Jose P. Laurel
Overview
 
José Paciano Laurel y García (March 9, 1891 – November 6, 1959) was the president of the Republic of the Philippines
Second Philippine Republic
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , was a state in the Philippines established on October 14, 1943 under Japanese occupation....

, a Japanese-sponsored administration during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. Since the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal
Diosdado Macapagal
Diosdado Pangan Macapagal was the ninth President of the Philippines, serving from 1961 to 1965, and the sixth Vice President, serving from 1957 to 1961. He also served as a member of the House of Representatives, and headed the Constitutional Convention of 1970...

 (1961–1965), Laurel has been recognized as a legitimate president of the Philippines.
José Paciano Laurel was born on March 9, 1891 in the town of Tanauan, Batangas
Tanauan City
The City of Tanauan is a second class city in the province of Batangas, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 142,537 inhabitants in 21,912 households. It was incorporated as a city under Republic Act No...

. His parents were Sotero Laurel, Sr.
Encyclopedia
José Paciano Laurel y García (March 9, 1891 – November 6, 1959) was the president of the Republic of the Philippines
Second Philippine Republic
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , was a state in the Philippines established on October 14, 1943 under Japanese occupation....

, a Japanese-sponsored administration during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. Since the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal
Diosdado Macapagal
Diosdado Pangan Macapagal was the ninth President of the Philippines, serving from 1961 to 1965, and the sixth Vice President, serving from 1957 to 1961. He also served as a member of the House of Representatives, and headed the Constitutional Convention of 1970...

 (1961–1965), Laurel has been recognized as a legitimate president of the Philippines.

Early life and career

José Paciano Laurel was born on March 9, 1891 in the town of Tanauan, Batangas
Tanauan City
The City of Tanauan is a second class city in the province of Batangas, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 142,537 inhabitants in 21,912 households. It was incorporated as a city under Republic Act No...

. His parents were Sotero Laurel, Sr. and Jacoba García. His father had been an official in the revolutionary government of Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation...

 and a signatory to the 1898 Malolos Constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

.

While a teen, Laurel was indicted
Indictment
An indictment , in the common-law legal system, is a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that maintain the concept of felonies, the serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that lack the concept of felonies often use that of an indictable offence—an...

 for attempted murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

 when he almost killed a rival suitor of his girlfriend. While studying and finishing law school
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

, he argued for and received an acquittal.

Laurel received his law degree from the University of the Philippines
University of the Philippines
The ' is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through Act No...

 College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law
University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

 in 1915, where he studied under Dean George A. Malcolm
George A. Malcolm
George A. Malcolm was an American lawyer who emerged as an influential figure in the development of the practice of law in the Philippines in the 20th century. At age 35, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, where he would serve for 19 years...

, whom he would later succeed on the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

. He then obtained a Master of Laws
Master of Laws
The Master of Laws is an advanced academic degree, pursued by those holding a professional law degree, and is commonly abbreviated LL.M. from its Latin name, Legum Magister. The University of Oxford names its taught masters of laws B.C.L...

 degree from University of Santo Tomas
University of Santo Tomas
The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines , is a private Roman Catholic university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides, it has the oldest extant university charter in the...

 in 1919. Laurel then attended Yale Law School
Yale Law School
Yale Law School, or YLS, is the law school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Established in 1824, it offers the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D. and M.S.L. degrees in law. It also hosts visiting scholars, visiting researchers and a number of legal research centers...

, where he obtained a Doctorate of Law.

Laurel began his life in public service while a student, as a messenger in the Bureau of Forestry then as a clerk in the Code Committee tasked with the codification of Philippine laws. During his work for the Code Committee, he was introduced to its head, Thomas A. Street, a future Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

 Justice
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

 who would be a mentor to the young Laurel.

Upon his return from Yale, Laurel was appointed first as Undersecretary of the Interior Department, then promoted as Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior and Local Government (Philippines)
The Philippines' Department of the Interior and Local Government is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for promoting peace and order, ensuring public safety, and strengthening the capabilities of local government units...

 in 1922. In that post, he would frequently clash with the American Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood was a physician who served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Military Governor of Cuba and Governor General of the Philippines. Early in his military career, he received the Medal of Honor. Wood also holds officer service #2 in the Regular Army...

