Official Week in Review: May 3 – May 9, 1959

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May 3.—PRESIDENT Garcia today summoned to a conference tomorrow morning Labor Secretary Angel M. Castaño, who will be asked to render a report on the current strike of the Luzon Stevedoring Company union which threatens to paralyze completely shipping operations at Manila’s south harbor.

The President expressed concern over reports that about a dozen ocean-going vessels were tied up at the harbor and remained unattended alongside the piers owing to the refusal of some 1,200 pier workers to load and unload cargo on these vessels.

The President, meanwhile, spent the day quietly at his Bohol Avenue residence in Quezon City. He did not receive any caller.

The President started the day by hearing mass at the living room of his home. Also at mass were Mrs. Garcia, some close relatives and friends, Maj. Jose Estrella, presidential aide, and members of the household help.

The President spent most of the day in his private study going over some papers which needed his immediate attention.

May 4.—PRESIDENT Garcia today sounded an appeal to all labor leaders involved in the South Harbor strike to refrain from resorting to violence and for them to exhaust all legal remedies available under our form of government to obtain whatever concessions might be due their union members.

Disturbed by reports that violence threatened to flare up in the strike area, the President appealed to the patriotic sense of the strikers and expressed hope that they would wait for the decision of the Court of Industrial Relations which, he understood, was bent on disposing of their case as speedily as possible.

The President summoned Labor Secretary Angel Castaño to a conference at Malacañang this noon and instructed him to spare no effort to effect the early resolution of the controversy which was paralyzing overseas shipping operations at the piers. The President expressed deep concern over the effects of a prolonged strike on the nation’s economy.

The Chief Executive also instructed Secretary Castaño to meet the Labor leaders and prevail upon them to maintain or respect the status quo before the strike was declared, pending the resolution of the dispute by the CIR. Castaño, in turn, had assured President Garcia that CIR Judge Arsenio Martinez was holding morning and afternoon hearings to expedite decision on the case.

The President’s conference with his secretary of labor lasted for more than one hour late this noon at Malacañang.

Earlier this morning, the President conferred with Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona and Solicitor General Edilberto Barot, who called to receive final instructions prior to their departure for the United States on a special mission for the President.

A delegation from the Land Surveyors Association headed by its president, Florentino Calderon, called to present a petition that cadastral surveys be left to private surveyors and not to Bureau of Land Surveyors.

Other presidential callers this morning included Consul General Eduardo Rosal, who has just returned from his post in Hongkong, Central Bank Governor Miguel Cuaderno, Dr. Domingo Tolentino, Eufemio Gimony, Leopoldo Ruiz, and Jose Duran.

The President also commended Alfredo Ignacio, paymaster of the Bureau of Public Highways who fought a notorious hold-upper, Romeo Maruso, last week to protect an P80,000 government payroll.

Ignacio gave chase and shot at Maruso, long wanted for a series of robberies in Pampanga and Tarlac.

President Garcia also hailed the appointment of Sir Deepal Susanta Fonseka as first envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Ceylon to the Philippines and said it marks the beginning of an era of close friendship and cooperation between the countries.

The President received the letters of credence from Minister Fonseka in simple rites held at the ceremonial ball of Malacañang.

At the ceremony, the new envoy pledged to promote and strengthen the cordial relations between his country and the Philippines.

Among those present at the ceremony were Foreign Affairs Secretary Felixberto, Serrano and Executive Secretary Juan G. Pajo.

The President also received Lt. Gen. Manuel Cabal, chief of staff of the Armed Forces, who returned recently as head of the Philippine delegation to the military advisers’ conference of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization at Wellington, New Zealand.

Cabal briefed the President on the conference and his observations in Hawaii and Japan.

Gen. Isagani V. Campo, chief of Constabulary, also conferred with the President to brief the latter on the peace and order situation.

Despite reports of banditry and petty police cases, Gen. Campo told the President that the situation is “satisfactory.”

Sen. Eulogio Balao also saw the President and reported on the political situation in northern Luzon.

May 5.—PRESIDENT and Mrs. Garcia led ranking government officials to Antipolo, Rizal, this morning and formally opened this year’s two-month pilgrimage season to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.

Arriving at the Antipolo parish church about 7 a.m. after a half-hour motor trip from Manila, the President and the First Lady heard mass said by the town’s parish priest.

