MANILA, Nov. 16 (PNA) - One of Vigan, Ilocos Sur province's most illustrious sons was born on November 16, 1890: Elpidio Quirino, a lawyer who became sixth president of the Philippines.
He first assumed the presidency on April 17, 1948, taking his oath of office two days after the death of President Manuel Roxas.
The following year, however, he ran under the Liberal Party and was elected to a four-year term as Philippine president.
Quirino’s presidency was marked by notable post-war reconstruction, general economic gains and increased economic aid from the United States.
Diplomacy was his forte, though.
He impressed world leaders, was able to negotiate accords with other nations of the free world as well as discussed peace and security plaguing Asia.
His administration's major goals included economic reconstruction focused on mitigating indigent families' suffering and assistance to farmers so they can market their produce and be protected from loan sharks.
This administration also worked on strengthening the Philippine rural banking system to facilitate credit utilities in the countryside.
The country's central bank commenced operating during this administration.
In line with his policy of bringing government closer to people, Quirino revived former president Manuel L. Quezon's fireside chats.
Through periodic radio broadcasts from Malacanang, Mr. Quirino informed people about government's activities.
Before assuming the presidency, Quirino was elected to the House and Senate.
He was also part of the convention that drafted the 1935 Constitution.
Quirino was likewise a member of the Philippine independence commission which traveled to Washington, D.C. to secure the American Congress' passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act.
Approved in March 1934, this Act provides for the Philippines' self-governance and independence from the United States after 12 years.
Maryland Senator Millard E. Tydings and Alabama Representative John McDuffie authored this law.
After being in the public eye for years, Quirino returned to private life following his defeat to former president Ramon Magsaysay in the November 1953 elections.
He settled at his then-new home near La Mesa Dam in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Quirino died of a heart attack on Feb. 29, 1956 at age 65.