, and eventually, in 1923, resign from his position together with other Cabinet members in protest of Wood's administration. His clashes with Wood solidified Laurel's nationalist credentials.

Senator of the Philippines

In 1925 he was elected to the Philippine Senate. He would serve for one term before losing his re-election bid in 1931 to Claro M. Recto
Claro M. Recto
Claro Mayo Recto, Jr. , was a Filipino politician, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation...

. He retired to private practice, but by 1934, he was again elected to public office, this time as a delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention. Hailed as one of the "Seven Wise Men of the Convention", he would sponsor the provisions on the Bill of Rights. Following the ratification of the 1935 Constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

 and the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

, Laurel was appointed Associate Justice
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

 of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

 on February 29, 1936.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Laurel's Supreme Court tenure may have been overshadowed by his presidency, yet he remains one of the most important Supreme Court justices in Philippine history. He authored several leading cases still analyzed to this day that defined the parameters of the branches of government as well as their powers.

Angara v. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139 (1936), which is considered as the Philippine equivalent of Marbury v. Madison
Marbury v. Madison
Marbury v. Madison, is a landmark case in United States law and in the history of law worldwide. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. It was also the first time in Western history a court invalidated a law by declaring...

, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803)
Case citation
Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases, either in special series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a 'neutral' form which will identify a decision wherever it was reported...

, is Laurel's most important contribution to jurisprudence and even the rule of law in the Philippines. In affirming that the Court had jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 to review the rulings of the Electoral Commission organized under the National Assembly
Congress of the Philippines
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate , and the House of Representatives although commonly in the Philippines the term congress refers to the latter.The Senate is composed of 24 senators half...

, the Court, through Justice Laurel's opinion
Opinion
In general, an opinion is a subjective belief, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented...

, firmly entrenched the power of Philippine courts to engage in judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 of the acts of the other branches of government, and to interpret the Constitution. Held the Court, through Laurel:
"The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who is to determine the nature, scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them."


Another highly influential decision penned by Laurel was Ang Tibay v. CIR, 69 Phil. 635 (1940). The Court acknowledged in that case that the substantive and procedural requirements before proceedings in administrative agencies, such as labor relations courts, were more flexible than those in judicial proceedings. At the same time, the Court still asserted that the right to due process of law must be observed, and enumerated the "cardinal primary rights" that must be respected in administrative proceedings. Since then, these "cardinal primary rights" have stood as the standard in testing due process claims in administrative cases.

Calalang v. Williams, 70 Phil. 726 (1940) was a seemingly innocuous case involving a challenge raised by a private citizen to a traffic regulation banning kalesa
Kalesa
A kalesa or calesa is a horse drawn calash used in the Philippines. The word, also spelled calesa, predates the...

s from Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 streets during certain afternoon hours. The Court, through Laurel, upheld the regulation as within the police power
Police power
In United States constitutional law, police power is the capacity of the states to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territory for the betterment of the general welfare, morals, health, and safety of their inhabitants...

 of the government. But in rejecting the claim that the regulation was violative of social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

, Laurel would respond with what would become his most famous aphorism
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

, which is to this day widely quoted by judges and memorized by Filipino law students:

"Social justice is neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about "the greatest good to the greatest number."

Presidency

The presidency of Laurel understandably remains one of the most controversial in Philippine history. After the war, he would be denounced in some quarters as a war collaborator
Collaborationism
Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

 or even a traitor, although his indictment for treason was superseded by President Roxas' Amnesty Proclamation. His subsequent electoral success demonstrates public support for him. Before his death, Laurel came to be considered as doing his best in interceding, protecting and looking after the best interests of the Filipinos against the harsh wartime Japanese military rule and policies. However, the fact remains that he violated his Oath of Office and headed an illegal government of the Philippines.

Accession

When Japan invaded, President Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines...

 first fled to Bataan
Bataan
Bataan is a province of the Philippines occupying the whole of the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. The province is part of the Central Luzon region. The capital of Bataan is Balanga City and it is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga to the north...

 and then to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to establish a government-in-exile. Laurel's prewar, close relationship with Japanese officials (a son had been sent to study at the Imperial Military Academy in Tokyo, and Laurel had received an honorary doctorate from Tokyo University), placed him in a good position to interact with the Japanese occupation forces.

