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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (2016)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Southern Leyte to Vicente
Duterte and Soledad Roa who were both civil servants. His mother was a public school teacher while his
father was a government worker.
Duterte traces his roots to the Visayas. He spent his early years in Danao, Cebu, the hometown of his
father. But his lineage has also direct ties from Mindanao as his mother hails from Cabadbaran, Agusan
del Norte while his paternal grandmother was a Maranao.

In 1949, when Duterte was four years old, his family resettled in the then-undivided Davao where his
father Vicente later entered the political arena and was elected governor of the province and served
from 1959 to 1965.

Duterte graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the Lyceum of the
Philippines University and obtained a law degree from San Beda College of Law in 1972. He passed the
bar exam that same year. He served as special counsel and later on became a city prosecutor at the City
Prosecutors Office in Davao City from 1977 until 1986, when he was appointed as OIC Vice Mayor of
Davao City.

He ran and successfully won the mayoralty post in 1988. Since then, Duterte has not lost an election. He
is among the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and has been Mayor of Davao City for seven
terms, totaling more than 22 years. He has also served as vice-mayor and as congressman of the citys
first congressional district.

On May 9, 2016, Duterte won a landslide victory as the Philippines 16th President. He was officially
proclaimed by a joint session of the Philippine Congress on May 30, 2016. He is the first Mindanaoan
President and the first local chief executive to get elected straight to the Office of the President.

Benigno Aquino III (2010-2016)

Benigno Aquino III, in full Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, also called Noynoy (born February 8,
1960, Manila, Philippines), Filipino politician who served as president of the Philippines (201016) and
was the scion of a famed political family.

He was the son of Corazon Aquino, who served as president of the Philippines (198692), and political
leader Benigno Simeon Aquino, Jr.themselves the children of politically connected families. The elder
Benigno, an opposition figure to Pres. Ferdinand Marcos who was imprisoned when the younger
Benigno was a child, was released and allowed to go to the United States in 1980. The following year the
younger Benigno, after graduating from Ateneo de Manila University with a bachelors degree in
economics, followed his family to Boston. His father returned to the Philippines in 1983 intending to
challenge Marcos for the presidency but was assassinated immediately on arrival. The family
nevertheless returned to the country soon afterward, and there the young Aquino worked for companies
including Philippine Business for Social Progress and Nike Philippines.

He became vice president of his familys Best Security Agency Corporation in 1986, the same year that
his mother was named president of the Philippines after her opposition party successfully charged
incumbent President Marcos with voting fraud. Aquino left the company in 1993 to work for another
family-owned business, a sugar refinery. Finally, in 1998, he made the move to politics as a member of
the Liberal Party, serving the constitutional maximum of three consecutive terms as a representative of
the 2nd district of Tarlac province. During this time he also served as deputy speaker of the House of
Representatives (200406), but he resigned from the post in advance of joining other Liberal Party
leaders in making a call for the resignation of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (200110), who was
accused of corrupt dealings including the rigging of the 2004 presidential election. From 2006 Aquino
served as vice-chairman of the Liberal Party, and in 2007, at the end of his final term in the House of
Representatives, he made a successful bid for a Senate seat.
In September 2009 Aquino announced his candidacy in the 2010 presidential race. His mother, to many a
symbol of democratic rule in the Philippines, had died the previous month, an event that heightened
Aquinos profile and served as a catalyst for his seeking higher office. Though his opponents for the
presidency included such seasoned politicians as Joseph Estrada, who had previously served as president
of the Philippines (19982001), Aquino was considered the front-runner from the time that he entered
the race. In the elections held on May 10, Aquino won the presidency by a wide margin.

Aquinos chief domestic accomplishment was the conclusion of a peace agreement with the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in October 2012. The deal promised a significant amount of autonomy to
a Muslim-majority region of southern Mindinao and seemingly concluded four decades of deadly
conflict. Economic growth in the Philippines was strong during Aquinos administration, but
unemployment remained high, and opposition politicians argued that the benefits chiefly accrued to the
countrys elite. Aquino also faced criticism over his governments slow response to Super Typhoon
Haiyan, which killed some 8,000 people and displaced more than 800,000 when it hit the Philippines in
November 2013. The most significant foreign policy issue of Aquinos term in office was Chinas
increasingly assertive posture in the South China Sea. The Philippines sought a judgment from the
Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague to clarify the ownership of a reef that was claimed by
China despite the fact that it lay within Philippine territorial waters. Although the court later ruled that
China had no claim to the reef and that Chinas actions had constituted a violation of the Philippines
sovereignty, China dismissed the decision. Limited to a single six-year term, Aquino supported Manuel
(Mar) Roxas to succeed him in 2016. Roxas, the grandson of Pres. Manuel Roxas, represented the
mainstream political establishment at a time when voters were clearly frustrated with the status quo,
and he finished a distant second to inflammatory populist Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte succeeded Aquino as
president on June 30, 2016.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001-2010)

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, (born April 5, 1947, San Juan, Philippines), Filipino politician who was
president of the Philippines (200110).

