The Philippine Republic
On July 4, 1946, Manuel Roxas of the Nationalista Party was inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of the Philippines. Roxas died in April 1948. He was succeeded by Elpidio Quirino. Both Roxas & Quirino had to deal with the Hukbalahap, a large anti-Japanese guerrilla organization which became a militant group that discredited the ruling elite. The group was eventually put down by Pres. Quirino’s Secretary of Defense, Ramon Magsaysay.
Magsaysay defeated Quirino in the 1953 elections. He was a popular president and largely loved by the people. Magsaysay died in an airplane crash on March 17, 1957 and was succeeded by Carlos Garcia.
Diosdado Macapagal won the 1961 presidential elections and soon after he changed history by declaring June 12 as independence day – the day Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence in Cavite from Spain in 1898. Aguinaldo was the guest of honour during the fist Independence Day celebrations in 1962.