Thursday, June 30, 2016

List of Philippine Presidents

Image: RTVM

As the Philippines brace themselves for the historic inauguration of the country's new leader, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the once infamous Davao City Mayor who inspired both fear and admiration by others, at the Malacañang Palace today, it would be an ideal time to do a quick sibika lesson about the people who run this country since the Philippines declared independence on the 12th of June, 1898.
  • Emilio Aguinaldo - The 1st Philippine President from 1899 to 1901. Known as the president of the Revolutionary Government, Aguinaldo signed the Biak-na-Bato Pact to declare ceasefire between the Filipinos and Spaniards. At age 28, he was the youngest to take over the Philippines and after his term was finished in 1901, where the Philippines got caught in the war against the Americans, he was the longest-lived president in history, upon his death in 1964 at the age of 94. The face of Aguinaldo can be commonly seen on the five peso coin.
  • Manuel Luis Quezon - The 2nd Philippine President from 1935 to 1944. He is the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the first Senate president elected as the President of the Philippines through a national election. Dubbed as the "father of national language", he established the National Council of Education and made Tagalog the nation's national language. In the 1st of August, 1944, during the Second World War, Manuel L. Quezon died of tuberculosis at Sarawak Lake, New York City, and his body was buried in what was known as the Quezon Memorial Circle. Because Manuel L. Quezon is part of the Philippine history, he can be seen commonly at the twenty peso bill and aside from that, there was a province, a city, a bridge and a university in Manila named after him.
  • Jose P. Laurel - The 3rd Philippine President from 1943 to 1945. During the Second World War, Laurel established a provisional government called KALIBAPI or Organization of Serving the new Philippines. In 1944, he declared Martial Law and war between the Philippines and the allied forces (US and Great Britain).  Although his leadership during the Second World War was questionable, Laurel was considered a legitimate president of the Philippines since the early 1960's and he and his family founded the university known as Lyceum.
  • Sergio Osmeña - The 4th Philippine President since 1944 to 1946. He was the first Visayan to become president at the old age of 65, which also makes him the oldest person to became president. During the Second World War, Osmeña joined with US General Douglas McArthur in Leyte on October 20, 1944 to restore Philippine freedom after occupation by the Japanese Imperial Army. Osmeña rehabilitated the Philippine National Bank and made Philippines part of the International Monetary Fund. He made the Bell Trade Act approved by US Congress during his term. He can be commonly seen in the fifty peso bill.
  • Manuel Roxas - The 5th Philippine President since 1946 to 1948. He is the third and last president under the Commonwealth and the first president of the Third Republic of the Philippines after the Second World War. Under his term, Roxas commenced reconstruction from war damage and life without foreign rule, all thanks to the Philippine Rehabilitation Act and Philippine Trade Act laws accepted by Congress. He can be commonly seen on the 100 peso bill.
  • Elpidio Quirino - The 6th Philippine President since 1948 to 1953. He was served as the replacement for Manuel Roxas following his death on the 15th of April, 1948 and in his time, the established Social Security Commission and the Integrity Board to monitor graft and corruption. He made Quezon as the capital of the Philippines. During his term, the Hukbalahap guerrilla movement became active, causing havoc in some parts of the Philippines.
  • Ramon Magsaysay - The 7th Philippine President since 1953 to 1957. At his term, he suppressed the Hukbalahap militants and became chairman of the Committee on Guerrilla Affairs. Apart from that, the Philippines was ranked second in Asia's clean and well-governed countries thanks to its lack of corruption. Magsaysay was killed in an accident while boarding his presidential plane.
  • Carlos P. Garcia - The 8th Philippine President since 1957 to 1961.  He was once a vice president under Ramon Magsaysay and as secretary of Foreign Affairs for four years. Following Magsaysay's tragic death, Garcia steps into the leadership role. He was known for his policy which heavily favored Filipino businesses over foreign investors and established the Austerity Program focusing on Filipino trade and commerce. As a native of Bohol, he is responsible for reviving cultural arts in the Philippines and since his death in 1971, he was the first president to have his remains buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
  • Diosdado Macapagal - The 9th Philippine President since 1961 to 1965 and the father of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. During his term, he established the first Land Reform Law, allowing for the purchase of private farmland to be distributed in affordable lots to those who don't have a land to manage. He is responsible for putting the Philippine peso on the currency exchange market and made June 12, 1898 Independence Day. Diosdado Macapagal established the Philippine Veteran's Bank.
