The elder Laurel’sdefeat in the 1949elections neither madehim moretemperamental nor didhe lose his sense ofhumor. He had refused toabet an uprising inBatangas, and he toldhis friends that he wasnow “a canto boy.”
This time, he felt surethat he would win fortwo reasons:•the new Secretary ofDefense, RamonMagsaysay, a guerrillaleader from Zambalesprovince, would havemilitary troops overseethe balloting such thatthe “special policemen”
He was again elected Speaker of the HouseHe attributed his defeat to term during his last hishaving authored and sponsored the until President MarcosRetail Trade Nationalization Act of padlocked Congress in1955, and as a result thousands of 1972.Chinese sari-sari store owners seat In 1984 he won acontributed heavily Batasang in the to thePampango’s money chest. Pambansa while the country was under martial law.
Pepe, the secondoldest son, aftergraduating fromthe ImperialMilitary Academyof Tokyo in 1938,got his Bachelorof Laws degreefrom the ManuelL. QuezonUniversity 11years later in1949.
Maning took up law after their return fromJapan, and got his doctorate from MadridUniversity.
The youngest, Dodjie, finished law and becameknown as the “fastest Filipino on wheels,”winning the Macao Grand Prix twice and dying onhis bid to gain it for the third time in 1967.
Mama Laurel wanted all hersons to join her husband in afirm to be known as the LaurelLaw Office. She didn’t want tohave her children to haveseparate law offices, because“they’ll end up fighting eachother in court, and I don’t wantto see that happen.”She had bought with her ownmoney the vacant lot in thewalled city near that occupiedby the San Juan De DiosHospital, at the corner of Realand Solana streets, and then in1953 put up a large concretebuilding of two stories with amezzanine.
Dr. Laurel, of course, was the senior partner with Pepito,Pepe, Teroy, Maning and Doy as junior partners. Fat retainer fees came in. Doy, for example, won a case for the Magdalena Estate ofMrs. Magdalena Hemady, absolving it from the War Profits Taxcharge, and was paid P200,000. All the Laurel males, starting with the father, except Doy,had eloped. Some of them contracted a civil marriage beforeundergoing the Catholic Ceremony. The three girls, of course, got properly married in church,probably because Nati (who married Leon Guinto Jr.), Rose (Mrs.Jesus Avanceña), and Nita (Mrs. Gary Yupangco) ─ called thethree Marias of the Family ─ graduate from Scholastica’s Collegeand their Mama kept strict watch their social activities.
They had recovered the piano de cola or grand piano andhad bought another. The sisters who had learned to playthe piano while in college, often gave recitals for theirparents and members of the family, or while entertainingsome local friends after dinner.
“Father and Mother were strict disciplinarians,” recalled Teroy,“but with a difference. If we stayed out late, he impressed onus that we still had to comply with our duties. One stern lookfrom him was enough to silence or discipline us. On the otherhand, when we boys went a-courting, he was understanding.Mother was not. She was overly protective and did not approveof our going out to socialize.”Whenever their Mama would prohibit them from attending certainparties, they would appeal to their father who would invariablysay, “your mother’s decisions, like those of the Supreme Court,are final.” So they stopped appealing to their papa─ butcontinued adoring him.“As father’s public responsibilities grew,” remembered Rose, “hewanted the time spent with us full of fun and affection. Heencouraged family outings which bred togetherness and a fiercefamily loyalty for which our family even today is well-known. Ourpicnics to Pansol in Laguna province (near Los Baños) to bathe inthe warm suphur springs are among the most memorablerecollections of our childhood.”
Convincing Recto was a more difficult task, for Don Claro believedthat with the victory of their party in 1951 he had a goodchance of winning.He did not expect the Americans through the CIA to underwritehis campaign, and he doubted if they would resurrect NAMFREL.The lack of these two factors would considerably hurt hiscandidacy.The CIA even thought of distributing defective rubber condomsto have the married people vote against him.When Pelaez and Dindo said that he might be killed whilecampaigning by some person or group who did not like hisnationalist attitude, Recto finally agreed to support Magsaysay.
On Nov.16 at his house in Pasay, Recto affixed hissignature to a written agreement together with Magsaysayas the official candidate of the Nacionalista party a yearhence.Although the document was kept secret, news somehowleaked out, and an irate Apo Pidiong told reporters that hisSecretary of Defense knew “nothing about affairs ofstate, or how to conduct them,” and all he was good for was“killing Huks.”Magsaysay on March 1, 1953 resigned from the cabinet.Eight days later, as hundreds of friends trooped to thePeñafrancia home of Laurel, he announced publicly for thefirst time the choice of Magsaysay as the oppositioncandidate for President of the Philippines despitemurmured objections from the Senator’s die-hardsupporters.
Laurel confessed to his friends: “ I looked around for a man inmy party who possessed all the qualifications of Magsaysay, andfound none. So he was the choice.”Three days later, the party was held its national convention atthe Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel, and Laurel nominatedRM as the group’s candidate.“I am representing to you Ramon Magsaysay,” said Laurel avoice ringing with emotion, “the choice of the Nacionalistaparty, the symbol of unity and vigor of the party. Herepresents Juan De La Cruz.He belongs to the masses; he isidentified with the masses;he is fighting for the masses. He isno longer the Congressman from Zambales; he is no longer theSecretary of Defense;he is no longer an official of theadministration; but he is now one who symbolizes the manhood ofAndres Bonifacio, the courage of General Gregorio Del Pilar, thewisdom of Dr.Jose Rizal, and the bravery of RichardLionhearted.”
The 1953 elections proved to be a landslideNeedless to add, Magsaysay garnered victory for the opposition.Americavotes to Quirino’s 1,313,991, or a 2,912,992 loosened difference of one and a half million votes.its purse strings opposition difference Five the lower House thein thetoperson of was 58 31 Representatives. Amang Rodriguez became the Senate President,Col. PepitoLansdale, the Speaker of the while Ed Laurel becamewho often Houseaccompanied RM with the results of the Dr. Laurel was content elections, and he felt could relax by taking careas the numerous legal cases, that had been of he toured theprovinces. law office after he had lost the dumped on his election four years ago.
He was also interestedin pushing theestablishment of a bankin the metropolis and infounding the Lyceum ofthe Philippines. Butseveral months afterthe new administrationhad settled down, hereceived a presidentialappointment to head aneconomic mission toWashington, D.C.