Arroyos father, Diosdado P. Macapagal, was president of the Philippines from 1961 to 1965. Arroyo
studied economics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she began a lasting friendship
with classmate and future U.S. president Bill Clinton. After returning to the Philippines and graduating
magna cum laude from Assumption College in Manila in 1968, Arroyo earned a masters degree in
economics (1978) from Ateneo de Manila University and a doctorate in economics (1986) from the
University of the Philippines in Quezon City.

Arroyo was a university professor when Pres. Corazon Aquino appointed her undersecretary of trade and
industry in 1986. She won a seat in the Senate in 1992 and was reelected in 1995 by a record 16 million
votes. She was elected vice president in 1998, garnering more votes than the winner of the presidency,
Joseph Estrada, who named Arroyo secretary of social welfare and development. In 2000, however, a
corruption scandal enveloped Estrada, and on October 12 Arroyo resigned from the cabinet post to rally
opposition against him. Angry protesters drove Estrada from the presidential residence on January 20,
2001, and Arroyo assumed power.

Arroyo brought an unprecedented academic and administrative background to the Philippines

presidency, but her tenure was plagued by political unrest. Just months after she took office, some
20,000 supporters of Estrada stormed the gates of the presidential palace. Several people were killed,
and Arroyo declared a state of rebellion that lasted five days. In 2003 disaffected soldiers seized a
Manila apartment building and demanded Arroyos resignation; the attempted coup was suppressed
peacefully. Promising to reduce corruption and improve the economy, Arroyo was reelected president in
2004. However, accusations that she rigged the election emerged the following year and resulted in a
failed attempt at impeachment. In 2006 Arroyo declared a countrywide state of emergency after a
military coup was blocked; the state of emergency was lifted after about one week. Terrorism was also a
concern for Arroyos administration. Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group that sought a separate Islamic state in
the southern Philippines, was responsible for a number of attacks, including the 2004 bombing of a ferry
that killed more than 100 people.

In late 2009, after members of a politically powerful clan in Mindanao were implicated in the massacre
of a political opponent and his entourage there, Arroyo briefly declared martial law in the region. She
also renounced ties with the clan, which until then had been a political ally. Constitutionally barred from
seeking another six-year presidential term, she ran for and won a seat in the House of Representatives in
the May 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections. Arroyo subsequently was investigated for various
alleged crimes, and in 2011 the government barred her from leaving the country to seek medical
treatment. In November she was arrested on charges of having committed electoral fraud during the
2007 Senate election. She pleaded not guilty to those charges in February 2012. However, the following
month, new allegations were brought that stated that she and her husband had accepted bribes from a
Chinese telecommunications company in 2007. She was released from custody on bail in July 2012. Later
that year Arroyo was arrested for allegedly misusing state lottery funds while president.

JOSEPH ESTRADA (1998-2001)

Joseph Estrada, original name Joseph Ejercito (born April 19, 1937, Manila, Philippines), Filipino actor
and politician who served as president of the Philippines (19982001) and later mayor of Manila
(2013 ).
The son of a government engineer, Estrada entered the Mapua Institute of Technology with the intention
of following in his fathers footsteps, but he eventually dropped out to become a film actor. Forbidden by
his parents to use the family name, he adopted the screen name Erap Estrada. He played the lead in
more than 100 movies, usually portraying a swashbuckling tough guy who defends the poor against the
corrupt establishment. He also produced some 75 films.

In 1968 Estrada entered politics, successfully running for the mayorship of the Manila suburb of San
Juan, a post he retained until 1986. In 1969 he was elected to the Senate. In 1992 he ran for vice
president on the National Peoples Coalition ticket. Although the partys presidential candidate, Eduardo
Cojuangco, Jr., lost the election to Fidel Ramos, Estrada won the vice presidential contest.

