Jose P. Laurel, Second Republic

The Tagalog words for 'president' are pangulo and presidente.


Jose P. Laurel (1891 - 1939)
President of the Second Republic from 1943 to 1945. He had been secretary of the interior (1923), senator (1925 - 1931), delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1934), and chief justice during the commonwealth. When World War II broke out, he was instructed by Manuel Quezon to stay in Manila and deal with the Japanese to soften the blow of enemy occupation. During the Japanese occupation, he served in various capacities and helped draft the 1943 constitution. As president he defended Filipino interests and resisted Japanese efforts to draft Filipinos into the Japanese military service. Upon return of the American forces, Laurel was imprisoned in Japan when Douglas Macarthur occupied that country He was returned to the Philippines to face charges of treason, but these were dropped when President Roxas issued an amnesty proclamation. In the Third Republic, he was elected senator and negotiated the Laurel-Langley Agreement.

Sergio Osmeña, Sr. (1878 - 1961)
The first Filipino national leader under the American regime as speaker of the Philippine assembly and the second president of the Philippines (1944-1946).

Manuel Roxas (1892 - 1948)
The last president of the Philippine Commonwealth and the first president of the republic (1946 - 1948).

Elpidio Quirino (1890—1956)
President of the Philippines from 1948 to 1953. As vice president during Manuel Roxas’s term, he was also secretary of foreign affairs. He became president when Roxas died in 1948. He was elected president in his own right in 1949.

Ramon Magsaysay (1907 - 1957)
President of the Philippines from 1953 to 1957. He had been President Quirino’s secretary of defense who was instrumental is suppressing the HUK rebellion. As president, he persuaded Congress to pass the Agricultural Tenancy Act (1954). It was during his term that the Retail Trade Nationalization Act was passed. He secured revisions in the Bell Trade Act and was the first president to revise the US Military Bases agreement to bring it more in line with Philippine interests. He died in an airplane crash in Mach 1957 before his term as president ended.

Carlos P. Garcia (1896 - 1971)
President of the Philippines from 1957 to 1961. Remembered for his Filipino First Policy. He was among the founders of the Association for Southeast Asia (1963), the precursor of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Diosdado Macapagal (1910 - 1997)
President of the Republic of the Philippines from 1961 to 1965. He asked Congress to pass the Agricultural Land Reform Code, which abolished share tenancy and installed a leasehold system in its place; it finally passed on August 8, 1963. This was a significant step toward resolving the agrarian problem. It was during his presidency that Independence Day was moved from July 4 to June 12, the date when General Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence in Cavite.

Ferdinand Marcos (1917 - 1989)
President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. Declared martial law on September 21, 1972. After the People Power revolution in February 1986, he was ousted from power and lived in exile in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he died in 1989.

Corazon Cojuangco Aquino (1933 - 2009 )
President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992. Ninoy Aquino’s widow. With Salvador Laurel as running mate, she led the opposition that overthrew the authoritarian government of Marcos, who went into exile after the successful People’s Power revolution of 1986. She first established a revolutionary government under the Freedom Constitution, later replaced by the Constitution of 1987, which served as the basis for reestablishing democracy

Fidel V. Ramos (1928 - )
President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1997. As head of the Constabulary under President Marcos, he was instrumental in helping to design and implement martial law. Together with General Ponce Enrile and the RAM, he defected from the government in 1986 and joined the People’s Power revolution that ousted Marcos from power. His presidency is remembered for better integrating the national economy in the global scheme.

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