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EMILIO AGUINALDO

President of the First Philippine Republic


Term: 1898 1901

BIOGRAPHY
Appointed the position at the age of 29, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was the first and
youngest president of the Republic of the Philippines. He was born on March 22, 1869 in
Kawit, Cavite to Chinese and Filipino parents. In 1895, he joined the Katipunan, an
organization founded by Andrs Bonifacio which aimed to disarm the Spanish forces and
seize the alias Magdalo. He also headed Filipino troops in their ferocious battles with the
Spanish fleets.
Aguinaldo and his group won many battles against the Spaniards. They conquered the
Spanish guardia civil in Kawit, Cavite and directed the capture of the nearby town of Imus.
His greatest conquest was the Battle of Binakayan on Nov. 10, 1896, when he vanquished the
corps under the command of Gov. General Ramon Blanco.
On March 22, 1897, Aguinaldo was selected as President of the revolutionary
government. However, this open-armed government did not last that long and was
discontinued in December 1897 when he signed the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. The treaty aimed
to give the country substantial financial reward from Spain and a promise of liberal reform, a
seat in the Spanish parliament, and full civil rights for the Filipinos. After the pact, Aguinaldo
agreed to leave the country and stay in exile.

While in Hong Kong, Aguinaldo spoke with the American consulate and Commodore
Dewey and asked them to help him return to the Philippines. In return, he proposed to assist
the Americans in their war with Spain. He returned to the country on May 19, 1898. Upon his
arrival, Aguinaldo declared separation of the country from Spain and proclaimed
independence on June 12, 1898. An impermanent republic was founded and he became its
president. By the merit of the Treaty of Paris signed on December 10, 1898, the Philippines
was handed to the United States by Spain.
On the eve of February 4, 1899, the tension between the Americans and the Filipinos
arose and the American-Filipino war broke loose. During the battle, the Filipino soldiers were
outnumbered by the Americans. Aguinaldo and his men were forced to retreat and went to
the northern boundaries of the country. The war came to an end when Aguinaldo was
captured at his hide-out at Palanan, Isabela. Aguinaldo surrendered and took his oath of
loyalty to the United States on April 1, 1901 and was granted a pension before he retired to
private life.
In 1935, when the Commonwealth government was created, Aguinaldo ran for
presidency but lost to Manuel Quezon. After losing, he went back to his private life and resurfaced during the Japanese era in 1941. He was used as a tool by the Japanese to lure
American soldiers to surrender. Towards the end of the war, Aguinaldo was detained because
of his alleged alliance to the Japanese and was held captive in the Bilibid prison for several
months before he was released by president amnesty.
In 1950 President Quirino appointed Aguinaldo as a member of the Council State.
Soon after, Aguinaldo dedicated his time to veteran soldiers' interest and welfare, the
promotion of nationalism and democracy in the Philippines, and the development of the
relationship between the Philippines and the United States.
Emilio Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964 in Quezon City at the age of 95. He was
buried behind his mansion in Kawit, Cavite.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

First and only president of the First Republic (Malolos Republic)


Signed the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, a truce between the Spanish and Philippine
revolutionaries
Known as the President of the Revolutionary Government
Led the Philippines in the Spanish-Philippine and American-Philippine Wars
Youngest president, taking office at age 28
Longest-lived president, passing away at 94

MANUEL L. QUEZON

First President of the Commonwealth


Term: November 15, 1935 - August 1, 1944

BIOGRAPHY
The second president of the Republic of the Philippines, Manuel Luis Molina Quezon
was identified as the primary founder of the Philippine Independence. He was born on August
19, 1878 in Baler, Tayabas (now known as Quezon) to a school teacher and a hardworking
mother.
During the Filipino-American war, Quezon dropped out of college and went to join the
revolution against the United States under the command of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. He fought
in the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga and Bataan, and in a short time attained the rank of
major. In 1901, when the rebellion was ended, he was captured and imprisoned for six
months. Upon his release, he went back to the University and continued his studies. He
graduated with a degree of arts, studied jurisprudence, and placed fourth in the Bar
examinations.
Quezon foresaw that the only path to independence was through mutual agreement
with the United States. He ran for Tayabas governor in 1905 and won the election. He served
for two years and became a representative in 1907 to the newly created Philippine National
Assembly. The following year, he was selected to join the first Philippine assembly and
became the floor leader of Nacionalista party.

In his service in the government, he was chosen to be commissioner of the country in


Washington where he served for seven years. He attained the privilege to speak but not to
vote in the US House of Representatives. There he fought for the immediate grant of
Philippine Independence. In 1916, Quezon became a tool in the fast passing of the Jones Acts;
its purpose was to grant us a greater degree of self-government and it promised the country
ultimate freedom.
When he resigned from his position as commissioner and returned to Manila, he was
selected to be a part of the newly formed Philippine Senate where he served as president until
1935. He then obtained rule of the Nacionalist party which was formerly governed by Sergio
Osmea. In 1930, the US Congress arranged for the announcement of the Philippine
independence and with Quezons backing, the bill to liberate the Philippines was approved.
Thus, the Tydings-McDuffie law was signed.
On September 17, 1935, the Philippine Commonwealth was established and Manuel
Quezon became its president. During his term, he restructured the countrys military defense
and was aided by Gen. Douglas McArthur, who later became his special adviser. Part of
Quezons mission for the Philippines was to give stability to the countrys economy. He
campaigned to stop graft and corruption, and supported the resolution and progress of
Southern Mindanao islands.
In 1941, he was re-elected as President and when Japan invaded the Philippines,
Quezon left for the United States. There he created a government which could only support
the people from afar and became a member of the Pacific War Council where he signed the
declaration of the United Nations against fascist governments.
On August 1, 1944, Manuel L. Quezon died of tuberculosis in Sarnac Lake, New York.
His remains were returned to the Philippines on exactly two years later and were temporarily
buried at Cementerio del Norte. On August 1, 1979, they were finally transferred to the Quezon
Monument in Quezon City.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

