||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|5th President of the Philippines
3rd President of the Commonwealth
1st president of the Third Republic
May 28, 1946 – April 15, 1948
|Vice President||Elpidio Quirino|
|Preceded by||Sergio Osmeña|
|Succeeded by||Elpidio Quirino|
|2nd President of the Senate of the Philippines|
July 9, 1945 – May 25, 1946
|Preceded by||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Succeeded by||José Avelino|
|Senator of the Philippines|
July 9, 1945 – May 25, 1946
|Secretary of Finance|
August 21, 1941 – December 29, 1941
|President||Manuel L. Quezon|
|Preceded by||Antonio de Las Alas|
|Succeeded by||Serafin Marabut|
|2nd Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives|
|Preceded by||Sergio Osmeña|
|Succeeded by||Quintin Paredes|
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Capiz' 1st District|
|Preceded by||Antonio Habana|
|Succeeded by||Ramon A. Arnaldo|
|Governor of Capiz|
January 1, 1892|
Capiz, Philippines (now Roxas City)
|Died||April 15, 1948
Clark Air Base, Philippines
|Resting place||Manila North Cemetery, Santa Cruz, Manila, Philippines|
|Political party||Liberal Party (1945–1948)|
|Nacionalista Party (Before 1945)|
|Spouse(s)||Trinidad de Leon|
|Alma mater||University of Manila
University of the Philippines College of Law
Manuel Acuña Roxas (January 1, 1892 – April 15, 1948) was the first president of the independent Third Republic of the Philippines and fifth president overall. He served as president from the granting of independence in 1946 until his abrupt death in 1948. His term as president of the Philippines was also the third shortest, lasting 1 year 10 months and 18 days.
His Early life and career
Manuel A. Roxas, third and last President of the Commonwealth and the first of the Republic of the Philippines, was born to Gerardo Roxas, Sr. and Rosario Acuña on January 1, 1892 in Capiz (present-day Roxas City). He was a posthumous child, for his father Gerardo had been mortally wounded by Spanish guardias civiles the year before, leaving him and his older brother Mamerto to be raised by their mother and Don Eleuterio, their maternal grandfather.
Roxas received his early education in the public schools of Capiz, and at age 12, attended St. Joseph's Academy in Taiwan, but due to homesickness, he went back to Capiz. He eventually transferred to Manila High School (later named the Araullo High School), graduating with highest honors in 1909.
Roxas began his law studies at a private law school established by George A. Malcolm, the first dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law. On his second year, he enrolled at University of the Philippines, where he was elected president of both his class and the student council. In 1913, Roxas obtained his law degree, graduated class valedictorian, and subsequently topped the bar examinations with a grade of 75% on the same year.
Manuel Roxas was married to in 1921. The couple had two children, Ma. Rosario "Ruby" Roxas who is married to Vicente Roxas (no relation) and Gerardo M. "Gerry" Roxas who married Judy Araneta.
Gerry became a member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a leader of Liberal Party of the Philippines. He fathered three children, two of them, Dinggoy Roxas and Mar Roxas, served as representatives from Capiz. Mar became a Senator in 2004, and he was elected president of the Liberal Party in 2004. His daughter-in-law Judy continues to be a prominent and driving force of the Liberal Party.
Daughter Ruby has an only son, named Manuel but nicknamed Manolo. His son Gerardo, who died in 1982, had three children: Maria Lourdes Roxas, married to Augusto Ojeda, Manuel, nicknamed Mar, whose spouse is broadcaster Korina Sanchez, and Gerardo "Dinggoy" Roxas, Jr. (1960–1993).
- Margarita Moran-Floirendo, (born Maria Margarita Roxas-Moran), granddaughter of former President and Miss Universe 1973
- Margarita Roxas de Ayala (1826–1869), considered[by whom?] the first Filipino philanthropist and the greatest businessperson of her time
- Don Jose Bonifacio Roxas (1834–1888), younger brother of Margarita Roxas de Ayala and father of Pedro Pablo Roxas. In 1851 he would purchase the former Jesuit estate of Hacienda de San Pedro de Macati, which would become the future basis of the Zobel de Ayala Family wealth.
- Felix Roxas y Fernandez (1864–1936), mayor of Manila from 1905 to 1917.
