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President of the Philippines

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In March 1897 Emilio Aguinaldo was elected President of a revolutionary government at the Tejeros Convention.[14] The new government was meant to replace the Katipunan as a government, though the latter was not formally abolished until 1899. Aguinaldo was again elected President at Biak-na-Bato in November, leading the Biak-na-Bato Republic. Exiled in Hong Kong after the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, with the advent of the Spanish-American War he returned to the Philippines to renew revolutionary activities and formed a dictatorial government on May 24, 1898. Revolutionary forces under his command declared independence on June 12, 1898. On June 23, 1898, Aguinaldo transformed his dictatorial government into a revolutionary government. On January 23, 1899, he was then elected President of the Philippine Republic (Spanish: República Filipina), a government constituted by the Malolos Congress. Thus, this government is also called the Malolos Republic. Sovereignty over the Philippines passed from Spain to the United States with the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish-American War. Aguinaldo’s government effectively ceased to exist on April 1, 1901, when he pledged allegiance to the United States after being captured by U.S. forces in March. The current Philippine government, formally called the Republic of the Philippines, considers Emilio Aguinaldo to be the first President of the Philippines and the Malolos Republic as the “First” Philippine Republic.[15 (2)

Manuel Luis Quezón ý Molina (August 19, 1878 – August 1, 1944) served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines (as opposed to other historical states). Quezón is considered by most Filipinos to have been the second president of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (1897–1901). Quezón was the first Senate president elected to the presidency, the first president elected through a national election, and the first incumbent to secure re-election (for a partial second term, later extended, due to amendments to the 1935 Constitution).

He is known as the “Father of theNational Language”. During his presidency, Quezón tackled the problem of landless peasants in the countryside. Other major decisions include reorganization of the islands’ military defense, approval of recommendation for government reorganization, promotion of settlement and development in Mindanao, tackling the foreign strangle-hold on Philippine trade and commerce, proposals for land reform, and the tackling of graft and corruption within the government. Quezón established an exiled government in the US with the outbreak of the war and the threat of Japanese invasion. During his exile in the US, Manuel L. Quezón died of tuberculosis in Saranac Lake, New York. (3)

Jose Paciano Laurel (b. March 9, 1891, Tanauan, Luzon, Phil.–d. Nov. 6, 1959, Manila), president of the Philippines (1943-45), during the Japanese occupation of World War II. After receiving law degrees from the University of the Philippines (1915) and from Yale University (1920), he was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1925 and appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1936. After the Pearl Harbor attack, Laurel stayed in Manila after President Manuel Quezon escaped first to Bataan and then to the United States. He offered his services to the Japanese; and because of his criticism of U.S. rule of the Philippines he held a series of high posts in 1942-43, climaxing in his selection as president in 1943. Twice in that year he was shot by Philippine guerrillas but recovered. In July 1946 he was charged with 132 counts of treason but was never brought to trial; he shared in the general amnesty in April 1948. As the Nationalist Party’s nominee for the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines in 1949, he was narrowly defeated by the incumbent president, Elpidio Quirino, nominee of the Liberal Party. Elected to the Senate in 1951, Laurel helped to persuade Ramón Magsaysay, then secretary of defense, to desert the Liberals and join the Nationalists. When Magsaysay became president, Laurel headed an economic mission that in 1955 negotiated an agreement to improve economic relations with the United States. He retired from public life in 1957. (4)

Sergio Osmeña ý Suico (9 September 1878 – 19 October 1961) was a Chinese Filipino politician who served as the 4th President of the Philippinesfrom 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon, and rose to the presidency upon Quezon’s death in 1944, being the oldest Philippine president to hold office at age 65. A founder of Nacionalista Party, he was the first Visayan to become President of the Philippines. Prior to his succession to the Presidency in 1944, Osmeña served as Governor of Cebu from 1901–1907, Member and Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1907–1922, and Senator from the 10th Senatorial District for thirteen years, in which capacity he served as Senate President pro tempore. In 1935, he was nominated to be the running-mate of Senate President Manuel L. Quezon for the presidential election that year. The tandem was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1941. He was the patriarch of the prominent Osmeña family, which includes his son (former Senator Sergio Osmeña, Jr.) and his grandsons (senatorsSergio Osmeña III and John Henry Osmeña), ex-governor Lito Osmeña, and Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña. (5)