First Senate president elected as President of the Philippines


First president elected through a national election
First president under the Commonwealth
Created National Council of Education
Initiated womens suffrage in the Philippines during the Commonwealth
Approved Tagalog/Filipino as the national language of the Philippines, making him
known as the Father of the National Language
Appears on the twenty-peso bill
A province, a city, a bridge and a university in Manila are named after him
His body lies within the special monument on Quezon Memorial Circle

JOSE P. LAUREL

President of the Japanese Sponsored Republic


Term: October 14, 1943 - August 15, 1945

BIOGRAPHY
Jose P. Laurel was known to be the president of the puppet republic. He was elected
as the 3rd President of the Philippines by the National Assembly on September 25, 1943, and
was inaugurated on October 14, 1943. Born on March 9, 1891 in the small town of Tanuan in
Batangas, Jose P. Laurel studied and received his law degree at the University of the
Philippines in 1915 and at Yale University in 1920.
His first entry in politics was in 1925, when he was elected to the Philippine Senate. In
1936 he was selected as associate justice of the Supreme Court. When the Japanese invaded
our country, Laurel was the only high ranking official who chose to remain in Manila. Laurel
had been vocal in his disapproval of the US control and because of his open dislike of the US
government, the Japanese had given him numerous positions during its three-year reign.
Laurels government didn't get the Filipinos' full support. During his first year, Laurel
was shot twice by Filipino rebels, but by some miracle survived. After the war, he was charged
with 132 counts of treason but he never got into trial because of the general amnesty given in
April 1948. In 1949, he ran again for president under the Nacionalista Party but was defeated
by Elpidio Quirino, standard bearer of the Liberal Party.

Upon his losing the presidency, he was later elected as senator and as a delegate to the
Constitutional Convention. He was recognized because of his support for womens freedom
and rights, and his assistance in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. When Magsaysay sat as
president in 1955, Laurel became the lead of an economic mission to the United States. His
job was to enhance and develop the relationship between the Philippines and the United
States.
In 1957, he retired from the political arena and led a normal life with his former wife,
Paciencia Hidalgo. Jose Laurel died on November 5, 1959.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Since the early 1960s, Laurel considered a legitimate president of the Philippines
Organized KALIBAPI (Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas, or Association
for Service to the New Philippines), a provisional government during Japanese
occupation
Declared Martial Law and war between the Philippines and the U.S./United Kingdom
in 1944
With his family, established the Lyceum of the Philippines

SERGIO OSMEA

Second President of the Commonwealth


Term: August 1, 1944 - May 27, 1946

BIOGRAPHY
As a statesman and founder of the Nacionalista Party, Sergio Osmea became the 4th
president of the Republic of the Philippines. Born on September 9, 1878 in Cebu City, Osmea
worked in the Philippine Revolution as a courier for Emilio Aguinaldo before finishing his law
studies at the University of Sto. Tomas in 1903.
He was a prominent figure in the fight for independence and assisted in the battle
using passive means as an editor of El Nuevo Dia, a newspaper in Cebu. His job as a politician
began in 1904 when the US colonial administration appointed him as governor of Cebu and
he became the district attorney of the said province and of Negros Oriental. After two years,
he was elected governor.
Between 1907 and 1916, he was chosen as a representative to the Philippine National
Assembly and became speaker of the House of Representatives. He was also the organizer of
the Nacionalista Party that controlled the political arena. Osmea remained its leader until
1921 and was followed by Manuel Quezon.
The Osmea and Quezon tandem was victorious in its fight for independence. Their
biggest battle arose during the lapse of the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Independence Act of the US
Congress in 1933. The team did not last long, for Osmea and Quezon disagreed over

maintaining the US military base after the country has gained its independence. While
Osmea was working on the condition, Quezon was operating on blocking its confirmation in
the Philippines. When the bill was passed, Quezon acquired in its place the Tydings-McDuffie
Act of 1934 with a stipulation of making a commonwealth republic.
In 1935, Osmea was elected vice president of the Commonwealth nation and Quezon
became its president. He became a loyal follower of President Quezon and joined him when
he went into exile in Washington, DC in 1942. Sergio Osmea replaced president Quezon
when he died on August 1, 1944. He returned to the Philippines with the party of Douglas
McArthur on October 20, 1944.
He ran again for president on April 23, 1946 but lost to Manuel Roxas, who became
the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines. He retired to Cebu after
that and passed away on October 19, 1961 at the age of 83.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Became president at 65, making him the oldest person to hold office
First Visayan to become president
Joined with U.S. Gen. Douglas McArthur in Leyte on October 20, 1944 to begin
restoration of Philippine freedom after Japanese occupation
Philippine National Bank was rehabilitated and the country joined the International
Monetary Fund during his presidency
Bell Trade Act was approved by the U.S. Congress during his presidency
Appears on the 50-peso bill

