Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The "Mamburao for Capital Club"

Here is an account of history as to how the Municipality of Mamburao became the capital town of the province. This is from Volker Schult, Mindoro: A Social History of a Philippine Island in the 20th Century (Manila: Divine Word Publications, 1991).
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"The most outstanding event of the post-war period in regard to Mindoro was the division of the province into Oriental and Occidental Mindoro on November 5, 1950. That meant the division of the coasts of the island, characterized by uneven economic, infrastracture, and demographic developments, into two separate provinces. Politicians stated administrative-technical reasons for that decision. But political reasons should be added as well. The administration of this gigantic island from Calapan proved to be very difficult, expensive and time-consuming. There was neither a connection overland between east and west coasts, nor a direct regular linkage by ship. The division took cognizance of this fact.
"The west coast had been politically primarily dominated by the Abeleda family and their many relatives (i.e., the Liboro's) for decades. They could, however, barely have gained a political leadership in the entire province of Mindoro for long. Felipe Abeleda had been elected governor in December, 1940; but, due to his role during the war, he and family were discredited. They would have been unable to gain a majority on the east coast where they lacked a power base.
"In congress, Rep. Raul Leuterio introduced the 1950 bill seeking to divide the island. In November, it was enacted into law. Thus, he paid back the political loyalty the Abeleda's had been giving him since the pre-war period. Leuterio supported the Abeleda's in their plan to gain political dominance in the povince of Occidental Mindoro. For the time being, San Jose became the new provincial capital owing to its prosperity and general importance. A group of influential citizens, among them Jesus Abeleda, started a campaign of the recently founded "Mamburao for Capital Club" in favor of Mamburao as the provincial capital The Abeleda's succeeded finally. Since January 1, 1951, Mamburao has been the capital of Occidental Mindoro. Mamburao is located within the power base of the Abeleda's. This important decision considerably increased the Abeleda's prestige in the province.
"In Oriental Mindoro, Gov. Conrado Morente stayed on in office. In Occidental Mindoro, Damaso V. Abeleda was appointed governor until December 31, 1951. Until 1951, Rep Raul Leuterio represented both provinces in congress in Manila. In the governatorial and congressional elections of November 31, 1951, the Abeleda's came out as the sole winner. Jesus Abeleda became representative of Occ Mindoro in congress, and Federico Castillo, a close friend of the Abeleda's, governor. Thus had the division and the balance of power been also legitimized by elections."
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2 comments:

voces said...

tsk. tsk. tsk. power hunger can really lead to all sorts of nasty problems like malfunctioning politicians (caused by genetic traits? - occidental mindoro, a case in point). and why not? even if dictionaries won't define it as a disease or a disorder resulting from, along with all of the usual suspects, "unfavorable political factors", i categorically believe it so.

DIDASKALOS said...

hehehe. did I get it right? being a "malfunctioning politician" is a disease or a disorder resulting from political factors.. I would like to believe so, too, provided we identify the insensitivity to the evil effects of malgovernance as among its symptomatic manifestations... if what we see in the province is the measure, the illness is so acute it would already ask for some radical medical intervention -- like, cutting off the passage of oxygen to the brain so life is further served by causing its repose.