Jose P. Laurel
3rd President of the Philippines
Term of Office: October 14, 1943 – August 17, 1945
Vice President: None
Birth: March 9, 1891
Place: Tanauan, Batangas
Death: November 6, 1959
Spouse: Pacencia Hidalgo y Valencia
Children:Jose B. Laurel Jr. , Jose S. Laurel III, Sotero Laurel, Natividad Laurel Guinto, Potenciana Laurel Ypuangco
Mariano Laurel, Salvador H. Laurel, Arsenio Laurel, Rosenda Laurel Avanceña
Become the President of the Philippines during the Japanese occupation of World War II.
Born in Tanawan, Batangas on March 9, 1891. His parents are Sotero Laurel and Jacoba Garcia.
After receiving law degrees from the University of the Philippines (1915) and from Yale University (1920), he was elected to the Philippines Senate in 1925 and appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1936.
After the Pearl Harbor attack. Laurel remained in Manila after President Manuel Quezon escaped first to Bataan and then to the United States. He offered his services to the Japanese; and because of his criticism of U.S. rule of the Philippines, he held a series of high posts in 1942-43, climaxing in his selection as President in 1943. Twice in that year he was shot by Philippine guerrillas but recovered, after the incident Laurel still held his post to served the Filipino people. It adds his eagerness and willingness to be of service to his countrymen.
Laurel administration did not last long because when the Japanese occupation near to collapse, Yamashita, a Japanese leader ordered his troops to bring Laurel out from the Philippines, he was brought to Japan.
In August 15, 1945, Japanese surrendered to Americans. General McArthur order Lt. Col. Turner to arrest Laurel and company for a case of “Collaboration”. They finally arrested in the City of Nara, Japan and temporary jailed at Sugano Prison near Tokyo, Japan. In July 1946 he was charged with 132 counts of treason, but was never brought to trial; he shared in the general amnesty in April 1948.
As the Nationalist Party’s nominee for the presidency of the Philippines in 1949, he was narrowly defeated by the incumbent president, Elpidio Quirino, nominee of the Liberal Party. Elected to the Senate in 1951, Laurel helped to persuade Ramon Magsaysay, then secretary of defense, to desert the Liberals and join the Nationalist. When Magsaysay became president, Laurel headed an economic mission that in 1955 negotiated an agreement to improve economic relations with the United States. He retired from public life in 1957.
Married to Mrs. Pacencia Hidalgo, of their nine children, most of them are alive and active in politics like, former vice president Salvador P. Laurel, former senator Sotero Laurel and ex-speaker Jose Laurel Jr.
(By Charles Keng / The Presidents, Republic of the Philippines by Rheno A. Velasco. 1996)