  • Ferdinand Marcos - The 10th Philippine President since 1965 to 1986. He is known to be the most infamous dictator the Philippines has ever produce since the declaration of Martial Law on September 22, 1972. Long before his declaration of Martial Law, Marcos made more schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, and other infrastructure than any other former president, and in the aftermath of Martial Law, the Philippine's GNP was four times greater than 1972 and made one of the most indebted countries in Asia by 1986. Following the 1986 People Power Revolution, Marcos was ousted from power by Corazon Aquino. The whole story on what to do on the remains of Ferdinand Marcos remains a mystery for now.
  • Corazon Aquino - The 11th Philippine President since 1986 to 1992. She is the first female president to run the Asian country following Marcos' departure in the aftermath of the People Power Revolution. In her term, she restored democracy in the Philippines and nullified the 1973 Marcos Constitution, paving way to her new Constitution of the Philippines. Thanks to her accomplishments, she became Time magazine's Woman of the Year in 1986. Since her death in August 1, 2009, she is now seen in the new 500-peso bill alongside her husband Benigno Aquino. One of her children was well-known to the public as Kris Aquino was known to be a media personality while Benigno "Nonoy" Aquino III became leader of the country since 2010.
  • Fidel V. Ramos - The 12th Philippine President since 1992 to 1998. He became the president of the Philippines after his win at the 1992 elections. He was once the chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines before he became leader of this nation. Because of being the first non-Catholic president of the Philippines, he reinstated the infamous death penalty sentence as well as signing a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front. Even during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Ramos restored economic growth and stability in the country and he was awarded British Knighthood from the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Joseph Ejercito Estrada - The 13th Philippine President since 1998 to 2001. He became president after winning the May 1998 elections against the likes of Fidel V. Ramos and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Although his main purpose is to restore strength and stability to the nation, his term was short lived following his allegations through plunder. He was ousted from power in January 2001 after the historic impeachment trial and he was replaced by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Now, Estrada is the mayor of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines upon winning his second term at the recent elections.
  • Gloria Macapagal Arroyo - The 14th Philippine President since 2001 to 2010 and the 2nd female president. She is the daughter of the late Diosdado Macapagal and she was once a vice-president before she served as the replacement of the ousted Estrada. Believe it or not, Arroyo was the ex-classmate of her former American counterpart, Bill Clinton, at Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she maintained her Dean's list status. During her term, she placed the Philippines on a state of emergency following the Oakwood Mutiny and she was alleged in cheating the 2004 elections. She is now currently a representative of Pampanga and she's embattled with a disease.
  • Benigno Aquino III - The 15th Philippine President since 2010 to today and the only son of the late Corazon Aquino. Since his May 2010 election victory, Aquino initiated the "Daang Matuwid" plan to restore strength and stability of the nation, although his leadership was put to test following series of events such as the August 2010 hostage taking incident that killed numerous Hong Kong tourists as well as 2013's Superstorm Yolanda. Aquino got caught up on the tensions between the Philippines and China over the islands of the South China Sea, which most ASEAN nations, Japan, and the US got mixed into them.
  • Rodrigo Roa Duterte - Now it's the time to introduce the 16th President to take over the Philippines. Hailed from Visayas and once mayor in Davao City for over two decades, Duterte originally never want to be part of the 2016 elections until he became part of it. Ever since Duterte became part of the election campaign, he was heavily criticized by media over his expletive dialogue against Pope Francis during his January 2015 visit as well as his rape joke over the death of an Australian missionary. He was once allegedly part of the Davao Death Squad, which killed thousands of people in Davao, most of them are criminals, although the investigation find it nothing to put Duterte liable to his involvement with vigilantes. Criticisms aside, apart from fears of reverting the Philippines back to the Marcos era, Duterte inspired both fear and admiration among Filipinos and because of his promises of "changes" to the Philippines, he won the May 2016 elections and he's going to be inaugurated for the first time at Malacañang Palace today.
As Duterte finally starts his first day as the 16th President of the Philippines, Filipinos are witnessing a great change Duterte will commence but what changes will Duterte do for the sake of the public? As a powerful politician who will bring fear against criminals and corrupted individuals as well as admiration for people who want to rely on Digong, fear and admiration is what we can REALLY expect for the iron man who witnesses a great change.

Whatever it is, we're counting on you, Digong.

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