Father of land reform honored

    LUBAO, Pampanga – Local officials led by Gov. Lilia “Baby” Pineda joined yesterday the 100th birthday celebration of the late president Diosdado Macapagal, known as the father of land reform. 

    Pineda and former president and now Second District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo started the day-long celebration with a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the capitol in the City of San Fernando at 7:00 a.m.

    Rep. Arroyo is the daughter of Macapagal, who as president worked for the passage of Republic Act No. 3844, also known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code in August 8, 1963.    

    Pineda said “kung may pagsisikap ay maabot ang pangarap.” She was referring to Macagapal who was referred to as the “Poor Boy from Lubao.” 

    Pineda encouraged others to follow the footsteps of Macapagal whose rise in public service had not been derailed by poverty.   

    Pampanga Mayors League (PML) president, Candaba mayor Jerry Pelayo said “farmers, notably in Central Luzon, should thank Macapagal for the land reform program.”   

    He added that the “unblemished presidency of Macapagal also serves as an inspiration.” 

    “The members of the PML are behind this celebration honoring Apung Dadong,” Pelayo said.

    Pineda, Arroyo and other guests also attended the signing of the deed of donation for  the President Diosdado Macapagal Museum and library at Plaza St., barangay San Nicolas, here. The area is the house of former Vice Gov. Cielo Macapagal-Arroyo where the two-storey museum is.

    The former vice governor is the half-sister of Rep. Arroyo. 

    In the same place near the Lubao municipal hall, the house of Macapagal was restored and displayed in front of the museum.    

    Historian and National Historic Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairman Dr. Ambeth Ocampo graced the launching of the Diosdado Macapagal commemorative stamp. 

    The mass officiated by Rev. Paciano Aniceto started at the San Agustin Church at 10:00 a.m.

    Former Second District Rep. Mikey Arroyo and Bicol Rep. Dato Arroyo and Luli Arroyo, children of Rep. Arroyo, also attended the celebration. 

    Pampanga First District Rep. Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin and Fourth District Rep. Anna York Bondoc-Sagum joined Rep. Arroyo in honoring the latter’s father.


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