Thursday, March 8, 2012

Presidents Of The Philippines

My nephew asked help regarding Philippine history and governance. I just thought of doing this blog to somehow help not just my nephew but also other students. I have researched some information online and from other books as I have forgotten my lectures way back in highschool and college.


“The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” Article II Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
The Philippines has a democratic government and is a constitutional republican governed by a president. The president acts as the head of the of the state and government, leader of the executive branch and chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The Philippines has 16 presidents making Andres Bonifacio unofficially the first president since Katipunan is considered to be a form of government by some historians.

List of the presidents

Andres Bonifacio-He was born on November 30, 1863 to Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro. His father was a tailor and a government official of Tondo. His mother is a mestiza with Spanish father and Filipino-Chinese mother who was a factory worker. Bonifacio founded the Katipunan on July 7, 1892. He died on May 10, 1897 in Maragondon. His death is controversial but most information points out that he was executed because of sedition and treason. ( I don’t want to discuss further about his biography as this will show how Philippines never had unity from the beginning of its history and we are divided with jealousy and lust for power.)

Emilio Aguinaldo-He was born on March 22, 1820 in Kawit Cavite. He is the 7th child of Carlos Aguinaldo y Jamir and Trinidad Famy y Valero. His father was a town head and member of the mestizo minority. He had five children from his first marriage to Hilaria Del Rosario. On June 12, 1898, he proclaimed the Philippine Independence at his ancestral house in Kawit. On June 23, he replaced his dictatorial government to revolutionary appointing himself as president. The first republic was formally established with the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899. ‘Aguinaldo died of coronary thrombosis at age 94 on February 6, 1964, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. A year before his death, he had donated his lot and his mansion to the government. This property now serves as a shrine to "perpetuate the spirit of the Revolution of 1896.’ (from Wikipedia)

Manuel Luis Quezon-He was born on August 19, 1878 in Aurora Quezon. His parent Lucio Quezon and Maria Dolores Molina were grade school teachers. He was elected as president in September 1935 under the Coalition Party. He was considered as the first Filipino to head a government as opposed to some historical states. Although Quezon lived through the most turbulent times in Philippine history, when the peasantry—who composed 75 percent of the people—was rebelling against social injustice and age-old exploitation, he failed to institute long-lasting reforms in land tenancy, wages, income distribution, and other areas of crisis. Essentially a politician who was both tactful and bullheaded, supple and compulsive, Quezon served mainly the interest of the Filipino elite, or ruling oligarchy (about 200 families), who owned and controlled the estates and businesses.
     Quezon became a popular hero when he attacked the racist policies of Governor Leonard Wood with his declaration that he preferred "a government run like hell by Filipinos to one run like heaven by Americans." Senator Claro M. Recto, a contemporary, pronounced the most balanced and acute judgment when he described Quezon as "a successful politician … because he was a master of political intrigue. He knew how to build strong and loyal friendships even among political opponents, but he knew also how to excite envy, distrust, ambition, jealousy, even among his own loyal followers."  He died of tuberculosis on August 1, 1944 in Saranac Lake, New York. (from

1.   Jose P. Laurel-He was born on March 9, 1891 in Tanauan Batangas. He was the president of the Republic of the Philippines, a Japanese-sponsored administration during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. Since the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal (1961–1965), Laurel has been recognized as a legitimate president of the Philippines. When Japan invaded, President Manuel L. Quezon first fled to Bataan and then to the United States to establish a government-in-exile. Laurel's prewar, close relationship with Japanese officials (a son had been sent to study at the Imperial Military Academy in Tokyo, and Laurel had received an honorary doctorate from Tokyo University), placed him in a good position to interact with the Japanese occupation forces. Laurel was among the Commonwealth officials instructed by the Japanese Imperial Army to form a provisional government when they invaded and occupied the country. He cooperated with the Japanese, in contrast to the decision of Filipino Chief Justice Abad Santos. Because he was well-known to the Japanese as a critic of US rule, as well as having demonstrated a willingness to serve under the Japanese Military Administration, that he held a series of high posts in 1942–1943. In 1943, he was shot by Philippine guerillas while playing golf at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, but he quickly recovered. Later that year, he was selected, by the National Assembly, under vigorous Japanese influence, to serve as President.
The presidency of Laurel understandably remains one of the most controversial in Philippine history. After the war, he would be denounced in some quarters as a war collaborator or even a traitor, although his indictment for treason was superseded by President Roxas' Amnesty Proclamation. His subsequent electoral success demonstrates public support for him. Before his death, Laurel came to be considered as doing his best in interceding, protecting and looking after the best interests of the Filipinos against the harsh wartime Japanese military rule and policies. However, the fact remains that he violated his Oath of Office and headed an illegal government of the Philippines.
He died on November 6, 1959 of heart attack and stroke at Lourdes Hospital, Manila. (from Wikipedia)