Also at the mass were a large group of senators and their ladies headed by Sen. and Mrs. Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr, Cabinet members, and other ranking government officials.

The senators, included Fernando Lopez, Lorenzo Sumulong, Quintin Paredes, Pedro Sabido, Rogelio de la Rosa, Ambrosio Padilla, Francisco Rodrigo, Eulogio Balao, and Pacita M. Gonzalez.

After the mass, the President and the First Lady stood sponsor to the baptism of Jose Mari Sumulong, the four-month old son of Senator Sumulong. The baptism was officiated by Msgr. Vicente Reyes, auxiliary archbishop of Manila.

Following the ceremonies, the presidential party repaired to the nearby Sumulong residence where they had breakfast.

After a brief motor ride around the town, the President and the First Lady returned to Manila, arriving in Malacañang about 10:30 a.m.

This afternoon, President Garcia received Ambassador Hugo Gouthier, Brazilian envoy to Brussels, who paid a courtesy call at Malacañang. Ambassador Gouthier is the head of a special Brazilian economic mission to Southeast Asia to study trade investment possibilities in the area.

Other callers were Mrs. Dorothy Plant of the Vancouver Sun, who was accompanied to Malacañang by Ben R. Mahinay, executive secretary of the Philippine International Friendship Organization, Paul Reeves, Rep. Fausto Dugenio of Misamis Oriental, Rep. Laurentino LI. Badilles and Gov. Salvador T. Lluch of Lanao, and Mayor Elpidio Cucio of Cabanatuan City.

The President this day certified five bills for enactment by Congress, [missing word]* of which provides incentives for the ramie industry.

Among the bills endorsed by the President seeks to relieve the congestion now obtaining at the state penitentiary in Muntinglupa, Rizal, which has led to riots, by providing for the establishment of five district prisons.

The President, moreover, signed a bill which amends section 2563 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended, providing for an additional judge for the municipal court of the City of Baguio.

May 6.—THIS morning President Garcia urged Congress leaders, especially the Senate, to speed up the legislative program of the Administration with emphasis on the measures intended to stabilize the national economy.

At the same time, the President and Congress leaders agreed to declare a moratorium on politics in order not to disturb the legislative work of Congress in the few remaining days of session.

The President took up with Congress leaders the important measures still pending in the Senate, among them the budget, the public works bill, and the tax measures.

Present at the conference were Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr., Senate President Protempore Fernando Lopez, Senate Majority Floor Leader Cipriano Primicias, Sr., Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez, Speaker Protempore Constancio Castañeda, and House Majority Floor Leader Jose Aldeguer. Also present at the conference was Malacañang Legislative Secretary Vicente Logarta.

After the conference with Congress leaders, President Garcia conferred with Assistant Executive Secretary Sofronio Quimson and signed the nomination papers of municipal officials which were sent immediately to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.

The nominations of the following were sent to the Commission on Appointments:

VICE-MAYORS—Juan Balisi, Lasam, Cagayan; Andres Tamayo Kidapawan, Cotabato; Miguel Ed Soriano, Lingayen, Pangasinan; Lino Arreza, Cantilan, Surigao; Pio Sotto, Buenavista, Marinduque; Jose Malutac, Caluya, Antique; Mrs. Francisca Nañgit, Agutaya, Palawan.

COUNCILORS—Epitacio Cortez, Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, Arsenio Sangco, Dasmariñas, Cavite; Eligio Marcelo, Pasig, Rizal; Mrs. Teresa Rosales, Torrijos, Marinduque; Vicente Pareño, Boac, Marinduque; Ramon Abling, Buenavista, Marinduque; Sofronio Bag-ao, Carmen, Bohol; Felix Gil, Angono, Rizal; Joaquin Lim, Caluya, Antique; Gil Bucsit, Bacnotan, La Union; Hector Figueroa, San Enrique, Negros Occidental; Leon Fabi, Bangui, Ilocos Norte; Dr. Angel Lagat, Dueñas, Iloilo; Alejo Juario, Dingle, Iloilo; Ruperto Gonzales, Lambunao, Iloilo; Jose Feri, Amulong, Cagayan; Ruperto Villareal, Mambusao, Capiz; Clemente Guillermo, Burgos, Ilocos Norte;

Teodoro Cordeta, Cabucgayan, Leyte; Pedro Mercolita, Capoocan, Leyte; Igmidio Suminguit, Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental; Isaac Cabelto, Claveria, Misamis, Oriental; Agustin Pacaño, Natividad, Pangasinan; Ernesto Garcia, Lasam, Cagayan; Ricardo Balao, Aparri, Cagayan; Rodrigo Catalan, Ma-ayon, Capiz; Honesto Uy, San Agustin, Romblon; Felix Jalipa, Kidapawan, Cotabato; and Eriberto Reyes, Banga, Aklan.

