President’s Week in Review: December 26, 1969 – January 1, 1970

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December 26—

PRESIDENT MARCOS once again focused on his paper work, receiving no visitors all day except public officials who came to consult him on particular problems.

Among state matters he studied was the Land Reform Code, for which he proposed certain amendments to make it work better and to bring the farmers and tenants themselves into the center of the program.

The President proposed, among others, the enlargement of the National Land Reform Council, by including a member from the farmer or peasant group.

The President emphasized that amendments should be embodied in one single bill, which will be submitted to the next Congress.

The original law, which was approved on August 8, 1969, has had two amendments, namely:

1. RA 4366, defining the annual compensation, powers and duties of the clerks of;court of the Court of Agrarian Relations.

2. RA 4886, which enlarged the responsibility of the Office of the Agrarian Counsel, to “include representation before courts, including appellate, in cases, civil or criminal, instituted by or against said tenant, agricultural lessees, farm workers or owner cultivator!, or the, members of their immediate farm household, where ,the cases arise from or are connected with, or are results or effects of, an agrarian dispute.”

For the rest, the President was involved with other state business projected for the coming year and covering priority programs during his second term.

He also worked on his inaugural speech.

December 27—

PRESIDENT MARCOS had an interesting day as he received a variety of callers while also coping with his usual heavy desk work and other state matters.

In the morning, he received a group from Hawaii composed of Filipinos here to attend his inauguration, with Miss Hawaii-Filipina of 1969, Leilani Tumaneng Petranek, easily a standout.

She, conveyed the personal message of Gov. John Burns of Hawaii, congratulating the President on his reelection; and greetings from compatriots as the official goodwill ambassador of the Hawaii Filipinos.

The President also met later in the afternoon Mexican Minister of External Affairs Antonio Carillo Flores, who is also here; for the inauguration of the President. The affable dignitary brought gifts for the President and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos. He also met all the, three children of the First Family. He was accompanied to Malacañang by Ambassador Librado Gayco, the Philippine envoy to Mexico.

Others in the Hawaii-Filipino group were Gov. Jose Evangelista of IIocos Norte, Consul General Trinidad Alconsel, and PTTA Executive Director Salvador C. Pena.

At about noon, the President and the members of his family sat down for a television interview with an ABS-CBN team.

During the interview, the President pointed out that the concept of providing a national solution to the peace and order problem is “faulty.”

He stressed, “It should be a regional solution,” adding that “we are going into this now.”

In the evening, the President and the First Lady honored at dinner Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York, who is an overnight houseguest at the Palace. The Catholic prelate is in Asia to visit US military personnel in various bases and in Vietnam, a personal Christmas commitment he has observed for some years now.

Among other actions, the President cautioned Secretary of Justice Juan Ponce Enrile to proceed slowly in the filing of charges against LP leaders for various offenses by making sure first that there is a strong and Valid case against each of them; and ordered the NAWASA general manager to submit’ a report on the projected increase in consumer rates as announced earlier by the water firm.

December 28—

PRESIDENT MARCOS spent a quiet weekend with his family at Malacañang.

With the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos and their children Imee, Bongbong and Irene, the President heard Mass celebrated at the ceremonial hall by Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York.

Cardinal Cooke, who was an overnight houseguest at the Palace, stopped briefly in Manila in the course of a tour of American military installations in the Far East, a Christmas trip he has undertaken for years.

Vice President and Mrs. Fernando Lopez also attended the Mass at Malacañang, along with Senate President Gil J. Puyat, justices of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Roberto Conception, and some Cabinet members and their wives.

The President worked on-state papers in the afternoon, in the course of which he granted executive clemency to 31 jockeys and six race horses suspended-from the race tracks for various violations of regulations.

December 29—

PRESIDENT MARCOS spent most of his time at his desk in his study, primarily working on his inaugural speech, but also polishing off the urgent state papers coining to his desk. He did riot receive any visitors. But he called in aides and advisers as he worked.

Although the pressure of work caused him to miss the arrival at Malacañang of U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew and Mrs. Agnew, whom the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos welcomed, the President later saw the distinguished visitors, who are houseguests at the Palace during, their stay in the Philippines.

