Official Week in Review: June 6 – June 12, 1965

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June 6.—PRESIDENT Macapagal expresses satisfaction over the progress of the anti-smuggling drive but urges the government entities engaged in the operations to put in their “utmost” in order to stamp out smuggling activities in this country.

A report made to the President shows that the combined activities of the Philippine Constabulary and the Philippine Navy have resulted in the apprehension of 6,429 persons engaged in smuggling, and the seizure of more than P60-million worth of smuggled goods, of which blue seal cigarettes represented 95.6 per cent, since 1962.

The Navy reports that as of May 31 this year, It had apprehended 2,079 persons engaged in smuggling, together with 21 firearms and 300 boats, and seized P35,873,882.12 worth of smuggled goods and f 56,582.00 in cash.

In a similar report, the Constabulary states that as of April 30, this year, some 4,350 persons engaged in smuggling had been apprehended and P25,369,506.68 worth of smuggled products, seized.

The Constabulary likewise reports the arrest of 726 cattle rustlers and the recovery of 1,352 out of 2,813 animals stolen, and the arrest of 1,330 illegal loggers and 3,078 engaged in dynamite fishing.

In a separate drive, the Navy also apprehends 174 fishers using or trafficking in dynamite.

At the same time, the President dispatches a citygram to Gabriel “Flash Elorde” congratulating him for the successful defense of his world junior lightweight title against Japan’s Teruo Kosaka, the latest challenger.

In his citygram to the Filipino world champion, the President says: “On behalf of our countrymen and on my own, I hail you for successfully defending the world junior lightweight crown which you and your countrymen treasure deeply. Your splendid performance was a tribute indeed to Filipino tradition of sportsmanship. Congratulations again with the best of wishes for future success.”

To challenger Kosaka, the President also says: “Please accept our sincere admiration for a good fighter that you are. I believe I express the feeling of the Filipino people that few other boxers could have put up such a magnificent show of clean fight.”

With his victory, Flash Elorde is acclaimed by both the World Boxing Association and the “Ring” magazine as the greatest fighter of his division. Elorde has fought and vanquished seven or six of the first ten contenders, some of them several times by knockout. He has defended his title eight times in the five years following his dramatic dethroning of the reigning champion Harold Gomes—on March 16, 1960.

In the afternoon, the President and the First Lady, Mrs. Evangelina M. Macapagal, attends the Feast of the Pentocost mass at the Malacañang chapel.

June 7.—WITNESSING the signing of a loan agreement between the Philippines and the United States involving P5 million to be made part of a total fund required to install and operate electric plant systems in 217 towns, President Macapagal reiterates his determination to provide cheap electric power in rural areas to stimulate the growth of industries as part of the Administration’s effort to “fight poverty.”

The Chief Executive explains that the amount is a small fraction of the sum actually needed to provide electricity to 780 towns and 400 selected barrios which the Electrification Administration had set as its short-range objective.

The President emphatically points out that the improvement of existing systems to make them capable of rendering better service at reduced rate is another immediate concern of the government.

Formal signing of the agreement sets the machinery in motion for the implementation of the second point agreed upon between President Johnson and President Macapagal when the Philippine Chief Executive made a state visit to the U.S. last October. The first point of the agreement is the creation of a joint US-RP committee to take up the Philippine veterans’ omnibus claim against the U.S. Government, the Philippine panel of which had already been designated by the President.

The agreement falls under the terms of the P16-million credit agreement between the Philippines and the United States signed at Malacañang on December 23, 1964. It represents a line of credit under the provisions of US Public Law 480. The loan is expected to bear an interest of three-fourth of one per cent and will be paid in 30 years in semi-annual amortizations.

Then the Chief Executive administers the oath of office to Jose L. Gonzalez as municipal judge of Surigao, Surigao and to Guillermo V. Fuentes as clerk of court in the first judicial district of the Court of First Instance of Cagayan.

In the evening, the President receives several callers, consisting of congressmen and local officials who consulted him on problems of their respective provinces and towns.