- Felix Roxas y Arroyo (1820–?), father of Felix Roxas y Fernandez, the first Filipino qualified architect
- Felipe Roxas y Arroyo (1840–1899), the painter who emigrated to Paris
- Pedro Pablo Roxas (1847–1912), one of the richest Filipinos at the turn of 20th century, the first manager of San Miguel Brewery
- Francisco Roxas (1851–1897), second cousin of Pedro Pablo Roxas, a musician turned businessman who was falsely accused of complicity with the Katipunan. He was one of the "13 Martyrs of Bagumbayan".
- Antonio J. Roxas, present chairman of board of Roxas & Company, Inc. and chairman emeritus of Roxas Holdings, and director of Central Azucarero Don Pedro
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2012)|
Roxas occupied more important positions in the Philippine government than any other Filipino had ever held before him. Starting in 1917 he was a member of the municipal council of Capiz. He became the youngest governor of his province and served in this capacity from 1919 to 1922.
He was elected to the Philippine House of Representatives in 1922, and for twelve consecutive years was Speaker of the House. He was member of the Constitutional Convention 1934 to 1935, Secretary of Finance, Chairman of the National Economic Council, Chairman of the National Development Company and many other government corporations and agencies, Brigadier General in the USAFFE, and Guerilla leader.
After the amendments to the 1935 Philippine Constitution were approved in 1941, he was elected (1941) to the Philippine Senate, but was unable to serve until 1945 because of the outbreak of World War II.
Having enrolled prior to World War II as an officer in the reserves, he was made liaison officer between the Commonwealth government and the United States Army Forces in the Far East headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur. He accompanied President Quezon to Corregidor where he supervised the destruction of Philippine currency to prevent its capture by the Japanese. When Quezon left Corregidor, Roxas went to Mindanao to direct the resistance there. It was prior to Quezon's departure that he was made Executive Secretary and designated as successor to the presidency in case Quezon or Vice-President Sergio Osmeña were captured or killed. Roxas was captured in 1942 by the Japanese invasion forces.
When the Congress of the Philippines was convened in 1945, the legislators elected in 1941 chose Roxas as Senate President.
Presidential election of 1946
|Presidential styles of
Manuel A. Roxas
|Reference style||His Excellency|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Alternative style||Mr. President|
Prior to the Philippine national elections of 1946, at the height of the last Commonwealth elections, Senate President Roxas and his friends left from the Nacionalista Party and formed the Liberal Party. Roxas became their candidat for president and Elpidio Quirino for vice-president. The Nacionalistas, on the other hand, had Osmeña for president and Senator Eulogio Rodriguez for vice-president. Roxas had the staunch support of General MacArthur. Osmeña refused to campaign, saying that the Filipino people knew his reputation. On the April 23, 1946, Roxas won 54 percent of the vote, and the Liberal Party won a majority in the legislature.
Last President of the Commonwealth (1946)
Roxas served as the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in a brief period, from May 28, 1946 to July 4, 1946 during which time Roxas helped prepared the groundwork for an independent Philippines.
On May 28, 1946, Roxas was inaugurated as the last President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The inaugural ceremonies were held on the grounds of ruined, shell-blasted Legislative Building, now the National Museum of the Philippines, and were witnessed by huge crowds of around 200,000 people. In his address, he outlined the main policies of his administration, mainly, closer ties with the United States, adherence to the newly-created United Nations Organization, reconstruction of war-devastated country, relief for the masses, social justice to the working class, maintenance of peace and order, preservation of individual rights and liberties of the citizenry and honesty and efficiency of government office.
On June 3, 1946, Roxas appeared for the first time before the joint session of the Congress to deliver his first state of the nation address. Among other things, he told the members of the Congress the grave problems and difficulties the Philippines face and reported on his special trip to the United States to discuss the approval for independence.
On June 21, he reappeared in front of another joint session of the Congress and urged the acceptance of two laws passed by the Congress of the United States on April 30, 1946—the Tydings–McDuffie Act, of Philippine Rehabilitation Act, and the Bell Trade Act or Philippine Trade Act. Both recommendations were accepted by the Congress.
First president of the Third Republic (1946–1948)
Manuel Roxas' term as the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines ended on the morning of July 4, 1946 when the Third Republic of the Philippines was inaugurated and Philippine Independence from the United States proclaimed, amidts plaudits and prayers of some 300,000 people, 21-gun salute and joyous echoes of church bells. Roxas was then inaugurated as the new and first president of the new Republic.