Laurel was among the Commonwealth officials instructed by the Japanese Imperial Army to form a provisional government when they invaded and occupied the country. He cooperated with the Japanese, in contrast to the decision of Filipino Chief Justice Abad Santos. Because he was well-known to the Japanese as a critic of US rule, as well as having demonstrated a willingness to serve under the Japanese Military Administration, that he held a series of high posts in 1942-1943. In 1943, he was shot by Philippine guerillas while playing golf at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club
Wack Wack Golf and Country Club
Wack Wack Golf and Country Club is a golf and country club resort complex located in the city of Mandaluyong in the Philippines. The complex features two 18-hole championship courses, landscaped terrains, gardens and villas.-External links:*...

, but he quickly recovered. Later that year, he was selected, by the National Assembly, under vigorous Japanese influence, to serve as President.

Economy

During Laurel's tenure as President, hunger
Hunger
Hunger is the most commonly used term to describe the social condition of people who frequently experience the physical sensation of desiring food.-Malnutrition, famine, starvation:...

 was the main worry. Prices of essential commodities rose to unprecedented heights. The government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 exerted every effort to increase production and bring consumers
Consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

' goods
Goods
Goods may refer to;*Good , physical product*Personal property, legal personal chattels...

 under control. However, Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 rapacity had the better of it all. On the other hand, guerrilla activities and Japanese retaliatory measures brought the peace and order situation to a difficult point. Resorting to district-zoning and domiciliary searches, coupled with arbitrary asserts, the Japanese made the mission of Laurel's administration incalculably exasperating and perilous.

Food Shortage

During his presidency, the Philippines faced a crippling food shortage which demanded much of Laurel's attention. Laurel also resisted in vain Japanese demands that the Philippines issue a formal declaration of war against the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. There were also reports during his presidency of the Japanese military carrying out rape and massacre towards the Filipino population.

KALIBAPI

Telling of Laurel's ambivalent and precarious position is the following anecdote. In 1944, Laurel issued an executive order organizing the Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (KALIBAPI) as the sole political organization to back the government. An attempt was made to organize a women's section of the KALIBAPI, and Laurel hosted several women leaders in Malacañang Palace
Malacañang Palace
The Malacañan Palace, commonly known simply as Malacañang, is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines. Located at 1000 J. P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, the house was built in 1750 in Spanish Colonial style. It has been the residence of every...

 to plead his case. After he spoke, a university president, speaking in behalf of the group, responded, "Mr. President, sa kabila po kami". ("Mr. President, we are on the other side.") Laurel joined the others assembled in hearty laughter and the KALIBAPI women's section was never formed.

Philippine-Japanese Treaty of Alliance

On October 20, 1943 the Philippine-Japanese Treaty of Alliance was signed by Claro M. Recto
Claro M. Recto
Claro Mayo Recto, Jr. , was a Filipino politician, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation...

, who was appointed by Laurel as his Foreign Minister, and Japanese Ambassador to Philippines Sozyo Murata. One redeeming feature was that no conscription was envisioned.

Greater East Asia Conference

Shortly after the inauguration of the Second Philippine Republic, President Laurel, together with cabinet Ministers Recto and Paredes flew to Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 to attend the Greater East Asia Conference
Greater East Asia Conference
was an international summit held in Tokyo, Japan from 5 – 6 November 1943, in which Japan hosted the heads of state of various component members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere...

 which was an international summit held in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 from 5 – 6 November 1943, in which Japan hosted the heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of various component members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers"...

. The conference was also referred to as the Tokyo Conference.

The Conference addressed few issues of any substance, but was intended from the start as a propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 show piece, to illustrate the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

's commitments to the Pan-Asianism
Pan-Asianism
Pan-Asianism is an ideology or a movement that Asian nations unite and solidify and create a continental identity to defeat the designs of the Western nations to perpetuate hegemony.-Japanese Asianism:...

 ideal and to emphasize its role as the “liberator” of Asia from Western colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

.