MANUEL ROXAS

First President of the Third Republic of the Philippines


Term: May 28, 1946 - July 4, 1946 / July 4, 1946- April 15, 1948

BIOGRAPHY
The fifth president of the Republic of the Philippines, Manuel A. Roxas was born on
January 1, 1892 in Roxas City, formerly Capiz. He finished law in 1913 with flying colors at
the University of the Philippines, and topped the bar examination in the same year. His first
work experience was as a private secretary of Chief Justice Cayetano Arrelano, and he was a
law professor from 1915 to 1916.
His first entry to the political world was in 1917, when he became a member of the
municipal council of Capiz. He was elected governor of the province and served his term from
1912 to 1921. He took a seat at the Philippine House of Representatives in 1922, and was
afterward selected as a Speaker of the House and a member of the Council of State.
When US Governor General Leonard Wood was preventing bills to be passed by
Philippine legislators, Senators Manuel Roxas and Manuel Quezon resigned from the Council
of State. After nine years, the team of Roxas and Osmea headed the passing of the HareHawes Cutting Act in Washington, D.C. However, Quezon contradicted Roxas on the bill and
this led to the disbanding of the Nacionalista Party. From 1938 to 1940, Roxas worked as a
Secretary of Finance under the Commonwealth administration.
During the Japanese occupation, Manuel Roxas assisted in the pro-Japanese
government headed by Jose P. Laurel by getting supplies of rice for the Japanese army. After

the war, a trial was brought against the accomplices of the Japanese Government, but Roxas'
friend Douglas McArthur defended him.
Roxas was elected President of the Commonwealth in 1946 and became the first
president of an Independent Republic when liberty was declared on July 4. During his reign,
he saw that the countrys only way to recover and re-establish itself was by associating and
acquiring aid from the US that included trade and military cooperation that lasted for 99
years. In spite of this, many Filipinos were not happy with these arrangements, and the
government was flawed with several problems including graft and corruption and the
uprising of the Hukbalahap.
Roxas died on April 15, 1948 in Clark Field Pampanga.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Inaugurated as the first president of the new Republic after World War II
Reconstruction from war damage and life without foreign rule began during his
presidency
Under his term, the Philippine Rehabilitation Act and Philippine Trade Act laws were
accepted by Congress
Appears on the 100-peso bill

ELPIDIO QUIRINO

Second President of the Third Republic of the Philippines


Term: April 17, 1948 - November 10, 1953

BIOGRAPHY
The 6th president of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino, was born on November 16, 1890
in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. He finished his degree in law at the University of the Philippines in 1915
and took the bar exams after. His first humanitarian mission began when he was a barrio
school teacher in Vigan, and was followed by a stint at the Bureau of Lands. He then became
a property clerk in the Manila Police Department, and then a private secretary of then Senate
President Manuel Quezon.
His began his career in politics as an elected representative of Ilocus Sur in 1919 and
became a senator in 1925. He was re-elected as senator in 1931. Quirino was one of the
members of the delegates who helped pass the Tydings-McDuffie Act that later paved the way
to Philippine Independence.
Quirino became a part of the convention that prepared the constitution for the new
Philippine Commonwealth. He was selected by Pres. Quezon to be the Secretary of Finance.
Later on, he became the Secretary of the Interior in the Commonwealth government. When
he was elected as Vice President to Roxas, he worked as the Secretary of Finance and later
became the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Quirino was captured and imprisoned during the Japanese occupation because of his
resistance. His wife Alicia Syquia and their three children were killed by the Japanese soldiers.
After the war, he re-acquired his old position in the government. He was elected Vice
President in 1946 alongside Manuel Roxas. However, Quirino became the president of the
republic when incumbent president Manuel Roxas died. Quirino ran again for president in
the 1949 elections and won over the Nacionalista party candidate.
During Quirinos presidency, his government exercised two goals: to regain faith and
confidence in the government, and to restore peace and order. Sadly, his government
experienced bad publicity, and for the first time in Philippine history, an impeachment trial
was filed against the president because of a golden orinola that Quirino allegedly bought at a
hefty price using the governments money.
His six-year reign as president was recognized for post-war reconstruction, general
economic gains and increased economic aid from the US. However, the problems from the
rural areas and other social problems remained unsettled. The government during his time
was stained by graft and corruption.
Quirinos bid for a second term of office in 1949 was believed to be one of the dirtiest
elections held in the country next to the 1969 election wherein Ferdinand Marcos won via
massive cheating and intimidation. In the 1953 election, Quirino was defeated by one of the
greatest presidents in Philippine history, Ramon Magsaysay.
Despite all the controversies in his reign as president of the republic, his
administration was recognized for its projects on industrial ventures, expanding irrigation
and improvement of the road system, setting up of the Central Bank and rural banking, and
the concluding peace with Japan.
After his defeat, he went back to a normal citizens life. He passed away on February
28, 1956 at his residence in Novaliches.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Hukbalahap guerrilla movement was active during his presidency


Created Social Security Commission
Created Integrity Board to monitor graft and corruption
Quezon City became capital of the Philippines in 1948

RAMON MAGSAYSAY

Third President of the Third Republic of the Philippines


Term: December 30, 1953- March 17, 1957

BIOGRAPHY
Ramon Magsaysay known as the the Guy or President of the Filipino Masses, born
in Iba, Zambales on August 31, 1907 and second child of Exequiel Magsaysay and Perfecta
Del Fierro. As the 8th President of the Philippines, he opens the door to the Filipino people
wherein they are given a chance to approach him directly and give them more freedom to
express their pain and sufferings. To this day his leadership and kindness are the standard
qualities that are looked up for Filipino leaders.
He studied in University of the Philippines took up mechanical engineering but ended
up in Jose Rizal College with Commerce degree. During his period, most of the political
leaders are Spanish kin, only Magsaysay was of Malay race, like the common people.
Magsaysay started as a mechanic in the Try-Tran Bus Company and later up rise as
the branch manager. He reached fame as an efficient guerilla leader in World War II and was
named as the military governor of Zambales, Iba by General Douglas McArthur when the US
freed the Philippines.
He served as the Liberal Party Congress in Zambales from 1946-1950. It was his first
experience in politics. He becomes the instrumental politician for having passed the GI Bill