In 1998 Estrada ran for president, though his candidacy faced significant opposition. Ramos, who was
constitutionally barred from running for a second term, endorsed House Speaker Jos de Venecia, and
many of the countrys powerful businessmen opposed Estradas populist proposals. The Roman Catholic
Church denied Estrada its support because he had admitted to having fathered four children by women
other than his wife. However, he did have the support of Imelda Marcos, the widow of former president
Ferdinand Marcos and then a member of Congress, and he enjoyed a devoted following among the
countrys poor. Estrada managed to capture nearly 40 percent of the vote, handily defeating his nearest
rival, de Venecia, who garnered only 15.9 percent. The margin of victory was the largest in a free election
in the history of the Philippines, and Estrada was officially declared president by Congress on May 29,

Estradas tenure as president was short-lived, however, as a corruption scandal erupted in October 2000
when a fellow politician claimed that Estrada had accepted millions of dollars worth of bribes. In
November the Philippine Senate began an impeachment trial, but it was abandoned after some senators
blocked the admission of evidence. On Jan. 20, 2001, Estrada was ousted amid mass protests, and his
vice president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ascended to the presidency. Later that year Estrada was
brought to trial on charges of plunder (large-scale corruption) and accused of having procured more than
$80 million through bribes and corrupt dealings. Estrada denied the accusations, calling them politically
motivated, and he remained relatively popular in the Philippines despite the charges. In September 2007
he was convicted of plundering and sentenced to a maximum of 40 years in prison. The following month,
however, Estrada was pardoned by Arroyo. In October 2009 he announced his candidacy for president,
but he was defeated in the May 2010 elections by Benigno S. Aquino III (son of Benigno Aquino, Jr., and
Corazon Aquino).
In 2013 Estrada ran for mayor of Manila and defeated the incumbent, Alfredo Lim. After taking office
later that year, he faced a number of issues, notably the citys debt and inability to pay for basic services.
In order to raise revenue, he sharply raised property taxes. Estrada faced a serious challenge from Lim in
the 2016 elections but narrowly won a second term.

FIDEL RAMOS (1992-1998)

Fidel Ramos, in full Fidel Valdez Ramos, byname Eddie Ramos (born March 18, 1928, Lingayen, Phil.),
military leader and politician who was president of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. He was generally
regarded as one of the most effective presidents in that nations history.
Ramos was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and at the University of Illinois,
U.S. He then entered the Philippine army, serving in Korea and Vietnam. In 1972 President Ferdinand
Marcos (who was Ramos second cousin) appointed him chief of the Philippine Constabulary, and when
Marcos imposed martial law later that year Ramos was responsible for enforcing it; the Constabulary
arrested thousands of political dissidents. In 1981 Ramos became deputy chief of staff of the armed

After the presidential elections of 1986, in which Marcos claimed victory despite allegations of large-
scale electoral fraud, Ramos and defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile supported Marcos opponent,
Corazon Aquino. Their defection sparked the civilian People Power movement that forced Marcos into
exile. During Aquinos presidency Ramos served as military chief of staff (198688) and secretary of
national defense (198891), and he suppressed several military coup attempts against her government.

Ramos was elected to succeed Aquino in May 1992. As president he purged the national police force of
corrupt officers; encouraged family-planning practices to curb the growth of the countrys population;
and liberalized the Philippines heavily protected economy in order to spur economic growth. Ramos
governing coalition won a decisive victory in congressional elections held in 1995, midway through his
six-year term as president. His administration reached peace agreements with two long-active guerrilla
insurgencies, the communist New Peoples Army and the Muslim separatists of the Moro National
Liberation Front. He meanwhile continued his efforts to deregulate major industries that were
dominated by a handful of large companies and to improve the governments inefficient tax-collection
system. These reforms helped revitalize the Philippines economy, which emerged from years of
stagnation to grow at a rapid rate in 199497. The country was thus able to weather a severe business
downturn that crippled national economies across Southeast Asia in 1998. Ramos was constitutionally
restricted to one term as president, which ended in June 1998.

C ORAZON AQUINO (1986-1992)

Corazon Aquino, in full Maria Corazon Aquino, ne Maria Corazon Cojuangco (born January 25, 1933,
Tarlac province, Philippinesdied August 1, 2009, Makati), Philippine political leader who served as
president (198692) of the Philippines, restoring democratic rule in that country after the long
dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Corazon Cojuangco was born into a wealthy, politically prominent family based in Tarlac province, north
of Manila. She graduated from Mount St. Vincent College in New York City in 1954 but abandoned
further studies in 1955 to marry Benigno Simeon Aquino, Jr., who was then a promising young politician.
Corazon remained in the background during her husbands subsequent career, rearing their five children
at home. Her husband, who had become a prominent opposition politician, was jailed by Marcos for
eight years (197280), and Corazon accompanied him into exile in the United States in 1980. Benigno
was assassinated upon his return to the Philippines in August 1983. This event galvanized opposition to
the Marcos government.

