President Quezon’s inaugural speech on the inauguration of the Cebu Provincial Capitol (June 14, 1938) - Part 1

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - November 16, 2020 - 12:00am

(Note from CEBUpedia: The governor at that time was Buenaventura Rodriguez, but it was Governor Sotero Barte Cabahug who built the building. Quezon’s speech will give the reader an insight into the political atmosphere not only of Cebu but the entire country as he also spoke of religious instruction and social justice.)

“Mr. Governor, Mr. Vice-President Osmeña, His Grace, My Dear Friends

“Today is a great day for the Province of Cebu. An issue which has been discussed in your political platform for many years has been closed forever. It would be foolish to ignore the fact that in the erection of this magnificent building, which will testify to the great efforts made by your ancestors, there was a strong opposition.

“There are people who prefer to ignore facts, believing that by so doing those facts would cease to exist. In my life, both as an individual and a public man, I have always faced facts squarely. So I am facing the facts when I started any remarks this evening that before you succeeded in building this capitol you went through a long and hard fight.

“But this is not against the people of Cebu. Quite the contrary, it speaks highly of your patriotism and courage. We have every reason to believe that those who opposed the erection of this building were inspired by high public motives. They did it in the performance of their duty as citizens of the Province of Cebu. On the other hand, those who insisted that this building should be built, and built here, had the right to believe that they too acted in good faith and in obedience to what they thought was in the interest of the public.

“I want to say to you right now that I myself had very serious doubts as to whether this building should be built here or not. When Governor Cabahug submitted this matter to me, after my inauguration as President of the Philippines, I made a thorough investigation of the facts of the case before I finally acted on it. I came to Cebu and visited the place, I warned Governor Cabahug not to take the matter up with Vice-President Osmeña. I did not talk to Vice-President Osmeña about it; I did not consult him. Instead, I ordered all the papers that remained for many years in the archives brought to me.

“To tell you frankly, I did not want to approve the construction of this building for two reasons. First, because I was afraid that not only the good name of the Government of the Philippines but also that of Vice-President Osmeña would be involved; second, because I knew that those who opposed its erection were the men who stood by me here during the Anti-Pro fight. and it is only human, ladies and gentlemen, that when you can decide things in favor of your friends, you prefer to decide them on their side. But I had a duty to perform, and I had to perform that duty even against the wishes of my friends and regardless of what the people might think when I was convinced that what they were thinking was wrong.”

MANUEL L. QUEZON
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