Official Week in Review: May 29 – June 4, 1960

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May 29.PRESIDENT Garcia today directed Defense Secretary Alejo Santos to keep him informed regularly on the extent of damage wrought by the recent typhoon, as he showed concern over the extensive damage to property and life. The President has been kept informed regularly of the survey made by the Defense Department and the Social Welfare Administration.

Meanwhile, the local boy who made good, the First Lady and the presidential party received this morning warm and cordial reception upon their arrival in Tagbilaran, Bohol, on board the RPS Lapu-Lapu from Talibon. The yacht, escorted by a fluvial parade, docked at the wharf of Tagbilaran where national, provincial, and city officials led by Education Secretary Jose Romero and Finance Secretary Dominador Aytona, Acting Gov. Timoteo Butalid, and Tagbilaran Mayor Venancio Inting welcomed the party.

From the wharf, the President and party proceeded to the St. Joseph Cathedral for a Te Deum. From the cathedral, the President, the First Lady, and the rest of the party and the welcomers went to the Garcia Gymnasium for lunch tendered by PNB officials.

The RPS Lapu-Lapu lifted anchor from Talibon at 4:00 a.m. and arrived at 11:00 a.m. in Tagbilaran. Owing to the late arrival of the yacht, the President’s conference with government officials was cancelled.

At 4:00 p.m. the First Lady cut the ceremonial ribbon at the inauguration of the new PNB building where the President was guest of honor and principal speaker.

The new PNB building was blessed by Msgr. Manuel Mascariñas, bishop of Tagbilaran. At the PNB inauguration program, the President was introduced by. Executive Secretary Natalio P. Castillo. Other speakers included PNB Board Chairman Juan C. Pajo, PNB Vice-President Conrado Sevilla, Governor Butalid, and Mayor Inting.

After the PNB inauguration, the President and party rested at the President’s residence.

The presidential party was scheduled to board the RPS Lapu-Lapu for Cagayan de Oro City at about midnight.

May 30.PRESIDENT Garcia, arrived in Cagayan de Oro City this morning and spoke before the delegates and observers at the closing session of the first Mindanao and Sulu Community Development seminar at the Xavier University gymnasium.

The President and his party arrived on board the RPS Lapu-Lapu from Tagbilaran, Bohol. Upon arrival, the President received full military honors at the Macabalan wharf, after which he led a long motorcade to Xavier University where about 200 delegates from all the provinces of Mindanao converged for the seminar.

Among the delegates to the seminar were Govs. Lope Damasco of Bukidnon, Gedeon Quijano of Misamis Occidental, Guadalupe Adaza of Zamboanga del Norte, Bienvenido Ebarle of Zamboanga del Sur, and Vicente de Lara of Misamis Oriental, and Mayor Justiniano Borja of Cagayan de Oro City. Among the guests was ICA Director Paul Summers.

After delivering his well applauded speech, the President took off for Manila on board the Fokker plane in order to direct personally relief work for the victims of the flood brought about by typhoon Lucille.

This afternoon the President conducted an on-the-spot inspection of disaster areas in three suburban districts, Quezon City, Caloocan, and San Juan, Rizal.

Immediately upon his arrival from Cagayan de Oro City at 4 p.m., the President and Mrs. Garcia motored directly from the Nichols Air Base to the disaster areas.

The President directed Executive Secretary Castillo to release an additional ₱75,000 for emergency and relief of the flood victims, bringing the total so far released to ₱150,000.

The President also discussed housing problems of the disaster victims with Executive Secretary Castillo and Quezon City Mayor Norberto Amoranto. Most of the flood victims are now housed in public school buildings, but these must be vacated by next month to give way to school children enrolling for the coming school year.

Immediately upon his arrival, the President was briefed on what had been done to ease up the sufferings of the disaster victims. The briefing was made by Secretary Castillo, Asst. Executive Secretary Enrique C. Quema,. Rizal Governor Isidro Rodriguez, Major General Pelagio Cruz, and Mayor Amoranto at the Base Operations in Nichols Air Base.

The President and Mrs. Garcia were mobbed by the people in all the places they visited.

