Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pres. CPG: Bohol's Favorite Son


As the 2013 local elections conclude on May 13, let us pause and remember one of Bohol's most brilliant politicians so that our aspiring leaders can emulate him. 

He is considered as the Most Illustrious Son of Bohol whose long and brilliant political career was punctuated with his ascendancy to presidency of the country

The position was later affirmed and validated with his election months after assuming it  

He was born the second of five children to Policronio "Manoy Coni" Garcia and Ambrosia "Mending" Butay- Polistico in Talibon, Bohol on November 4, 1896 which is celebrated every year as "Bohol Day" to honor Pres. Garcia. 

EDUCATION He completed his primary education in his hometown Talibon, Bohol and finished his secondary education in Cebu Provincial High School. 

He later studied at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental,  for his bachelor's degree and proceeded to the Philippine Law School (now Philippine College of Criminology) where he earned his law degree and graduated on top of the class in 1923.  

He made it as one of the Top Ten in the national bar examinations. 

Before practicing law, he worked as a teacher for two years at Bohol Provincial High School (now known as Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School. 

 Pres. Carlos P. Garcia & First Lady Leonila D. Garcia

He was married to Leonila Dimataga, a licensed pharmacist from Opon, Cebu (now Lapulapu City) with whom he had an only child, Linda Garcia.

He died on June 14, 1971 in Quezon City and was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig, Metro Manila

Here are some facts and figures on the late Atty. Carlos Polistico Garcia of the Nacionalista Party, the Eighth President of the Philippines and the Fourth President of the Third Republic

as Vice President to President Ramon Magsaysay 
PRESIDENTIAL DETAILS: It was March 18, 1957, when Vice- President Garcia, at the age of 61,  assumed the presidency from Pres. Magsaysay who perished in a tragic plane crash in Mt. Manunggal in Balamban, Cebu Province. 

His first presidential term was from March 18, 1957 to December 30, 1957 for a total of eight months, the remainder of Pres. Magsaysay's first presidential term. 

Straight from the airport, Vice President Carlos P. García was inaugurated as the 8th President of the Philippines upon Magsaysay's death on March 17, 1957 at the Council of State Room, Executive Building, Malacañan Palace. 

Administering the oath of office was Chief Justice Ricardo Paras 
 President Carlos P. García at necrological services
 for the late Pres. Ramon Magsaysay

At the time of the sudden death of President Ramon Magsaysay, Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Carlos P. García was heading the Philippine delegation to the SEATO conference then being held at Canberra, Australia. 

Having been immediately notified of the tragedy, Vice President García enplaned back for Manila. 

Upon his arrival he directly repaired to Malacañang Palace to assume the duties of President. Chief Justice Ricardo Paras of the Supreme Court, was at hand to administer the oath of office. 

President García's first actions dealt with the declaration of a period of mourning for the whole nation and the burial ceremonies for the late Chief-Executive Magsaysay.

The following link details the aftermath of the plane crash that killed Pres. Magsaysay:


Second term: December 30, 1957-December 30, 1961 (elected)

After completing the unfinished presidential term of Pres. Magsaysay, everyone thought it was smooth sailing for Garcia for the 1957 presidential elections especially after he had secured the nomination of the Nacionalista Party but Senator Claro M. Recto had other plans. He bolted the NP to run for President under the Nationalist Citizens’ Party.  

Other Magsaysay supporters established the Progressive Party of the Philippines and endorsed Manuel Manahan for President. 

The Liberal Party, for its part, fielded former Speaker Jose Yulo for President. 

The showdown had been set again for Jose Yulo of Negros Occidental and Carlos P. Garcia of Bohol whose first encounter was during the 1953 elections where both ran for Vice- President  

 Pres. CPG & First Lady Leonila Garcia welcome
House Speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez and his wife
for New Year “At Home” in Malacanang, 1960.

 during the 1957 election campaign

And so it was a four- cornered fight during the 1957 Philippine Presidential elections. 

In a repeat of their 1953 encounter where both ran for Vice- President, Garcia trounced his main opponent Yulo, bested Recto and Manahan, and won the Philippine Presidency in his own right.


Carlos P. Garcia          Nacionalista Party                                               41.30 %
Jose Yulo                          Liberal Party                                                           27.60 %
Manuel Manahan        Progressive Party of the Philippines       20.90 %
Claro M. Recto           Nacionalist Citizen's Party                              8. 55%

Results of the 1957 Presidential Elections
His Second Inauguration for 1957 was on December 30 at the Independence Grandstand, Manila at the age of 62

Here is an excerpt of his inaugural speech:
Again, I reverently invoke the aid of the Divine Creator, Infinite Fountain of all blessings, that we may have unity where we have been divided, that we may have faith and courage where we have faltered and weakened, that we may be given light and vision where we have walked in darkness, that we may have love where we have been selfish, and that we may achieve lasting peace, prosperity and happiness for the people.