The Joint Declaration of the Greater East Asia Conference was published as follows:

It is the basic principle for the establishment of world peace that the nations of the world have each its proper place, and enjoy prosperity in common through mutual aid and assistance.
The United States of America and the British Empire have in seeking their own prosperity oppressed other nations and peoples. Especially in East Asia, they indulged in insatiable aggression and exploitation, and sought to satisfy their inordinate ambition of enslaving the entire region, and finally they came to menace seriously the stability of East Asia. Herein lies the cause of the recent war.
The countries of Greater East Asia, with a view to contributing to the cause of world peace, undertake to cooperate toward prosecuting the War of Greater East Asia to a successful conclusion, liberating their region from the yoke of British-American domination, and ensuring their self-existence and self-defense, and in constructing a Greater East Asia in accordance with the following principles:
  • The countries of Greater East Asia through mutual cooperation will ensure the stability of their region and construct an order of common prosperity and well-being based upon justice.
  • The countries of Greater East Asia will ensure the fraternity of nations in their region, by respecting one another's sovereignty and independence and practicing mutual assistance and amity.
  • The countries of Greater East Asia by respecting one another's traditions and developing the creative faculties of each race, will enhance the culture and civilization of Greater East Asia.
  • The countries of Greater East Asia will endeavor to accelerate their economic development through close cooperation upon a basis of reciprocity and to promote thereby the general prosperity of their region.
  • The countries of Greater East Asia will cultivate friendly relations with all the countries of the world, and work for the abolition of racial discrimination, the promotion of cultural intercourse and the opening of resources throughout the world, and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind.


Martial law

Laurel declared the country under martial law in 1944 through Proclamation No. 29, dated September 21. Martial law came into effect on September 22, 1944 at 9am. Proclamation No. 30 was issued the next day, declaring the existence of a state of war between the Philippines and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. This took effect on September 23, 1944 at 10:00 am.

Resistance

Due to the nature of the Second Republic, and its connection to the Empire of Japan, a sizable portion of the population actively resisted his presidency, supporting the exiled Commonwealth government
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

; that is not to say that his government didn't have forces against said resistance.

Assassination attempt

On June 5, 1943, Laurel was playing golf at the Wack Wack Golf Course in Mandaluyong
Mandaluyong City
The City of Mandaluyong is one of the cities and municipalities that comprise Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the west by the country's capital, Manila, to the north by San Juan City, to the east by Quezon City and Pasig City, and by Makati City to the south...

 when he was shot around 4 times with a 45 caliber pistol
.45 ACP
The .45 ACP , also known as the .45 Auto by C.I.P., is a cartridge designed by John Browning in 1904, for use in his prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol and eventually the M1911 pistol adopted by the United States Army in 1911.-Design and history:The U.S...

. The bullets barely missed his heart and liver. He was rushed by his golfing companions, among them FEU
Far Eastern University
Far Eastern University in the University Belt area, West Sampaloc, City of Manila, is a nonsectarian, private university in the Philippines. Created by the merger of Far Eastern College and the Institute of Accounts, Business and Finance, FEU became a university in 1934 under the guidance of...

 president Nicanor Reyes, Sr., to the Philippine General Hospital
Philippine General Hospital
The Philippine General Hospital is a tertiary state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines Manila, the University of the Philippines System's Health Sciences Center. It is the largest government hospital administered by the university, and is designated as...

 where he was operated by the Chief Military Surgeon of the Japanese Military Administration and Filipino surgeons. Laurel enjoyed a speedy recovery.

Two suspects to the shooting were reportedly captured and swiftly executed by the Kempetai. Another suspect, a former boxer named Feliciano Lizardo, was presented for identification by the Japanese to Laurel at the latter's hospital bed, but Laurel then professed unclear memory. However, in his 1953 memoirs, Laurel would admit that Lizardo, by then one of the former President's bodyguards, was indeed the would-be-assassin. Still, the historian Teodoro Agoncillo
Teodoro Agoncillo
Teodoro Andal Agoncillo was a 20th-century Filipino historian. He and his contemporary Renato Constantino were among the first Filipino historians renowned for promoting a distinctly nationalist point of view of Filipino history...

 in his book on the Japanese occupation, identified a captain with a guerilla unit as the shooter.

Laurel is the only Filipino president to have been shot outside of combat.

Dissolution of the Second Republic

On July 26, 1945 the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

 served upon Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 an ultimatum to surrender or face utter annihilation. The Japanese government refused the offer. On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

, with some 300,000 inhabitants, was almost totally destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped from an American plane. Two days later, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, upon a flimsy excuse, declared war against Japan. The next day, August 9, 1945, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki
Nagasaki
is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District...