June 8.—PRESIDENT Macapagal receives the credentials of Ambassador Antonio Novais Machado of Portugal who succeeded Ambassador Fernando Lobao de Carvalho.

In response to the speech made by the new Portuguese envoy, the President states that the existing ties between the Philippines and Portugal will be strengthened and that a resident mission will soon be established in Lisbon.

In his speech, the Portuguese envoy remarks that he is honored to serve in a country which has so many common ties with his own, especially “the profession of the same faith and practice of the same culture.”

He adds that he would contribute further to the strengthening of the already friendly relations between the Philippines and Portugal, towards a more complete and perfect realization of common interests “which may bring our two peoples closer also in their social, political and economic relations.”

The Chief Executive likewise expresses his thanks to a goodwill message of President Amerigo Deus Rodrigues Thomaz of Portugal which the new envoy conveyed to him during the ceremony.

Immediately after the presentation rite, the President receives a call from Ambassador Oscar Ledesma who is on home leave, and is briefed on matters pending between the Philippine Embassy in Washington and the State Department. The call lasted for 15 minutes.

Meantime, the President, upon being informed that fire hit the town of Medina, Misamis Oriental, immediately orders Executive Secretary Ramon A. Diaz to direct all government relief agencies to extend immediate aid to the victims of the conflagration.

June 9.— OFFICIALS of the Philippine National Railways, during a Cabinet meeting, briefs President Macapagal on the progress of the agency’s efforts to improve rail service in the country, particularly in its southern line.

PNR Chairman Fernando E. V. Sison and General Manager Dominador de Asis take turns in reporting to the President and the Cabinet the steps the PNR has been taking to implement a Presidential instruction that the “improvement program move as fast as possible.”

Acting Economic Administrator Eleuterio Adevoso also reports that all resources of the government are being marshalled to push to a successful conclusion the PNR improvement program.

Sison who just returned from Japan on railroad business, says that the PNR has been receiving spare parts for its equipment and rolling stock thus enabling it to put into operation locomotives, coaches and barns. With more locomotives and cars in operation, Sison states, the PNR has managed to meet its tentative schedules.

Before the Cabinet meeting, the President meets with Muslim leaders led by Speaker Protempore Salipada Pendatun on problems of Muslim provinces. At the meeting are General Services Secretary Duma Sinsuat, Governors Udtog Matalam of Cotabato and Ali Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, Reps, Salih Ututalum of Sulu and Rasid Lucman of Lanao del Sur, National Integration Commissioner Abraham Rasul and Mayor Odin Sinsuat of Dinaig, Cotabato.

Earlier in the afternoon, the President is special guest at the award ceremony of the Civic Assembly of Women of the Philippines (CAWP) held at the Philippine Women’s University during which he presents to one of the awardees, the First Lady, Mrs. Evangelina M. Macapagal, the CAWP award for community service. Mrs. Irenea Vda. de Macaraeg, the First Lady’s mother, pins the accompanying merit medal on her daughter. Also in attendance are the President’s children, Gloria and Diosdado, Jr.

Mrs. Belen Enrile Gutierrez, CAWP president, read the citation for the First Lady as follows:

“For exemplifying the true spirit of humanitarian service, giving unselfishly her services to the sick and the indigent—before World War II to the patients at the San Lazaro Hospital; during the liberation period, as member of the Medical Division of the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit, PCAU;

“For her continued and selfless dedication to the service of her countrymen despite her manifold duties as First Lady of the land—directing such projects as Operation Sagip and looking after the needs of settlers in government resettlement areas in Sapang Palay, Mindanao and remote rural areas;

“For her tireless efforts to make the Philippines a better place to live in through the beautification of Manila’s historic Luneta, Malacañang and “Libingan ng Mga Bayani” among others; the intensification of the campaign for better moving pictures and television shows;

“For her effective motivation of the national economic development program, by precept and example, through her initiated and directed projects which can be easily carried out by individual citizens; such as, the use of Pag-asa clothing material and food production through the piggery, poultry and vegetable garden projects in Malacañang;

“For her inspiring leadership which has drawn others to rally behind such civic and community projects as; The 4th Centennial Celebration of the Christianization of the Philippines, the drive for the support of the Medical Research Foundation of the Philippines, national and international cultural projects;

“For all these and her many other achievements which have left the indelible imprint of her many-faceted civic mindedness on Philippine communities and the nation, the Civic Assembly of Women of the Philippines award the Medal of Merit and cites Evanglina Macaraeg Macapagal for Community Service.”