Sergio Osmeña- He was born in Cebu to Juana Osmeña y Suico at the age of 14. His father is still a puzzle until now. According to some articles his father is Don Pedro Lee Gotiaoco, a “rags to riches” Chinese immigrant tycoon, philanthropist and Chinese community leader. Another candidate is Don Antonio Sanson a philanderous rich haciendero from Surigao. On 10 April 1901, he married Estefania Chiong Veloso, with whom he had ten children, namely: Nicasio, Vicenta, Edilderto, Milagros, Emilio, Maria Paloma, Jesus, Teodoro, José, and Sergio, Jr. (former Senator) In 1920, two years after the death of his first wife, Osmeña married Esperanza Limjap, and had three more children, namely, Ramón, Rosalina, and Victor.
He was a Filipino politician who served as the 4th President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon, and rose to the presidency upon Quezon's death in 1944, being the oldest Philippine president to hold office at age 65. A founder of Nacionalista Party, he was the first Visayan to become President of the Philippines. Osmeña must probably one of the most underrated Philippine presidents in history, overshadowed by Quezon’s contributions as the very first president under the Philippine Commonwealth. But unknown to many, Osmeña created and witnessed a lot of “firsts” during the span of his political career: he founded El Nuevo Dia, the very first daily propaganda newspaper in Cebu while working as a war staff under the revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo during the Filipino-American War; he became the very first29-er to be elected as Speaker of the first Philippine Assembly in 1907, when the average age of the members was 37; and he became the very first Filipino president to take his oath in a foreign land (Osmeña is our fourth president and served in his office from August 1, 1944 to May 28, 1946). In addition to these, it was during his term when the Philippines first joined the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank). Some historians also believe that Osmeña catapulted the very first and perhaps the oldest and the most dominant political dynasty in the country. He died of old age at the age of 83 on 19 October 1961 at the Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. He is buried in the Manila North Cemetery, Manila.

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 (now 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 served as the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in a brief period, from his subsequent election on May 28, 1946 to July 4, 1946, the scheduled date of the proclamation of Philippine Independence. He  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 shortest, lasting 1 year 10 months and 18 days. On April 15, 1948, he died at the residence of Major General E.L. Eubank.

Elpidio Quirino-He was born on November 16, 1890 in Vigan. He is the second president of the independent Republic of the Philippines. Quirino's 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; Quirino's administration was tainted by widespread graft and corruption. The 1949 elections, which he had won, were among the most dishonest in the country's 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.

Ramon Magsaysay-He was the third President of the Republic of the Philippines and seventh president overall from December 30, 1953 until his death in a plane crash on March 17, 1957. He was elected President under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.

From 1942 to 1945, during World War II, he organized and led the guerrilla force that fought the Japanese. He was elected (1946) and re-elected (1949) on the Liberal party ticket to the Philippine House of Representatives. An advocate of stronger government action against the Communist-led Hukbalahap (Huk) guerrillas, he was appointed secretary of national defence in 1950. He reorganized and strengthened the army and the constabulary and intensified the campaign to crush Huk resistance, waging one of the most successful antiguerrilla campaigns in modern history by winning over the peasantry and preserving tight military discipline. In 1953 Magsaysay resigned his post as defence secretary and became the presidential candidate of the Nationalist party after criticizing the Liberal government. He was elected president of the Philippines in November 1953, but his efforts to reform the country were frustrated by wealthy landowner interests in the national congress.

Carlos Polistico Garcia-García was born on November 4, 1896 in Talibon, Bohol to Policronio García and Ambrosia Polistico. He was teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, public official, political economist and guerrilla leader. He became the eighth President of the Philippines known for his "Filipino First" policy, which put the interests of the Filipino people above those of foreigners and of the ruling party. From 1961 to 1971, he lived as a private citizen in Bohol.  When the 1971 Constitutional

convention was held, he ran as delegate for the province’s third district, and won.  He was

elected as its president on June 11,  1971, with ex-President Macapagal as vice-president.  Three
days later, on June 14, he suffered a fatal heart attack. (from

Diosdado Macapagal-Diosdado Macapagal’s rise from poverty to the highest seat of power in the Philippines is truly an inspiring story. The ‘poor boy from Lubao’ as he was fondly called, achieved so much in life being the ninth president of the Philippine Republic and father to Gloria MacapagalArroyo who followed in his footsteps to becoming a president of the country from 2001-2010.

