In 1945, the Philippine Congress elected Manuel Roxas as Senate President. In the national elections one year later, Roxas ran for president as a nominee of the liberal wing of the Nacionalista Party.
Roxas won 54 per cent of the vote and, after agreeing to the terms set out by the United States and securing independence for the Philippines, he officially became the first president of the new republic.
Roxas found early success by getting rehabilitation funds from the US, which were put towards repair works that were desperately needed due to the destruction that had taken place over the previous eras. He also boosted the sugar industry, managing to increase production from 13,000 tons to one million tons.
In 1948, Roxas also granted amnesty to so-called Philippine collaborators who were on trial or waiting to be tried following the revolution. The Amnesty Proclamation was able to bring the nation together and increase unity among the many damaged provinces around the archipelago.
Sadly, during the beginning of his time as president, Roxas was also forced to hand over 23 military bases and allow United States property owners special privileges. This began to mar Roxas’ reign and soon he had lost the support of the provincial military police. As a result, the left-wing Hukbalahap began to rise up, and Roxas was forced to tackle it in such a strong way that he began to lose the support of the peasants.
Sadly for Roxas, he was never able to finish his full four-year term. On 15th April 1948, following a speech before the United State Thirteenth Air Force, he was taken ill and died later that night of a heart attack.
"President Roxas". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.