of Rights in the US Congress wherein it will benefit the Filipino war veterans. President
Elpidio Quirino designates Magsaysay to become the secretary of defense to handle the threat
of the Huks which organize the Peoples Liberation army. He succeeded the campaign against
the Hukbalahap using both the military and political solutions. His campaign is considered
as one of the most successful anti-guerilla in modern history.
The huks realize that they cannot survive without support from the people, he tried to
win the peasants by giving them lands and tools to those who will support the government
and the army should treat the people with respect. Reorganized the army by dismissing
corrupt officials, and trained them to become competent against the guerillas. Because of his
radical campaign, the huks were no longer a threat though he made a lot of enemies within
the government. He accused the Quirino administration with corruption and incompetence,
forcing him to resign on Feb. 28.
In 1953, the Nacionalista party and Carlos Romulo supports Magsaysay to run for
President against Quirino although he was a Liberal candidate. He won and become the 8th
president of the Philippines. During his administration he introduced major programs such
as land reform, social welfare and public works. He helped the peasants by establishing
agricultural credit and cooperative financing agency. Magsaysay is the President of the
Peasants but his plans were hindered by the other politicians who favoured the wealthy.
Magsaysay as a president was so simple and focused on helping the common man. He
remained a close friend and supporter of the United States. He was also the vocal
spokesperson against Communism during the Cold War. He made the Philippines a member
of SATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization), which was established in Manila on Sept. 8,
1954 and he organized Afro-Asian nations against world communism at the Bandung
Conference in Indonesia.
Ramon Magsaysay was married to the former Luz Banzon. He died in a plane crash in
Cebu while campaigning for re-election. His vice president, Carlos P. Garcia succeeded him.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Hukbalahap movement quelled during his presidency


Chairman of the Committee on Guerrilla Affairs
First president sworn into office wearing Barong Tagalog during inauguration
Presidency referred to as the Philippines' "Golden Years" for its lack of corruption
Philippines was ranked second in Asias clean and well-governed countries during his
presidency
Established National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA)
among other agrarian reforms

CARLOS P. GARCIA

Fourth President of the Third Republic of the Philippines


Term: March 18, 1957 - December 30, 1961

BIOGRAPHY
The seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines, Carlos P. Garcia was born in
Talibon, Bohol on November 4, 1896 to Policracio Garcia and Ambrosia Polistico. He studied
at the Siliman University in Dumaguete and later moved to Philippine Law School where he
got his law degree. He was also listed as one of the top ten students who passed the bar
examinations. His first job was as a professor at the Bohol Provincial School.
During the Second World War, Garcia was involved in the defiance movement against
the Japanese. His entered politics as a representative of Bohol in the National Assembly, and
then he served as a congressman, a governor of Bohol and a senator of the republic before
becoming president. Garcia was also a part of the team that prepared and drafted the
governing laws and policies of the United Nations.
In 1945, he won a seat in the senate, and became Vice President to Ramon Magsaysay
in 1953. During Garcia's short term as Vice President, President Magsaysay assigned him as
a Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Garcia assumed the presidency when President Magsaysay died
in an airplane crash in March 1957.
As a leader, Garcia promoted a program of austerity; he said that austerity is a policy
that means temperate spending that signifies more work, more thrift, more productive

investment and more efficiency. The result was less imports and more exports, thus the
caption Pilipino Muna.
In the 1961 presidential election, Diosdado Macapagal beat Garcia. Garcia died from a
heart attack on June 14, 1971 while he was still the president of the Constitutional Convention.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Known for Filipino First Policy which favoured Filipino businesses over foreign
investors
Established the Austerity Program focusing on Filipino trade and commerce
Known as the Prince of Visayan Poets and the Bard from Bohol
Cultural arts was revived during his term
The first president to have his remains buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL

Fifth President of the Third Republic of the Philippines


Term: December 30, 1961 - December 30, 1965

BIOGRAPHY
The ninth president of the Republic of the Philippines, Diosdado Macapal was born in
Lubao, Pampanga on September 28, 1910. His parents were Urbano Macapagal and Romana
Pangan. Diosdado was known as the poor boy from Lubao, and his story of success was an
inspiration to all Filipinos. He brought the true meaning of nationalism to public service and
honour to the word politics.
Macapagals lack of money did not hold him back in pursuing his dream; with the help
of Honorio Ventura, the Secretary of Interior at that time, he studied law at the University of
Sto. Tomas. He was able to attain his degree in 1936, and worked as a lawyer for an American
employer. He was also assigned as a legal assistant to President Manuel Quezon.
During the Japanese occupation, Macapagal supported the anti-Japanese task force,
and served as an intelligence liaison to the US guerillas. His first wife died of malnutrition,
and he later married Evangelina Macaraeg, the mother of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
During the term of President Quirino, he appointed Macapagal as a second secretary
to the Philippine Embassy in WashingtonMacapagal's first job as a public servant. In 1949,
Quirino urged him to run against a Huk candidate who was also running for a seat in the
House of Representatives. Macapagal won and became a member of the Philippine House of