When Ferdinand E. Marcos unexpectedly called for presidential elections in February 1986, Corazon
Aquino became the unified oppositions presidential candidate. Though she was officially reported to
have lost the election to Marcos, Aquino and her supporters challenged the results, charging widespread
voting fraud. High officials in the Philippine military soon publicly renounced Marcoss continued rule
and proclaimed Aquino the Philippines rightful president. On February 25, 1986, both Aquino and
Marcos were inaugurated as president by their respective supporters, but that same day Marcos fled the

In March 1986 Aquino proclaimed a provisional constitution and soon thereafter appointed a
commission to write a new constitution. The resulting document, which restored the bicameral Congress
abolished by Marcos in 1973, was ratified by a landslide popular vote in February 1987. Aquino held
elections to the new Congress and broke up the monopolies held by Marcoss allies over the economy,
which experienced steady growth for several years. But she failed to undertake fundamental economic
or social reforms, and her popularity steadily declined as she faced continual outcries over economic
injustice and political corruption. These problems were exacerbated by persistent warfare between the
communist insurgency and a military whose loyalties to Aquino were uncertain. In general, her economic
policies were criticized for being mixed or faltering in the face of mass poverty. Aquino was succeeded in
office by her former defense secretary, Fidel Ramos


Ferdinand Marcos, in full Ferdinand Edralin Marcos (born September 11, 1917, Sarrat, Philippinesdied
September 28, 1989, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.), Philippine lawyer and politician who, as head of state from
1966 to 1986, established an authoritarian regime in the Philippines that came under criticism for
corruption and for its suppression of democratic processes.

Marcos attended school in Manila and studied law in the late 1930s at the University of the Philippines,
near that city. Tried for the assassination in 1933 of a political opponent of his politician father, Marcos
was found guilty in November 1939. But he argued his case on appeal to the Philippine Supreme Court
and won acquittal a year later. He became a trial lawyer in Manila. During World War II he was an officer
with the Philippine armed forces. Marcoss later claims of having been a leader in the Filipino guerrilla
resistance movement were a central factor in his political success, but U.S. government archives revealed
that he actually played little or no part in anti-Japanese activities during 194245.

From 1946 to 1947 Marcos was a technical assistant to Manuel Roxas, the first president of the
independent Philippine republic. He was a member of the House of Representatives (194959) and of
the Senate (195965), serving as Senate president (196365). In 1965 Marcos, who was a prominent
member of the Liberal Party founded by Roxas, broke with it after failing to get his partys nomination for
president. He then ran as the Nationalist Party candidate for president against the Liberal president,
Diosdado Macapagal. The campaign was expensive and bitter. Marcos won and was inaugurated as
president on December 30, 1965. In 1969 he was reelected, becoming the first Philippine president to
serve a second term. During his first term he had made progress in agriculture, industry, and education.
Yet his administration was troubled by increasing student demonstrations and violent urban guerrilla

On September 21, 1972, Marcos imposed martial law on the Philippines. Holding that communist and
subversive forces had precipitated the crisis, he acted swiftly; opposition politicians were jailed, and the
armed forces became an arm of the regime. Opposed by political leadersnotably Benigno Aquino, Jr.,
who was jailed and held in detention for almost eight yearsMarcos was also criticized by church
leaders and others. In the provinces Maoist communists (New Peoples Army) and Muslim separatists
(notably of the Moro National Liberation Front) undertook guerrilla activities intended to bring down the
central government. Under martial law the president assumed extraordinary powers, including the
ability to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Marcos announced the end of martial law in January 1981,
but he continued to rule in an authoritarian fashion under various constitutional formats. He won
election to the newly created post of president against token opposition in June 1981.

Philippine and U.S. dignitaries(from left to right) Philippine Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo, U.S.
Ambassador Richard W. Murphy, Philippine Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, Imelda Marcos, and U.S.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff David C. Jonesattending a ceremony at Clark Air Base in central
Luzon, Philippines, 1979.
Philippine and U.S. dignitaries(from left to right) Philippine Foreign Minister Carlos P. Al Ramones &
Domie Quiazon//U.S. Department of Defense

Marcoss wife from 1954 was Imelda Romuldez Marcos, a former beauty queen. Imelda became a
powerful figure after the institution of martial law in 1972. She was often criticized for her appointments
of relatives to lucrative governmental and industrial positions while she held the posts of governor of
Metropolitan Manila (197586) and minister of human settlements and ecology (197986).

Marcoss later years in power were marred by rampant government corruption, economic stagnation,
the steady widening of economic inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the steady growth of a
communist guerrilla insurgency active in the rural areas of the Philippines innumerable islands.