The President had lunch with Rep. Vicente L. Peralta of Sorsogon.

President Garcia, upon receiving a wire from Governor Jose Dinglasan early this morning, directed Executive Secretary Juan C. Pajo to fly to Roxas City to survey the damage wrought by the fire and to extend immediate relief to the victims.

The President simultaneously directed the airlifting of relief supplies to the fire-stricken area to avert hunger and suffering among the indigent victims.

Upon his return from a short flying trip, Secretary Pajo reported to the President before the Cabinet that:

(1) The fire gutted some 200 homes, causing the loss of one life and rendering 2,500 persons homeless. The property loss in the commercial district was placed at P3 million.

(2) Relief for temporary shelter amounting to from P80 to P120 per family, depending upon its size, to be charged against the contingent fund, was extended; and

(3) The sum of P2,500 for the cost of a new fire hose, provided another P2,500 was put up by the city government, and P600 for the construction of three communal midden sheds for the indigents were pledged.

Immediately upon receiving the President’s instructions, Secretary Pajo alerted all government relief agencies and directed them to start operating in the fire area.

Secretary Pajo together with Sen. Pacita M. Gonzalez, technical consultant to the committee, Mrs. Felicidad Gatus of the SWA, Dr. Artemio L. Jogo of the Bureau of Medical Services, and Miguel Alba and Ben Benedicto of the NAMARCO made a tour of the devastated area and assured the people that President Garcia was sending them relief.

Secretary Pajo later called a conference with the local, provincial, and national officials and relief workers to coordinate rehabilitation work.

During the conference, Secretary Pajo directed:

(1) The NAMARCO to ship 3,000 sheets of G.I. sheets chargable against the President’s contingent fund;

(2) The Army, the Bureau of Public Works, and the district and city engineers to coordinate activities in clearing up debris and helping set up temporary quarters;

(3) The SWA and the local Red Cross to coordinate relief activities to omit possible wastage and overlapping; and

(4) The SWA to take a complete census of the indigent fire victims, with the view to determining the amount of relief to be given to them.

During the conference, Gov. Dinglasan told Secretary Pajo that the fire spread out rapidly because there was a strong wind when it broke out before one o’clock in the morning. The fire engines were inadequate and water had to be fetched from the river bank.

Present at the luncheon-conference at Gov. Dinglasan’s residence were Sen. Pacita M. Gonzalez, Dr. Jugo, Mrs. Gatus, Miguel Alba and Ben Benedicto, Mayor Julian Alba, Gov. Dinglasan, Police Chief Leon Gamboa, the PC commander, Col. Eugenio Acab representing the PC, City Treasurer Miguel Reynaldo, City Engineer N. Altavas, District Supervisor Benjamin de Asis, District Engineer Aurelio Jover, and Deogracias A. Cerdeña, representing the PNRC.

PRESIDENT Garcia received faculty members and students of the U.S. National War College who paid a courtesy call at Malacañang this afternoon.

Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Charles E. Bohlen, the group included Paul Taylor, Capt. A. E. Parker, Maj. T. T. Auberry, Col. W. Sonnkalt, and Dr. Russel Fifield, faculty members; and Sherman Hoar, Alexander Schnee, Denry Dearborn, Col. Marion Akers, Col. J. G. Sutherland, Irving Toberr, Col. J. Crowley, Col. W. A. Daniel, Col. Reesor Lawrence, Lt. Col. B. F. Fuller, Capt. C. G. Barr, Richard Erstiem, Capt. Edward Hessell, Col. Walter L. Moors, Col. K. Woodward, Capt. F. N. Shamer, Col. Julian Ewell, and Col. Benjamin G. Willis.

Officers who participated in “Operations Flying Brothers” also paid a courtesy call at Malacañang, accompanied by Col. Jacobo Zobel, AFP foreign relations liaison chief.

