(1896 - 1971)
Fourth President of the Philippine Republic
Carlos P. Garcia was a teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, and politician par excellence who became the fourth president of the Philippine Republic.
Before he entered politics,
Garcia was known as “Prince of Visayan Poets” and the “Bard from
The son of
Policarpio Garcia and Ambrosia Polistico, who were both natives of Bangued,
Abra, he was born on
He acquired his
elementary education in Talibon and took his secondary course at the
Garcia was a recipient of
the four-year Malcolm Law Scholarship, which he had won through his excellence
in oration and debate. Instead of practicing law right away, he taught for two
years at the
In the local elections of
1931, Garcia ran for governor of
But the Japanese invasion
in World War II prevented the elected government from reigning. Confronted by
the war, the nationalist Garcia joined the guerilla movement, thus drawing the
ire of the Japanese imperial forces. When the civilian government in
Garcia ran for senator in the first post war national elections and regained his former post. In the 1953 presidential elections, he was the running mate of Ramon Magsaysay, who eventually won as President. Magsaysay appointed Garcia, his Vice-President, as concurrent Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
In the Presidential election in November of that year, Garcia ran against Jose Yulo, Manuel Manahan, Claro M. Recto, and Antonio Quinine. He won over Yulo, his closest opponent, by 600,000 votes, and thus stayed on as President.
For articulating his administration’s “Filipino First” policy, which put the interests of the Filipino people above those of foreigners and of the ruling party, he became popular. It reinstated the original ideas, which also made the late President Manuel Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmeña close to the people.
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, Diosdado Macapagal.
From 1961 – 1971, he lived
as a private citizen in
Aside from the presidency, Garcia held other public offices namely: Member of the Philippine Commission that negotiated the rehabilitation and war damage claims against Japan in 1945; delegate to World Conference in San Francisco that drafted the Charter of the United Nations in1945; delegate to the South East Asia Conference in Baguio, 1950; representative to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 1950; chairman of the Philippine delegation to the Geneva Conference for Korean Unification, 1954; presiding officer of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) Conference in Manila in 1954 which yielded the Pacific Charter; held of Philippine envoys to the SEATO talks held in Pakistan, in 1956, and in Canberra in 1957; and vice-president of the Nacionalista Party directorate, 1947, and executive vice-president , 1954 – 1971.
Garcia’s death created a void in Philippine politics, for he was the only president to institute a “Filipino First” policy.
At the time of his death, Garcia was survived by his wife, Leonila
(Inday) Dimataga-Garcia, a pharmacist and native of Opon,
(1889 - 1965)
Physician, Crusading Journalist and Legislator
One of the architects of Philippine independence from the United States, Pedro Gil lived a crowded life of service in different distinguished roles-as a labor leader, as a doctor of medicine who practiced his professions as a means of aiding the laboring masses, as a crusading newspaperman with a vitriolic pen, as a social worker with a big heart for the needy, and as a conscientious legislator.
Born in Capiz,
The Gils were not wealthy, and left no fortune to their children. But inspite of their difficulties, his brothers and sisters managed to send him to the Escuela Normal de San Javier, where he completed a commercial course. How he was able to do that was a story of hardship and sacrifices. To support him through his studies his sisters accepted some sewing work. He himself did odd jobs for the school’s Jesuit priest and so was exempted from paying tuition fees.
enrolled at the San Juan de Letran, where he eared his bachelor
of arts degree. He then proceeded to take up medicine at the
Dr. Gil started his political career as a rabid oppositionist. Even while he was still a student, he was already closely identified with opposition groups. He was an active writer on political subjects and a frequent leader of movements censuring the party then in power for abuses in the government. He once led a strike against Meralco.
Ever eager to reach the masses, he published a newspaper dedicated to the laboring classes, Los Obreros. When it folded up, he edited a number of others, like La Nacion. He directed this last newspaper until 1923.
When the Jones Law was still pending in Congress, he organized mass meetings and in a popular manifestation, led in the signing of a manifesto urging the legislative body to include in the said law “a definite date for independence.”
In 1927, he was
elected representative for the south district of Manila on the Democratra party
ticket. He became minority floor leader in the House of representatives
and distinguished himself as a fiscalizer of the abused and the tyranny of
those in power.”He was designated member of the 1930 independence mission to
He was elected to the first National assembly and became chairman of the committee on the city government and several other important committees.
assemblyman, he worked tooth and nail for the reduction of public utility rates
in the city of Manila, such as those charged by Meralco and the Manila Gas
Corporation. He himself presented a test case against them with the Public
Service Commission. Arguing that their rates were “boom period” rates and
needed to be reduced, he offered comprehensive statistics to show that
Likewise, he pioneered the movement for higher wages for laborers, authoring a bill to this effect.
Dr. Gil served
as envoy to
He was married to Consuelo Cabangis. They had only one child, Patria, who became the wife of Deogracias Puyat, a lawyer.
He died on