed locally.

The early operation of the mill would effect a cut in the importation of textiles from abroad, the planters claimed.

The President also received the delegates to the Second Asian Dental Congress led by Dr. A. Karim, newly elected president of the congress; Dr. Bienvenido Eraña, president of the Asian-Pacific Dental Federation; and Col. Agustin Zarate, president of the Philippine Dental Association.

During the call, Dr. W. R. Alstadt, president of the American Dental Association, extended to President Garcia the greetings of the association, while Dr. Don Jose F. Aubertine gave the “President a letter of Mayor George Christopher of San Francisco extending the greetings and best wishes of the citizens of his city to the President, who is expected to pass the city on his forthcoming trip to the United States.

The President also received three prominent residents of San Francisco, California, who arrived recently on a combined business and pleasure trip accompanied by Captain and Mrs. Carmelo Manzano.

The visitors were Mr. and Mrs. Jack Dant, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Jones, and Mr. and Mrs. John Bradley. Dant is the president of the States Steamship Company.

Other presidential callers were Arsenio Jison, president of the Philippine National Bank; former Representative Jose Topacio Nueno, Hans Menzi, Vittorio Pinto, and Charles J. Graemiger.

PRESIDENT Garcia today accepted the resignation of four governors of the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration as he defended the controversial P10 million tobacco-for-tobacco barter deal.

At his weekly press conference this afternoon the President justified the ACCFA’s transaction with the Philippine Tobacco Flue-curing and Re-drying Corporation and announced, “I am accepting the resignation of the four governors.”

Those who resigned in protest of the barter deal were Ramon V. del Rosario, Agustin Fabian, Dr. Roberto Soler, and Mrs. Belen E. Gutierrez, They claimed there were “irregular actuations” involved in the transaction.

They tendered their resignation last evening after a six-hour stormy session of the board of governors over the controversial transaction.

A fifth ACCFA governor, Hilario de Pedro, was also reported to have indicated his desire to quit the government agency. However, his resignation has not been received at Malacañang until press time this evening.

President Garcia opened his press conference by explaining the tobacco barter transaction.

He said he had summoned Ernesto T. Jimenez, ACCFA general manager, to Malacañang to shed light on the disputed barter transaction.

However, Jimenez was reported still convalescing from a recent illness and instead submitted a written explanation to the President.

President Garcia said he had gone over Jimenez’s report and was “satisfied” with his explanation.

March 29.AFTER a meeting with the Council of Leaders at breakfast this morning, the President announced the following appointments:

Highways Commissioner Rodolfo Maslog as chairman of the Reparations Commission, Catanduanes Gov. Juan Alberto and Bulacan Gov. Alejo Santos as members of the Commission, former Senator Jose C. Locsin as chairman of the National Economic Council, Judge Enrique Fernandez as undersecretary of justice, and former Rep. Juan Alcazaren as undersecretary of foreign affairs.

These important appointments were made by the President after consultations with the Council of Leaders at the President’s residence on Bohol Avenue, Quezon City. The conference lasted from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Present at the conference were Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr., Speaker Daniel Romualdez, Senate Majority Floor Leader Cipriano Primicias, and House Majority Floor Leader Jose Aldeguer. Also present was Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo.

Senate President Protempore Fernando Lopez and Speaker Protempore Constancio Castañeda could not attend the conference as they were out of town fulfilling some previous engagements.

During the conference it was agreed that President Garcia certify to Congress the Zosa bill which aims to amend the law requiring full complement of officers for fishing boats.

President Garcia decided to certify to the urgency of the bill in view of representations made by operators of small fishing boats that enforcement of the law would work hardships on them and that they would not be able to send out their boats to fish. This eventually would result in less supply of fish and higher prices, it was pointed out.

President Garcia today accepted with regret the resignation of Domingo Imperial as chairman of the Commission on Elections.

In his letter of acceptance President Garcia congratulated Imperial for the “splendid performance” of his duties as chairman of the Commission and extended his “sincere best wishes for further success in your subsequent undertakings.”

President Garcia today issued three proclamations. One declares Saturday, April 5, as special public holiday, another extends by 30 days the 11th annual fund campaign of the Philippine National Red Cross, and the third designates the period from July 1 to August 15 this year for the national fund campaign of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

The President said that as April 3 (Holy, Thursday) and April 4 (Good Friday) are public holidays, April 5 could be declared a special public holiday without any prejudice to the public interest.

The 11th annual fund campaign of the PNRC was originally proclaimed to last from February 14 to March 31 this year. The President had to extend the period until April 31, as the drive “has been affected adversely by the failure of crops due either to drought or disasters in many areas.”

In designating the period for the Boy Scouts national fund campaign, the President said that the organization was “in need of funds to carry out its operations effectively, to intensify its nation-wide training and recruiting program so that the great number of boys of scout age seeking admission into the organization may be served.”

The President called upon all government officials and employees as. well as upon all citizens and residents of this country to assist in the Boy Scouts campaign. He also authorized all national authorities and teachers to accept, in behalf of the BSP, “fund-raising responsibilities” and urged them “to give active support and leadership in their respective communities.”

March 30.PRESIDENT Garcia started this day by reading the Holy Bible, particularly the chapter on Palm Sunday. He used the Bible presented to him by Francis Cardinal Spellman on one of the latter’s recent visits to Manila.

The President today started taking fruit juice on the seventh day of his fasting. He sipped orange juice from slices of fresh oranges for breakfast, lunch, and supper. In between meals he took water with little sugar.

