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Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Term of Mayor Simeon Salarda

 Mayor Simeon Salarda  (Mayor - 1964 – 1965)        

Mayor Salarda y Alingasa is the second of a dozen children of the spouses Vicente Salarda and Camila Alingasa. He graduated from the Alimodian Central Elementary School in 1926 as a salutatorian, but due to poverty, he enrolled in the Iloilo Normal School in 1930 only as a self-supporitng student by playing saxophone and clarinet with the then famous BUTTERFLY ORCHESTRA. For further education, he attended evening class in college after WWII as a veteran while working with the Police Department at day time. After he was appointed Instrumental Music Teacher in the Iloilo City High School, he attended summer classes. He taught Grades III-IV in Alibango Primary School and taught intermediate music in Iloilo City.

Pre-Mayoralty Days
        As a clerk, he worked in the Office of the Division Superintendent of Schools, in the Law Office of Atty. P.M. Miguel and in the Provincial Auditor’s Office. Lastly, he was the Auditing Aide of the Alimodian National Comprehensive High School, where he resigned to run for mayor in the 1963 elections under the Liberal Party.
        He won together with his Vice Mayor Gabriel Alingasa and Councilors Patrocinio Canonero, Natalia Amparado, Felix Anas, Jose Anico, Antonio Anibigno and Aquiles Cabaluna. Geronimo Balolot and Salvador Altura of the Nacionalista Party were also elected councilors. Mayor Salarda was opposed by Mr. Manuel Alegrado, a retired school teacher, Atty. Miguel Anas and the incumbent mayor David Alfeche. In his first attempt in 1955, he lost against the ten year incumbent Mayor Simeon Canonero. After the end of his term, he reinstated in the Office of the Provincial Auditor as Assistant Chief of Section where he retired in January 1973.
        As a Mayor, his most valuable and lasting accomplishments was the DEFEAT of the Municipality of Cabatuan of their almost half century old claim over a large area of land belonging to and within the territorial boundary of the Municipality of Alimodian. Taxes from the recovered parcels of land will boost the yearly income of Alimodian for eternity.