Roxas y Acuña, Manuel (1892-1948), Philippine statesman and first president (1946-1948) of the Philippines, born in Capiz, and educated at the University of Manila. After studying law at the University of the Philippines, near Manila, Roxas began his political career in 1917 as a member of the municipal council of Capiz (renamed Roxas in 1949). He was governor of the province of Capiz in 1919-21 and was then elected to the Philippine House of Representatives, subsequently serving as Speaker of the House and a member of the Council of State. In 1923 he and Manuel Quezon, the president of the Senate, resigned in protest from the Council of State when the U.S. governor-general (Leonard Wood) began vetoing bills passed by the Philippine legislature. In 1932 Roxas and Sergio Osmeña, the Nacionalista Party leader, led the Philippine Independence Mission to Washington, D.C., where they influenced the passage of the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act. Roxas was later opposed by Quezon, who held that the act compromised future Philippine independence; the Nacionalista Party was split between them on this issue. In 1934, however, Roxas was a member of the convention that drew up a constitution under the revised Philippine Independence and Commonwealth Act (Tydings-McDuffie Act).

Roxas also served as secretary of finance in the Commonwealth government (1938-40). During World War II Roxas served in the pro-Japanese government of José Laurel by acquiring supplies of rice for the Japanese army. Although a court was established after the war to try collaborators, Roxas was defended by his friend General Douglas MacArthur. Roxas was elected president of the Commonwealth in 1946 as the nominee of the liberal wing of the Nacionalista Party (which became the Liberal Party), and, when independence was declared on July 4, he became the first president of the new republic. Although Roxas was successful in getting rehabilitation funds from the United States after independence, he was forced to concede military bases (23 of which were leased for 99 years), trade restrictions for Philippine citizens, and special privileges for U.S. property owners and investors. His administration was marred by graft and corruption; moreover, the abuses of the provincial military police contributed to the rise of the left-wing Hukbalahap (Huk) movement in the countryside. His heavy-handed attempts to crush the Huks led to widespread peasant disaffection. Roxas died in office in 1948 and was succeeded by his vice president, Elpidio Quirino. (see also Index: Hukbalahap Rebellion)

Manuel Roxas (1892-1948) was the last president of the Commonwealth and the first president of the Republic of the Philippines. His administration demonstrated decisively that political sovereignty without economic independence encourages reaction, perpetuation of social injustices, and exploitation.

Manuel Roxas was born in Capiz, Capiz Province, on Jan. 1, 1892. In 1914 he graduated from the College of Law of the University of the Philippines. In 1916 he became provincial governor. In 1922 he was elected to Congress, becoming Speaker of the Philippine Assembly.

In December 1931 Roxas, together with Senate president pro tempore Sergio Osmeña, left for the United States to secure the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act from the U.S. Congress, which would grant Philippine independence after a transition period of 10 years. This bill was rejected by the opposition forces led by Manuel Quezon. In 1934 Roxas was elected to the constitutional convention. In 1938 he was appointed secretary of finance by Commonwealth president Quezon and then became his trusted adviser. In 1941 Roxas ran for the Senate and won.

On Dec. 8, 1941, at the outbreak of the war, Roxas served as lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). He refused to join Quezon in fleeing to the United States because he wanted to preserve the morale of the Filipino soldiers fighting in Bataan and Corregidor. He was captured in 1942 by the Japanese forces in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, and was forced to serve in the puppet government of José Laurel. Roxas accepted the position of chairman of the Economic Planning Board in Laurel’s wartime Cabinet. During the Japanese retreat he allegedly escaped from the Japanese high command in Baguio on April 15, 1945.

Because of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s unexplained intervention, Roxas was never tried as a collaborator, though he had served officially in Laurel’s Japanese-sponsored administration. When the Philippine legislature convened during the liberation, Roxas was elected president of the Senate on June 9, 1945. He broke with President Osmeña and formed the Liberal party, which he led to victory as presidential candidate on April 23, 1946. Roxas thus became the last president of the Commonwealth and the first president of the Republic of the Philippines when it was inaugurated on July 4, 1946.

Owing to the unfair demands of the Bell Trade Relations Act of 1945, which called for a revision of the Philippine constitution to give parity rights to Americans in exchange for rehabilitation money, Roxas found himself surrendering his country’s freedom and its right to determine its own destiny. Faced by the unified opposition of workers and peasants, the majority of the people, Roxas sided with the oppressive landlord class and the colonialistic merchants to put down by force the legitimate aspirations of the electorate.

