Manuel Roxas, Last Commonwealth President

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

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 - )
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.

Joseph Estrada (1937 - )
President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001. He was a popular former action film star before being elected president. During his term in office, he was arrested and stood trial at a congressional impeachment hearing on charges of accepting bribes and corruption. While this trial was aborted when the senators voted 11 to 10 not to open incriminating evidence against him, he was ousted from power anyway as a peaceful People’s Power II revolution arose and called for his resignation

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (1947 - )
The current president of the Philippines. Known as GMA or PGMA. She is the second Filipina president, after Corazon Aquino. She served as vice president under President Estrada and became president when he was forced to step down for malfeasance, through the People’s Power II revolution. PGMA has confronted some of the same obstacles as did her father, President Diosdado Macapagal, when he tried to clean up corruption in government. Her government continues enjoy political legitimacy in the face of opposition.