. The Allied Forces' message now had a telling effect: Japan unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Powers on August 15, 1945. Since April 1945, President Laurel, together with his family and Cabinet member Camilo Osias
Camilo Osías
Camilo Osías was a Filipino politician, twice for a short time President of the Senate of the Philippines....

, Speaker Benigno Aquino, Sr.
Benigno Aquino, Sr.
Benigno Simeon Aquino, Sr. , also known as Benigno S. Aquino or Benigno S. Aquino, Sr., was a Filipino politician who served as Speaker of the Second Philippine Republic National Assembly from 1943 to 1944....

, Gen. Tomas Capinpin, and Ambassador Jorge Vargas
Jorge Vargas
Jorge Vargas may refer to:*Jorge B. Vargas , Filipino lawyer and youth advocate*Jorge Vargas González, Chilean politician, mayor of Pichilemu 1997-2007*Jorge Alberto Vargas, Ecuadorian football player*Jorge Francisco Vargas, Chilean footballer...

, had been in Japan. Evacuated from Baguio shortly after the city fell, they traveled to Aparri and thence, on board Japanese planes, had been taken to Japan. On August 17, 1945, from his refuge in Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

, President Laurel issued an Executive Proclamation which declared the dissolution of the Second Republic of the Philippines.

1949 Presidential Election

On August 15, 1945, the Japanese forces surrendered to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 ordered Laurel arrested for collaborating with the Japanese. In 1946 he was charged with 132 counts of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

, but was never brought to trial due to the general amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 granted by President Manuel Roxas
Manuel Roxas
Manuel Acuña Roxas was the first president of the independent Third Republic of the Philippines and fifth president overall. He served as president from the granting of independence in 1946 until his abrupt death in 1948...

 in 1948. Laurel ran for president against Elpidio Quirino
Elpidio Quirino
Elpidio Rivera Quirino was a Filipino politician, and the sixth President of the Philippines.A lawyer by profession, Quirino entered politics when he became a representative of Ilocos Sur from 1919 to 1925. He was then elected as senator from 1925–1931...

 in 1949
Philippine general election, 1949
Elections for the members of the Senate were held on November 8, 1949 in the Philippines. While President Elpidio Quirino won a full term as President of the Philippines after the death of President Manuel Roxas in 1948, and his running mate, Senator Fernando Lopez won as Vice President, their...

 but lost in what was then considered as the dirtiest election in Philippine electoral history.

Return to the Senate

Laurel was elected to the Senate
Senate of the Philippines
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

 in 1951
Philippine general election, 1951
A senatorial election was held in the Philippines on November 13, 1951. The election was known as a midterm election as the date when elected candidates take office falls half-way through President Elpidio Quirino's four-year term....

, under the Nacionalista Party. He was urged upon to run for President in 1953, but he declined, working instead for the successful election of Ramon Magsaysay
Ramon Magsaysay
Ramón del Fierro Magsaysay was the third President of the Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until his death in a plane crash in 1957. He was elected President under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.-Early life:Ramon F...

. Magsaysay appointed Laurel head of a mission tasked with negotiating trade and other issues with United States officials, the result being known as the Laurel-Langley Agreement.

Retirement and death

Laurel considered his election to the Senate as a vindication of his reputation. He declined to run for re-election in 1957. He retired from public life, concentrating on the development of the Lyceum of the Philippines established by his family.

During his retirement, Laurel stayed in a 3-story, 7-bedroom mansion dubbed as "Villa Pacencia", erected in 1957 at Mandaluyong
Mandaluyong City
The City of Mandaluyong is one of the cities and municipalities that comprise Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the west by the country's capital, Manila, to the north by San Juan City, to the east by Quezon City and Pasig City, and by Makati City to the south...

 and named after Laurel's wife. The home was one of three residences constructed by the Laurel family, the other two being located in Tanauan
Tanauan
Tanauan may refer to either of two places in the Philippines:*Tanauan City, Batangas province*Tanauan, Leyte, Leyte province...

 and in Paco, Manila
Paco, Manila
Paco, is a district of Manila, Philippines. It is located south of Pasig River, and San Miguel, west of Santa Ana, southwest of Pandacan, north of Malate, northwest of San Andres, and east of Ermita. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 64,184 people in 13,438 households...