In the morning, the President administers the oath to newly elected officers of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines headed by Jose E. Desiderio, president. Working on official papers at his Palace study later, the Chief Executive signs a deportation order for one Ching Te, a Chinese national, as an undesirable alien whose continued presence in the country is considered a menace to the peace and safety of the community. Meanwhile, in a speech read before him by Rep. Lucas Paredes of Abra at the closing ceremonies of the World Assembly of Youth seminar at the Pines Hotel in Baguio City, the President calls upon the women of Asia to work side by side with their menfolk to help build “a world with less poverty, less sickness, less ignorance and with greater opportunity for all for growth and improvement.”

June 10.—PRESIDENT Macapagal serves notice that he would take drastic action against any official of the government who does not cooperate in the moral regeneration campaign of his administration. The President sounds the warning as he issues an administrative order enjoining top officials of the government to accelerate the tempo of the moral regeneration drive.

“Any official who involves himself or participates in any dubious matter or who otherwise does not adhere to the moral regeneration campaign does so at the risk of having drastic action taken against him,” the President declares.

He observes that by and large, “we have done well” in the moral regeneration drive which started soon after he assumed office.

“As a result,” he says, “the spread of big-time graft which characterized the past administration has been arrested and corruption is being reduced steadily at all levels.”

The President adds, however, that such an effort as the moral regeneration drive must be kept in high gear if it is to produce the desired results. He reiterates that graft and corruption have been minimized in the upper echelons of the government but that much remains to be done in the lower levels.

“There is need to accelerate the pace of the moral regeneration campaign,” he says.

Meantime, unique expressions of support to his bid for reelection are showered upon President Macapagal through songs and dances by some 1,500 members of the Women’s Auxiliary for Better Manila headed by Mrs. Lydia Villegas, wife of the city mayor.

Glad in colorful balintawak dresses, the all-women delegation at Malacañang in the evening, assures the President to the soothing refrains of Lullabyes and kundimans that they will work for his reelection to give him a chance to carry out his plans for the progress of the country and to save the people from the bondage of misery and want.

The unusual serenade for the President lasted for about two hours starting at 6:30 p.m.

Earlier in the afternoon, the President’s callers consists mostly of local leaders who consults him on problems of their provinces and towns. The callers includes a delegation from Antique headed by Gov. Encarnacion Former, Vice Gov. Guillermo Javier, Board Member Cesar Rodriguez, Veterans Administrator Alberto Villavert and Associate Commissioner Jose Fornier of the Public Service Commission.

The Chief Executive does not receive any callers in the morning. He works on pending papers in his study during which he approves the promotion of First Lieutenants Manuel A. Magbutay and Francisco Ferrer to the grade of captain in the reserve force of the medical administrative corps of the armed forces. He also signs the designation of Ambassador Modesto Farolan as Resident Representative of the Philippines to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Ambassador Farolan’s designation will be in addition to his duties as Philippine envoy to Switzerland and ambassador- designate to Austria.

The President also receives a joint resolution from the barrio council, barrio assembly and various civic organizations of Pansol, Quezon City thanking him for certifying House Bill No. 17846, which authorizes the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation to acquire a parcel of land in the barrio for subdivision and sale to bona fide occupants. Pansol residents expressed their gratitude to President Macapagal for his desire to provide lands for the landless,

June 11.—PRESIDENT Macapagal issues the following message on the eve of the 67th anniversary of Philippine Independence:

“As we celebrate Independence Day let us occupy our thoughts with the basic problems of poverty which seems to be the common lot of the majority of our people.

“I have always maintained that there can be no true independence unless we are economically secure…. The struggles of our people to free themselves from the bondage of poverty will long continue unless we succeed in creating for them an economic atmosphere congenial to the production of the means with which they can end this fight against poverty.

