Governor/Senator Alejandro Almendras, the Cebuano ‘Father of Davao’

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - September 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Alejandro Durano Almendras was born on February 27, 1919. He was the son of spouses Paulo Almendras and Elisea Mercado Durano of Danao, Cebu. Alejandro, nicknamed “Landring”, went to Davao after the war and studied Law at the Mindanao Colleges, as a Law student he ran for governor of Davao in 1951 and won. He served in that office from 1951 to 1958. When he ran for senator in 1959, he chose Atty. Vicente Duterte as his replacement (a relative and appointed mayor of Danao in 1946 by Don Sergio Osmeña Sr., who was president, but when the latter lost to Senator Manuel Roxas in the April 23, 1946 presidential election, he left Danao and migrated to Southern Leyte, then later to Davao).

Almendras was a long-serving senator; he held the office from December 30, 1959 (election was held on November 10) until the senate was padlocked by President Ferdinand Marcos two days after he declared martial law on September 21, 1972. When Marcos convened the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978, Almendras won representing “Southern Mindanao” (the assemblymen then were elected by regions).

Almendras steered the passage of Republic Act 4867 which was approved on May 8, 1967: REPUBLIC ACT No. 4867

“An Act Creating the Provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress Assembled:

“Section 1. The Province of Davao is hereby divided into three provinces to be known as Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental, in the following manner; The Province of Davao del Norte shall consist of that portion of the present Province of Davao which comprises the Municipalities of Babak, Samal, Tagum, Sto. Tomas, Asuncion, Kapalong, Panabo, Nabunturan, Mon-Kayo, Mawab, Mabini, Compostela, and Pantukan; the Province of Davao del Sur, shall consist of that portion of the present Province of Davao, which comprises the Municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Digos, Matanao, Bansalan, Hagonoy, Padada, Sulop, Malalag, Malita, and Jose Abad Santos; the Province of Davao Oriental shall consist of that remaining portion of the present Province of Davao which comprises the Municipalities of Lupon, Governor Generoso, Mati, Manay, Caraga, Banganga and Cateel.1avvphi1

“Section 2. The capital of Davao del Norte shall be the Municipality of Tagum, that of Davao del Sur shall be the Municipality of Digos, and that of Davao Oriental shall be the municipality of Mati.”

For his painstaking legislative work, Almendras is given the title as “Father of Davao”. He married Caridad Cabahug of Borbon, Cebu and he died on August 4, 1995.

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