Cabatuan – Alimodian Boundary Dispute
       One of the greatest achievements of the Salarda administration was the follow up of the territorial boundary between Cabatuan and Alimodian which started way back in 1919.
       The case was activated again when Cabatuan passed Resolution No. 282, Series 1964 requesting the Provincial Assessor of the Province of Iloilo to transfer the tax declarations of the lots referred to in Resolutions No. 281, Series of 1964 from the Municipality of Alimodian to the Municipality of Cabatuan.
       On January 17, 1965, in reply to Resolution No. 282, Series 1964 dated November 8, 1964 of Cabatuan, Alimodian passed Resolution No. 2, Series 1965 requesting the Provincial Assessor that the Municipal Council of Alimodian is strongly opposed to the said resolution of Cabatuan.
       On February 14, 1965 Alimodian passed Resolution No. 7, Series 1965 requesting the Provincial Board to settle the boundary case and Resolution No. 8, Series 1965 requesting the Municipal Council of Cabatuan to leave the area status quo.
       On March 10, 1965 the Provincial Board called both the Municipal Councils of Alimodian and Cabatuan to a conference at the Provincial Board Session Hall for an amicable settlement but no agreement had been reached as to the matter requested in Resolutions Nos. 7 and 8, Series 1965 of Alimodian.
       The Provincial Board then created a committee of three composed of Atty. Ricardo Gerochi, secretary of the Provincial Board as Chairman; Atty. Jose Robles, Legislative Aide and Atty. Gregorio Guadalupe, assistant secretary of the Provincial Board as members, to hear the dispute and through a letter of even date, the secretary of the Provincial Board requested all parties concerned to appear on the hearing of the boundary dispute set for April 28, 1965 and for them to be ready to adduce on their respective claim.
       On April 4, 1965 the Municipal Council of Alimodian passed Resolution No. 17 Series 1965 officially designating Atty. Rafael L. Almacen as Chief Counsel for Alimodian on the above entitled boundary case.
       Various hearings were conducted before the above mentioned committee created by the Provincial Board. As a result of the hearings and the ocular investigation conducted by the committee, recommendations were submitted to the Provincial Board. Acting upon the result of the hearings, report and recommendation of the committee, on October 15, 1966 in its regular session resolved the boundary case.
       On November 9, 1966 the Provincial Board handed down its decision on the boundary case, sustaining the theory of Alimodian and rejecting that of the Municipality of Cabatuan and thereby fixing the boundary between the two municipalities to start from MBM No. 26 at Mt. Igcaratong straight towards MBM No. 22 at Mt. Daigon.
       Provincial Assessor advised the SB Secretary to secure a certification from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary to the effect that the decision of November 9, 1966 rendered by the defunct Provincial Board of Iloilo is final and executory.
      Acting upon the advice of the Provincial Assessor, the Sangguniang Bayan of Alimodian on February 7, 1982 passed Resolution No. 7, Series 1982 requesting the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary to issue a certification to the effect that the decision handed by the defunct Provincial Board dated November 9, 1966 is final and executory. Upon receipt of this resolution, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary referred by the Provincial Attorney to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for resolution. The same was favorably resolved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and returned to the Provincial Attorney for its opinion. The Provincial Attorney advised the Sangguaniang Panlalawigan Secretary to issue a certification as requested for in Resolution No. 7, Series 1982 of the Sangguniang Bayan of Alimodian.
     On a follow up made by the Sangguniang Bayan Secretary of Alimodian with the office of the Provincial Attorney he was verbally informed by Atty. Romeo Suelan that he has already sent proper indorsement to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary with the advise that the latter shall issue the requested certification in favor of the Municipality of Alimodian.
     Up to now the said certification was not issued by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as they are still looking for the records of the case. Mr. Cecilio Alli, Sangguniang Bayan Secretary of Alimodian was advised to wait until such time that the records could be recovered.
     More than two years have passed yet the Sangguniang Bayan of Alimodian has not received the long awaited certification.
     The Boundary case between Cabatuan and Alimodian was defended by Atty. Rafael, Almacen, the first lawyer of Alimodian. In a resolution the Municipal Council of Alimodian awarded Atty. Almacen a gold medal with this inscription:


     Upon the receipt of the award Atty. Almacen wrote a lengthy letter which he read to the members of the Municipal Council, which part reads:
     “The most delicate mission you, all of you, have given me is now finally and successfully obtained. In one word, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. No further question is asked how I got it. Your diligent and simpatico mayor, Simeon Salarda, can now tell you the hardships, difficulties we have had to undergo to prepare for the real fight against the unfounded claim of Cabatuan over a certain territory consisting of the barrios of Mambawi, Ban-ag and Coline.”

