Governor Serging Osmeña’s stand against dynamite fishing and the action of President Quirino

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

President Elpidio Quirino, succeeded President Roxas when the latter died on April 15, 1948 (Quirino was sworn on April 17, 1948). He won the following year in the election held on November 8, 1949.

The following is the official report of his visit to Cebu and the speech of Governor Sergio “Serging” Chiong Veloso Osmeña Jr. on June 17, 1952:

“The President was warmly received upon his arrival at Bantayan Island at 8:30 a.m., with a fluvial parade and the customary brass band and fireworks display. On hand at the wharf to give the President a rousing welcome was a large crowd headed by Cebu Governor Sergio Osmeña, Jr.

“Addressing the welcome rally from the balcony of the Bantayan municipal building, the President said that it would be more in keeping with the nation’s spirit of construction if the people set aside politics for the time being and take up with him ways and means of increasing production of their respective localities. He told the people of Bantayan he would much prefer to have provincial delegations calling on him at Malacañan talk to him about economics rather than about politics.

“Sparked by Governor Osmeña’s speech at the public plaza in Bantayan at noon, the President directed Vice-Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Jesus Vargas to call an immediate conference of top brass of the constabulary and the navy who were with the presidential party, to bolster the campaign against dynamite fishing in the Visayas. Governor Osmeña had proposed a coordinate and cooperative action among the governors of Batangas, Masbate, and Cebu in an effort to exterminate dynamite fishing which has caused a drop in the fish supply in Cebu waters. The series of conferences started immediately aboard the yacht Apo. Those who attended the initial meeting were Gen. Vargas, Commodore Jose M. Francisco, Col. Ramon Enriquez, commander of the third military area covering the entire Visayas, and several deputies. The meeting was attended by Governor Osmeña.”

President Quirino of the Liberal Party lost in his reelection bid on November 10, 1953 against his Secretary of Defense, Ramon Magsaysay, who ran under the Nacionalista Party.

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