 The Second Inauguration of Carlos P. Garcia, at the Independence Grandstand 
(now known as the Quirino Grandstand). Bohol Governor Juan Pajo held the 
bible as Carlos P. Garcia, a fellow Boholano, took his oath as Philippine President
December 30, 1957:

 Pres. Garcia tenders Manila Motorcade for US President Dwight Eisenhower

During his presidency, the following held the most important positions in the country:

Vice President               : Diosdado Macapagal (December 30, 1957-December 30, 1961)

Chief Justice                  : Ricardo M. Paras (April 2, 1951-February 17, 1961)

Senate President            : Eulogio Rodriguez (January 22, 1957-April 5, 1963)

Speaker of the House   : Daniel Z. Romualdez (January 27, 1958-December 30, 1961) 


Executive Bureaucracy        : Member, Rehabilitation Commission
Provincial                                       : Governor of Bohol (1933-1941)
Cabinet                                          : Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1953-1957)
National                                          : Vice-President of the Philippines (1953-1957)
Legislative Lower House      :  Representative, Lone District of Bohol (1925-1931)
Upper House                                  : Senator (1945-1953)
Judicial                                            : None
Others                                             : President, 1971 Constitutional Convention
Military                                          : Guerilla resistance leader


A high point during President Garcia's term was the State Visit to the Philippines by President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States in June 1960

Just how many Philippine presidents can brag about being visited by the president of the world's most powerful nation?

 Welcome Ceremony at Manila Airport for U.S. President Eisenhower
 The Order of Sikatuna: Rank of Raja, the highest recognition awarded by the
Philippine govt for diplomatic & foreign relations and named after
Boholano chieftain Raja Sikatuna, is conferred by Pres. Garcia to
U.S. President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower
Pres.Eisenhower delivering a speech at the Quirino Grandstand the president is 
wearing the collar of the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Raja
 Pres.Eisenhower's left is his daughter in-law, BarbaraState Dinner
Malacañang Palace
Being a staunch supporter for Phil culture, Pres. Garcia invites the Bayanihan Dancers 
to perform for US Pres. Eisenhower during the State Dinner in Malacanang Palace
 President Garcia with First Lady Leonila Garcia
proposes a toast for President Eisenhower

 commemorative postage stamp of US President's RP visit

In 1961, faced by the so-called “White Paper” disseminated by Senator Eulogio “Amang” Rodriquez, President Garcia lost his reelection bid to the rising political leader from Pampanga, and his Vice President Diosdado Macapagal of the Liberal Party. 

Ironically, Boholanos would vote overwhelmingly for Macapagal's daughter Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo in her victorious 2004 presidential bid.

December 30, 1957: President Carlos P. Garcia alongside First Lady Leonila Dimataga-Garcia, and Vice Pres. Diosdado Macapagal and Mrs. Evangelina Macaraeg-Macapagal during Pres. CPG's inaugural ball 

Four years later, CPG would lose his reelection bid to Macapagal

After his failed reelection bid, Garcia retreated to private life, living in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

December 30, 1961. Pres. Diosdado Macapagal & family on their way to pick up outgoing Pres. CPGbefore proceeding to Quirino Grandstand for his Inauguration as incoming President

Seen at the back of the First Couple is First Daughter Gloria Macapagalwho would be installed 40 years later as Philippine President GMA

December 30, 1961: Last few minutes as incumbent President and outgoing Vice-President, respectively, Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal prepare to depart for Macapagal’s inaugural(Seen 2nd from left is ex Tagb Mayor Jose Ma. Rocha who served as one of CPG's Palace Staff)

On June 1, 1971, Garcia was elected delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. 

Convention delegates elected him president of the convention on June 11, 1971 with his then vice president Diosdado Macapagal replicating his role as vice president to the illustrious Boholano statesman

 Three Philippine Presidents: During the 1966 Manila Summit, President Ferdinand E. Marcos
is flanked candidly by former presidents Diosdado Macapagal and Carlos P. Garcia
Note their different style interpretations of the Barong Tagalog


However, just four days after his election, on June 14, 1971, Garcia suffered a fatal heart attack. He was succeeded as president of the convention by his vice president, former president Diosdado Macapagal. 

Garcia’s administration was anchored on three basic policies: 

Austerity, Filipino First Policy and Cultural Revival

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