Other Achievements
      Mayor Salarda’s other accomplishments were: the cementing of Alegria, Inocencio, Rizal, G. Allones and San Juan Streets; construction of rural road to Barrio Coline, the chapel in the cemetery, the Lunch Counter in the Central School, the reconstruction of the old school building at the plaza to house the Municipal Library; the opening of schools in barrios Cunsad , Bugang and Umingan. He put up the temporary ALEOSAN Emergency Hospital in the abandoned Home Economics building, the forerunner of the now ALEOSAN DISTRICT HOSPITAL in Bancal. The policy then was for the government to appropriate funds for emergency hospitals then existing, so, thru the advice of Congresswoman Gloria Tabiana, said emergency hospital was put up in the poblacion to meet the basic requirement. As an affiliate of the Provincial Hospital, a team of doctors and nurses from the Provincial Hospital came to Alimodian every Tuesday and Friday to examine and treat patients with minor ailments, while serious cases were brought to the Provincial Hospital. For more than a year, Mayor Salarda served lunch prepared from his own personal funds to the visiting team when they were in Alimodian. After Director of Hospital Pedro Mayuga in company with Congresswoman Tabiana verified the existence of the hospital, the appropriation for the construction of the hospital was approved in Congress. However, for lack of the required site in the poblacion, the hospital was built in Bancal.
       His most worthwhile memories were: (1) When he was gathering land tax declarations and land tax receipts from residents bordering the old boundary between Alimodian and Cabatuan; (2) Tracing on foot with Atty. Almacen the old and new boundaries from Mt. Daigon in Hanawhanaw to Mt. Igcaratong in Mambawi; (3) Tracing on foot with Atty. Rafael Almacen and then Councilor Antonio Anibigno the old and new boundaries between Alimodian and Maasin from Mambawi to Barrio Punong. (4) His travel on foot to the farthest, highest and mountainous barrio of Umingan, the first mayor to reach the place, such that the following year, school was opened there. His footsteps were followed by Parish Priest Ismael Castano with a team of Cursillistas including Atty. Mariano Toledo to Christianize the native “bukidnons” as they were formerly called; and (5) When implanting the huge wooden cross on top of Igcaras Hill now known as the “AGONY HILL”. Without the use of any modern mechanical devices, but only with ropes and bamboo poles the Cursillitas did the job perfectly. At the time, Mayor Salarda was the chairman of Cursillo Movement in Alimodian.
        Mayor Salarda is happily married to Jovita Aligaen, daughter of the spouses Anacleto Aligaen and Consolacion Aguillon. The following are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Salarda:

(1) Judge Simeonito married to Midwife Remedios Tolentino
(2) Nurse Cecilia S. Datu, formerly Senior Nursing Consultant, Operation Brotherhood, Laos, now Asst. Supervisor, OR, West Covina, Los Angeles, California married to Civil Engr. Orlando D. Datu, Asst. Vice President, Construction Control Department, Great Western Savings and Loan Association, LA, California;
(3) Nurse Ma. Luz S. Alcudia married to Col. Quintin A. Alcudia
(4) Chem. Engr. Nicolas Salarda, Production Manager, Fil-Hispano Tiles, Manila married to Nurse Lina Altura, Asst. Dean, College of Nursing, MCU;
(5) Nurse Violeta Salarda died in line of duty as Nurse of Operation Brotherhood, Laos;
(6) BSEED Rodolfo, Agriculture and Industrial Arts Teacher, Sinamay Elementary School, married to BSEED Julie Anas, Head Teacher, Sinamay Elementary School;
(7) Rev. Fr. Patricio, Former Parish Priest of Igbaras, Iloilo

       Mayor Salarda believes that someday, Alimodian will experience another boundary disputeand the best solution, he said, is to take the case of the proper agencies of the government.
       The Agony Hill project was conceived and initiated by the Cursillistas under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Nicolas Caberoy, assistant parish priest of the town. It was started in November 1966. Their first move was to raise funds for the project. A raffle was held and they were able to have a margin which was enough to finance the erection of the big wooden cross.
       The big cross was hewn out of mulawon tree found at the foot of Igcaras Hill. Aided by carabaos, men carried the hewn cross to the summit of the Hill. The erection of the cross was the climax of execution of the project of the Cursillistas on February 19, 1967. It was such a big cross as it weighed almost two tons. It was planted on its foundation by some 50 men with the use of bamboos and ropes.
      The cross stands as an inspiration for the residents to recall the sorrows and passion of our Lord especially during the Lenten season.
      Before the end of the Lenten season, thousands of Catholics ascend the Agony Hill to pray “The Way of the Cross”.
      When the fourteen stations and the big wooden cross wore finished, the Agony Hill was blessed and inaugurated by then Auxiliary Bishop, most Reverend Jaime L. Sin, D.D. on May 3, 1967 at 3:30 in the afternoon.
      Never to be forgotten in the construction of this project is Rev. Fr. Nicolas Caberoy, who devoted his time and efforts so that the project could be materialized.

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