Jose P. Laurel, President

The Tagalog word for ‘president’ is pangulo. The Spanish-derived Filipino word is presidente.

Jose P. Laurel (1891 – 1939)

President of the Second Republic from 1943 to 1945

Before becoming president of the Second Republic of the Philippines, Jose P. Laurel had been secretary of the interior (1923), senator (1925 – 1931), delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1934), and chief justice during the commonwealth.

When World War II broke out, he was instructed by Manuel Quezon to stay in Manila and deal with the Japanese to soften the blow of enemy occupation.

During the Japanese occupation, he served in various capacities and helped draft the 1943 constitution.

As president he defended Filipino interests and resisted Japanese efforts to draft Filipinos into the Japanese military service.

Upon return of the American forces, Laurel was imprisoned in Japan when Douglas Macarthur occupied that country.

He was returned to the Philippines to face charges of treason, but these were dropped when President Roxas issued an amnesty proclamation.

In the Third Republic, he was elected senator and negotiated the Laurel-Langley Agreement.