“This is the reason for my vow to bend all my energies and direct my vision towards the conquest of this poverty which retards the growth of our country and prevents the fulfillment of our national aspirations. For while we may have finally won political emancipation from centuries of foreign domination, our unrealized potentials still hold us enslaved to want and destination.

“As we celebrate Independence Day, I call upon all our countrymen, to rally behind this continuing fight against poverty. Let us all remember our heritage of freedom and the long and glorious fight which our forefathers fought to preserve it. Let our fight against poverty be as fierce and courageous, for in this way alone can we finally realize and enjoy the true meaning of freedom.”

The President grants executive clemency to a total of 37 prisoners—12 conditional pardons, one special absolute pardon, four absolute pardons and 20 commutations of sentences. These pardons and commutations of sentence are granted upon the recommendation of the board of pardons and parole.

Messages of felicitations from heads of states all over the world continue pouring at Malacañang as the nation prepares to celebrate its Independence Day.

From President Lyndon B. Johnson: “On this occasion of Philippine Independence Day, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the people of the United States and on my own behalf, to send to Your Excellency and through you to the people of the Philippines sincere good wishes and assurances of warm friendship.”

Speaking before a gathering of the Association of Public Secondary School Administrators which calls at Malacañang in the evening upon the conclusion of their five-day 10th annual convention in Manila, President Macapagal assures he would give priority to the full implementation of salary increases for public school teachers.

Headed by Fortunato Asuncion and Bernardo Fajardo, incoming and outgoing presidents, respectively, of the Association made up of principals of public secondary schools throughout the country, the conventionists are accompanied to the Palace by Roman Lorenzo, superintendent of city schools of Manila.

Earlier in the afternoon, the President receives a two-man mission from Algeria which calls at Malacañang to pay its respects. Ambassador Tenfik Bouatoure, Alegeria’s envoy to the United Nations and special envoy of Algerian President Ben Bella; and Ambassador Havie Deiagh Latrous, Algeria’s envoy to Indonesia, arrived in this country recently in the course of a tour of Asian countries in preparation for the Second Afro-Asian Conference to be held in Algeria late this month.

Working in-between callers at his Palace study, the President signs the nomination papers of Judge Jesus Y. Perez of Manila as associate justice of the court of appeals; Judge Felix Makasiar as district judge of the sixth judicial district, to preside over the court of first instance of Manila, branch III; and Carlos J. Cuizon as district judge of the seventh judicial district to preside over the court of first instance of Rizal and the cities of Quezon, Pasay and Caloocan, branch XI at Pasig, Rizal.

The President also directs, (1) Brig. Gen. Flaviano Olivares, constabulary chief, to conduct a speedy investigation of an ambush reported in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur which resulted in the death of six persons; (2) Executive Secretary Ramon A. Diaz to call for a prompt inquiry into reports that some ranking officials of the Parks and Wildlife Office had defrauded the government of P42,000 in connection with the construction of a viewing deck at the Mt. Arayat National Park in Pampanga; and (3) Health Secretary Manuel Cuenco to mobilize all government health facilities and resources in preventing the possible outbreak of an influenza epidemic in various parts of the country.

June 12.—PRESIDENT Macapagal spells out a four-pronged attack on the problem of poverty and calls on the nation to pursue it with “sacrifice and a summons to our greatness as a people.”

The President makes the call in an Independence Day address at the Luneta where a crowd estimated at well over 500,000 gathered to celebrate the 67th anniversary of Philippine Independence at Kawit, Cavite. Expressing confidence that Filipinos could achieve Freedom from Poverty, the President adds: “We have in us the seed of greatness.”

President and Mrs. Macapagal, their children, Arturo and Gloria, arrives at the Luneta about 2:00 p.m. The President is greeted with 21-gun salute. His speech follows a two-hour civic-military parade. Taking only about 15 minutes to deliver, it is one of the shortest Independence Day speeches on record.

