The Legacy of Manuel Roxas

Manuel Roxas was a politician and lawyer from the Philippines. He served as the country’s fifth president, from 1946 to 1948. However, his presidency was characterized by corruption, and he sided with the oppressive landlord class. In this article, we’ll look at the legacy of this controversial figure.

Manuel Roxas

He was the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines

In 1983, Manuel Roxas became the first president of the new, independent Republic of the Philippines. The new government was plagued by problems from the beginning. For one, the country’s budget was deficient by over P200 million per year, with no prospects for a balanced budget for years to come. Another major problem was the rise of gangs and crime in the country. These criminals, resembling the methods of American gangsters, terrorized rural areas and even Manila.

President Roxas inherited a country plagued by problems and was unprepared to deal with them. While serving in the pro-Japanese government of Jose Laurel during World War II, Roxas was charged with supplying the Japanese with rice. His defense was aided by General Douglas MacArthur. After the war, Roxas became president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and was a nominee of the liberal wing of the Nacionalista Party, later known as the Liberal Party. After winning the election in 1946, Roxas became the first president of the new nation.

After the independence, Roxas’ administration was marred by corruption and graft. He was also unpopular due to his support for the American military and his closeness to American interests. As a result, he allowed the establishment of 23 US military bases in the Philippines. In addition, he imposed trade restrictions on Filipinos and gave special privileges to the owners of American property. Corruption did not stop during his administration, and he also failed to curb the communist Hukbalahap movement.

In the years after the war, the Philippines experienced a recession. The economy was struggling under low output growth and high unemployment. The war destroyed many factories and farms, halting production. Moreover, 80% of schools were destroyed, weakening the educational system. With these losses, the reconstruction cost was over 126 million pesos, and the government was suffering an annual deficit of about 200 million pesos. In addition, the country’s crime rate was extremely high due to the patronization of “American gangsters”.

He was plagued by corruption

The election of Manuel Roxas perpetuated the hegemony of the old Nacionalista. Corruption was widespread and the presidency of Roxas was marred by graft. The Philippine people were dissatisfied with the corruption that was rampant during the time.

In 2009, Corazon Aquino died, leaving Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to run for presidency. This caused the Liberal Party (LP) to position itself as a major challenger to Arroyo’s party. But in an election year dominated by corruption, the LP’s Manuel Roxas II was in a poor position to win.

In his final years, Manuel Roxas died in Pampanga, too early to see many of his reforms take effect. His enduring epitaph has been written by his critics. Corruption was widespread during the Roxas administration, and the president was unable to fight back.

The Lakas-NUCD-UMDP coalition did not offer him any help in the 1992 mid-term elections. Most of its members defected to the administration party. The party barely formed a senatorial slate. Meanwhile, PDP-Laban won 86 seats in the House. The HNP, meanwhile, exercised its national clout and flexed its political muscle.

Several reformers associated with former President Ramon Magsaysay attempted to challenge the LP’s monopoly on politics. They formed the Progressive Party of the Philippines and the Party for Philippine Progress. These parties were later renamed National Union of Christian Democrats (NUCD-UMDP). The latter party then elected former General Fidel V. Ramos as president in 1992.

Duterte also wants to re-institute capital punishment. The government abolished the death penalty under Gloria Arroyo in 2006. Since then, it has been restored for crimes including murder, rape, and robbery. Duterte favors hanging over the firing squad. He believes that a noose snaps the spine more humanely than a bullet.

He sided with the oppressive landlord class

Manuel Roxas’s political career was marked by a number of political and ideological missteps. As a young man, Roxas received his early education in public schools in the city of Capiz. At the age of twelve, he moved to Hong Kong to attend the St. Joseph’s College, but returned home due to homesickness. He then transferred to Manila High School, where he graduated with honors in 1909.

After independence, Roxas sought aid from the United States to restore the country’s economy, but in the process, he was forced to hand over 23 military bases, trade restrictions for Filipinos, and special privileges for American investors. Roxas’ administration was also marred by graft and abuses by the military police. These squalid conditions fueled the Hukbalahap movement, which Roxas tried to suppress.

As a result, the Philippine government prioritized armed struggle and clandestine organization over democratic means of resistance. The resulting martial law destroyed all forms of legal opposition, leaving the CPP and the NPA as the only organizations able to organize nationwide resistance. The city-based national-democratic mass organizations were in disarray and thousands of activists were jailed or in hiding.

In a sense, the Philippine national-democratic movement tapped the latent revolutionary energy of the Filipino people. It had the courage to go beyond the spontaneous rebellions of the oppressive classes that had occurred hundreds of years ago. It was guided by the conviction that it was essential to move beyond spontaneousness in order to achieve national freedom. In the process, the Philippine people came closer to national liberation than they have been in the past.

He failed to sympathize with the plight of the majority of the poor

Manuel Roxas was born in Capiz and had his early education there. At age twelve, he attended St. Joseph’s College in Hong Kong but returned home because of homesickness. He later transferred to Manila High School and graduated with honors. During his term as president, Roxas espoused social justice and relief for the poor. He was also a champion of democracy and promoted individual rights and the efficiency of government.

Although Manuel Roxas lacked experience in policy, he was a solid debater. Indeed, many neutral observers believe that he won all three presidential debates. However, his lackluster campaigning efforts undermined his credibility. He often appeared aloof and had a hard time connecting with the majority of Filipino voters. However, his wife, Korina Sanchez, was a prominent television personality and was active in the campaign. She also supported candidates with questionable record.

Although the Philippines has a significant housing shortage in its major metropolitan areas, the government has been working to solve the problem by adopting a housing program and liberalizing credit facilities for house builders. As part of the program, the government is building houses for low-salaried laborers and small-salaried employees who are not able to afford their own homes. Meanwhile, it also leases out low-cost houses to low-income earners.

The current Duterte administration has shifted tack from the past. It is willing to repress the opposition and weaken the checks on democracy.