In Gumamela, Roxas district, an old lady whose family suffered from the flood, kissed the hands of the President and the First Lady.

May 31.PRESIDENT Garcia rested in Malacañang the whole day today after a hectic five-day trip to Bohol and Mindanao.

While at the Palace the President received Executive Secretary Natalio P. Castillo and discussed pending state problems. President Garcia also took up plans for the coming state visit of United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who is scheduled to arrived in Manila on June 14.

Malacañang, in a statement issued in the evening, said President Eisenhower is arriving in Manila on the afternoon of June 14, but did not state how long the U. S. Chief Executive would stay in the Philippines. From more comprehensive reports from Washington, it was gathered that the U. S. President would stay in the Philippines up to June 18.

The President asked Castillo to attend to preparations to give President Eisenhower a royal reception at the airport.

The President conferred mostly with Malacañang aides. He received progress reports on the campaign to give ample and speedy assistance to flood victims in Manila and the suburbs.

June 1.PRESIDENT Garcia this morning, directed the Government Service Insurance System to make available ₱2 million for a huge relocation program to resettle squatter families in Manila and suburbs to safer, arid more healthful localities.

In a conference with Capt. Rodolfo Andal, GSIS general manager, at Malacañang this morning, the President recalled that most of the casualties of the recent destructive flood had been due to indiscriminate squatting on treacherous creeks and rivers, and often extremely unhealthful conditions.

“These poor people should be given a chance to raise their children in safer and more wholesome atmosphere, “the President said. “Steps must be taken to prevent the recurrence of the recent tragic disaster.”

The relocation program which the President ordered implemented without delay will be under the administration of the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation in cooperation with the Social Welfare Administration, the Department of National Defense, and the Department of Health.

The President wrote a letter to Maj. Gen. Merril M. Daniel, chief of the Joint United States Military Advisory Group, expressing his appreciation for the mass action of JUSMAG officers and men, as well as of members of their families, who had helped in the evacuation and care of flood victims.

“This humanitarian action that was so generously demonstrated does justice to the Christian virtue of helpfulness,” the President said in his letter. “It points out the typical American readiness to help at the spur of the moment those who need help most. The world has seen this fine American virtue lavishly demonstrated, especially in calamities of the kind that recently rendered Manila prostrate.”

This afternoon the President pledged anew the close tie of friendship between the Philippines and Spain at the presentation of credentials of Mariano Vidal Tolosana, Spanish ambassador designate to the Philippines.

In his welcome address which he delivered in Spanish, the President assured Ambassador Tolosana of the full cooperation of the Filipino people and government to the common objective of defending the peace of the world and the dignity of free men everywhere.

The President told Ambassador Tolosana that the Filipino people were not lacking, in their appreciation and gratitude to Spain for two priceless legacies—religion and culture—which they have inherited from the former mother country.

“You will find that the Filipino people have all the love which they profess for Spain,” the President said, “for the immense religious and cultural heritage which your country has given us.”

The President also asked the Spanish ambassador to convey his superior, the head of the Spanish Government, his warm greetings and wishes for the welfare and happiness of the Spanish people.

In presenting his letters of credence, Ambassador Tolosana expressed personal satisfaction for what he called a distinguished honor accorded him in being assigned to the Philippines which, he said, stands nearest to the heart of Spain because of strong ties of blood, culture, and faith.

Ambassador Tolosana assured the President that he will give his utmost to help preserve the common ideals of the two countries in defense of world peace and dignity of man.

He also conveyed to President Garcia the personal greetings of his chief, the head of the Spanish Government, for the continued good health of the Philippine Chief Executive and the prosperity of the Filipino people.

Ambassador Tolosana succeeds former Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Francisco Javier Conde.

Ambassador Tolosana arrived at Malacañang a little past 5 o’clock, accompanied by Minister Ramon Saenz de Heredia; Jose Francisco de Castro Calvo, third secretary of the Spanish embassy; and Pedro Angara-Aragon and Rod Nazareno, chief protocol and assistant protocol officers, respectively, of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

After receiving military honors from a company of the Presidential Guards Battalion, the Spanish embassy officials proceeded to the Ceremonial Hall for the presentation ceremonies.

