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Diosdado Macapagal

President of the Philippines

Died when: 86 years 205 days (1038 months)
Star Sign: Libra


Diosdado Macapagal

Diosdado Pangan Macapagal Sr.GCrM, KGCR (Tagalog: [makapaˈɡal];September 28, 1910 – April 21, 1997) was a Filipino lawyer, poet and politician who served as the ninth president of the Philippines, serving from 1961 to 1965, and the sixth vice president, serving from 1957 to 1961.

He also served as a member of the House of Representatives, and headed the Constitutional Convention of 1970.He was the father of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who followed his path as president of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010.

A native of Lubao, Pampanga, Macapagal graduated from the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, both in Manila, after which he worked as a lawyer for the government.

He first won election in 1949 to the House of Representatives, representing the 1st district in his home province of Pampanga.

In 1957, he became vice president under the rule of President Carlos P.Garcia, whom he later defeated in the 1961 election.

As president, Macapagal worked to suppress graft and corruption and to stimulate the Philippine economy.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 observance of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, commemorating the day President Emilio Aguinaldo unilaterally declared the independence of the First Philippine Republic from the Spanish Empire in 1898.

He stood for re-election in 1965, and was defeated by Ferdinand Marcos.Under Marcos, Macapagal was elected president of the 1970 constitutional convention that would later draft what became the 1973 Constitution, though the manner in which the charter was ratified and modified led him to later question its legitimacy.

He died of heart failure, pneumonia, and renal complications, in 1997, at the age of 86.Macapagal was also a reputed poet in the Spanish language, though his poetic oeuvre was eclipsed by his political biography.

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Ferdinand Marcos
President of the Philippines
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