It is public knowledge that most of Roxas’s policies were dictated by Gen. MacArthur and U.S. high commissioner Paul V. McNutt. Not only did Roxas lack the vision to foresee the causes that would strain Philippine-American relations later (for example, the Military Bases Agreement of March 14, 1947), but he also failed to sympathize with the plight of the majority of the poor. (6)

Although a failure in his efforts to minimize the Huk problem, President Quirino tried his best to improve the economic and social conditions of the country. He adopted a “total mobilization program” aimed at using the total resources, credit facilities, and technical knowledge to achieve economic progress. Among his achievements and accomplishments were the following; 1. The establishment of the Agricultural Credit Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) to help farmers market their crops and save them from usurers. 2. The establishments of rural banks in the provinces to give load to farmers at low interest rates. 3. The creation of new government agencies to handle labor problems and to take care of and distribute relief to poor families as well as to the victims of natural disasters such as fires, floods, and typhoons. 4. The conclusion of the Quirino-Foster Agreement to further intensify the economic development of the country. This agreement provided for a Philippine-American partnership in the economic development of the country, wherein the United States furnish funds and technical advisers, and the Philippines will furnish labor and provide counterpart funds. All economic projects were to be jointly supervised by the Philippine Council for US Aid and the Foreign Operations Administration (FOA). (7)

Ramon Magsaysay (August 31, 1907 – March 17, 1957). He was largely famous for his success in the peace campaign. He defeated Quirino in the 1953 presidential elections by an unprecedented margin of votes. Popularly known as �the guy,� Magsaysay was born in Iba, Zambales. He took up mechanical engineering at UP but ended up with a commerce degree from Jose Rizal College. He took a job as a mechanic in the bus company Try-Tran and rose to become its branch manager. He attained fame as an able guerrilla leader in World War II and was subsequently named by MacArthur as military governor of Zambales during the liberation. He was elected twice as a congressman after the war. He was instrumental in having the U.S. Congress pass the G.I. Bill of Rights, which accorded benefits to the Filipino war veterans. But his national prominence resulted from being appointed defense secretary in the Quirino administration, successfully fighting the Huks, and for being the friend of the common tao. Many regard Magsaysay as the President whose heart truly bled for the common man. He toured the barrios, opened up Malacanang to the public, solicited and acted upon their complaints, built artesian wells and roads. He had Congress pass the Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954, providing greater protection to tenants. Death came to Magsaysay when his plane crashed at Mount Pinatubo in the early morning of March 17, 1957.

He assumed the presidency after Ramón Magsaysay died in a plane crash on March 17,1957, and was re-elected later the same year, in the Election 1957, for another full term. During his administration, he acted on the Bohlen–Serrano Agreement which shortened the lease of the US Bases from 99 years to 25 years and made it renewable after every five years. He also exercised the Filipino First Policy, for which he was known. This policy heavily favored Filipino businessmen over foreign investors. He was also responsible for changes in retail trade which greatly affected the Chinese businessmen in the country. At the end of his second term, he ran for re–election in the Election 1961 in November 1961, but was defeated by Diosdado Macapagal, who served as Vice-President under him, but belonged to the the opposing Liberal Party – in the Philippines the President and the Vice-President are elected separately. (9)

Ferdinand Marcos Achievements
It’s undeniable… Marcos had achievements in his lifetime. Here are some inscribed into the roll… * Topped all his academic pursuits.
* Earned the moniker “brilliant lawyer”… having topped the bar exams while serving a prison term; defended himself before the Supreme Court on his first trial and won. * Awarded 33 medals as combat intelligence officer in WWII… the most decorated soldier in Philippine history. * Elected thrice as Congressman; elected as Senator with the highest number of votes; became Senate President in spite of being in the minority party. * His party-switching maneuver in an election season against the odds, to eventually become President has never been duplicated. * Caused the most conclusive development of the country’s physical economy, more than any Filipino leader, past and present. * Caused the Philippines to experience, even shortly so, self-sufficiency in rice and corn production resulting to the first ever Philippine rice exportation in the 70s. * Declared Martial Law ‘Philippines style’… civilian authority remained supreme over the military. * First to pushed land reform on a national scale abolishing tenancy and emancipating the tenants from the bondage of the soil by transferring to them the ownership of the land they till in 1972. * Initiated the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to combat the communist threat in the region. * Created the Department of Tourism in 1973 to intensify the tourism industry in the country. * He wrote too many laws… still used by succeeding administrations, and very few were repealed (10)

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