Today in Philippine History September 28, 1910, Diosdado P. Macapagal was born in Lubao, Pampanga

Diosdado P. Macapagal   
Diodado Macapagal in 1961 (Credit: Presidential Museum and Library).   
On September 28, 1910, Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, 9th President of the Philippines serving from 1961 to 1965, was born in Lubao, Pampanga.

Known as the "Poor Boy from Lubao", Macapagal, who finished law at the University of Santo Tomas through the assistance from a friend, topped the 1936 Bar examinations with a score of 89.95 percent.

He was the father of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 14th President of the Philippines.

President Macapagal earned his Master of Laws degree in 1941, a Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1947, and a Ph.D. in Economics in 1957.

Among his most significant career achievements was the abolition of tenancy accompanying the land reform program in the Agricultural Land Reform Code of 1963 which underscored his endeavor to fight mass poverty.

Macapagal changed the Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 which symbolized his policy of promoting and achieving true independence from foreign domination. He placed the peso on the free currency exchange market, and liberalized foreign exchange and import controls.

Macapagal also served as vice president in 1957 in the administration of President Carlos P. Garcia. He defeated Garcia in his reelection bid in the 1961 elections.

He also became representative of the first district of Pampanga in 1949 and was consistently selected by the Congressional Press Club as one of the Ten Outstanding Congressmen during his tenure. He was selected as “the Best Lawmaker” in his second term in Congress.

He retired from politics following his 1965 loss to President Ferdinand Marcos.

Macapagal, who devoted much of his time to reading and writing books in his retirement, died of heart failure, pneumonia and renal complications on April 21, 1997. He was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives

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