By 1983 Marcoss health was beginning to fail, and opposition to his rule was growing. Hoping to present
an alternative to both Marcos and the increasingly powerful New Peoples Army, Benigno Aquino, Jr.,
returned to Manila on August 21, 1983, only to be shot dead as he stepped off the airplane. The
assassination was seen as the work of the government and touched off massive antigovernment
protests. An independent commission appointed by Marcos concluded in 1984 that high military officers
were responsible for Aquinos assassination. To reassert his mandate, Marcos called for presidential
elections to be held in 1986. But a formidable political opponent soon emerged in Aquinos widow,
Corazon Aquino, who became the presidential candidate of the opposition. It was widely asserted that
Marcos managed to defeat Aquino and retain the presidency in the election of February 7, 1986, only
through massive voting fraud on the part of his supporters. Deeply discredited at home and abroad by
his dubious electoral victory, Marcos held fast to his presidency as the Philippine military split between
supporters of his and of Aquinos legitimate right to the presidency. A tense standoff that ensued
between the two sides ended only when Marcos fled the country on February 25, 1986, at U.S. urging.
He went into exile in Hawaii, where he remained until his death.

Evidence emerged that during his years in power Marcos, his family, and his close associates had looted
the Philippines economy of billions of dollars through embezzlements and other corrupt practices.
Marcos and his wife were subsequently indicted by the U.S. government on racketeering charges, but in
1990 (after Marcoss death) Imelda was acquitted of all charges by a federal court. She was allowed to
return to the Philippines in 1991, and in 1993 a Philippine court found her guilty of corruption (the
conviction was overturned in 1998).


Diosdado Macapagal, (born Sept. 28, 1910, Lubao, Phil.died April 21, 1997, Makati, Phil.), reformist
president of the Philippines from 1961 to 1965.

After receiving his law degree, Macapagal was admitted to the bar in 1936. During World War II he
practiced law in Manila and aided the anti-Japanese resistance. After the war he worked in a law firm
and in 1948 served as second secretary to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. The following year
he was elected to a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives, serving until 1956. During this time
he was Philippine representative to the United Nations General Assembly three times. From 1957 to
1961 Macapagal was a member of the Liberal Party and vice president under Nacionalista president
Carlos Garcia. In the 1961 elections, however, he ran against Garcia, forging a coalition of the Liberal and
Progressive parties and making a crusade against political corruption a principal element of his platform.
He was elected by a wide margin.

While president, Macapagal worked to suppress graft and corruption and to stimulate the Philippine
economy. He placed the peso on the free currency-exchange market, encouraged exports, passed the
countrys first land-reform legislation, and sought to curb income tax evasion, particularly by the
wealthiest families, which cost the treasury millions of pesos yearly. His reforms, however, were crippled
by a House of Representatives and Senate dominated by the Nacionalistas, and he was defeated in the
1965 presidential elections by Ferdinand Marcos.

In 1972 he chaired the convention that drafted the 1973 constitution, but in 1981 he questioned the
validity of its ratification. In 1979 he organized the National Union for Liberation as an opposition party
to the Marcos regime.

Carlos P. Garcia, in full Carlos Polestico Garcia (born November 4, 1896, Talibon, Philippinesdied June
14, 1971, Quezon City), fourth president of the Republic of the Philippines. After graduating from law
school in 1923, he became, successively, a schoolteacher, representative in the Philippine Congress,
governor of his province (Bohol), and then (194153) senator. During the Japanese occupation of the
Philippines in World War II, Garcia was active in the resistance movement. He was elected vice president
on the ticket of the Nacionalista Party in 1953 and was also minister of foreign affairs (195357). He
became president of the Philippines in March 1957, upon the death of Pres. Ramon Magsaysay, and was
elected to a full four-year term the same year. He maintained the strong traditional ties with the United
States and sought closer relations with noncommunist Asian countries. In the election of November
1961 he was defeated by Vice Pres. Diosdado Macapagal.


Ramon Magsaysay, (born Aug. 31, 1907, Iba, Phil.died March 17, 1957, near Cebu), president of the
Philippines (195357), best known for successfully defeating the communist-led Hukbalahap (Huk)

The son of an artisan, Magsaysay was a schoolteacher in the provincial town of Iba on the island of
Luzon. Though most Philippine political leaders were of Spanish descent, Magsaysay was of Malay stock,
like most of the common people. Working his way through Jos Rizal College near Manila, he obtained a
commercial degree in 1933 and became general manager of a Manila transportation company. After
serving as a guerrilla leader on Luzon during World War II, he was appointed military governor of his
home province, Zambales, when the United States recaptured the Philippines. He served two terms
(194650) as a Liberal Party congressman for Zambales, his first experience in politics.

