Official Week in Review: June 13 – June 19, 1969

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June 13.—

PRESIDENT MARCOS devoted most of his time to desk work, following a hectic day yesterday when he had to leave his desk several times to attend to his duties in connection with the Independency Day rites.

One of the highlights of his day was his signing of the private security agency bill at a formal ceremony held at the Executive Hall. The ceremony was witnessed by representatives of private security and detective agencies.

Also present were Sen. Alejandro Almendras and Brig. Gen. Vicente Raval, PC chief.

At mid-morning the President received Minister of State Paul Henry Spaak of Belgium, who paid a courtesy call following his arrival on a private visit to the country.

The Belgian dignitary, who was formerly Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of his country, was accompanied to Malacañang by Consul Mariano Ruiz of the foreign office.

Also with Minister Spaak were Robert van Ole Velde, charge d’affaires of the Belgian embassy here; Eugene, van Dyke, deputy managing director of the Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company of Antwerp; Roberto Piccus, president of ITT, Far East; and Duncan Hallock, executive vice-president of ITT (Phil.).

During the day, the President also:

1. Submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation the nomination of Manila CFI Judge Arsenio Solidum, as associate justice of the Court of Appeals.

2. Nominated CFI Judge Amuerfina Herrera of Lucena City as CFI judge of Manila.

3. Signed the promotion of 38 reserve officers on active duty with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, all of whom are in the technical services.

4. Authorized Professor Napoleon T. Vergara, consultant on forestry of the Presidential Economic Staff, to go on a study tour of Russia, for two-weeks starting June 19.

Among the President’s callers today were Senator Wenceslao R. Lagumbay, who accompanied a delegation of mayors from Laguna; Mayors Luis de Castro of Bulan and Melchor H. Aquino of Donsol, both from Sorsogon; Commerce Undersecretary Fernando Campos with Mayor Nieves Alvarez of Noveleta, Cavite and Myrna Santiago, also of Cavite; and another delegation of local officials from Eastern Samar headed by Gov. Victor A. Amasa.

June 14.—

PRESIDENT MARCOS was up early for the rites commemorating the Fall of Bessang Pass, which started at about 7 a.m. with honors paid to the fallen soldiers of World War II at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani at Fort Bonifacio.

The President was accompanied by the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, to the military cemetery site and participated in the ceremonies.

From the Libingan, the President and the First Lady went on to Camp Aguinaldo where the main program celebrating the decisive battle of Bessang Pass was held.

The program was highlighted by the President’s speech which called for intensified efforts to record the military history of the country, and by the awards to outstanding guerrilla leaders, guerrilla units, and wartime military governors and mayors. (See pp. 6390-A to 6390-H for full text of the President’s speech.)

After the program, the President proceeded to Makati, where he joined the NP Junta meeting, held at the Manila Banking Corporation building on Ayala Avenue.

Plans were finalized by the Junta for the June 21 NP national convention at the Manila Hotel. The Junta, however, will meet again on Tuesday, June 17, with NP provincial delegates attending.

In the afternoon, the President concentrated on state papers.

He found time as well to write to the barrio council of Tamak, municipality of Padre Garcia, Batangas, acknowledging the council’s resolution of gratitude for the ₱2,000 given to the barrio from the rural development fund, which the barrio folks used to build a footbridge which leads to the highway.

In his letter, the President said that the project justified his faith in the capacity of barrio folk to choose what is best for their welfare and to pursue it successfully.

June 15.—

PRESIDENT MARCOS officiated in a series of oath taking ceremonies held at the Malacañang reception hall about noon and worked on pending state papers the rest of the day, after conferring with officials called to the Palace.

The President was up very early, and engrossed himself reading weekend magazines and the daily newspapers. At about 10 a.m., he met Vice President Fernando Lopez.

Later, he inducted:

1. Secretary of Public Works and Communications Antonio Raquiza as chairman of the Infrastructure Operations Center and Presidential adviser on public works, with Cabinet rank;

2. Governor Rene Espiña of Cebu as Secretary of Public Works and Communications, to take over from Secretary Raquiza;

3. Jaime N. Ferrer and Lino Patajo as chairman and member, respectively, of the Commission on Elections.

4. Guillermo C. Nakar, Jr. as solicitor in the prosecution staff of the Department of Justice.

After the ceremonies, the President met with several groups of officials.

He met with Secretaries Raquiza and Espina, Budget Commissioner Faustino Sy-Changco and Commissioner Baltazar Aquino of Public Highways on public works matters.

