Today in Philippine history, December 9, 1964, Senator Eulogio Rodriguez died in his sleep

Saturday November 21, 2015 ()

On early morning of December 9, 1964, Senator Eulogio Rodriguez died in his sleep, around a month before his 82nd birthday. He was the president of the Nacionalista Party at the time of his death and was one of the longest-serving senators of the country. President Diosdado Macapagal expressing his grief, issued a proclamation declaring a period of national mourning until the interment. The President and his wife paid a visit of condolence on Mrs. Maria Lusita Rodriguez. The mayors of Manila and Quezon City also declared states of mourning and half-masting of flags.

Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Former President Sergio Osmeña and Speaker Jose B. 

Laurel Jr
(Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez (left), Former President Sergio Osmeña and House Speaker Jose B. Laurel Jr. on July 30, 1957 at the 50th anniversary of the First Philippine Assembly)

Eulogio Rodriguez was born in Montalban then part of the Province of Manila, on January 21, 1883. He was the eldest son of Petronilo Rodriguez and Monica Adona. "Amang" as he was popularly called, first studied at the Spanish-run public school in Montalban, then took his secondary course at the San Juan de Letran in Manila, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1896.

Senator Rodriguez was Municipal President of Montalban from 1906-1916; became Governor of Rizal in June 1916; and was reelected in June 1922. He was appointed Mayor of Manila by Governor General Leonard Wood on July 23, 1923, and later served as Representative of Nueva Vizcaya District from February 1924 to May 1925. He became the Representative of the Second District of Rizal in 1925 and was reelected in 1931 and 1934. He was also appointed Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce by Governor Frank Murphy on July 26, 1934, re- appointed Mayor of Manila by President Manuel Quezon on January 15, 1940, and served as such until August 28, 1941. After his resignation as mayor of Manila, he campaigned for a seat in the Senate and was elected senator in 1941. On May 20, 1953, he was elected Senate President, a position he held for the next ten years.

Rodriguez started his career in politics as a member of the opposition party but switch to the majority Nacionalista Party over issues of the approval of the Independence Law in 1933. "Mr. Nacionalista" as he was often referred to by his colleagues, remained loyal to this party until his death. On December 6, just few days before his death, Senator Rodriguez announced he was not seeking reelection to the Senate in the elections of the following year.

The interment held at Montalban, Rizal on December 16, was attended by President Macapagal and his wife. Senate President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who returned immediately from Tokyo upon news of the Senator's death, delivered the eulogy.

Eulogio Rodriguez (Sr.) had seven children by his first wife, Juana Santiago, namely Eulogio, Jr., Jose, Ruperto, Leonor, Isidro, Constancio and Adelaida. With his second wife, Ma. Luisita Canoy, he had three children, namely, Baby, Linda and Rafael.

Senator Rodriguez' birthplace, the municipality of Montalban, Rizal was renamed "Rodriguez" to honor his memory.

Sources:

  1. Journal of American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Volume 41, Number 1, January 1965
  2. Eulogio A. Rodriguez, Sr., Senate of the Philippines (http://www.senate.gov.ph/)
  3. Photo credit: Philippine Presidential Museum and Library


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