Those who saw the President were Air Marshal Kamol Thijatinya, Thailand; Brig, Gen. Chang Sun Wan and Brig. Gen. Park Won Suk, Korea; Col. Cheng Sung Ting, China; Lt. Penn Randa, Cambodia; Col. Kanshi Ishikawa, Japan; Flt. Lt. Victor Oborn, England; Flt. Lt. Anthony Neale, Australia; Capt. Ha Xuan Vinh, Vietnam; Cmdr. George Lillick, U.S.; Col. William B. Harris, U.S.; and Capt. Oscar M. Alejandro, Philippine Air Force.

President Garcia received members of the Toshiba Electric Manufacturing Co. women’s basketball team that participated in the recently-concluded women’s basketball tournament here in Manila. They were accompanied by Satoshi Kinase, press officer of the Japanese Embassy in Manila.

Members of the group included Michio Sakurai, delegation chief; Hiroshi Ikeda, coach; Kenzaburo Horai, manager; Kazuko Ikeda, assistant manager; Karuko Takenaka, team captain; Kazuko Okura, Kurako Tsuchiya, Kazuko Nishiwaki, Yasuko Hirose, Fusako Kobayashi, Fusako Kubota, Mitsuko Suzuki, Asako Takawayanagi, Mitsuyo Tanimori, and Ayako Shibasaki, players; Yuichi Hirose, judo instructor; and Yutuka Tsuji, correspondent of Asahi Shimbun.

After receiving the three groups, President Garcia proceeded to the Council of State room to preside over this weeks’ Cabinet meeting which started about 5 p.m.

President Garcia and the Cabinet, in its weekly meeting tonight, endorsed to Congress the approval of an administration bill creating a Home (Cottage) Industries Commission.

As envisioned by the President, the creation of the Commission will provide employment to thousands of Filipinos and raise the standard of living among the masses.

In expressing interest in the enactment of the measure, the President pointed out that this venture could be a source of dollars not to mention the fact that it would further develop native skills in the arts and crafts.

The proposal will be carried on a national scale. President Garcia also underscored the possibility that the project would develop new and diversified uses for local raw materials.

Cabinet members were agreed that there is an abundance of local productive talents and skills, and an unlimited supply of raw materials for home industry and that increased productivity in the homes will promote a richer family economy.

The appropriation of P5 million for the first year of operation is earmarked for this purpose. It was agreed that additional appropriation would be asked when needed in subsequent years.

May 7.—PRESIDENT Garcia directed GSIS General Manager Rodolfo Andal to study the feasibility of a financing plan proposed by about 4,300 heads of families for the construction of a housing project in Paranaque.

A total of 129 hectares of land has been allocated by the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation to members of the National Press Club and the employees of airline companies, the Tariff Commission, and the Central Bank.

The parties concerned suggested that the GSIS and the SSS, of which they are all members, advanced the purchase price of the lot to the PHHC. Then they would borrow individually from the two government agencies to pay for the lot and the construction of homes with the guarantee of the Home Financing Commission.

Led by Jesus Poticar, Max Mejia, and Francisco S. Rivera, presidents of the housing associations of the airline companies, the Tariff Commission, and the Central Bank, and with the concurrence of Tesoro G. de Guzman, chairman of the NPC housing committee, the proponents of the financing plan expressed their gratitude to President Garcia for his prompt action in view of the fact that the option to purchase the land from the PHHC expires on May 18, 1959.

The project, according to the proponents, is in line with the recommendations of the President in his state-of-the-nation message to the Fourth Congress of the Republic, and will help liquidate the outstanding obligation of the PHHC to the GSIS.

The proponents of the plan alleged it will be a living symbol of the accomplishment of the Administration.

The President also received Cabanatuan City Mayor Elpidio O. Cucio, who reported that the LP-PPP coalition has caused PPP leaders in Nueva Ecija to bolt the minority party.

Led by Alfonso Espinosa, member of the PPP national committee, former PPP leaders have switched to the Nacionalista Party, according to Mayor Cucio, who informed President Garcia that 13 out of 19 die-hard LP barrio lieutenants have also affiliated themselves to the majority party.

Other callers included lloilo City Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon, Don Manolo Elizalde, and Govs. Feliciano Leviste of Batangas, Delfin Montano of Cavite, Arsenio Lugay of Tarlac, Leon Guinto, Sr., of Quezon, Francisco Infantado of Mindoro Oriental, and Serafin Teves of Negros Oriental.

