The Old Congressional Districts of Leyte (Part 2)
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - May 22, 2019 - 12:00am

In the 1700s Leyte and Samar were part of the Diocese of Cebu. The proximity of the island of Cebu to Leyte resulted in migration and inter-marriages between the two places. Majority of Cebuanos and Leyteños are interrelated by affinity or blood, the result of this is that their politics and religious practices share common roots.

Old 1st District of Leyte

The old 1st District was redistricted in 1931, its composition from 1907 up to 1931 was changed according to this manner: Biliran (now a province of its own), Caibiran, Calubian, Kawayan, Leyte, Maripipi, Naval, Palompon, San Isidro, Villaba, Isabel (re-established as town in 1947), Almeria Cabucgayan, Tabango, Culaba, and Matag-ob.

Tabango was established as a town in 1949. It used to be a barrio. It was the Cebuano Senate President Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco who facilitated the conversion of Tabango, which used to be part of the Municipality of San Isidro. President Elpidio Quirino signed Executive Order No. 284 on October 15, 1949 converting the barrio into a municipality. The Cuencos are familiar with the town as this was one of the towns where they hid during World War II. Congressman Antonio Veloso Cuenco, who is a relative of the Velosos in Leyte, had memories of the towns in Leyte where they sought refuge, having been born on May 26, 1936.

The Municipality of Matag-ob was created by virtue of Republic Act 1614 enacted on May 20, 1957. The barrios of Sto. Rosario, Sta. Rosa, Balagtas, and San Vicente in the town of Palompon were separated and converted into a municipality. On June 19, 1971, Republic Act 6194 was enacted and the barrio of San Sebastian was created, which used to part of the Sitio of Cap-on of the barrio of Candelaria, Matag-ob.

This district composition was from 1931 to 1961. The following served as its representatives; Carlos Tan (1931 to 1934), Jose Ma. Veloso (1935 to 1938), Carlos Tan (1938 to 1941), Mateo Canonoy (1941 to 1946), Carlos Tan (1946 to 1949), Mateo Canonoy (1949 to 1953), Carlos Tan (1953 to 1957) and Marcelino R. Veloso (1957 to 1961).

Jose Ma. Veloso of the Veloso Clan (the Velosos in Leyte and Cebu are closely related) was born in San Isidro, Leyte, on April 30, 1886 to couple Isidro Veloso and Casiana Morte. He was a senator representing the 9th Senatorial District (composed of the provinces of Leyte and Samar) from1916 to 1919. He was senator from its creation up to its abolition in 1935, restored only in 1941, during that time our senators were elected at large instead of by districts. (To be continued)

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