The inaugural ceremonies took place at Luneta Park, Manila. On the grandstand there were around 3,000 guests and notables, consisted of President Roxas and his cabinet; the last US High Commissioner and first American Ambassador of US to the Philippines Paul McNutt; General Douglas MacArthur (coming from Tokyo); United States Postmaster General Robert E. Hannegan; a delegation from US Congress headed by Tydings–McDuffie Act author Maryland Senator Millard Tydings and Missouri Representative C. Jasper Bell, author of Bell Trade Act and former civil governor-general Francis Burton Harrison.
Roxas did not finish his term. On the night of April 15, 1948, Roxas died at Clark Field, Pampanga of a heart attack. In the morning, Roxas had delivered a speech before the US Thirteenth Air Force. After the speech, he felt dizzy and was brought to the residence of Major General E.L. Eubank, where he died that same night.
He is depicted on the 100 Philippine peso bill.
Administration and cabinet
|width:26em; padding: 0px;|
|Gross Domestic Product|
|1947||Php 85, 269 million|
|Growth rate, 1947–48||39.5 %|
|Per capita income|
|1947||Php 24, 824 million|
|1 US$ = Php 2.00
1 Php = US$ 0.50
|Sources: Philippine Presidency Project
Malaya, Jonathan; Eduardo Malaya. So Help Us God... The Inaugurals of the Presidents of the Philippines. Anvil Publishing, Inc.
No sooner had the fanfare of the independence festivities ended that the government and the people quickly put all hands to work in the tasks of rescuing the country from its dire economic straits. Reputed to be the most bombed and destroyed country in the world, the Philippines was in a sorry mess. Only Stalingrad and Warsaw, for instance, could compare with Manila in point of destruction. All over the country more than a million people were unaccounted for. The war casualties as such could very well reach the two million mark. Conservative estimates had it that the Philippines had lost about two thirds of her material wealth.
The country was facing near bankruptcy. There was no national economy, no export trade. Indeed, production for exports had not been restored. On the other hand, imports were to reach the amount of three million dollars. There was need of immediate aid from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Something along this line was obtained. Again, loans for the United States, as well as some increase in the national revenues, were to help the new Republic.
President Roxas, with bold steps, met the situation with the same confidence he exuded in his inaugural address, when he said: "The system of free but guided enterprise is our system". Among the main remedies proposed was the establishment of the Philippine Rehabilitation Finance Corporation. This entity would be responsible for the construction of twelve thousand houses and for the grant of easy-term loans in the amount of 177,000,000 pesos. Another proposal was the creation of the Central Bank of the Philippines to help stabilize the Philippine dollar reserves and coordinate and the nations banking activities gearing them to the economic progress.
Concentrating on the sugar industry, President Roxas would exert such efforts as to succeed in increasing production from 13,000 tons at the time of the Philippine liberation to an all-high of one million tons.
Reconstruction after the war
The postwar Philippines had burned cities and towns, ruined farms and factories, blasted roads and bridges, shattered industries and commerce, and thousands of massacred victims. The war had paralyzed the educational system, where 80% of the school buildings, their equipment, laboratories and furniture were destroyed. Numberless books, invaluable documents and works of art, irreplaceable historical relics and family heirlooms, hundreds of churches and temples were burned. The reconstruction of the damaged school buildings alone cost more than Php 126,000,000.
The new Republic began to function on an annual deficit of over Php 200,000,000 with little prospect of a balanced budget for some years to come.Manila and other cities then were infested with criminal gangs which used techniques of American gangsters in some activities–bank holdups, kidnapping and burglaries. In rural regions, especially the provinces of Central Luzon and the Southern Tagalog regions, the Hukbalahaps and brigands terrorized towns and barrios.
In 1946, shortly after his induction to Presidency, Manuel Roxas proclaimed the Rice Share Tenancy Act of 1933 effective throughout the country. However problems of land tenure continued. In fact these became worse in certain areas. Among the remedial measures enacted was Republic Act No. 1946 likewise known as the Tenant Act which provided for a 70–30 sharing arrangements and regulated share-tenancy contracts. It was passed to resolve the ongoing peasant unrest in Central Luzon.