President Elpidio Quirino appointed Magsaysay secretary of defense to deal with the threat of the Huks,
whose leader, Luis Taruc, in February 1950 established a Peoples Liberation Army and called for the
overthrow of the government. Magsaysay then carried out until 1953 one of the most successful
antiguerrilla campaigns in modern history. Realizing that the Huks could not survive without popular
support, he strove to win the trust of the peasants by offering land and tools to those who came over to
the government side and by insisting that army units treat the people with respect. Reforming the army,
he dismissed corrupt and incompetent officers and emphasized mobility and flexibility in combat
operations against the guerrillas. By 1953 the Huks were no longer a serious threat, but Magsaysays
radical measures had made many enemies for him within the government, compelling him to resign on
February 28, when he charged the Quirino administration with corruption and incompetence.
Although Magsaysay was a Liberal, the Nacionalista Party successfully backed him for the presidency
against Quirino in the 1953 elections, winning the support of Carlos P. Romulo, who had organized a
third party. Magsaysay promised reform in every segment of Philippine life, but he was frustrated in his
efforts by a conservative congress that represented the interests of the wealthy. Despite initial support
of Congress in July 1955, Magsaysay was unable to pass effective land-reform legislation; government
indifference to the plight of the peasants then undid most of his good work in gaining the support of the
people against the Huks. Nevertheless, he remained extremely popular and had a well-deserved
reputation for incorruptibility.

In foreign policy, Magsaysay remained a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal
spokesman against communism during the Cold War. He made the Philippines a member of the
Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which was established in Manila on Sept. 8, 1954. Before the
expiration of his term as president, Magsaysay was killed in an airplane crash; he was succeeded by the
vice president, Carlos P. Garcia.


Elpidio Quirino, (born Nov. 16, 1890, Vigan, Phil.died Feb. 28, 1956, Novaliches), political leader and
second president of the independent Republic of the Philippines.
After obtaining a law degree from the University of the Philippines, near Manila, in 1915, Quirino
practiced law until he was elected a member of the Philippine House of Representatives in 191925 and
a senator in 192531. In 1934 he was a member of the Philippine independence mission to Washington,
D.C., headed by Manuel Quezon, which secured the passage in Congress of the TydingsMcDuffie Act,
setting the date for Philippine independence as July 4, 1946. He was also elected to the convention that
drafted a constitution for the new Philippine Commonwealth. Subsequently he served as secretary of
finance and secretary of the interior in the Commonwealth government.

Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Philippine Commonwealth and Independence Act on March 24,
1934. Standing behind him (left to right) are Wyoming Democratic Sen. Joseph OMahoney, Secretary of
War George H. Dern, Filipino Sen. Elpidio Quirino, Filipino leader and future president Manuel Quezon,
Maryland Democratic Sen. Millard E. Tydings, and Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs C.F. Cox.

Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Philippine Commonwealth and Independence Act on March 24,
Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc.

After World War II, Quirino served as secretary of state and vice president under the first president of
the independent Philippines, Manuel Roxas. When Roxas died on April 15, 1948, Quirino succeeded to
the presidency. The following year, he was elected president for a four-year term on the Liberal Party
ticket, defeating the Nacionalista candidate.
President Quirinos administration faced a serious threat in the form of the Communist-led Hukbalahap
(Huk) movement. Though the Huks originally had been an anti-Japanese guerrilla army in Luzon, the
Communists steadily gained control over the leadership, and, when Quirinos negotiations with Huk
commander Luis Taruc broke down in 1948, Taruc openly declared himself a Communist and called for
the overthrow of the government. By 1950 the Huks had gained control over a considerable portion of
Luzon, and Quirino appointed the able Ramon Magsaysay as secretary of national defense to suppress
the insurrection.

Quirinos six years as president were marked by notable postwar reconstruction, general economic gains,
and increased economic aid from the United States. Basic social problems, however, particularly in the
rural areas, remained unsolved; Quirinos administration was tainted by widespread graft and corruption.
The 1949 elections, which he had won, were among the most dishonest in the countrys history.
Magsaysay, who had been largely successful in eliminating the threat of the Huk insurgents, broke with
Quirino on the issue of corruption, campaigning for clean elections and defeating Quirino as the
Nacionalista candidate in the presidential election of 1953. Subsequently, Quirino retired to private life.

MANUEL ROXAS(1946-1948)
Manuel Roxas, (born Jan. 1, 1892, Capiz, Phil.died April 15, 1948, Clark Field, Pampanga), political
leader and first president (194648) of the independent Republic of the Philippines.

