Manuel Roxas

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For the municipality, see Pres. Manuel A. Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte.
Manuel Roxas
Philippine president roxas.jpg
5th President of the Philippines
3rd President of the Commonwealth
1st President of the 3rd Republic
In office
May 28, 1946 (as Commonwealth President until July 4 1946, as Republic President thereafter) - April 15, 1948
Born January 1, 1892
Capiz (now Roxas City), Capiz
Died April 15, 1948 (aged 56)
Clark Air Base, Angeles, Pampanga
Spouse Trinidad de Leon

Manuel A. Roxas (1 January 1892 - 15 April 1948) is the 5th President of the Philippines, 3rd President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (28 May 1946 - 4 July 1946) and the 1st President of the 3rd Republic (4 July 1946 - 15 April 1948) who hailed from the province of Iloilo.


Early life

Born on 1 January 1892 to Gerardo Roxas [Sr.] and Rosario Acuna in Capiz City (renamed as Roxas City in 1949). Manuel Roxas' ancestry can be traced back to Antonio Roxas y Ureta, brother of Domingo Roxas. Antonio Roxas married Lucina Arroyo and would have a son named Juan Pablo Roxas y Arroyo, who in turn had a son named Caetano Arroyo, the father of Antonio Roxas. Antonio was the father of Gerardo Roxas.


Manuel started his elementary education at the Capiz Elementary School but continued it in Saint Joseph's College in Hong Kong. He took his secondary education in Manila High School where he graduated with the highest honors in 1909. In 1913, he achieved his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines and placed first in the Bar examinations of the same year.

Career history

Before he started in government service he was a practicing lawyer and was a professor of law at the Philippine Law School and National University.

In 1913, upon learning Manuel's excellent records, former Chief Justice Cayetano L. Arellano offered him to be his secretary of the Supreme Court.

As a politician

Manuel began his political career in 1917, when he was appointed as municipal councilor of Capiz. From just being a councilor, he was elected as Governor of the province in 1919 and served as such until 1921. After his term as governor he was elected to represent their province to the 7th, 8th, and 9th Philippine Legislature (1922-1934) where he was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

However, Roxas, along with Manuel Quezon and others including Jose P. Laurel, resigned in protest of American Governor-General Leonard Wood, who was rejecting bills passed by the Philippine legislature. He went with Sergio Osmeña to the US in 1933 to secure passage of the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Law. He was one of the delegates in the drafting of the 1935 Constitution. He also served as a member of the national Assembly from 1935 to 1938 and as Secretary of Finance under the Quezon Administration from 26 November 1938 to 28 August 1941. On 18 November 1941, he was elected as senator and later became the Senate president. During that time, he was also a reserve Major in the Philippine Army, a liaison officer and aide-to-camp to General Douglas MacArthur, then later promoted to Colonel and then Brigadier General.

During World War II, he, like Jose Laurel, was marked as collaborators even if he secretly supported the guerilla movement. After liberation, he ran for presidency where he had President Sergio Osmeña (Nacionalista Party) and Hilario Moncado (Partido Modernista) as adversaries.

He won and on 4 July 1946, Philippine's Independence was gained and Manuel became the first president of the Third Republic of the Philippines.


Manuel Roxas (3d from left), on 15 April 1948, watching an air show at Clark AB. He would die hours after this picture was taken.

During his term as president, he ratified the Bell Trade Act, included the Parity Amendment in the Constitution and signed the 1947 Military Bases Agreement. It was during his term the government was damaged by graft and corruption which caused distrust from the people. Furthermore, abuse from the military and police added to the existing problems with the left-wing Huks, the members of the HukBaLaHap (Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon). Manuel Roxas attempted to crush these Huks but only created widespread anger among the peasants.

On 15 April 1948, while giving a speech at the Clark Air Force Base, Manuel Roxas had a heart attack. He died at the age of 56. He was succeeded by his vice president, Elpidio Quirino.

Cabinet and Judicial Appointments 1946-1948

The Commonwealth of the Philippines became the Republic of the Philippines on 4 July 1946. On that date, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs became the first in the order of presence among the cabinet. The roster of cabinet officials also became fixed as outlined below.

President Manuel Roxas 1946–1948
Vice-President Elpidio Quirino 1946–1948
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Elpidio Quirino 1946–1948
Secretary of the Interior Jose Zulueta 1946–1948
Secretary of Finance Miguel Cuaderno 1946–1948
Secretary of Justice Ramon Ozaeta 1946–1948
Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce Mariano Garchitorena 1946–1948
Secretary of Public Works and Communications Ricardo Nepumoceno 1946–1948
Secretary of Instruction Manuel Gallego 1946–1948
Secretary of Labor Pedro Magsalin 1946–1948
Secretary of National Defense Ruperto Kangleon 1946–1948
Secretary of Health and Public Welfare Antonio Villarama 1946–1948
General Auditing Office Sotero Cabahug 1945–1946
Secretary to the President Jose S. Reyes 1945–1946
Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo 1945–1946

Personal life

Roxas was married to Doña Trinidad de Leon Roxas who was very active in the Philippine society. Their two children Ruby (married to Vicente Roxas), was involved in functions commemorating the memory of her late father and Gerry Roxas, their only son, who died several years ago, was also a former Senator.


External links

Preceded by
Governor of Capiz
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Antonio Habana
Representative, 1st District of Capiz
Succeeded by
Ramon A. Arnaldo
Preceded by
Sergio Osmeña
Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Quintin Paredes
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ramon A. Arnaldo
Preceded by
Antonio de Las Alas
Secretary of Finance
Succeeded by
Serafin Marabut
Preceded by
Jorge Vargas
Executive Secretary
Succeeded by
Arturo Rotor
Preceded by
Last held by Manuel L. Quezon
President of the Senate of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Jose Avelino
Preceded by
Sergio Osmena
President of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Elpidio Quirino



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