Alejandro Almendras

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Alejandro Almendras was a former senator and a former Representative of the 1st District of Davao del Sur to the Regular Batasang Pambansa (1984-1986).

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Early Life

Senator Alejandro D. Almendras was born in Danao, Cebu on February 27, 1919. At the time of his birth, his father, the late Paulo Almendras, was already a politician and one of the trusted leaders of former President Sergio Osmena, Sr., founder of the Nacionalista Party. The elder Almendras was the mayor of Danao for four consecutive terms. Almendras’ mother, Elisea Durano, was the older sister of Rep. Ramon Durano.

Almendras graduated from the Cebu Provincial High School in 1938 and enrolled at the Far Eastern University in Manila to take up aeronautical engineering. In 1941, however, his studies were disrupted when he was called to active service by the armed forces.

War Hero

The young pilot enlisted in the Philippine Air Force during the World War II. When the USAFFE forces surrendered, he went back to Cebu to organize a Japanese resistance movement. He was only 23 but his skill, leadership and courage during that time did not go unnoticed as he was given the rank of lieutenant Colonel as well as the command of the 88th Infantry Regiment by the Cebu Area Commander Col. James Cushing.

Several awards and decorations were later awarded to Col. Almendras, including the Silver Star Medal. The Silver Star was in recognition for his gallantry in action as he commandeered a regiment against the Japanese at Batawang and Solima Ridges and at the Kantakuyan and Gumbang Springs in 1945. During the entire operation, Almendras stayed with his troops in the firing lines to inspect and supervise the construction of defenses for counter enemy attacks. Most noteworthy his bravery during the Kantakuyan and Gumbang Springs assault wherein the area was heavily guarded by the enemy because of the water supply. His skillful leadership contributed greatly to the success and completion of the mission in a short period of time.

In 1958, he was also awarded the “Most Outstanding Veteran” award.

Political Career

Almendras was a third-year law student at the Mindanao Colleges in Davao City in 1951 when politics finally caught up with him. Pitted against a seasoned Liberal Party incumbent supported by the administration, Almendras won his first political battle and was elected governor of Davao, the youngest governor in the country at that time. He ran and won again in 1955. As governor, he built more roads, schoolhouses, artesian wells and other public improvements. He helped improve the agricultural economy of Davao which minimized the community’s social problems. In 1958, he was conferred the award as the most “Outstanding Governor” on the basis of honesty, integrity, efficiency and road building by the foreign correspondents’ Association of the Philippines.

On May 8, 1959, he was appointed first secretary of the Department of General Services by President Garcia. He organized the department with strict supervision over the acquisition of materials, equipment and supplies. He was awarded as the “Most Outstanding Cabinet Member” by the Confederation of Filipino Veterans early in February, 1959.

In the same year, he was elected and served as senator until 1972. He was credited for the passage into law of Republic Act 3018 nationalizing the rice and corn industry as well as the law creating the Veterans Bank. Senator Almendras was married to the former Caridad Cabahug of Borbon, Cebu. They were blessed with seven children. He died at age 76 in August 1995.

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