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 191921 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 Osmea, 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

During World War II Roxas served in the pro-Japanese government of Jos 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

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.

SERGIO OSMEA(1944-1946)
Sergio Osmea, (born Sept. 9, 1878, Cebu City, Phil.died Oct. 19, 1961, Manila), Filipino statesman,
founder of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista) and president of the Philippines from 1944 to

Osmea received a law degree from the University of Santo Toms, Manila, in 1903. He was also editor
of a Spanish newspaper, El Nuevo Da, in Cebu City. In 1904 the U.S. colonial administration appointed
him governor of the province of Cebu and fiscal (district attorney) for the provinces of Cebu and Negros
Oriental. Two years later he was elected governor of Cebu. In 1907 he was elected delegate to the
Philippine National Assembly and founded the Nationalist Party, which came to dominate Philippine
political life.

Osmea remained leader of the Nationalists until 1921, when he was succeeded by Manuel Quezon,
who had joined him in a coalition. Made speaker of the House of Representatives in 1916, he served
until his election to the Senate in 1923. In 1933 he went to Washington, D.C., to secure passage of
the HareHawesCutting independence bill, but Quezon differed with Osmea over the bills provision to
retain U.S. military bases after independence. The bill, vetoed by the Philippine Assembly, was
superseded by the TydingsMcDuffie Act of March 1934, making the Philippines a commonwealth with a
large measure of independence. The following year Osmea became vice president, with Quezon as
president. He remained vice president during the Japanese occupation, when the government was in
exile in Washington, D.C. On the death of Quezon in August 1944, Osmea became president. He served
as president until the elections of April 1946, when he was defeated by Manuel Roxas, who became the
first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines.

JOSE P.LAUREL(1943-1945)

Jos P. Laurel, in full Jos Paciano Laurel (born March 9, 1891, Tanauan, Luzon, Philippinesdied
November 6, 1959, Manila), Filipino lawyer, politician, and jurist, who served as president of the
Philippines (194345) during the Japanese occupation during World War II.

Laurel was born and raised in a town south of Manila. His father served in the cabinet of Emilio
Aguinaldo in the late 1890s. The younger Laurel received a law degree from the University of the
Philippines in 1915 and an advanced jurisprudence degree in 1919 before earning a doctorate in civil law
from Yale University in the United States in 1920. He entered politics and was elected to the Philippine
Senate in 1925, serving there until he was appointed an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1936.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (December 1941), and the subsequent Japanese
assault on the Philippines, Laurel stayed in Manila; President Manuel Quezon had escaped, first to the
Bataan Peninsula and then to the United States. Laurel 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 194243, climaxing in his
selection as president in 1943. Twice in that year he was shot by Philippine guerrillas, but each time he
recovered. In July 1946 he was charged with dozens of counts of treason, but he never stood trial; he
shared in a general amnesty declared by President Manuel Roxas in April 1948.

Laurel was the Nationalist Partys nominee for the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines in 1949,
but he was narrowly defeated by the incumbent president, Elpidio Quirino, the nominee of the Liberal
Party. Elected to the Senate in 1951, Laurel helped to persuade Ramon 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.

MANUEL QUEZON(1935-1944)
Manuel Quezon, in full Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina (born Aug. 19, 1878, Baler, Phil.died Aug. 1,
1944, Saranac Lake, N.Y., U.S.), Filipino statesman, leader of the independence movement, and first
president of the Philippine Commonwealth established under U.S. tutelage in 1935.

Quezon was the son of a schoolteacher and small landholder of Tagalog descent on the island of Luzon.
He cut short his law studies at the University of Santo Toms in Manila in 1899 to participate in the
struggle for independence against the United States, led by Emilio Aguinaldo. After Aguinaldo
surrendered in 1901, however, Quezon returned to the university, obtained his degree (1903), and
practiced law for a few years. Convinced that the only way to independence was through cooperation
with the United States, he ran for governor of Tayabas province in 1905. Once elected, he served for two
years before being elected a representative in 1907 to the newly established Philippine Assembly.

In 1909 Quezon was appointed resident commissioner for the Philippines, entitled to speak, but not
vote, in the U.S. House of Representatives; during his years in Washington, D.C., he fought vigorously for
a speedy grant of independence by the United States. Quezon played a major role in obtaining Congress
passage in 1916 of the Jones Act, which pledged independence for the Philippines without giving a
specific date when it would take effect. The act gave the Philippines greater autonomy and provided for
the creation of a bicameral national legislature modeled after the U.S. Congress. Quezon resigned as
commissioner and returned to Manila to be elected to the newly formed Philippine Senate in 1916; he
subsequently served as its president until 1935. In 1922 he gained control of the Nacionalista Party,
which had previously been led by his rival Sergio Osmea.

