The Republic of the Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia. The Philippines is a unitary state with a democratic government under the Presidential system. The President, who serves a single six-year term, is elected through a popular vote. He or she is both the head of government and state. As the head of government, the President has a responsibility of appointing and chairing the Cabinet. The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and has the powers to declare Martial Law. Through consultation with the Commission on Appointments, he or she can appoint departmental heads, ambassadors, and other high-ranking government officials. The most notable Presidents of the Philippines through history are looked at below.
Emilio Aguinaldo was a military, political, and revolutionary leader who served as the inaugural President of Philippines. Aguinaldo served from January 23, 1899 until March 23, 1901. Before becoming the President, he led the country against Spain in the Philippine Revolution between 1896 and 1898. Upon assuming office, he again led the country against the US in the Philippines-America War between 1899 and 1901 during which he was captured ending his Presidency and dissolving the Republic. He unsuccessfully ran for the Presidency in 1935 losing to Manuel Quezon. He died on February 6, 1964, due to coronary thrombosis.
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon was a military soldier, statesman, and a politician who became the Commonwealth of Philippines’ President at the end of America’s occupation of the region. He assumed office on November 15, 1935, after defeating the country’s first President, Emilio Aguinaldo. He became the first Senate President to be elected President and also the first President to be elected through a national election. During his tenure, he largely resolved the pressing issue of much needed land reform, as the lingering legacy of the Colonial Spanish land ownership system continued to plague the countryside with institutionalized income disparity and inescapable poverty among the rural masses. He also reorganized island military defense and promoted foreign relations and commerce. To some extent, he managed to root out corruption and mismanagement in the government. He exiled to the US upon the Japanese invasion where he died on August 1, 1944.
Sergio Osmeña had been the Vice President during Manuel Quezon's tenure as President. He became the Fourth President of the Philippines upon the death of Quezon in 1944 at the age of 65 years. He was able to restore the Government of Commonwealth of the Philippines upon the liberation of Manila. With the restoration, Sergio Osmeña reorganized the government and appointed cabinet which he charged with the responsibility of solving the problems that confronted the nation. President Sergio Osmeña lost his reelection bid of 1946 after which he retired from politics. He died on October 19, 1961, at the age of 83.