Representative until 1956. He was also part of the commission that went to the United States
to work out the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty.
Diosdado Macapagal was a member of the Liberal party, his bearer for the national
elections. He won the position of vice president in 1957. In the 1961 presidential elections
where he ran for president, Macapagal won by a margin of 55.04% of the votes, against other
candidates including former president Carlos Garcia. The main program in his campaign
focused on the fight against graft and corruption.
Macapagals government was pressured by the International Monetary Fund to
liberalize foreign exchange and import controls. He also dropped the peso value in order to
increase the slumping economy by raising the sugar exports, and because of this, local firms
were affected and the unemployment rate went up.
His five-year program included a shift in the investments from the light industries to
chemicals, steel and industrial equipment. Macapagal formed a union called MAPHILINDO,
an organization composed of South East Asian countries including Malaysia, the Philippines
and Indonesia, in a bid to boost our countrys trade with our neighbours. The MAPHILINDO
union gave the way to the formation of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations or
ASEAN.
In the 1965 election, he ran against Ferdinand Marcos but lost. Macapagal then
became a blunt detractor of the Marcos administration. When the Constitutional Convention
was formed in 1971, he was selected as president, and one of its major stipulations was to
change the presidential form of government to parliamentary. On April 21, 1997, at the Makati
Medical Center, Diosdado Macapal died of heart failure, pneumonia and renal complications.
He was 87 years old back then.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Established the first Land Reform Law, allowing for the purchase of private farmland
to be distributed in inexpensive, small lots to the landless
Placed the Philippine peso on the currency exchange market
Declared June 12, 1898 to be Philippines Independence Day
Some of the bills he passed as a Congressman were Minimum Wage Bill and Rural
Health Law
Created the Philippine Veterans Bank
He renamed Dewey Boulevard to Roxas Boulevard
He renamed Camp Murphy to Camp Aguinaldo, and
He replaced Fort McKinley with Fort Bonifacio

FERDINAND MARCOS

President of the Fourth Republic of the Philippines


Term: December 30, 1965- December 30, 1973 / June 30, 1981 - February 25, 1986

BIOGRAPHY
The 10th president of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos was born on
September 11, 1917 in Sarat, Ilocos Norte to Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin. His
administration was recognized for its strict government, and he held office for 20 years. He
became the first prime minister that served our country when Martial Law was declared in
1972.
Ferdinand Marcos got his law degree at the University of the Philippines, and was one
of the top-notch students who took the bar exams. His entry in public service began when he
worked as an officer for the Philippine Armed Forces during the Second World War. He was
also one of the many soldiers who were captured and survived the Death March in Bataan.
His consequent claims of being an important figure in the Filipino guerilla faction became a
vital factor in his political career. But later, his claim was contradicted by the US Government
archives; they said that Marcos played little or no part at all in the anti-Japanese actions
during the Second World War.
He first entered the political scene as an assistant to Pres. Manuel Roxas. He then
became a member of the House of Representatives, and later on a Senator of the Republic.
When Marcos married Imelda Romualdez in 1954, he acquired the position of Senate
President. During the 1965 presidential campaign, Marcos left the Liberal party after failing

to be nominated as the partys candidate for the presidential post. He then joined the
Nationalista Party and went against Diosdado Macapagal, the chosen candidate of his rival
party, who was then running for re-election.
After the tight and gruelling battle for the presidency, Ferdinand Marcos won and was
inaugurated on December 30, 1965. He was re-elected after four years and, in one of the
dirtiest elections in the country, became the first president to serve a second term. In his first
term of service, his government made progress in agriculture, industry and education. But his
administration was always pestered by student demonstrations and urban-guerilla
movements. Nevertheless, he was still considered to be one of the best presidents our country
ever had.
As his charisma started to fade as the years passed, Marcos declared Martial Law on
September 21, 1972. During this time, he imprisoned all the people who tried to oppose him.
He was both the president and the prime minister under the new but suspended constitution.
There was no freedom of the press; major airlines and utilities went under government
control, and the writ of habeas corpus was suspended. Marcos role as a dictator began. The
Supreme Court was granted little authority, while the Catholic Church, US Embassy officials
and the Amnesty International charged the government with violations of human rights.
Political leaders contradicted Ferdinand Marcos, while the New Peoples Army and Muslim
separatists tried to bring down his regime.
Martial Law was brought down in January 1981, but with the aid of various gray
areas in the constitutional formats, Marcos was able to stay in power until the People Power
revolution of 1986. His administration was flawed by raging corruption, economic stagnation,
and continual widening of economic inequalities between the rich and the poor. By 1983,
Marcos command over his subordinates was showing cracks, and hostility towards his rule
was growing stronger. To prove his strength to the people, he called for a snap election. His
opponent was Corazon Aquino, wife of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino. He defeated Ninoys
widow and declared himself president of the republic despite the widespread protest of the
people. During the People Power Revolution on February 25, 1986, Marcos' rule was
overthrown. He then escaped to Hawaii at the advice of the US Government. Marcos passed
away on September 28, 1989 in Hawaii.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

First president to win a second term


Declared Martial Law on Sept. 22, 1972
Increased the size of Philippine military and armed forces
By 1980, the Philippine GNP was four times greater than 1972
By 1986, the Philippines was one of the most indebted countries in Asia
Built more schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, and other infrastructure than all former
presidents combined

CORAZON AQUINO

First President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines


Term: February 25, 1986- June 30, 1992

BIOGRAPHY
Corazon "Cory" Cojuangco Aquino was born in Tarlac on January 25, 1933. She is the
sixth of the eight children of Don Jose Conjuanco and Doa Demetria Sumulong. She belongs
to a wealthy and politically prominent clan from the Tarlac province.
In 1946, Aquino's family left for the U.S., and she attended her junior and senior years
of high school at the Notre Dame College in New York. She then earned a degree in Bachelor
of Arts, major in French at Mount Saint Vincent College in New York in 1949. In 1955, she
gave up becoming a lawyer to marry Benigno Aquino, who was then a young promising
politician from the same province. Benigno or "Ninoy" was exiled by archrival Ferdinand E.
Marcos in the States, and was assassinated upon his return in August 21, 1983. Ninoy was
supposed to participate in the 1983 elections. After Ninoy's death, Aquino was left to take care
of their five children.
In 1986, Aquino pursued her husband's dream. When then President Ferdinand
Marcos called for a snap election, Corazon Aquino became the unified opposition's candidate
for presidency. Though she was officially reported to have lost the election to Marcos, Aquino
and her supporters challenged the results. They claimed widespread voting fraud. High
officials in the Philippine military soon publicly renounced Marcos and proclaimed Aquino
as the Philippines' rightful president.

