On December 8, 1941, the Japanese invades the Philippines hours after bombing Pear Harbor in Hawaii. While the forces of Gen. Douglas MacArthur retreated to Bataan, the Commonwealth government of President Quezon moved to Corregidor Island. Manila was declared an open city to prevent further destruction. After the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942 and Corregidor, In March 1942, MacArthur & Quezon fled the country and by invitation of President Roosevelt, the Commonwealth government went into exile to Washington D.C. American and Filipino forces surrendered in May 6, 1942. Soon a guerrilla war against the Japanese was fought by the Philippine & American Armies while Filipinos were enduring the cruelty of the Japanese military against civilians.
Prior to Quezon's exile, he advised Dr. Jose P. Laurel to head and cooperate with the Japanese civilian government in the hope that the collaboration will lead to a less brutality of the Japanese towards the Filipinos. Rightly or wrongly, President Laurel and his war time government was largely detested by the Filipinos.
In October 1944, Gen. MacArthur with President Sergio Osmeña (who assumed the presidency after Quezon died on August 1, 1944 in exile in Saranac Lake, New York) returned and liberated the Philippines from the Japanese.
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...