Among others who saw the President were Gov. Teresa Dupaya and Vice Gov. David Puzon of Cagayan; Gov. Juvenal Guerrero of La Union together with Chairman Joaquin Ortega of the San Fernando Port Authority; Gov. Murphy Sangkula of Sulu, Rep. Alberto Q. Ubay, Vice Gov. Guardson Lood and former Gov. Felipe Ascuña of Zamboanga del Norte.

The President and his family heard Mass at the Malacañang chapel late in the afternoon.

June 16—

PRESIDENT MARCOS had conferences with varied groups, conferred; a prestigious award on a ranking US military official, inducted a judge, and generally adhered to a crowded schedule of desk work and visitors.

Among other actions, the President forwarded to the Commission on Appointments the nomination of Judge Andres Reyes, CFI judge of Rizal, as associate justice of the Court of Appeals.

At the same time, the President nominated Vice Gov. Guardson Lood of Zamboanga del Norte to the post Judge Reyes will, vacate.

Later in the morning, the President conferred the Philippine Legion of Honor, degree of commander, to Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., commander-in-chief of the US Pacific forces, at a simple ceremony in Malacañang.

Witnessing the rites, among others, were the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, Mrs. McCain, and Philippine and US officials, led by Defense Undersecretary Alejandro Melchor, Gen. Manuel Yan, AFP chief of staff; and Minister James Wilson, charge d’affaires of the US embassy here.

In another ceremony, held at his study, the President inducted Judge Venicio Escolin, as judge of the court of first instance covering Leyte and the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc.

Among the President’s conferences was that with Sulu officials led by Rep. Indanan Anni, Gov. Murphy Sangkula, and including the deputy governor and municipal mayors of the province.

Notable among other callers at Malacañang today were Mayor Macario Peña of Naic, Cavite; and Mayor Tirso Ramos of Lobo, Batangas, who came with Ceferino Hernandez, municipal treasurer of the same town; Misses Margaret Rose Montinola and Gloria Diaz, newly proclaimed “Miss Philippines” and “Binibining Pilipinas,” respectively.

Miss Montinola, who will represent the Philippines in the Miss International pageant; and Miss Diaz, who Will compete as Philippine representative in the Miss Universe contest called on the President to pay their respects before leaving for the international beauty tilts.

Meanwhile, the President advocated substantial change in the country’s schools to undertake the task of “not only advancing knowledge but of changing the old patterns and old values that have kept our people in bondage and poverty, and our country from moving forward.”

In a speech delivered for him by Secretary of Education Onofre D. Corpuz at the opening of the third annual session of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, at Zamboanga City, the President said that it is toward such change’ that he endorsed the idea of youth sharing in the decisions in schools and in the nation’s councils. (See pp. 6390-1 to 63’90-L for full text of the President’s speech.)

June 17.—

PRESIDENT MARCOS held a conference with provincial governors, congressmen and city mayors who called at Malacañang to apprise him of the latest political developments in their respective localities.

The President was also guest speaker at the 15th national convention of the Association of Filipino Retailers during which he reaffirmed his faith in the ability of the Filipinos to chart the economic course of the nation.

Held at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel, the convention was delighted to hear the President congratulate the members of the association for their successful efforts to attain the objectives of the retail trade nationalization law.

In his conference with local officials who will be chairmen of their respective delegations to the Nacionalista Party convention scheduled for June 21, the President gave a briefing on the plans agreed upon by party leaders for the conduct of an orderly convention at the Manila Hotel.

The President left the Palace for the retailers’ convention at 12:30 p.m. He was fetched by Mrs. Polly Cayetano, association president.

Back at Malacañang about 2 p.m., the President resumed his conference with local officials.

Meanwhile, an agreement between the Philippines and Japan to set up two pilot rice farms in the Philippines^ as show windows of modern rice culture, was signed in Malacañang.

Vice President Fernando Lopez, concurrently Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, signed for the Philippine government, while Japanese Ambassador Takeshi Yasukawa signed for his government.

Under the agreement, two pilot farms of 100 hectares each will be set up, one in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, the other in the San Miguel-Alangalang area in Leyte.

The Philippines and Japan Will jointly set up the pilot projects, specifically in the:

1) Construction of roads, irrigation and drainage facilities within the project, to serve directly the farms;

2) Improvement of techniques of rice cultivation, storage and processing through research and extensive field work; and

3). Technical training for Filipinos in Japan and on the pilot f arms;

June 18.—

PRESIDENT MARCOS took in stride another heavy schedule with numerous, callers and a sheaf of bills passed during the last regular session of Congress to study and act on, as well as conferences and ceremonials requiring his attention.