Earlier in the morning, at ceremonies in Quezon City, the President delivers a 10-minute speech which defines a four-point approach to the poverty problem.

With the President at the Luneta rites are Speaker Cornelio T. Villareal, Msgr. Carlo Martini who headed members of the diplomatic corps, member of the Cabinet, both Houses of Congress and the judicial branch of the government, and other ranking officials.

Before delivering his speech, the President is presented with the original Philippine flag which Mrs. Marcela Agoncillo sewed in Hongkong for the Independence proclamation in Kawit on June 12, 1898. It is delivered to the President at the Quirino Memorial Grandstand by Emilio Aguinaldo Jr. who came in a tilbury, in the same manner that it was brought to Kawit from Imus in Cavite where it was landed from Hongkong.

“Mabuhay ang Bayang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang Republika Pilipinas. Mabuhay ang ating Kalayaan. Mabuhay si Heneral Aguinaldo.” His voice ringing with emotion, President Macapagal vibrantly echoes these words, first uttered by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo 67 years ago, as he waved the same old flag amid the wail of sirens from offices, factories and ships in Manila Bay, the ringing of church bells and the cheers of more than half a million people which spills all over the Luneta grounds.

A tableau which follows the President’s speech catches episodes in the battle of Tirad Pass where the young Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, providing rear guard for the retreating Gen. Aguinaldo, made a gallant last stand against the American forces.

The President stands during most of the parade, viewing the colorful and symbolic floats which all depicts the “Fight Poverty” theme.

At the close of the ceremonies at the grandstand, the crowd of people surges in to get a good view of the President, to the consternation of policemen and security agents.

The President, however, stays for sometime shaking hands with the crowd before he boards his car and finally leaves for the Palace.

In his speech at the Quezon City Independence Day program, the President calls upon the Filipino people to reaffirm their commitment to democratic ideals if they are to hand on to their children, intact and viable, the freedom they now possess and enjoy.

Celebration in the capital city is held at the Quezon Memorial Circle with a one-hour civic parade.

In introducing the President, Mayor Norberto Amoranto takes occasion to express to the President the gratitude of the city’s residents for the various assistance extended by the Administration to the city government in spite of his being a Nacionalista.

He mentions, among others, the millions of pesos given by the national government for public work improvements as well as a 12-hectares land for use by the city hall.

In the evening, the President and the First Lady plays host at the traditional Independence Day state dinner in Malacañang.

Among those present at the affair are members of the Cabinet, the diplomatic corps, congress and the judiciary and their ladies, ranking army officers and their ladies, and leaders in the business and industrial fields and their ladies.

From President Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China—”On the auspicious occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of the Philippines, I have the honor to extend to Your Excellency my sincerest felicitations and best wishes for your personal wellbeing and the continued prosperity of your great nation.”

From Queen Elizabeth II of England—”On the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of the Philippines, I have much pleasure in sending to Your Excellency personally and to the Philippine people my cordial greetings and best wishes.”

From President Sukarno of Indonesia—”On behalf of the people and Government of the Republic of Indonesia and in my own name, I wish most sincerely to convey to Your Excellency and the entire people of the Philippines the most cordial congratulations on the happy occasion of the celebration of the Philippines’ Independence Day. I am confident that the good established relations and friendship between the two peoples will become stronger and stronger. Availing of this opportunity, I wish Your Excellency the best of health and great happiness and friendly people of the Philippines great progress and prosperity.”

From Chairman Ne Win of the Revolutionary Council of Burma—”On the auspicious occasion of the anniversary of the Independence Day of the Philippines, the people of the Union of Burma join me in extending to Your Excellency, and through you, to the people of the Philippines our warmest congratulations and best wishes for Your Excellency’s personal wellbeing and for the happiness and prosperity of the people of the Philippines.”

From President Nnamdi Azikiwe of the Federal Republic of Nigeria— “On behalf of myself, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I extend to you felicitations and best wishes on the occasion of the anniversary of your Independence Day. May our two countries continue to develop to our mutual benefit and in the interest of the maintenance of peace throughout the world.”

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1965). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 61(24), clxxxvii-clxliii.