President Roxas, on January 28, 1948, granted full amnesty to all so-called Philippine collaborators, many of whom were on trial or awaiting to be tried, particularly former President José P. Laurel (1943–1945). The Amnesty Proclamation did not apply to those "collaborators", who were charged with the commission of common crimes, such as murder, rape, and arson. The presidential decision did much to heal a standing wound that somehow threatened to divide the people's sentiments. It was a much-called for measure to bring about a closer unity in the trying times when such was most needed for the progress of the nation.
Disgusted with the crimes being committed by HukBaLaHap (also known as "Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon" and Huks) and possessing evidence of their subversion, Roxas, on March 6, 1948, in a dramatic gesture,[according to whom?] issued a proclamation outlawing Huks' movement,. It had become an imperative in view of the resurgence of Huk depredations, following the unseating of the seven Communists, led by Huk Supremo Luis Taruc through acts of terrorism.
Treaty of General Relations
On August 5, 1946, the Congress of the Philippines ratified the Treaty of General Relations that had been entered into by and between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States on July 4, 1946. Aside from withdrawing her sovereignty from the Philippines and recognizing her independence, the Treaty reserved for the United States some bases for the mutual protection of both countries; consented that the United States represent the Philippines in countries where the latter had not yet established diplomatic representation; made the Philippines assume all debts and obligations of the former government in the Philippines; and provided for the settlement of property rights of the citizens of both countries.
United States military bases
Although Roxas was successful in getting rehabilitation funds from the United States after independence, he was forced[according to whom?] to concede military bases (23 of which were leased for 99 years), trade restriction for the Philippine citizens, and special privileges for U.S. property owner and investor.
Parity Rights Amendment
On March 11, 1947, Philippine voters, agreeing with Roxas, ratified in a nationwide plebiscite the "parity amendment" to the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines, granting United States citizens the right to dispose of and utilize Philippine natural resources, or parity rights.
The night before the plebiscite, Roxas narrowly escaped assassination by Julio Guillen, a disgruntled barber from Tondo, Manila, who hurled a grenade at the platform on Plaza Miranda immediately after Roxas had addressed a rally.
His administration was marred by graft and corruption; moreover, the abuses of the provincial military police contributed to the rise of the left-wing (Huk) movement in the countryside. His heavy-handed attempts to crush the Huks led to widespread peasant disaffection.
The good record of Roxas administration was marred by two failures: the failure to curb graft and corruption in the government, as evidenced by the Surplus War Property scandal, the Chinese immigration scandal and the School supplies scandal; and the failure to check and stop the communist Hukbalahap movement.
- Video: Air Freight by Parachute etc. (1946). Universal Newsreel. 1946. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Official Gazette (Manila, May 1946) vol. 42 no. 5, pp. 1151–1165
- Official Gazette, July 1946, vol. 42 no. 7, pp. 1625–1628
- Office of the President of the Philippines
- Dante C. Simbulan (2005). The Modern Principalia: The Historical Evolution of the Philippine Ruling Oligarchy. UP Press. p. 228 (note 15). ISBN 978-971-542-496-7.
- Molina, Antonio. The Philippines: Through the centuries. Manila: University of Sto. Tomas Cooperative, 1961. Print.
- Gallego, Manuel V. "The Technique of Japanese Cultural Invasion." Philippine Journal of Education. Manila, November 1946, p. 94
- Message of His Excellency Manuel Roxas, President of the Philippines to the Second Congress delivered on June 3, 1946. Manila. Bureau of Printing, 1946, p. 6
- Manapat, Carlos, et.al. Economics, Taxation, and Agrarian Reform. Quezon City: C&E Pub., 2010.Print.
- Guillen was arrested, tried by the court for attempted assassination, and was sentenced to die. On April 16, 1950, he was executed in an electric chair at Muntinlupa.
- Zaide, Gregorio F. (1984). Philippine History and Government. National Bookstore Printing Press.
- Zaide, Gregorio (1956). Philippine Political and Cultural History: the Philippines since British Invasion (1957 Revised ed.). Manila, Philippines: McCullough Printing Company.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
|House of Representatives of the Philippines|
|Member of the House of Representatives from Capiz's 1st district
|Speaker of the House of Representatives
Antonio de Las Alas
|Secretary of Finance
Jorge B. Vargas
as Speaker of the National Assembly
|President of the Senate
|President of the Philippines
May 28, 1946-July 4, 1946
|President of the Philippines
|Party political offices|
|New office||Leader of the Liberal Party