The President started the day with a conference with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo who called to say good-bye before departing for Quebec, Canada to attend the annual meeting of former presidents of the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for June 20 to June 24.

Following the conference, the President received the credentials of two new ambassadors to the Philippines, namely, Ambassador Ly Chinly of Cambodia and Ambassador Nicolas de Berri Flecha Torres of Paraguay, at formal ceremonies in Malacañang.

Delegates from 10 countries participating in the 15th Asian Film Festival, composed of movie producers, directors, actors and actresses, later called to pay their respects to the President and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos.

Receiving them at the state dining hall, the President told the industry leaders and movie queens that they are just about the best ambassadors one country can send to another. He expressed confidence that their visit here will result in even closer ties among Asian nations.

The President received callers up to 2 p.m. The Palace visitors consisted mostly of senators, representatives, and provincial, city and-municipal officials.

In-between callers, the President concentrated on his desk work, notably the bills passed during the last regular session of Congress.

Among the measures he “signed into law were House Bill No. 18774” appropriating ₱5 million for the implementation of the educational benefits program for veterans and their dependents, and for the payment of veterans’ pensions and death gratuities.

The President also approved House Bill No. 18977 providing for the construction of the ₱400-million multi-purpose hydro-electric project in the upper Pampanga river in Nueva Ecija.

Earlier, the President declared June 19, Thursday, a special public holiday in Calamba, Laguna, the birthplace of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

In issuing the proclamation, the President said it is fitting and proper that the residents of Calamba be. given full opportunity to make the 108th birthday of Rizal with ceremonies in keeping with the hero’s ideals and teachings.

Meanwhile, Vice President Fernando Lopez formally informed the President of the tremendous strides made by the administration, under the impetus and guidance exerted by Rice and Corn Production Coordinating Council (RCPCC), towards making the country self-sufficient in food products.

The Vice President, concurrent Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and RCPCC chairman, specified an 82 per cent increase in areas planted to high yielding rice over the 1967 hectarage.

June 19.—

PRESIDENT MARCOS motored to Calamba, Laguna, birthplace of Dr. Jose Rizal, where he joined the townspeople in commemorating the 108th birth anniversary of the national hero.

The President had proclaimed a special public holiday in Calamba to give the townsfolk ample opportunity to observe the hero’s birthday with fitting ceremony.

Earlier in Malacañang, the President met with provincial, city and municipal officials, the second day he has sat down with local leaders who are in Manila as heads of their respective delegations to the Nacionalista Party convention, which is scheduled at the Manila Hotel on Saturday, June 21.

The delegations, which started arriving in the city two days ago from all over the country, invariably called on the President to pay their respects and consult him on local problems.

Shortly before noon, the President emerged from his office to address a group of tenants, numbering some 500, who came to request government aid in the purchase of the Tambunting Estate in Manila, where they had set up their homes.

Accompanied by Reps. Joaquin Roces and Pablo Ocampo of Manila, the delegation petitioned the’ President to initiate the acquisition of the estate by the government, so that the 6,000 or so families occupying the property may be able to buy their homesites.

The President directed the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation to survey the estate and take immediate steps toward the purchase of the property.

At 3 p.m., the President left by car for Calamba, to participate in the rites honoring Dr. Rizal. He was accompanied by Senator Helena Benitez and his immediate aides.

In remarks before thousands of pilgrims who came from various parts of the country to honor the hero, the President said he came as well to submit a “spiritual report” to Rizal.

The gist of his report, the President said, is that most of the hero’s dreams for his country and people have now been fulfilled.

His report emphasized the following:

1. Birth of the “New Filipino,” with the remolding of his character to adhere closer to /the measure of the Filipinos of the Philippine Revolution.

2. The constant threat of hunger over the people has been dissipated, with the people now better assured of sustenance, both physically and spiritually.

3. Rizal’s visions in his tract on the “Philippines, A Century Hence,” where he foresaw the sprouting of factories and dispersal of the engines of progress, has come true.

4. The new breed of Filipinos which Rizal had conjured is now emerging, despite the fact that some people have sought to deride this idea.

Today’s observance, the President said, should also underscore the fact that Rizal laid the moral basis for the revolution which resulted in the founding of the first republic in Asia, and in a way presaged the emergence of free nations, in this region of the world.

He added that Rizal’s birth made possible the flowering of the Filipino intelligentia, who called themselves “Indios Bravos” and brought about the uprooting of the tyrannical colonial regime.

Source: University of the Philippines, College of Law Library

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1969). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 65(25), dix-dxiv.