The clash of the two candidates resulted in a "People Power Revolution." At the height
of the revolution, Marcos fled the country at the urging of the U.S. Government, and Aquino's
new administration was officially recognized upon his departure for Hawaii. On February 25,
1986, Corazon Aquino became the first woman president of the Philippines.
Despite the people's overwhelming support, the Aquino administration faced an
ongoing outcry of economic injustice, a problem that was only worsened by the continuing
warfare between the communists and the military, whose loyalty to Aquino was uncertain. In
general, her economic policies were criticized for being mixed-up or faltering in the face of
mass poverty. Corazon Aquino served for six years, the maximum term allowed for a president
to stay in power under the revised constitution of 1986.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

First woman president of the Philippines and in Asia


Restored democracy after Marcos leadership
Abolished the 1973 Marcos Constitution and ushered in the new Constitution of the
Philippines
Reorganized the structure of the executive branch of government
Signed the Family Code of 1987, a major civil law reform, and 1191 Local Government
Code, which reorganized the structure of the executive branch of government
Initiated charitable and social activities helping the poor and the needy
Named Woman of the Year in 1986 by Time magazine
On the new 500-peso bill together with her husband Benigno Aquino
Received honours and awards including:
Made it to 100 Women Who Shaped World History
Made it to 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th Century
Made it to 65 Great Asian Heroes
Received the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding

FIDEL V. RAMOS

Second President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines


Term: June 30, 1992 - June 30, 1998

BIOGRAPHY
Fidel Valdes Ramos was raised by his father Narciso Ramos in Lingayen, a province of
Pangasinan. The Philippine government awarded the young Fidel Ramos a scholarship to the
U.S. Military Academy after he passed competitive examinations. Seeing the need to help
raise his country from the ruins of war, he pursued further studies in engineering following
his graduation from West Point in 1950. He obtained a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering
at the University of Illinois in 1951 while he was still a government scholar.
In 1966, Ramos was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant Infantry platoon leader in the
Philippine Expeditionary Force to Chief of Staff of the Philippine Civil Action. He then worked
his way up to become the commander of the Philippine Constabulary, a paramilitary law
enforcement agency that was created by the administration of Ferdinand Marcos.
Ramos is considered the "Father of Philippine Army Special Forces." Some of the
positions that he held in the government were Deputy Chief of Staff for Home Defense of the
Armed Forces, and Chief of the Philippine Constabulary. He became known to the public in
1986, when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He
then became the Secretary of National Defense in 1988 under the Aquino administration.

On June 30, 1992, Ramos ascended to the highest office of the land. He led the Partido
Lakas Tao, a political party that promised to move power to the people as well as greater
control over their livelihood, culture, politics and all aspects of their lives. The former general
tried to improve his administration by reducing the number of cabinet-ranked positions,
though his good intentions were criticized because the appointed officials retired military
officers.
Ramos took positive moves towards his old foes. He granted amnesty to Communist
and Muslim rebels, and recognized the Communist Party. Foreign investment, particularly
tourism, was also one of his targets for improvement.
He is married to Amelita "Ming" Ramos, with whom he has five daughters. The fourstar general was the 12th president of the Philippines.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Oversaw Philippine economic growth


Presided over celebrations of Philippine Independence Centennial in 1998
Received British Knighthood from the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II (Knight
Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George)
Hosted the fourth Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leader's Summit in the
Philippines in 1996
Philippine Stock Exchange became an international favourite during his presidency
Death penalty reinstated while he was in office
Signed peace agreement with the rebel Moro National Liberation Front

JOSEPH ESTRADA

Third President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines


Term: 1998 - 2001

BIOGRAPHY
One of the popular presidents known for his showbiz career, Joseph Ejercito Estrada
became the 13th president of the Republic of the Philippines in 1998. He was born in Tondo,
Manila on April 19, 1937 to Emilio Ejercito, a government employee, and Maria Marcelo, a
housewife.
In his third year at college, Estrada decided to try acting. When he dropped out of
college, his parents were disappointed and prohibited him to use their family name. That was
when he assumed the alias Estrada for his screen name and Erap for his nickname. During
his career in the entertainment industry, he became very famous, playing the lead role in more
than a hundred movies and producing more than 70 films.
Joseph Ejercito Estrada first entered politics in 1968, when he ran for mayor of San
Juan. He was proclaimed mayor in 1969 after winning an electoral protest against Dr. Braulio
Sto. Domingo. The elected mayor was soon named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in
Public Administration, Most Outstanding Mayor and Foremost Nationalist (1972), and Most
Outstanding Metro Manila Mayor (1972). It was a wealthy 16-year mayoralty for Estrada since
he was the only mayor who left savings with the Municipal Treasurer almost P24M.