Present at the ceremonies, besides the President and the Spanish officials, were Executive Secretary Natalio P. Castillo, Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Fructuoso Cabahug, General Services Secretary Serafin Salvador, Justice Secretary Alejo Mabanag, Defense Secretary Alejo Santos, Finance Secretary Dominador R. Aytona, National Science Development Board Chairman Paulino J. Garcia, Agriculture Undersecretary Jose M. Trinidad, PCAPE Chairman Buenaventura Ocampo, and Minister Manuel G. Zamora.

Immediately after the ceremonies, the President convoked the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Council of State Room.

THE CABINET this afternoon created a five-man committee to look for a suitable site for the establishment of a housing project to accommodate some 2,500 squatters displaced by the recent typhoon and flood in Manila and in the suburbs last week-end.

The Cabinet’s action was prompted by a report of Social Welfare Administrator Amparo P. Villamor that out of 13,375 squatters in Manila and in the suburbs, some 2,500 had been uprooted by the flood.

Villamor also reported to the President and to the Cabinet that 235 persons were confirmed dead, 43 of whom are still unidentified. Fifty-six persons were reported missing and 800 houses near the brooks and creeks destroyed by the swirling flood Waters.

The death toll in Manila rose to 34 as four more bodies were recovered from the Pasig River in Sta. Mesa and the North Harbor today.

The bodies of two men were fished out at the Pasig River. They remained unidentified up to this evening at the MPD morgue.

Another body, that of an unidentified Chinese Woman, was found floating in the bay near Pier 2 in Tondo.

The fourth was that of a boy, between 1 and 2 years old, who was fished out by men from the Philippine Navy at 1:30 p.m. near the breakwater between Pier 2 and Isla de Puting Bato. The body was also taken by Precinct No. 3 policemen to the MPD morgue.

Named to the committee were Bernardo Torres, general manager of the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation, as chairman; and Rodolfo Andal, general manager of the Government Service Insurance System, Bartolome Fernandez, deputy auditor general, and Pablo Cruz, deputy administrator of the Office of Economic Coordination, members.

President Garcia directed the committee to study plans of acquiring building materials to be given to flood victims owing lots.

At the same time, the President directed the Department of Public Works to start reconstruction work of public works which have been damaged by the recent flood.

The President also directed the public works secretary to give priority to flood victims in the employment of men for the repair of public works.

President Garcia asked the committee to look for a site where the government can relocate those displaced by the floods.

The estate would be subdivided into lots of 500 square meters each for distribution to the squatters at cost.

June 2.THIS morning the President directed Brig. Gen. Isagani Campo, chief of the Philippine Constabulary, to investigate members of the so-called provincial police force of Lanao del Norte which had been charged with committing acts of abuses and terrorism.

The presidential directive came at a conference with Rep. Laurentino, Badilles, who charged the provincial police force created by Gov. All Dimaporo with committing the same abuses which used to be perpetrated by the civilian guards in Central Luzon for some time after Liberation.

Vice-Governor Jack Arroyo of Camarines Sur, in his capacity as newly elected chairman of the reorganized provincial committee of the Nacionalista Party, took up party matter with. President Garcia. He was accompanied by William Buguid, former provincial board member of Camarines Sur.

Other callers included Gov. Godofredo Ramos of Aklan, Mayor Federico Icamina of Kalibo, Aklan, Gov. Jesus Almero of Masbate, who requested national aid for the construction of a seawall, Gov. Miguel Manguera of Marinduque, and Miss Nena Lopez, owner of a chain of radio stations in the Visayas.

Earlier the President granted an interview to Alfred Fischer, well-known German newspaperman who was accompanied by his wife, also a writer. Fischer who had been in Manila a few weeks to gather materials for a book, represented 41 newspapers in Europe and the United States, as well as four radio Stations.

President Garcia today issued a nationwide appeal for additional contributions for the relief and rehabilitation work currently being conducted for the benefit of victims of the recent devastating flood which hit Manila and suburbs.

