President Carlos Polistico Garcia’s campaign days in Bohol - Part 1

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

President Garcia is the only elected president who came from Central Visayas. He succeeded President Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash in the mountains of Balamban, Cebu, on March 17, 1957. Garcia ran for election as president on November 12, 1957, winning and defeating Jose Yulo (LP), Manuel Manahan (Progressive Party), Claro M. Recto (Nationalist Citizens Party), and Antonio Quirino (Qurino Wing, LP). On November 10, 1959, the senatorial election was held, majority of the allies of Garcia won. This is the official narration of the events that happened on his campaign in Bohol accompanied by his Cebuana wife, Leonila Dimataga:

“November 1.—PRESIDENT Garcia this morning was accorded a hero’s welcome by thousands of cheering Boholanos who jammed the Tagbilaran Airport to witness the arrival of the “local boy who made good.”

“After a brief but colorful welcome ceremony at the airport, the Chief Executive was borne on the shoulders of his welcomers, amidst the cry of “Mabuhay“, to a waiting car that took him to the Tagbilaran church for a Te Deum.

“On hand to meet the President were national, provincial, and local officials headed by Reps. Natalio P. Castillo and Maximo Garcia, Gov. Esteban Bernido, and Mrs. Leonila D. Garcia, who arrived earlier to join the President in his annual pilgrimage to the tomb of his parents who were buried in Talibon, hometown of the President.

“The Chief Executive upon arrival in Bohol expressed optimism over the Nationalista Party’s victory in the November election.

“The President had to travel more than 1,500 miles by land, sea, and air since October 29 on a barnstorming tour for NP candidates that took him to La Union, Ilocos Norte, and Cagayan in the North, the bailiwick of the opposition. The President’s visit is expected to minimize considerably the strength of the Liberals in those provinces, while his tour of the southern provinces, touching Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Cotabato, will serve to solidify the already well-entrenched Nacionalista.

“In the last 1957 senatorial elections, the Nacionalista Party received 56 per cent while the Liberals only got 21 per cent of Cotabato’s polling strength of 590,000 votes.

“In Zamboanga del Sur the Nacionalista received 67 per cent while the Liberals, 23 per cent of the province’s 230,000 votes. In Zamboanga del Norte the Nacionalista fared even better by getting 74 per cent compared to the Liberals’ 16 per cent of 200,000 ballots.

“The President’s home province, with a voting strength of almost 900,000 in the last elections, is expected to give a landslide support of the straight Nacionalista ticket.” (To be continued)

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