Quezon fought for passage of the TydingsMcDuffie Act (1934), which provided for full independence for
the Philippines 10 years after the creation of a constitution and the establishment of a Commonwealth
government that would be the forerunner of an independent republic. Quezon was elected president of
the newly formulated Commonwealth on Sept. 17, 1935. As president he reorganized the islands
military defense (aided by Gen. Douglas MacArthur as his special adviser), tackled the huge problem of
landless peasants in the countryside who still worked as tenants on large estates, promoted the
settlement and development of the large southern island of Mindanao, and fought graft and corruption
in the government. A new national capital, later known as Quezon City, was built in a suburb of Manila.

Quezon was reelected president in 1941. After Japan invaded and occupied the Philippines in 1942, he
went to the United States, where he formed a government in exile, served as a member of the Pacific
War Council, signed the declaration of the United Nations against the Fascist nations, and wrote his
autobiography, The Good Fight (1946). Quezon died of tuberculosis before full Philippine independence
was established.


Emilio Aguinaldo, (born March 22/23, 1869, near Cavite, Luzon, Philippinesdied February 6, 1964,
Quezon City), Filipino leader and politician who fought first against Spain and later against the United
States for the independence of the Philippines.

Aguinaldo was of Chinese and Tagalog parentage. He completed his education at the University of Santo
Toms in Manila. In August 1896 he was mayor of Cavite Viejo (present-day Kawit; adjacent to Cavite
city) and was the local leader of the Katipunan, a revolutionary society that fought bitterly and
successfully against the Spanish. In December 1897 he signed an agreement called the Pact of Biac-na-
Bat with the Spanish governor general. Aguinaldo agreed to leave the Philippines and to remain
permanently in exile on condition of a substantial financial reward from Spain coupled with the promise
of liberal reforms. While first in Hong Kong and then in Singapore, he made arrangements with
representatives of the American consulates and of Commodore George Dewey to return to the
Philippines to assist the United States in the war against Spain.
Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines May 19, 1898, and announced renewal of the struggle with Spain.
The Filipinos, who declared their independence of Spain on June 12, 1898, proclaimed a provisional
republic, of which Aguinaldo was to become president; and in September a revolutionary assembly met
and ratified Filipino independence. However, the Philippines, along with Puerto Rico and Guam, were
ceded by Spain to the United States by the Treaty of Paris, which was signed on December 10, 1898.

Relations between the Americans and the Filipinos were unfriendly and grew steadily worse. On January
23, 1899, the Malolos Constitutionby virtue of which the Philippines was declared a republic and
which had been approved by the assembly and by Aguinaldowas proclaimed. Aguinaldo, who had
been president of the provisional government, was elected president.

On the night of February 4 the inevitable conflict between the Americans and Filipinos surrounding
Manila was precipitated. By the morning of February 5 the Filipinos, who had fought bravely, had been
defeated at all points. While the fighting was in progress, Aguinaldo issued a proclamation of war against
the United States, which immediately sent reinforcements to the Philippines. The Filipino government
fled northward. In November 1899 the Filipinos resorted to guerrilla warfare.

After three years of costly fighting the insurrection was finally brought to an end when, in a daring
operation on March 23, 1901, led by Gen. Frederick Funston, Aguinaldo was captured in his secret
headquarters at Palanan in northern Luzon. Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the United States,
was granted a pension from the U.S. government, and retired to private life.

In 1935 the commonwealth government of the Philippines was established in preparation for
independence. Aguinaldo ran for president, but he was decisively beaten. He returned to private life
until the Japanese invaded the Philippines in December 1941. The Japanese used Aguinaldo as an anti-
American tool. He made speeches and signed articles. In early 1942 he addressed a radio appeal to U.S.
Gen. Douglas MacArthurwho at that time was with the U.S. garrison holding out against the Japanese
on Corregidor Islandto surrender (the troops there did surrender in May 1942, but MacArthur had
already been evacuated).

The Americans returned to the Philippines in late 1944, and, after they had retaken Manila in 1945,
Aguinaldo was arrested. He and others accused of collaboration with the Japanese were imprisoned for
some months before they were released by presidential amnesty. In 1950 Aguinaldo was appointed by
Pres. Elpidio Quirino as a member of the Council of State. In his later years he devoted much attention to
veterans affairs, the promotion of nationalism and democracy in the Philippines, and the improvement
of relations between the Philippines and the United States.