In a statement issued by the President this noon, the President also made public acknowledgment and appreciation for the voluntary contributions spontaneously sent in by civic, business, charitable, and educational institutions all over the country for the rehabilitation work which, he said, is of considerable magnitude.

President Garcia today issued an administrative order creating a national committee to take charge of the preparations for the celebration of the 14th Independence Day anniversary of the Republic.

The Committee is composed of Education Secretary Jose E. Romero, chairman; Defense Secretary Alejo Santos, vice-chairman; and the following members: Labor Secretary Angel Castaño, Health Secretary Elpidio Valencia, Press Secretary Jose C. Nable, NEC Administrator Juan Chioco, National Integration Commissioner Lugum Uka, CB Deputy Governor Andres V. Castillo;

Development Bank of the Philippines Chairman Gregorio Licaros, PNB President Eduardo Romualdez, UP President Vicente Sinco, the President of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Commander of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, the Commissioner on Tourism;

The Presidents of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Philippine Chamber of Industries, Chamber of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Manila Rotary Club, Manila Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club of Manila, National Press Club of the Philippines, Civic Assembly of Women of the Philippines, the General Manager of the Philippine Association, and Mr. Aguinaldo C. Maaba, who will also be committee secretary.

The Committee shall meet at the call of the chairman and, for the purpose of discharging its functions, may create sub-committees as may be deem necessary.

THIS afternoon the President appealed to all citizens and residents of the Philippines to render aid and assistance to the less fortunate of the population by contributing to the 1960 fund campaign of the Community Chest of Greater Manila.

During the kick-off ceremonies held at the Malacañang Social Hall this afternoon, the President called attention to the recent flood which caused great loss of life and property in Manila and suburbs. He said such calamity has increased greatly the number of the sick and orphans who will be assisted by the 17 affiliated agencies of the Red Feather.

The President pointed out that the long-range rehabilitation of such sufferers will be absorbed by special agencies conducting the fund drive but that the government is pledged to give immediate relief to the disaster victims and the eventual relocation of squatters to prevent recurrence of loss of life and property due to floods.

The President declared that he had mobilized all government agencies to effect immediate relocation of the squatters and had authorized the use of ₱2 million for the program, to solve once and for all the squatter problem in Manila and suburbs.

The President started the ball rolling by handing his personal contribution of ₱1,000 to Speaker Daniel Romualdez, general chairman of the campaign. At the same time he appealed to all government agencies and business and commercial firms, to give their share to the Community Chest.

By the end of the kick-off ceremony, a total of ₱104.805 in cash and pledges had been turned in by different donors.

Among the donors were the Manila Electric Company, ₱17,000; American community, ₱20,250; National City Bank of New York, ₱2,500; Filipino division, ₱21,000; Pasay City, ₱2,000; and Chinese division of Filipino nationals, ₱27,100.

Officials of .the 1960 fund campaign of the Community Chest who have set a goal of ₱600,000 for this year are Speaker Romualdez, general campaign chairman; Mrs. Leonila D. Garcia, honorary, president; Mrs. Luz B. Magsaysay, honorary campaign chairman; and Labor Undersecretary Agapito Braganza president of the Community Chest for Greater Manila.

The affiliated agencies to benefit from the fund drive are Abiertas House of Friendship, Asilo de San Vicente de Paul, Association de Damas Filipinas, Good Shepherd Convent, American-Philippine Guardian Association, Free Legal Aid Clinic, National Federation of Women’s Clubs, Philippine Association of the Deaf, Philippine Band of Mercy, La Proteccion de la Infancia, Free Medical Clinics (Patronatos), Philippine Mental Health Association, Catholic Youth Organization, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Young Men’s Christian, Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Council of Welfare Agencies.

This evening the President warned against “the stark reality of communist threat” and appealed for a united campaign against communism.

The Chief Executive addressed a symposium on communism sponsored by the Philippine Anti-Communist Movement at the session hall of the House of Representatives.

“For the sake of our children,” the President stressed, “our whole nation, in concert with the other free nations of the world, must unite in fighting this atheistic ideology.”

