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Today in History

September 28, 1910

MANILA, Sept. 28 — On September 28, 1910, Diosdado P. Macapagal, 9th President of the Philippines serving from 1961 to 1965, was born in Lubao, Pampanga.

Known as the “Poor Boy from Lubao,” Macapagal, who finished law at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) through assistance from a friend, topped the 1936 Bar examinations with a score of 89.95 percent.

He was the father of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 14th President of the Philippines.

President Macapagal earned his Master of Laws degree in 1941, a Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1947, and a Ph.D. in Economics in 1957.

Among his most significant career achievements were: the abolition of tenancy and accompanying land reform program in the Agricultural Land Reform Code of 1963 which underscored his endeavor to fight mass poverty; and the change of Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 which symbolized his policy of promoting and achieving true independence from foreign domination.

He also introduced the country's first land reform law, placed the peso on the free currency exchange market, and liberalized foreign exchange and import controls.

Macapagal also served as vice president in 1957 in the administration of President Carlos P. Garcia. He defeated Garcia in his reelection bid in the 1961 elections.

He also became representative of the first district of Pampanga in 1949 and was consistently selected by the Congressional Press Club as one of the Ten Outstanding Congressmen during his tenure. He was selected as “the Best Lawmaker” in his second term in Congress.

Among the pieces of legislation Macapagal promoted were the Minimum Wage Law, Rural Health Law, Rural Bank Law, the Law on Barrio Councils, the Barrio Industrialization Law, and a law nationalizing the rice and corn industries.

He retired from politics following his 1965 loss to President Ferdinand Marcos.

Macapagal, who devoted much of his time to reading and writing books in his retirement, died of heart failure, pneumonia and renal complications on April 21, 1997. He was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

On this same day in 1989, President Ferdinand Marcos, 10th president of the Philippines and the longest president to stay in office from 1965 to 1986, died at the age of 72 of kidney, heart and lung ailments in Waikiki, Hawaii.

His remains is currently interred inside a refrigerated crypt in Ilocos Norte.

Also on this same day in 1980, at the end of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Games, Philippine athletes have garnered four gold medals: Elmer Reyes in high jump, Lydia de Vega (200 to 400 meters), Agripina de la Cruz (400-meter hurdles) and Erlinda Lavandia (javelin). Other awards were three silvers and two bronzes. (PNA)

DCT/SDT/mec

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