Biography of Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina (1878-1944)

Politician and filipino statesman, born at Baler (province of Tayabas) on August 19, 1878 and died in Saranac Lake (New York) on August 1, 1944, which reached the Presidency of the Commonwealth of the Philippines at the head of the nationalist party. Was the maximum political figure in the country during the era of American dominance, dying shortly before see fulfilled his dream of a fully independent Philippine State.

After finishing grammar school, he moved to Manila, obtained the Bachelor at the San Juan de Letran College of the Philippine capital, and enrolled in the University of Santo Tomas to study law. At the outbreak of the war against the United States abandoned his studies to join the independence army. After the conflict, he resumed his training in law and after graduation, he won a square of Prosecutor on the island of Mindoro. In 1903 he was appointed by the new authorities of the Governor of his home province, which was presented and won the seat in the first elections to the Philippine Assembly (October 1907) on behalf of the filipino nationalist party, political party of which he was one of its founders.

In 1909 he travelled to Washington after being appointed by the Philippine Assembly commissioned in the United States Congress, since he drew up a draft law for the granting of independence, the Jones Act - took its name from William A. Jones, Congressman whom Quezon presented the project. After the adoption of the law, granting greater freedom to the Philippines but not a total autonomy, Quezon resigned from the post of Commissioner and returned triumphant to Manila. In the legislative elections of October 1916, won convincingly by the nationalist party, won a seat in the newly elected Philippine Senate. Thereafter, and along with the other great hero nationalist, Sergio Osmeña, Quezon monopolized almost completely on the political life of the country relying on the undisputed electoral hegemony of his party and the blessing of the United States, reason why it was accentuated the personal and political rivalry between both leaders: in reality, what was at stake was which of the two would lead the process towards the independence of the Philippines; Finally, the approval of the Tydings-McDuffie Act (1934) meant total Quezon on Osmena triumph, although this is said to continue to play an important role as his likely successor.

In 1935 Quezon was elected President of the newly formed Commonwealth of Philippines, position that he held until his death. As the first leader of the Philippines, was among their first targets the consolidation of the foundations of the liberal State, with legal, judicial or educational reforms; the launch of a certain social policy to counter the rise of left-wing ideologies; and the strengthening of national security through a plan of defence together with us commanders. For this last purpose was emphasized to the archipelago general Douglas McArthur, who became the Adviser of Quezon in military matters before the threatening landscape of Japanese expansion in the far East and South Pacific area.

After Japan attacked the Islands (December 1941), the Quezón President remained adamant in its intention to resist the invader and cooperate at all times with the United States. Sought refuge in the fortified island of Corregidor with the latest filipino-americanas troops, on March 17, 1942 he was ordered to leave it next to your Government and go to Australia to not fall into the hands of the enemy. In May of that year he arrived in United States with the Mission of placing at the head of the Philippine Government in exile, installing his official residence at the Shoreham Hotel in the US capital.

In the period of the exile worsened their differences with Vice-President Osmeña on the occasion of the succession in the Presidential Office, to the point of making necessary arbitration of a Commission ad hoc Filipino officials to decide on the issue. A compromise solution was finally reached in virtue of which Quezon would continue exerting the charge until end of the war and the country to return to constitutional normality. However he did not to be the case, since since the arrival in America his delicate state of health had not done more to deteriorate, forcing him to spend long periods in various hospitals, one of which died. In July 1946, his mortal remains were returned to the Philippines aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier and then held a solemn funeral according to the category of a head of State.