He expressed, optimism that “the inherent strength of the Filipino people which has sustained them in their darkest hour” (during the last war), would save them when challenged by adversity.”

The President lauded the PACOM members for involving themselves “zealously in the struggle against the forces of tyranny.”

He observed that the PACOM is “an answer to the shift of Communist expansionist attention to this area by exploiting the Asian aspiration of freedom, dignity, and national identity.”

He also warned that communist encroachments in Asian countries have assumed frightening proportions when taken in context with the overall Red drive now feverishly in progress in all parts of the world.

President Garcia observed that the collapse of the recent summit talks “was but one of the preconceived designs in the overall Soviet blueprint to divide the free world.”

He said the latest world development proved that the Communist bloc will continue to make the most out of the Summit fiasco to keep Western powers off-balance and the small nations confused.

The symposium, observed as orderly despite hundreds of spectators who intently listened to the different speakers, started at 7:30 and dragged on until 10 o’clock in the evening, with an open forum participated in by some members of the crowd who shot questions at the speakers ranging from highly intelligent to rather rib-tickling ones.

Conspicuously present among the spectators that gathered at the legislative building during the symposium were American military and embassy officials and their ladies and representatives of the local military community.

The other speakers during the occasion were Dr. Jose Ma. Hernandez, vice-president of the Philippine Anti-Communist Movement: Brig. Gen. Alfredo M. Santos, AFP deputy chief of staff; Dr. Teodoro Evangelista, president of the Far Eastern University; and Rep. Leonardo Perez, chairman of the House committee on anti-Filipino activities.

Secretary of Defense Alejo S. Santos delivered the closing remarks. Rep. Ramon D. Bagatsing, president of the PACOM, introduced the President, while Antonio Meer, acted as moderator.

June 3.THIS MORNING the President administered the oaths of office to former Commerce Secretary Pedro C. Hernaez as ambassador to Spain, Deputy Commissioner Faustino SyChangco as commissioner of the budget, and Col. Margarito S. Torralba as brigadier general in the retired roster of the Armed Forces.

Present at the ceremonies held at Malacañang this morning included Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez, Senate Majority Floor Leader Cipriano Primicias, Govs. Valeriano Gatuslao of Negros Occidental and Jose C. Zulueta of Iloilo, Board Member Benjamin Gaston of Negros Occidental,

Iloilo City Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon, Bacolod City Mayor Teopisto Cordova, relatives, admirers, and other friends of the new appointees.

Ambassador Hernaez succeeds Manuel Nieto, Sr., retired while Commissioner SyChangco takes the place vacated by Secretary Dominador Aytona, who had been elevated to the Department of Finance.

After the oath-taking ceremonies, the President received top officials of the Federation of Chinese Chambers of Commerce in the Philippines, led by president Yu Khe Thai, who turned over the sum of ₱34,720 in checks and ₱15,650 worth of goods as their donation for the relief and assistance of the victims of the disastrous flood which hit Manila and suburbs recently.

The donation was in response to the President’s appeal for more contributions for the benefit of thousands of indigent sufferers.

Other members of the FCCCP group were Peter Lim and Antonio Roxas Chua, vice-president; Eddison Cheng, chairman, public relations committee; and Tang Tack, secretary-general.

Before going to his room to work on his speech before the members of the American Legion, the President received the wives of U. S. Navy officers assigned in Sangley Point who earlier had met Mrs. Garcia.

This evening the President left for Subic naval base where he will address the 40th convention of the American Legion which started yesterday.

The President, accompanied by the First Lady, boarded the yacht after coming out from the third and last concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Rizal Coliseum.

President Garcia faces a tight schedule during his stay at the U.S. naval base. He will address the convention at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.

June 4.PRESIDENT Garcia this morning underscored the absolute necessity of strengthening and maintaining American bases in the Philippines as a deterrent to Communist aggression and activities in the Far East.

Speaking before the 40th annual convention of the American Legion, Philippine Department, at Subic Naval Base in Zambales, the Chief Executive said “we who have tasted the ordeals and sufferings of war should be more disposed to undergo personal sacrifices for the sake of peace.”