Estrada did not end his political career when he stepped off the mayoralty. In 1987, he
ran for senator for the opposition party. He was proclaimed and held office for five years.
During his senatorial years, he focused mainly on preserving and protecting the lands of the
less fortunate Filipinos and their cultures. He chaired the Senate Committee on Rural
Development, authoring and sponsoring the law to promote rural development by providing
an accelerated program for the construction of irrigation projects within a 10-year period.
Besides being a nationalist and driving a pro poor agenda style of politics, Estrada was also
an opponent of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in 1991.
In the 1992 elections, Estrada ran for Vice Prisident under the Nationalist People's
Coalition. He won by a big margin and was proclaimed the Vice President of the Philippines
even though many believed that his role in the government would be negligible. He was,
however, assigned by the former President Fidel V. Ramos as the head of Presidential AntiCrime Commission, which made little difference in the rate of crime in the Philippines. He
also founded a number of projects which supported movie makers (MOWELFUND), assisted
the poor (ERAP Para sa Mahirap), and campaigned against drugs (PHILDARE).
Estrada was proclaimed the President of the Philippines in 1988, and he announced
that it was the "greatest performance of his life."
During the EDSA II rally in January 2001, Estrada was the first Philippine president
to be impeached, after he was charged of plunder and corruption. He was succeeded by then
vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

During his presidency Moro Islamic Liberation Front headquarters and camps were
captured
Joined other leaders and politicians to try to amend the 1987 Constitution
Cited as one of the Three Outstanding Senators in 1989
Among the Magnificent 12 who voted to terminate the agreement that allows for U.S.
control of Clark Airbase and Subic Naval Base

GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO

Fourth President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines


Term: 2001 - 2010

BIOGRAPHY
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the 14th President of the republic, and is currently the
15th, after being re-elected in May 2004. She was born on April 5, 1947 to late President
Diosdado Macapagal and his second wife Dr. Evangelina Macaraeg. The Macapagals have
been well known for their integrity and simple but dignified lifestyle.
Arroyo was a bright student; she graduated valedictorian in high school and Magna
Cum Laude at Assumption College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce. She
obtained her Master of Arts in Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University and her Ph. D.
in Economics at the University of the Philippines. She was also a consistent Deans Lister
during her 2-year college stint at Georgetown University in Washington, where former USA
president Bill Clinton was one of her classmates.
Arroyo began her professional career as a teacher in Assumption College and later
became an Assistant Professor at the Ateneo de Manila University and Senior Lecturer at the
UP School of Economics. Her first government service was as an Assistant Secretary at the
Department of Trade and Industry during the Aquino administration. She also became an
Executive Director of the Garment and Textile Export Board under the Aquino administration
and became one of the top dollar earners in the country.

Her first entry in politics was in 1992 when she was elected as a senator. She was reelected in 1995 and got 16 million votes - the highest number of votes in Philippine history.
During her senatorial years, Arroyo authored 55 laws in economic and social reform. She was
named Outstanding Senator several times, and her awards were recognized by the Trade
Union Congress of the Philippines, SBN 336, Magna Carta for the Urban Poor, Philippine
Graphic Weekly Magazine, Philippine Reporter Magazine, Public Eye Magazine, and by Emil
Jurado, Manila Standard Columnist.
In 1998, she was elected Vice President of the republic, garnering a total of 13 million
votes. During her reign as Vice President, she was appointed by then President Estrada as a
Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, a position that she held until
October 12, 2000.
On January 20, 2001, Arroyo was inaugurated and became the 14th president after the
Supreme Court declared the position vacant. She became the second woman to hold the
highest position of the land.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is married to lawyer-businessman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who
is the grandson of the late Senator Jose Ma. Arroyo of Iloilo. They were blessed with three
children: Mikey, Luli and Dato.
Arroyos term as president ended in May 2010.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Second female president of the country


First vice-president of the Philippines
First president to take oath outside Luzon
Former Economics professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, where current
president Benigno Aquino III was one of her students
Ex-classmate of former U.S. President Bill Clinton at Georgetown Universitys Walsh
School of Foreign Service, where she maintained Deans list status
Oversaw higher economic growth than the past three presidents before her
Peso became the best-performing currency of the year in Asia in 2007
EVAT Law was implemented under her term
Currently on the 200-peso bill

BENIGNO AQUINO III

Benigno Simeon Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino III was born on February 8, 1960 in
Manila. He is the only son of the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. whose assassination led to
the social unrest which catapulted his mother, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino to president. He is
a fourth-generation politician. His great grandfather, Servillano Aquino served as a delegate
to the Malolos Congress his grandfather, Benigno Aquino, Sr., held several legislative
positions from 191944.
He is the third of the five children of Benigno Aquino, Jr., who was then Vice Governor
of Tarlac province, and Corazon Aquino. He has four sisters, Maria Elena (Ballsy) Aquino
Cruz, Aurora Corazon (Pinky) Aquino Abellada, Victoria Eliza (Viel) Aquino Dee, and Kristina
Bernadette (Kris) Aquino Yap.
Aquino obtained his Economics degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1981
and joined his family in their exile in the United States. He returned to the Philippines when
his father was assassinated in 1983.
Aquino had a short tenure as a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress,
working as an assistant of the executive director of PBSP. Aquino later joined Mondragon
Industries Philippines, Inc. as an assistant Retail Sales Supervisor and assistant promotions
manager for Nike Philippines, Inc.
From 1986 to 1992, during the presidency of his mother, Aquino joined the IntraStrata Assurance Corporation, a company owned by his uncle Antolin Oreta Jr., as vice
president.

