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Bard of Bohol known for Filipino First


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:01:00 11/05/2008

Filed Under: Personalities, Monuments & Heritage Sites

On Nov. 7, 2008, inauguration rites are planned for the President Carlos P. Garcia Filipino Muna Monument set up along the C-5 highway, now renamed by special law as President Carlos P. Garcia Avenue. Former House deputy speaker, Erico B. Aumentado, now governor of Bohol province, had authored this legislation.

This marker honors the memory of the eighth president of the Philippines, fourth president of the Third Republic, who served from 1957 to 1961. It was set up by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in cooperation with the Bohol Association of Metro Manila, PCPG Foundation, Governor Aumentado and the provincial government of Bohol.

Key government officials are expected to attend the dedication ceremony led by MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando and Governor Aumentado, as well as Bohol congressmen and local executives and Metro Manila residents from the Visayan island province, which is now an important tourist destination.

President Garcia was born on Nov. 4, 1896 in Talibon, Bohol, to a middle-class family that believed in giving children the best education affordable. Garcia was a dedicated student and gained scholastic honors. He finished law as valedictorian at Philippine Law School, winning the Malcolm Scholarship Award for four consecutive years. He was a topnotcher in the 1923 bar examinations.

The former president?s public record reflects his leadership qualities and sterling character. He was Bohol?s representative for six years, three-term provincial governor, senator at large, wartime guerrilla leader, thrice-elected senator, vice president and secretary of foreign affairs in the Ramon Magsaysay Cabinet. He became president after the untimely death of President Magsaysay. He was elected president in the succeeding elections. Later, he was a delegate and president of the constitutional convention.

President Garcia was known for his Filipino First policy, ardent nationalism, distinguished public service and eloquence. He was also called ?the Bard of Bohol.?

SILVESTRE D. SARMIENTO, retired commissioner, Commission on Audit, Valle Verde 2, Pasig City



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