The President took steps today to insure a sufficient supply of fertilizers to the nation’s farmers in the forthcoming planting season as he directed the Central Bank to give priority in the allocation of dollars for the importation of ammonium sulfate under the rice and corn production program of the Administration.

The President warned that further delay or failure of the Central Bank to allocate the dollars needed would adversely affect the rice and corn production program.

The Chief Executive sent the communication to the Central Bank following representations made by the Acting Agriculture Secretary Amando Dalisay and on recommendation by the department secretaries during the regular weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.

The President received this afternoon officers and members of the board of directors of the NARIC who briefed him on problems of the corporation and submitted recommendations for their solutions.

NARIC Chairman Juan O. Chioco headed the group which included Ramon Enriquez, Maximo Calalang, Pangasinan Gov. Conrado Estrella, NARIC General Manager Leoncio Tan, Assistant General Manager Jose Drilon, Clemente Uson, Diosdado Solomon, Ruperto Joson, and Alfredo Carlos.

Earlier this afternoon, President Garcia became the owner of a three-seater Hiller helicopter after paying the nominal price of one peso.

The helicopter was a gift to the President from the Ysmael family. It was presented to him in a simple ceremony held in the grounds of Malacañang Park.

President Garcia said he will donate the craft to the Philippine Air Force to be used for mercy missions; such as, transporting relief supplies to disaster-stricken areas and airlifting critically ill or seriously wounded persons from remote or inaccessible areas.

Present at the turn-over ceremony held at the Malacañang Park this afternoon were Felipe Ysmael, Sr., Robert O. Philips, Capt. Vicente Rivera, Jr., of the CAA, Capt. Pete Lapeña of the PAF, and Benjamin Gepilano of the PAL, pilot of the helicopter.

Other presidential callers this afternoon were Ex-Sen. Olegario Clarin and Dr. Willard Wilson, provost and vice-president of the University of Hawaii.

In the evening the President honored Ambassador George Lisle Clutton of Great Britain with a despedida state dinner. The English diplomat is leaving Manila on Saturday to report to his home office for reassignment.

May 8.—THIS morning, the President tackled NP matters with leaders of the Administration party in a breakfast conference with them at his Bohol Avenue residence.

Present at the conference were Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez, Majority Floor Leader Jose M. Aldeguer, and lloilo City Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon.

Before he left Manila this noon for Baguio, the President attended to two major activities; namely, the immediate expansion of the Manila International Airport and Nacionalista Party matters.

The President received a group of managers of 12 airlines doing business in the Philippines. The group was accompanied by Modesto Farolan, tourism commissioner.

The airline managers urged the President to facilitate the immediate expansion of the international terminal of the MIA in Balagbag in order that modern airport facilities could be installed.

They said that this move is aimed at keeping the Philippines in step with the jet age from which the country could profit in terms of goodwill, tourism, and dollar income.

The Chief Executive pledged to give serious consideration to their proposal.

President Garcia arrived in Baguio at seven o’clock this evening following an uneventful trip by train from Manila to Damortis, La Union, and by car from Damortis to Baguio.

The Chief Executive went to Baguio to fulfill a speaking engagement tomorrow morning before superintendents of the Bureau of Public Schools now gathered for their yearly convention in the Pines City.

May 9.—PRESIDENT Garcia today batted for the Philippine public schools as he certified as urgent a House bill seeking to stabilize the financing of public schools.

The Chief Executive signed the message certifying the bill after addressing the golden jubilee convention of the Philippine Association of School Superintendents this morning in the Quezon-Roosevelt Memorial Hall in the Teachers’ Camp.

After his speech, the President viewed the exhibits of tools used by vocational schools on display in the lobby of the Benitez Memorial Hall. He was accompanied by Mrs. Garcia, Education Secretary Manuel Lim, and Dr. Pedro Guiang, assistant director of public schools.

The President returned to the Guest House towards noon. After lunch, he gave a press conference to Manila newspapermen who went to Baguio with him.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Garcia was the guest of honor and principal patron at a scholarship tea given by the Baguio chapter of the Philippine Association of University Women to raise funds for the schooling of native student nurses at the Baguio General Hospital.

The First Lady lauded the efforts of members of the association to raise funds, particularly of Mrs. Leonora San Agustin, club president, because of the country’s great need for more trained nurses.

* Missing word due to document damage.

Source: University of the Philippines, College of Law Library

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1959). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 55(19), clxxxv-cxci.