Carlos P. Garcia

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Carlos Polístico García, commonly known as Carlos P. García, (4 November 1896 – 14 June 1971) was a Filipino teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, public official, political economist and guerrilla leader, who was the eighth President of the Philippines.

Early life

García was born in Talibon, Bohol on 4 November 1896, to Policronio García and Ambrosia Polístico, who were both natives of Bangued, Abra.

García grew up with politics, with his father serving as a municipal mayor for four terms. He acquired his primary education in his native Talibon, then took his secondary education in Cebu Provincial High School, both on top of his class. Initially, he pursued his college education at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, and later studied at the Philippine Law School where he earned his law degree in 1923. He was among the top ten in the bar examination.[1]

Rather than practice law right away, he worked as a teacher for two years at Bohol Provincial High School. He became famous for his poetry in Bohol, where he earned the nickname "Prince of Visayan Poets" and the "Bard from Bohol".


On 24 May 1933, he married Leonila Dimataga, and they had a daughter, Linda García-Campos.


  • Teodoro P. García, Sr.
  • Teodoro P. García, Jr.
  • Dominique Marie L. García (b. 1988)
  • Timothy Daniel L. García (b. 1989)
  • Raphael L. García (b. 1992)
  • Jace Jotham M. Cortez García (b. 2009)

Political Career

García entered politics in 1925, scoring an impressive victory to become Representative of the Third District of Bohol. He was elected for another term in 1928 and served until 1931. He was elected Governor of Bohol in 1933, but served only until 1941 when he successfully ran for Senate, but he was unable to serve due to the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War. He assumed the office when Congress re-convened in 1945 after Allied liberation and the end of the war. When he resumed duties as senator after the war, he was chosen Senate majority floor leader. [2] The press consistently voted him as one of the most outstanding senators. Simultaneously, he occupied a position in the Nacionalista Party.

World War II

Garcia refused to cooperate with the Japanese during the war. He did not surrender when he was placed on the wanted list with a price on his head. He instead took part in the guerilla activities and served as adviser in the free government organized in Bohol.


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García was the running mate of Ramón Magsaysay in the 1953 presidential election in which both men won. He was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs by President Magsaysay, and for four years served concurrently as Vice-President.Template:Fact

As Secretary of Foreign Affairs, he opened formal reparation negotiations in an effort to end the nine-year technical state of war between Japan and the Philippines, leading to an agreement in April 1954. During the Geneva Conference of 1954 on Korean unification and other Asian problems, García, as chairman of the Philippine delegation, attacked communist promises in Asia and defended the U.S. policy in the Far East. In a speech on 7 May 1954–the day that the Viet Minh defeated French forces at the Battle of Diên Biên Phu in Vietnam– García repeated the Philippine stand for nationalism and opposition to Communism.Template:Fact

García acted as chairman of the eight-nation Southeast Asian Security Conference held in Manila in September 1954, which led to the development of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).[3]


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Vice-President Carlos P. García (right) was inaugurated President upon Magsaysay's death at the Council of State Room in the Executive Building of the Malacañan Palace complex. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Ricardo Paras.

At the time of President Magsaysay's sudden death on 17 March 1957, García was heading the Philippine delegation to the SEATO conference then being held at Canberra, Australia.[4] Having been immediately notified of the tragedy, Vice President García enplaned back for Manila. Upon his arrival he directly repaired to Malacañang Palace to assume the duties of President. Chief Justice Ricardo Paras, of the Supreme Court, was at hand to administer the oath of office. President García's first actions dealt with the declaration of a period of mourning for the whole nation and the burial ceremonies for the late Chief-Executive Magsaysay.[4]


After much discussion, both official and public, the Congress of the Philippines, finally, approved a bill outlawing the Communist Party of the Philippines. Despite the pressure exerted against the congressional measure, President Carlos P. García signed the said bill into law as Republic Act No. 1700 on 19 June 1957.[4][5]

Republic Act № 1700 was superseded by Presidential Decree № 885, entitled "Outlawing Subversive Organization, Penalizing Membership Therein and For Other Purposes." This was amended by Presidential Decree № 1736, and later superseded by Presidential Decree № 1835, entitled, "Codifying The Various Laws on Anti-Subversion and Increasing the Penalties for Membership in Subversive Organization." This, in turn, was amended by Presidential Decree № 1975. On 5 May 1987, Executive Order № 167 repealed Presidential Decrees № 1835 and № 1975 as being unduly restrictive of the constitutional right to form associations.[6]

On 22 September 1992, Republic Act № 1700, as amended, was repealed by Republic Act № 7636.[7]

Filipino First Policy

President García exercised the Filipino First Policy, for which he was known. This policy heavily favored Filipino businessmen over foreign investor. He was also responsible for changes in retail trade which greatly affected the Chinese businessmen in the country. In a speech during a joint session of Congress on 18 September 1946, President García said the following:

