MacArthur man­sion re­turned to owner

Manila Bulletin - - Visayas News - By NESTOR L. ABREMATEA

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.

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