From 1993 to 1998, Aquino worked for Central Azucarera de Tarlac, the sugar refinery
in charge of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita, as the executive assistant for
administration from 1993 to 1996, then Aquino worked as manager for field services from
1996 to 1998.
In 1998, he was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd
district of Tarlac province. He was subsequently re-elected to the House in 2001 and 2004.
In 2007, having been barred from running for re-election to the House due to the term limit,
he was elected to the Senate in the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
After his mothers death, on September 9, 2009, Aquino officially announced he would
be a candidate in the 2010 presidential election, held on May 10, 2010.
On June 9, 2010, the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino the winner of the
2010 presidential election. Aquino will take office as the fifteenth President of the Philippines
on June 30, 2010, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Created the no "wang-wang" (street siren) policy


Appointed statesman Jesse Robredo to serve as secretary of Interior and Local
Government in 2010, where Robredo served until his death in 2012
Initiated K-12 education in the Philippines
Renamed the Office of the Press Secretary to Presidential Communications Operations
Office and appointed new officers
Suspended allowances and bonuses to Government Owed and Controlled Corporation
and Government Financial Institution board members
Oversaw 7.1% growth of the Philippine economy in 2012

RODRIGO DUTERTE

Rodrigo Roa Duterte was born on March 28, 1945, in Maasin, Southern Leyte,
Philippines. His father, Vicente, served as a local mayor and governor, and his mother,
Soledad, was a teacher and a community activist.
Prone to misbehaviour, Duterte was twice expelled from elementary school. He
managed to channel his temper by the time he attended Lyceum of the Philippines University
where he was influenced by Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jos Mara Sison.
Duterte went on to study law at San Beda College, earning his degree in 1972 despite claims
that he shot a classmate.
Duterte's rise from the legal ranks to politician began when he was named special
counsel at the City Prosecution Office of Davao City in 1977. He became assistant city
prosecutor two years later and in 1986, he was elected vice mayor of Davao City.
That same year, President Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in the "People Power
Revolution," fuelling an increase in crime that was particularly rampant in Davao City.
Elected mayor in 1988, Duterte sought to crack down on criminal activity by imposing a strict
curfew and drinking laws. Additionally, he permitted the actions of a vigilante "death squad"
often referred to as the "Davao Death Squad" and Duterte Death Squad that reportedly
killed more than 1,000 suspected drug dealers and gang members over a 20-year span.
Nicknamed the "Punisher" for his controversial methods, Duterte nevertheless was
successful in reducing crime. Furthermore, he was credited with helping to make Davao City
cleaner by enforcing a smoking ban, and for his LGBT-friendly measures. His popularity was

such that he served seven terms as mayor, sidestepping term limits with stints as a
congressman and vice mayor, and drew huge ratings with a weekly television program.
After initially dismissing the idea he would run for president, Duterte reversed course
and threw his hat into the race in late 2015. Among other promises, he said he would establish
a new federal parliamentary government and revive the country's steel industry. However,
the substance of his campaign was quickly overshadowed by a series of outrageous
statements. He insisted he would massacre criminals and refused to apologize for a joke about
the rape of an Australian missionary. His brashness invited comparisons to Donald Trump,
who was simultaneously running his own unfiltered campaign for president in the United
States.
The strategy proved effective, as Duterte nearly doubled the votes compiled by his two
closest opponents. In May 2016, he was officially named the 16th president of the Philippines,
and the first from its southern island of Mindanao.
After taking office, Duterte signed an executive order to provide full disclosure of
government records and transactions and announced plans to decongest airports. Vigilante
attacks continued under his watch, and thousands of criminals reportedly surrendered to
authorities. Viewed as a tough, effective leader, Duterte scored a 91 percent approval rating
in late July.
However, despite being subjected to greater international scrutiny in his new role,
Duterte refused to scale back his incendiary rhetoric. Among his headline-making comments,
he lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama over mention of the extrajudicial killings, and
compared himself to Hitler for his desire to exterminate drug addicts.
Duterte also threatened to shake up long-time alliances with his words. Upon a state
visit to China in October, he announced that he was "separating" with the U.S. and aligning
himself with the "ideological flow" of his host country. Although he later softened those
remarks, he left many wondering whether he would attempt to tip the balance of power in the
Pacific region.
Duterte was married to former flight attendant Elizabeth Zimmerman from 1973 until
an annulment was granted in 2000. Two of their three children, Paolo and Sara, followed
their father into politics. Additionally, Duterte has a daughter with his common-law wife,
Honeylet Avancea.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Agreement signed with Malaysia and Indonesia to enhance military cooperation in


addressing piracy, kidnap-for-ransom, terrorism, transnational crimes in common
maritime areas

Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva
Ecija inaugurated. It is being run by the Department of Health
911 National Emergency Hotline launched
The Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, the highest policy- and decision-making
body on land reform and land disputes, is reconvened for the first time after 10 years

Question:
Who do you think is the best president ever produced in the Philippines? Why?
Answer:
I think the best president that the country has ever produced was President Marcos.
Marcos was an intelligent one, I heard. In this first term, progress was made in
agriculture, industry and education. He made many advancements in the country's
infrastructure which provided services and transportation to many of the rural areas in the
country. He also led successful economic reforms which made the Philippines celebrated by
other Asian countries. He has contributed so much that people came flocking to him,
appreciating his right doings and praising him for the first few years of his service.
But then his second term came.
I wasnt there when it happened, nor do I share the same resentments as those who
were there. What I know is that the past has definitely left something for the future
generations to ponder on and to sympathize with. I suppose that outgoing presidents share
the same feelings of anxiety (perhaps) whenever they come close to descending their throne.
But what happened to Marcoshis dictatorial regime and his intrusive ways of staying in
positionwas something unmatched in a way that it left the people in utter tremor and fear.
Even the next generations have to suffer the consequences of the past every time a newly
elected president was to be declared. There is always that tension in the air during election
period and, as sickening as it gets, rumours of Marcos 2.0 would sometimes reach my ear.
The Filipino men have gone through so much and no one knows how much more they
are willing to take. Presidents have come and gone, and each of them has their own respective
flaws, which of course werent on purpose. No one is perfect so it follows that not one
administration is safe from criticisms and poor choices. But no one must blame or is to be
blamed because, in the first place, we are the ones who have the influence to appoint who
should be in position. It just so happened that Marcos at that time had so much desire in him
that by that same desire it led him to his grave. I guess thats where all the right doings of
Marcos flushed down the drainhis hunger for supremacy.