The US Vice President will represent President Richard Nixon at the inaugural of the President.

After a bit of relaxing late in the afternoon, the President, refreshed, returned to his study to work further on, his speech. He also studied other official papers brought to his attention.

On the eve of Rizal Day the President issued the following message:

We commemorate Rizal Day this year with the relevant theme of “Freedom Through Discipline,” not only in remembrance of an overriding principle which governed the life of the hero, but also in emulation of his ethic with the purpose of applying to our present tasks and concerns that virtue which carried Rizal through the profound dilemmas of his life and caused him to triumph.

As we accept our own sacrifices and undergo the test of self-discipline, let us remember that Rizal and other committed Filipinos in their own time unquestionably submitted to this rigor so that their nation will live in freedom and dignity.

December 30—

THIS WAS A HISTORIC day for President Marcos.

His entire daylong activities were centered on the inauguration ceremonies installing him as President of the Republic for a second term, and on the observance of Rizal Day.

He was up early with his first activity attending a Mass. Then he prepared for the inaugural at the Luneta, now known as Rizal Park.

Riding with his son, Bongbong to the Luneta, he arrived at about 10:50, then received military honors with characteristic crispness. He then led the crowd in saluting the national flag. After the salute to the flag, he ascended the grandstand, signalling the start of the military parade.

At high noon, he took his oath of office administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, in Filipino, the first in the Republic’s history.

Then he delivered his inaugural address, which pledged vigorous leadership, both in transforming the land, the people and in making the nation more self-reliant, morally responsible, and progressive.

“It is our destiny to transform this nation,” he said, adding that “we begin by transforming ourselves first”.

The President thanked the people for the new mandate given him and pledged ‘the severest .leadership in integrity as well as discipline”.

He stressed, “Public officials shall set the vision for simplicity within the bounds of civility”.

The presidency, he vowed, will “set the example of his official morality and oblige others to follow”. He promised to punish extravagance in government, and to attain “our dreams no matter at what cost of personal pain and suffering” (See pp. 46-A to 46-F for full text of the Inaugural Address)

Returning to Malacañang, the President and his family followed custom by registering in the Palace registry, which signified tenancy of Malacañang. In their case, for another four years.

 In the afternoon, the President went out again, first to lay a wreath at the Rizal monument on the Luneta, then to present Rizal Pro Patria awards to Teodoro F. Valencia and Leoncio Lopez Rizal, and a presidential citation to Senator-elect Mamintal Tamano.

He then proceeded to Fort Bonifacio where he laid a wreath at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In the evening he and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, were hosts at a dinner honoring foreign guests representing various nations at the inaugural.

In ah exchange of toasts, the President said that although the nations of the world, including the Philippines, had their own individual problems, the common problem among them was still war, diseases and ignorance.

“We join all nations in the pursuit to overcome and surmount these problems,” he said. “Small and impoverished as our country is, we know our duties and we shall perform such duties”.

December 31—

PRESIDENT MARCOS started his new term as President of the Republic.

Highlight of the President’s activities was his issuance of an official statement in which he made public his decision to give away his worldly possessions.

Full text of the President’s statement follows:

Moved by the strongest desire and the purest will to set the example of self-denial .and self-sacrifice for all our people, I have today decided to give away all my worldly possessions so that they may serve the greater needs of the greater number of our people.

I have therefore given away, by a general instrument of transfer, all my material possessions to the Filipino people through a foundation to be organized .and to be known as the Ferdinand E. Marcos Foundation.

It is my wish that these properties will be used in advancing the cause of education, science, technology and the arts.

This act I undertake of my own free will, knowing that, having always been a simple man, my needs will always be lesser than the needs of many of our people, who have given me the highest honor withii1 their gift, an honor unshared by no other Filipino leader.

Since about a year ago, I have asked some of my closest confidantes to study the mechanics of this decision. Today studies have been completed, arid a foundation will now be formed to administer these properties and all funds that may be generated therefrom.

My wife, Imelda, is in full agreement, and wholeheartedly supports me in this decision.