After breakfast this morning, the President weighed himself and found that he had lost four pounds since he started fasting seven days ago. He weighed 159 pounds compared to his 163 pounds before he started his fast,

The President heard mass early this morning before an improvised altar at his Bohol Avenue residence in Quezon City. Also at the mass was Major Jose Estrella, presidential aide, and members of the household.

About 9 a.m., the President read the Sunday papers. Then he was joined by his daughter Linda, and son-in-law, Fernando Campos, who had arrived to visit him.

The President read the Holy Bible the rest of the day.

March 31.THE President had a breakfast conference with Manila City Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson and Vice-Mayor Jesus Roces, after which he received a delegation led by Mrs. Rizalina T. Buenaseda, dean of student affairs of the Philippine Normal College.

The delegation urged the appointment of Dr. Jesus I. Martinez, incumbent dean of instruction of the college, as president of the institution upon the retirement of Dr. Macario Naval.

Other members of the delegation were Mrs. Victoria B. Castro, directress of the training department; Regino Gyco, president of the faculty association; Mrs. Herminia Ancheta, and Basilio Santos, president of the student council.

President Garcia announced today the appointment of Gov. Alejandro Almendras of Davao as secretary of the Department of General Services, which was created recently by an executive order pursuant, to the provisions of the Reorganization Law.

The nomination of the new department head was immediately sent to the Commission on Appointments by President Garcia for confirmation.

The President granted a reprieve of 30 days to Manuel Daet, Jose Villaroya, and Enrique Arejola, who were sentenced to death. The three prisoners were found guilty of murder by the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur and later by the Supreme Court on two cases.

The three were granted a reprieve until April 29, 1958.

THE President today directed the suspension of “all actuations of purchase of Hacienda San Luis until further orders.”

The suspension of the purchase was contained in a telegram sent by Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo to Land Tenure Administration Commissioner Manuel Castañeda. Commissioner Castañeda was also directed to confer immediately with the President and Secretary Pajo upon receipt of the telegram.

Secretary Pajo informed Sen. Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Rep. Genaro Magsaysay of Zambales of the suspension of the purchase in separated telegrams.

Meanwhile, tenants of Hacienda San Luis called at the office of Commissioner Castañeda early this morning and urged the continuance of the purchase. The tenants claimed that if the negotiable land certificates in payment of the hacienda were not delivered March 31, 1958, last day of payment as stipulated in the contract, products worth ₱40,000 would go to the Compania General de Tabacalera as owner of the hacienda.

The contract between the LTA and the Tabacalera stipulated March 31, 1958, as the last day of delivering the negotiable land certificates to the latter in payment of the hacienda. The tenants said that the ₱40,000 worth of tobacco products could go to the LTA coffers as their installment if the hacienda was paid for by the government on March 31.

The tenants belonging to the San Luis Hacienda Tenants’ and Petitioners’ Association were headed by Rosendo Antonio, president; Domingo Luna, vice-president; Delfin Respicio, secretary; Elias V. Lelina, treasurer; Manuel Bañez, counsel; and members of the board of directors. They were received by Julian U. de Vera and Numeriano A. Fabie, members of the LTA, and Eicardo S. Lieu, LTA administrative assistant.

President Garcia was informed today by Rep. Leonardo Perez of Nueva Vizcaya that it was the consensus of Nueva Vizcaya mayors, councilors, and barrio councils that the low-grade tobacco barter deal was “the best way out to dispose of inferior tobacco to save ACCFA capital for farmers.”

In a telegram sent to the President, Rep. Perez said that if the inferior tobacco was not disposed of, it would have tied up ACCFA capital to the prejudice of farmers who badly need more loans.

The President issued a proclamation today declaring Wednesday, April 2, this year, is special public holiday in Bataan and Bulacan provinces in commemoration of the birthday of Francisco Balagtas, “Prince of Filipino Poets.”

The President issued the proclamation on representations made by political and civic leaders from the two provinces who would like to be afforded opportunity to celebrate the day. Bulacan was the birthplace of the poet while Bataan was the place where he had lived and died.

President Garcia today directed all government relief agencies to extend assistance to victims of the ₱1 million fire in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

The President directed the Social Welfare Administration, the Department of Health, the Philippine! National Red Cross, and the Armed Forces to send immediately relief units to the stricken area to give necessary assistance to the fire sufferers.

IN the evening the President directed Land Tenure Administration Commissioner Manuel F. Castañeda to cooperate fully in the proposed investigation by Congress of land purchases by the LTA.

The President told Castañeda to offer all the facilities of his office and make available all records which may be needed in the forthcoming investigation.

The Chief Executive also directed that government agencies which may be needed to aid in the investigation, such as the NBI or the Constabulary, should cooperate with the Congress investigating committee, should their services be needed.

The President issued these directives tonight following a statement issued last night that Malacañang welcomed the investigation of the landed estate purchases made by the LTA.

Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison said that President Garcia expressed regret upon reading news reports today that Malacañang was backing up the LTA. Sison said that the President precisely said that Malacañang welcomed the investigation and, therefore, it was contrary to reason that Malacañang would prematurely absolve the LTA even before the investigation had started.

Sison said that to show further that Malacañang welcomed the investigation, President Garcia issued today a directive suspending “all actuations of purchase of Hacienda San Luis until further orders.” The deadline for the payment is Monday, March 31, 1958.

Sison said further that the order to suspend the purchase of the hacienda would mean a loss of P40,000 worth of products which the government would get from the harvest of the hacienda. However, in spite of this loss, the President issued the directive to clear the way for the investigation of the purchase, Sison added.

Source: University of the Philippines, College of Law Library

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1958). Official Month in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 54(6), cxi-cxxix.