 Dadong was born to the couple Urbano Macapagal and Romana Pangan on September 28, 1910 in barrio San Nicolas of Lubao, Pampanga.Despited being poor, he was able to finish his law studies and he was a topnotcher in the 1936 bar examinations and also earned the degree of Doctor of Laws and Doctor of

Economics. Macapagal taught law and economics and worked. Because of his pro-poor program, the Filipinos elected Diosdado Macapagal as vice president in 1957. Dadong ran for presidency on November 14, 1961 and defeated the President Carlos P. Garcia. Among the significant legacies of Macapagal are changing the date of Philippine Independence from July 4 to June 12 which is
the day when the Philippine Independence was declared by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898 in Kawit, Cavite, the
Philippines’ claim of Sabah in 1962 and Agricultural Land
Reform Code of 1963. He retired from government service after his term of office. His heart was really in public service, Macapagal ran for Constitutional Convention Delegate and elected as President of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.
 Diosdado Macapagal died of heart failure, pneumonia and renal complications at the Makati Medical Center on April 21, 1997. He is interned at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (from

Ferdinand E. Marcos-Scholar, soldier, lawyer and politician who served as President of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986, Ferdinand E. Marcos was born on September 11, 1917 in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, the eldest son of Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin, both teachers.  He had to study in several elementary schools as his parents’ assignments changed constantly.  From 1923 to 1929, he attended the Sarrat Central School, then the Shamrock Elementary School in Laoag and, finally, the Ermita Elementary School in Manila.  He entered the high school department of the University of the Philippines and in 1934, enrolled in a liberal arts course at the same university. While still a student, he was commissioned as  third lieutenant (apprentice officer) in the Philippine Constabulary Reserve after having  been an ROTC battalion commander, with the rank of cadet major, and team captain of the UP rifle and pistol team.  He later took up law at the university. 
On September 21, 1972, Marcos imposed martial law.  Holding that communists and other subversive forces had precipitated the crisis, he acted swiftly.  He jailed opposition politicians and made the armed forces an arm of the regime.  Apart from political leaders, notably Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., whom he had arrested and held in detention for almost eight years, Marcos also met some opposition from church leaders and others.  In the provinces, the New People’s Army and Muslim separatists undertook guerilla activities intended to bring down the central government.
In 1983, Marcos’ 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 People’s Army, Senator Aquino, after three years of exile in Boston, Massachusetts, returned to Manila on  August  21,  1983  only  to  be  shot  dead  as  he  stepped  off  the  plane. An  independent commission, the Agrava Fact-Finding Board, appointed by Marcos, concluded in 1984 that highranking military officials were responsible for Aquino’s assassination.  To reassert his mandate, Marcos called for a so-called “snap” presidential election to be held in February 1986.  But a formidable political opponent soon emerged in Aquino’s widow, Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino,
who became the presidential candidate of the united opposition.  It was widely asserted that Marcos managed to defeat Aquino and retain the presidency in the election of February 7, 1986 through massive voting frauds on the part of his supporters.  Widely discredited abroad by his dubious electoral victory, Marcos held fast to his presidency as the military split between supporters of his and of Aquino’s legitimate right to the presidency, as dramatized by the now historic four-day “People Power” revolution at EDSA.  A tense standoff that ensued between the two sides ended only when Marcos left the country post-hastes on February 25, 1986 and went into exile in Hawaii.
Marcos died of cardiac arrest  on  September  28,  1989  in  Honolulu, Hawaii.  He left behind his wife, Imelda and their three children:  Maria Imelda Josefa Trinidad (Imee), Ferdinand, Jr. (Bongbong), and Irene Victoria.  (from