Provisions will be made for my children, so that they shall be assured of satisfactory education and be prepared to meet their lifetime duties and endeavors.

For the moment, my most sincere hope is that this humble act shall set the example, and move to great deeds of unselfishness and compassion, many of our countrymen whose position in society gives them a stronger duty to minister to the needs of our less fortunatebrothers and countrymen.

 Early in the morning, he relaxed a bit with former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi of Japan, Ambassador Toshiro Urabe, also of Japan, and Ambassador Jose Laurel HI, Philippine envoy to Tokyo, and others at the Malacañang Park golf course.

Refreshed, the President began his paper work, then at 9:30 knocked off to receive the special representatives of 44 countries to the Inaugural. He and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, greeted the guests as they were presented.

He then individually received Korean Prime Minister Chung II Kwon, former Prime Minister Kishi of Japan, Foreign Minister Gregorio Lopez Bravo of Spain, and U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, in that order.

During the meeting with the Spanish foreign minister, the President was presented with a Katipunan battle flag and several bladed weapons used by the revolutionaries against Spanish troops.

Vice President Agnew gave the President a moonrock and the Philippine flag flown to and from the moon by the Apollo II astronauts. Astronaut Eugene Cernan, Apollo 10 Commander was also present.

Speaking of the Katipunan weapons consisting of two sabers, two krises and a bolo, the President said he was overwhelmed “by these symbols of courage and manhood that are returned to our land,” adding that “our land was occupied, but our hearts were not conquered.”

The Katipunan flag, which showed its age, measures about three feet by nine, and was the battle standard of one of the Katipunan field units:

In receiving the moonrock from Astronaut Cernan, the President recalled that when President Nixon visited here last June he promised Bongbong a ticket on the first commercial liner to the moon.

“I remind the Vice President (Agnew), or rather, at the instance of Bongbong, I am reminding the Vice President about this,” the President remarked in a light vain.

In the afternoon, the President presided at several meetings with NP leaders, beginning at 4 p.m. He first met governors and mayors at the residence of Gov. Isidro Rodriguez of Rizal at Mandaluyong; then sat down with representatives at Speaker Jose B. Laurel’s home, also in Mandaluyong; then he drove to tha house of Senate President Gil J. Puyat in Quezon City, to meet with the senators and other NP leaders.

In the evening, he conferred with the members of the Blue Ladies and the COSEC at the house of NACIDA Administrator Pacita Gonzales in Makati.

On the eve of New Year’s Day, the President issued the following message:

As at no other time in the past perhaps,: a new tide of change is upon us, and the new year as well as the new decade brings us to heart of unusual and not easily understood problems which main-kind has not had to face before.

While it has been our good fortune as a people and a nation to surmount the problems of the past decade, it shall be our fate to wrestle with the essential difficulties of the 70’s.

Because progress creates its own problems, it cannot be hoped that technological and industrial progress will automatically bring about a period of general ease.

 Our main task, as I pointed out on my second inaugural address, will be not only to seek to excel the performance of other nations, but to transform the character of our people so that there shall grow in this nation a new heart and a hew spirit that relies solely in the capacity of the individual to understand and apply himself to his burdens, without depending on the generosity of others.

But on the other side of this ethic is the even more demanding moral responsibility of those endowed with material possessions that offend and oppress the stations of the poor.

Henceforth, they will be called upon to share whatever they can of their lot with all your people. Having the duty to lead in this endeavor, I have today renounced my material possessions in favor of the Filipino people.

United in effort, singular in resolve, let us now work together to make this new year a new era in which our people will continue to be free and secure in their freedom because they concern themselves not only with their personal interests but above air the nation’s well-being.

January 1—

PRESIDENT MARCOS spent a quiet New Year’s day with his family at home in Malacañang.

However, because state matters could not wait, he also worked a while in his study, as urgent papers came up for action.

Among other matters, he decided to defer the implementation of the plan of the NAWASA to raise service rates by directing the water agency to shelve the proposal until after public hearings are held.

Otherwise, the President enjoyed a relaxing day with his family, in the immemorial Filipino way on the first day of the new year.

Source: University of the Philippines, College of Law Library