M.C. Briones, VP candidate, 1949 presidential election
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - May 17, 2018 - 9:49pm

Manuel C. Briones, one of the members of the fabled Seven Wise Men who drafted the 1935 Constitution, considered so far the best Constitution of the Philippines, ran as vice president in 1949.

The Presidential Election was held on November 8, 1949. M.C. Briones was the vice presidential candidate of the Nacionalista Party with Jose P. Laurel as presidential candidate. The Liberal Party which was the product of the bolting of Roxas and Quirino during the 1946 presidential election was again divided, this time the Liberal Party had two factions; the Quirino Wing, with Elpidio Quirino, the successor of president Manuel Roxas who died on April 15, 1948 after delivering a speech in Clark, Pampanga, and the Avelino Wing headed by the senator from Samar, Jose Avelino.

It was a close fight, M.C. Briones got 1,184,215 votes while Fernando Lopez, the victor of the Liberal Party (Quirino Wing) won with 1,341,284 votes. In last place was Vicente Francisco of the LP (Avelino Wing) with 44,410. For president, Jose P. Laurel (the president during the Japanese occupation) of the Nacionalista Party lost with 1,318,330 votes as against Elpidio Quirino's 1,803,808 votes. Trailing last was Senator Jose Avelino with 419,890 votes.

The people of Cebu often hear the name M.C. Briones referred to a street in Cebu City at the back of Cebu City Hall, it was formerly known as Calle Commercio and Calle Morga, renamed in 1960 after the famed jurist, legislator, and newspaperman. M.C. Briones was the son of Pedro Cabahug and Apolonia Briones born on January 1, 1894. Pedro, was the son of Bartolo Cabahug and Florencia Seno. When Manuel's mother died at an early age, he was entrusted to an uncle-priest assigned in Borbon, Cebu. Manuel carried the surname of his uncle, that is why the name Manuel Cabahug Briones. He became a lawyer on November 3, 1916.

M.C. Briones was elected senator in 1931 of what was then called the 10th Senatorial District which was Cebu. Electorates vote for two senators for every district, with the country divided into 12 senatorial districts. The co-senator of Briones in 1931 was Don Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr. After M.C. Briones lost in the 1949 election he ran in the 1951 senatorial election and won. This time senators were not elected by districts but at large, meaning the whole nation votes for them. M.C. Briones died on September 29, 1957 and let us remember who he was each time we pass by the street named after him, one of the Great Cebuanos who served Cebu and the country.


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