MacArthur mansion returned to owner
TACLOBAN CITY – The historic Price Mansion here, which was the official residence of General Douglas MacArthur during World War II, has been ordered returned to its owner by a local court.
College Assurance Plan (CAP) Tacloban legal counsel Alberto Hidalgo, assisted by a sheriff and policemen, led in the takeover of the property after the court issued a writ of possession for it.
In interviews over DYVL Aksyon Radio, Hidalgo said armed men took over the mansion last December 3, 2013, barely a month after Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated Tacloban.
Hidalgo said the property was sold to CAP by a prominent family in the city and CAP has since been holding office there.
A former Leyte politician is said to be behind the takeover of the property. The tower of PR TV 12, a local television owned by the family of the politician, was put up in the mansion’s yard.
On October 23, 1944, after landing with allied troops in Leyte to start the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation, MacArthur re-established the Philippine Commonwealth in Tacloban, with Sergio Osmeña as president.
The legendary general and Osmeña both stayed at the Price Mansion.
Tacloban became both the general headquarters of the MacArthur’s forces and the seat of government of the Philippine commonwealth.
The Price Mansion was one of the favorite party venues of former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos and her brother, the late Leyte Governor Benjamin T. Romualdez, during the Marcos years.
In recent years, the mansion has fallen into disrepair, and tall grass now covers the statues of MacArthur and Osmeña that stand in the compound.