Austerity Program

In the face of the trying conditions of the country, President García initiated what has been called "The Austerity Program". His administration was characterized by its austerity program and its insistence on a comprehensive nationalist policy. On 3 March 1960, he affirmed the need for complete economic freedom and added that the government no longer would tolerate the dominance of foreign interests (especially American) in the national economy. He promised to shake off "the yoke of alien domination in business, trade, commerce and industry." García was also credited with his role in reviving Filipino cultural arts.[3] The main points of the Austerity Program were:[4]

  1. The government would tightened up its controls to prevent abuses in the over shipment of exports under license and in under-pricing as well.
  2. There would be a more rigid enforcement of the existing regulations on barter shipments.
  3. Government imports themselves were to be restricted to essential items.
  4. The government also would reduce rice imports to a minimum.
  5. An overhauling of the local transportation system would be attempted so as to reduce the importation of gasoline and spare parts.
  6. The tax system would be revised so as to attain more equitable distribution of the payment-burden and achieve more effective collection from those with ability to pay.
  7. There would be an intensification of food production.

The program was hailed[4] by the people at large and confidence was expressed that the measures proposed would help solve the standing problems of the Republic.[4]

Bohlen–Serrano Agreement

During his administration, he acted on the Bohlen–Serrano Agreement, which shortened the lease of the American Bases from 99 years to 25 years and made it renewable after every five years.Template:Fact

1961 Presidential Election

{{#invoke:main|main}} At the end of his second term, he ran for re–election in the Presidential elections in November 1961, but was defeated by his Vice-President Diosdado Macapagal, who belonged to the opposing Liberal Party (the President and the Vice-President are elected separately in the country).


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President Carlos P. García 17 March 1957 – 30 December 1961
Vice-President Diosdado Macapagal 30 December 1957 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Juan Rodriguez 18 March 1957 – 3 March 1960
César Fortich 3 March 1960 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports Martin Aguilar, Jr. 29 March 1957 – 2 September 1957
Manuel Lim 3 September 1957 – 17 November 1957
Daniel Salcedo 18 November 1957 – 28 December 1959
José Romero 18 May 1960 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of Finance Jaime Hernández 18 March 1957 – 24 January 1960
Dominador Aytona 24 January 1960 – 29 December 1961
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. García
(in concurrent capacity as President)
18 March 1957 – 22 August 1957
Felixberto Serrano 22 August 1957– 30 December 1961
Secretary of Health Paulino J. García 18 March 1957 – 15 July 1958
Elpidio Valencia 15 July 1958 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of Justice Pedro Tuazon 18 March 1957 – March 1958
Jesús Barrera April 1958 – June 1959
Enrique Fernández June 1959 – July 1959
Alejo Mabanag 18 May 1959 – December 1961
Secretary of Labor Ángel Castano 18 March 1957 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of National Defense Eulogio Balao 17 March 1957 – 28 August 1957
Jesús Vargas 28 August 1957 – 18 May 1959
Alejo Santos 18 May 1959 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of Commerce and Industry Pedro Hernaez 10 April 1959 – 24 January 1960
Manuel Lim 24 January 1960 – 30 December 1961
Secretary of Public Works,
Transportation and Communications
Florencio Moreno 18 March 1957 – 30 December 1961
Administrator of Social Services and Development Amparo Villamor 1960 – 1961
Executive Secretary Forutnato de León 18 March 1957 – 30 December 1957
Juan Pajo 16 January 1958 – 28 August 1959
Natalio Castillo 24 January 1960 – 5 September 1961


Post-Presidency and Death

President García's tomb at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

After his failed re–election bid, García retired to Tagbilaran to resume as a private citizen.

On 1 June 1971, García was elected delegate of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. The convention delegates elected him as the President of the Convention. However, just days after his election, on 14 June 1971, García died from a fatal heart attack. He was succeeded as president of the Convention by his former Vice-President, Diosdado Macapagal.Template:Fact

García became the first layman to lie in state in Manila Cathedral—a privilege until then limited to a deceased Archbishop of Manila—and the first President to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.Template:Fact


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CarlosGarcia
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  3. 3.0 3.1 Eufronio Alip, ed., The Philippine Presidents from Aguinaldo to García (1958); Jesús V. Merritt, Our Presidents: Profiles in History (1962); and Pedro A. Gagelonia, Presidents All (1967). See also Hernando J. Abaya, The Untold Philippine Story (1967). Further information can be found in Ester G. Maring and Joel M. Maring, eds., Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Philippines (1973).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Molina, Antonio. The Philippines: Through the centuries. Manila: University of Sto. Tomas Cooperative, 1961. Print.
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External links

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