The name “Labason” before it came to be had a number of names. Several versions regarding its derivation were gathered, but the most widely known among them is that Labason is from the word “Lab-as”, a Visayan term which means “Fresh Fish”. This place was known for its abundance of fresh fish and it is till even up to now. Early traders called it “Lab-asan”. Varied they may have been, but they all point to one basic thing: Labason has made a history of its own.
The original inhabitants of this place and other sitios were Subanons who lived a nomadic life. Later, Muslim missionaries claimed them as their subjects.
Economic and social conditions of the native were improved when Labason was made a Municipal District. The people taught and encouraged to plant crops, raised all sorts of agricultural products and domesticated farm animals.
In accordance with the Code of Mindanao and Sulu, on July 10, 1916, this place was transformed into a Municipal District, making Panganuran the seat of government under Zamboanga. The extent of its jurisdiction was from Baliguian to Banigan. Due to the increased of population and other factors favorable to development that then existed, the seat of government was transferred from Panganuran to Labason.
Mandag Kawan, a Subano, was appointed as the first Municipal District President with Don Juan Moro as the Vice President. Later Don Juan Moro also became the first District President when Labason became the seat of government and then followed by District President Hatib Layling, a Muslim with Bagti Sangkayan as Vice President.
Gil Sanchez, Sr. and Nemesio Fortich were the first Christian President and Vice President respectively. They served they district from 1934-1937.
When Sindangan was created into a municipality, Labason become one of its barrios. Years later, the socio-economic condition of Labason has improved and the people felt the need to be independent from Sindangan. Such wish was granted in 1948.
By virtue of Executive No. 79 signed by the late President Manuel Roxas on August 12, 1947, Labason was created into a municipality. On January 24, 19481, led by then Provincial Governor Felipe B. Ascuna, Labason was formally inaugurated as one of the municipality of Zamboanga Peninsula. Gil Sanchez, Sr. was appointed as the first Mayor together with Constancio Galon as Vice Mayor. It was during this period that thorough planning was undertaken. Roads were started to be laid-out and major barangays with development plans for future expansions. Two of these barangays were Gutalac and Kalawit, which now become separate municipalities.
More schools were opened and re-opened. Cadastral Subdivision of this municipality started in 1952 and was extended by the Economic Coordination Administration (ECA). This enabled the residents of Labason to own and develop the areas surveyed for them.
In 1956, Generoso Tokong was elected Mayor together with Leoncio Bihag as his Vice Mayor. The latter serve as Vice Mayor up to 1960. For the remaining part of 1960 and part of 1961, Lucio Martinez was appointed Vice Mayor replacing Leoncio Bihag. Mayor Tokong had his re-election in 1961 with Atty. Primitivo Abarquez2 as his Vice Mayor.
In 1964, Graciano B. Canda3 was elected as Mayor for his first term of office with Sotero Salcedo as his Vice Mayor (1964-1972). In 1972, Graciano B. Canda won his second term with Atty. Angel M. Carloto4 as his Vice Mayor (1972-1977). The Declaration of Martial Law enables Graciano B. Canda to hold office beyond his term. Sometimes in 1981, Sagrado C. Ocaya, M.D. becomes the town Vice Mayor (1981-1986). Graciano B. Canda served as Mayor from 1964-1986. It was on his administration that construction of more roads and bridges were conducted. Improvement was done on a faster pace. It was during this time that Labason saw the birth of her daughter town Gutalac thru Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 19 dated March 6, 1979 and seven of its thirty-five barangays were taken from her. As time went on, Labason again begot additional four barangays, namely: Imelda, Gil Sanchez, Daniel Maing5 and Palalian.
After the EDSA People Power Revolution in February, 1986 and the existence of the “Freedom Constitution”, Francisco Buctuan, Sr. was appointed as OIC-Mayor with Sergio Martinez as OIC-Vice Mayor. They both stayed in office from April, 1986 to November, 1987. From December, 1987 to February, 1988, Nemesio Galea took over as OIC-Mayor.
Last January 18, 1988 Elections, Sagrado C. Ocaya, M.D. was elected as Municipal Mayor with Isabel G. Brillantes as his Vice Mayor. They both served from 1988-1992.
Last February 10, 1990, Kalawit was created into a municipality by virtue of Republic Act No. 6851. Labason land area was further decreased as twelve of its existing barangays were given to Kalawit, leaving only twenty barangay under its direct supervision and control.
Last May 11, 1992 Elections, Isabel G. Brillantes become the first lady-Mayor of Labason with Wilfredo S. Balais as her Vice Mayor. They both served from 1992-1995.
Last May 8, 1995 Elections, Wilfredo S. Balais was elected as Municipal Mayor with Melodina Wee-Carreon as his Vice Mayor. They both served from 1995-1998.
Last May 11, 1988 Elections, Wilfredo S. Balais was re-elected as Municipal Mayor with Sagrado C. Ocaya as his Vice Mayor. They both served from 1988-2001.
Last May 14, 2001 Elections, Sagrado C. Ocaya was elected as Municipal Mayor with Isabel G. Brillantes as Vice Mayor. They both served from 2001-2004.
Last May 10, 2004 Elections, Wilfredo S. Balais was elected as Municipal Mayor with Isabel G. Brillantes as Vice Mayor. They both served from 2004-2007.
Last May 14, 2007 Elections, Wilfredo S. Balais was re-elected as Municipal Mayor with Virgilio J. Go as his Vice Mayor. They both served from 2007-2010.
Last May10, 2010 Elections, Wilfredo S. Balais was re-elected as Municipal Mayor for his third term with Virgilio J. Go as Vice Mayor for the second term. They shall served from 2010-2013.
Table 1.1. Name and Respective Terms of Elected/Appointed Municipal Mayor
|Hon. Gil Sanchez, Sr.||1948 – 1956|
|Hon. Generoso B. Tokong||1956 – 1963|
|Hon. Graciano B. Canda, Sr.||1963 – 1986|
|Hon. Francisco B. Buctuan, Sr.||1986 – 1987|
|Hon. Nemesio Galea||1987 – 1988|
|Hon. Sagrado C. Ocaya, M.D.||1988 – 1992|
|Hon. Isabel G. Brillantes||1992 – 1995|
|Hon. Wilfredo S. Balais||1995 – 2001|
|Hon. Sagrado C. Ocaya, M.D.||2001 – 2004|
Hon. Wilfredo S. Balais
Hon. Eddie T. Quimbo
2004 – 2012
2013 - 2016
Table 1.2. Name and Respective Terms of Elected/Appointed Municipal Vice Mayor
|Hon. Constancio Galon||1948 – 1956|
|Hon. Leoncio Bihag||1956 – 1960|
|Hon. Lucio Martinez||1960 – 1961|
|Hon. Primitivo Abarquez, Ll.B.||1961 – 1964|
|Hon. Sotero Salcedo||1964 – 1972|
|Hon. Angel M. Carloto, Ll.B.||1972 – 1977|
|Hon. Sagrado C. Ocaya, M.D.||1981 – 1986|
|Hon. Sergio Martinez||1986 – 1987|
|Hon. Isabel G. Brillantes||1988 – 1992|
|Hon. Wilfredo S. Balais||1992 – 1995|
|Hon. Melodina Wee-Carreon||1995 – 1998|
|Hon. Sagrado C. Ocaya, M.D.||1998 – 2001|
|Hon. Isabel G. Brillantes||2001 – 2007|
|Hon. Virgilio J. Go||2007 – present|