Maria Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was the eleventh and first woman President of the Philippines.
          She was born on January 25, 1933 in Manila, the sixth of the eight children of Don Jose Cojuanco Sr., lawyer, congressman representing Tarlac, sugar magnate and banker, and Doña Demetria Sumulong, a pharmacist and member of a politically famous clan from Rizal province.
Her husband's assassination served as the turning point of Aquino's life. As her dead husband became the rallying focus of anti-Marcos groups she, as his widow, became the unifying figure for the different factions of the opposition. Aquino was catapulted into the role of keeping the unity alive. On October 15, 1985, the Aquino presidential campaign was launched at the National Press Club in Manila by 250 founding members, many of whom were businesspeople and professionals.
Aquino knew her popularity would wane and that her leadership would be harshly criticized. At least seven coups were directed at her government during her tenure as president, many times by former allies who had helped her come to power. Besides dealing with factious parties both within her cabinet and in the nation, Aquino had to contend with natural disasters and frequent power failures.
On August 1, 2009, at six in the morning senator now president, Benigno Aquino III announced that  Pres. Aquino died at around 3:18 in the morning.
(from and

Fidel Ramos was born on March 18, 1928 in Lingayen, Pangasinan. His father, Narciso Ramos (1900–1986), was a lawyer, journalist and 5-term legislator of the House of Representatives, who eventually rose to the position of Secretary of Foreign Affairs. As such, Narciso Ramos was the Philippine signatory to the ASEAN declaration forged in Bangkok in 1967 and was one of the founding fathers of the Liberal Party. His mother, Angela Valdez-Ramos (1905–1977), was an educator, woman suffragette and daughter of the respected Valdez clan of Batac, Ilocos Norte making him a second degree cousin to Ferdinand Marcos.
He is remembered for steadfastly promoting the principles of people empowerment and global competitiveness.  He quickly led the nation out of darkness in 1993, putting an end to the power crisis that crippled Filipino homes and industries for two years.  He pursued, focused and converged programs to fight poverty in accordance with the will of the Filipino people expressed by 229 structural/reform laws enacted by Congress during his term. (from Wikipedia and

Joseph Ejercito Estrada was born on April 19, 1937 in Tondo, an urban district of Manila. His family later moved to the wealthy suburb of San Juan He belonged to a upper middle class family, and was the eighth of ten children of Emilio Ejercito and his wife Maria Marcelo.[4] He was kicked out during his primary studies at the Ateneo de Manila University and subsequently enrolled on an engineering course at the Mapua Institute of Technology in an effort to please his father, but dropped out.
Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in an acting career spanning 33 years. He used his popularity as an actor to make gains in politics, serving as mayor of San Juan for seventeen years, as Senator for one term, then as Vice President of the Philippines under the administration of President Fidel Ramos.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo-She was born as María Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal to politician Diosdado Macapagal and his wife, Evangelina Macaraeg-Macapagal. She is the sister of Dr. Diosdado "Boboy" Macapagal, Jr. and Cielo Macapagal-Salgado. She spent the first years of her life in Lubao, Pampanga, with her two older siblings from her father's first marriage. At the age of four, she chose to live with her maternal grandmother in Iligan City. She stayed there for three years, then split her time between Mindanao and Manila until the age of 11.She is fluent in English, Tagalog, Spanish and several other Philippine languages, most importantly, Kapampangan, Ilokano, and Cebuano.
served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga. She was the country's second female president (after Corazón Aquino), and the daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal.
Arroyo was a former professor of economics at Ateneo De Manila University where Noynoy Aquino was one of her students. She entered government in 1987, serving as assistant secretary and undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry upon the invitation of President Corazón Aquino. After serving as a senator from 1992 to 1998, she was elected to the vice presidency under President Joseph Estrada, despite having run on an opposing ticket. After Estrada was accused of corruption, she resigned her cabinet position as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and joined the growing opposition to the president, who faced impeachment. Estrada was soon forced from office by the EDSA Revolution of 2001, and Arroyo was sworn into the presidency by Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. on January 20, 2001. She was elected to a full six-year presidential term in the controversial May 2004 Philippine elections, and was sworn in on June 30, 2004. Following her presidency she was elected to the House of Representatives, making her the second Philippine president—after Jose P. Laurel—to pursue a lower office after their presidency.
On November 18, 2011, Arroyo was arrested following the filing of criminal charges against her for electoral fraud. As of December 9, 2011, she is incarcerated at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City under charges of electoral sabotage.

Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino III was born on February 8, 1960 in Manila. He is the third of the five children of Benigno Aquino, Jr., who was then the Vice Governor of Tarlac province, and Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino. He has four sisters, Maria Elena (Ballsy) Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon (Pinky) Aquino-Abellada, Victoria Elisa (Viel) Aquino-Dee, and Kristina Bernadette (Kris) Aquino. He attended Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City for his elementary, high school, and college education. He graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. He was one of the students of former professor of economics at Ateneo de Manila University, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 

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