The President also reminded the Filipino and American veterans of the last world war that recent developments such as the failure of the Summit Conference have brought a fresh challenge for them to strive with increased vigor and enthusiasm to keep the peace of the world.

The President emphasized that the Philippines as a member of the United Nations, is pledged “to support any just, reasonable, and honorable move to promote the ends of peace,” and that this country believes in the efficacy of the United Nations, the potency of the SEATO as an instrument of security and progress, and in the leadership and sincerity of the United States as a true friend and ally.

The Chief Executive also lauded Ambassador John D. Hickerson and other American Army and Navy top brass’ for their efforts to promote better understanding between Americans and Filipinos.

Ambassador Hickerson, who was also guest speaker during the opening ceremonies, said that America and the Philippines stand solidly together for international security but that “in their day to day activities some differences of opinion are bound to arise.”

However, he said, “with patience, tolerance, and understanding, such differences of opinions can be solved with justice and equity to both the American and the Filipino peoples.

Ambassador Hickerson pledged to the Filipino people that as long as he remains in the Philippines, he will not permit veterans payments to be considered as assistance or aid to the Philippines. He said these payments are being made for services already rendered and received and that while they may help in the economic development of the country, that is not the primary purpose for which they are made.

The American ambassador expressed belief that the acceptance by United States President Eisenhower of President Garcia’s invitation to visit the Philippines will touch a responsive chord in the hearts of the Filipino people, not only because of the close ties of friendship between the two peoples but because Eisenhower had spent over four years of his career here during the formative years of the Philippine Commonwealth.

Rear Admiral Arthur F. Spring, Commander of tine U. S. Naval Base at Subic, who keynoted the convention, sounded a warning against a future fraught with anxiety brought about by the continuing cold war.

Admiral Spring appealed to the veterans to do their bit in what he described as a fourth dimensional war being waged by the communists on the Free World.

He told the veterans that it was their duty to combat the insidious effects of the psychology of fear being foisted on all free men by communist agents in the hope of dividing and conquering the rest of the free world.

He said that Subic Base is of vital importance to the security of the free world in this area. He remarked that veterans have the responsibility to combat people who would rather crawl on their knees to Moscow than fight for the preservation of freedom.

President Garcia left Manila aboard the RPS Lapu-Lapu at 3 o’clock this morning, arriving at Subic three hours later.

After an early mass, the President and the First Lady ate breakfast aboard the yacht, together with the members of the party, among them Defense Secretary Alejo Santos, Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary and Mrs. Fructuoso Cabahug, Maj. Gen. Pelagio Cruz, Rep. Ramon Bagatsing of Manila, and Mrs. Rosie O. Valencia.

At 8:20 a.m. Ambassador Hickerson, Rear Admirals Joseph M. Carson, commander of the U. S. Navy in the Philippines, and Admiral Spring and their ladies boarded the Lapu-Lapu and greeted the President and the First Lady.

The President was escorted to the Officers Club House, where he was given a 21-gun salute and full military honors, after which he proceeded to the reviewing stand to witness the parade composed of different posts of the American Legion, Philippine and American military and naval units, and Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

After the parade the President went on foot to inspect the radio KCMB installations nearby, then motored to the Baseball Court for the ceremonies.

United States marines and. sailors who had lined the route and others who participated in the parade were drenched to the skin by an incessant downpour which lifted as soon as the President stepped on the gangplank.

As mysteriously as the rain had stopped when the president stepped on land, the rain came down again in heavy volume after he had delivered his speech, evoking comments from reporters about the President’s “lucky weather.”

After the ceremonies, the President and his party were honored with a luncheon at the Officers Mess, after which they boarded the Lapu-Lapu for a brief rest.

In tine afternoon the President and the First Lady gave cocktails aboard the RPS Lapu-Lapu in honor of American and Filipino legionnaires and Subic Base top brass and their ladies.

The President cancelled his scheduled tour of Cubi Point owing to the inclement weather, leaving Subic Bay at about 6 p.m. and arriving in Manila late in the evening after encountering a choppy sea.

Source: University of the Philippines, College of Law Library

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1960). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 56(23), ccxiii-ccxx .