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Transcript of Diosdado Macapagal
Presidency 1910-1997 A Q L O R Q M G M He is the 9 President of the Philippines
the 5 President of the Third Republic th th and
from to Diosdado Macapagal was also known as Batang Mahirap mula sa Lubao because he was raised by poor farmers. As President, Macapagal worked to suppress graft and corruption and to stimulate the Philippine economy. Achievements He introduced the country's first land reform law, placed the peso on the free currency exchange market, and liberalized foreign exchange and import controls. Many of his reforms, however, were crippled by a Congress dominated by the rival Nacionalista Party. He is also known for shifting the country's independence day from July 4 to June 12, commemorating the day Filipino patriots declared independence from Spain in 1898. His re-election bid was defeated in 1965 by Ferdinand Marcos, whose subsequent authoritarian rule lasted 20 years. In the 1961 presidential election, Macapagal ran against Garcia's re-election bid, promising an end to corruption and appealing to the electorate as a common man from humble beginnings. He defeated the incumbent president with a 55% to 45% margin. His inauguration as president took place on December 30, 1961. Economic policy
In his inaugural address, Macapagal promised a socio-economic program anchored on "a return to free and private enterprise", placing economic development in the hands of private entrepreneurs with minimal government interference. Twenty days after the inauguration, exchange controls were lifted and the Philippine peso was allowed to float on the free currency exchange market. The currency controls were initially adopted by the administration of Elpidio Quirino as a temporary measure, but continued to be adopted by succeeding administrations. L a n d R e f o r m Among the most significant achievements of Macapagal as president were the abolition of tenancy and accompanying land reform program in the Agricultural Land Reform Code of 1963. The law was a significant advance over previous legislation, despite numerous amendments imposed by Congress, which was dominated by the rival Nacionalista Party. CORRUPTION One of Macapagal's major campaign pledges had been to clean out the government corruption that had proliferated under former President Garcia. The administration's campaign against corruption was tested by Harry Stonehill, an American expatriate with a $50-million business empire in the Philippines.
Stonehill was accused of tax evasion, smuggling, misdeclaration of imports, and corruption of public officials.
Three months into his presidency, Macapagal filed deportation proceedings against Stonehill, though rumors persisted that Stonehill was connected to members of Macapagal's own cabinet. Towards the end of his term, Macapagal decided to seek re-election to continue seeking reforms which he claimed were stifled by a "dominant and uncooperative opposition" in Congress. With Senate President Ferdinand Marcos, a fellow member of the Liberal Party, unable to win his party's nomination due to Macapagal's re-election bid, Marcos switched allegiance to the rival Nacionalista Party to oppose Macapagal. Macapagal announced his retirement from politics following his 1965 loss to Marcos. Diosdado Macapagal died of heart failure, pneumonia and renal complications at the Makati Medical Center on April 21, 1997. He is buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.