 (called "Villa Peñafrancia). In 2008, the Laurel family sold "Villa Pacencia" to Senate President
President of the Senate of the Philippines
The President of the Senate of the Philippines, or more popularly known as the Senate President, is the presiding officer and the highest ranking-official of the Senate of the Philippines. He/she is elected by the entire body to be their leader...

 Manny Villar
Manny Villar
Manuel "Manny" Bamba Villar, Jr. is a Filipino businessman and politician. He is currently a Philippine Senator, president of the Nacionalista Party...

 and his wife Cynthia
Cynthia Villar
Cynthia Aguilar Villar is a Filipino politician who is the member of the House of Representatives for the Lone District of Las Piñas City. She is the sister of Las Piñas mayor Vergel Aguilar and the wife of Senator Manny Villar...

.

On November 6, 1959, Laurel died at the Lourdes Hospital, in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, from a massive heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 and a stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

.

Original partial text by JP Laurel about Spanish cultural heritage

"Por otro lado, y como casi por ironía, la verdadera liberación del individuo filipino igualmente depende de su aprendizaje y uso del mismo idioma español o castellano siendo este idioma el vehículo de su historia y de su identidad nacional. Triste será el día en que los españoles, y los hispanoamericanos pudientes, dejasen de secundarnos en nuestros esfuerzos por conservar este idioma común en nuestras islas frente al inglés.
"Tanto españoles, como hispano-americanos, como filipinos, habremos perdido, en el momento en que desaparezca por completo el idioma español en estas Islas, el orgullo de ser lo que somos, la dignidad de personas, el amor propio, el autorrespeto, la decencia en todo, porque todos, juntos, habremos igualmente admitido que ya no somos lo que debieramos ser y que estamos sumidos en la mayor desgracia de todos los tiempos: la desunidad y la desorganización frente a un común enemigo.""

On the other hand, as most are, ironically, the true liberation of the individual Filipino also depends on their learning and use of the Castilian Spanish or the language being the vehicle of their history and national identity. Sad will be the day that the Spanish and Hispanic-off, stop assisting in our efforts to preserve this common language in our islands against the English. "Both Spanish, as Hispanic Americans, as Filipinos, we have lost, when it disappears completely in the Spanish language in these islands, the pride of being who we are, the dignity of persons, self-esteem, self-respect, decency at all, because all together, we also recognized that we are not what we should be and that we are mired in the worst calamity of all time: the disunity and disorganization against a common enemy.

Family

Laurel was married to Pacencia Hidalgo
Pacencia Laurel
Prudencia Hidalgo Valencia Vd.ª De Laurel was the wife of Philippine President José P. Laurel and the third First Lady of the Philippines and the only First Lady to serve under the Japanese-occupied Philippines during World War II.She held out both as first lady and mother to the nation during the...

 in 1915, and had nine children. Several of his children became famous politicians in their own right.
  • José Bayani, Jr. "Pepito" (born August 27, 1912)
    Jose Laurel, Jr.
    José Bayani "Pepito" Laurel, Jr. , also known as José B. Laurel, Jr., was a Filipino politician who was elected twice as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines...

    , eldest son and Speaker of the House of Representatives
    House of Representatives of the Philippines
    The House of Representatives of the Philippines is the lower chamber of the...

     and a candidate for Vice President in 1957 (José Macario Laurel, the eldest son of José B. Laurel, was a former Batangas Representative).
  • José Sotero III "Pepe" (born August 27, 1914) became Ambassador to Japan
  • Natividad "Nene" (born December 25, 1916)
  • Sotero Cosme "Teroy" (born September 27, 1918)
    Sotero Laurel
    Sotero Cosme "Teroy" Laurel II was a Filipino politician and educator who served as a Senator from 1986 until 1992, including a period as President pro tempore from 1990 until 1991. Laurel was the son of the former President of the Philippines José P. Laurel and the older brother of former Vice...

    , named after Laurel's own father, was elected to the Senate
    Senate of the Philippines
    The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

     from 1987 to 1992. He founded Lyceum of Batangas and also served as President of the Lyceum of the Philippines.
  • Mariano Antonio "Maning" (born January 17, 1922) became president of the Philippine Banking Corporation.
  • Rosenda Pacencia "Rose" (born January 9, 1925)
  • Potenciana "Nita" (born May 19, 1926)
  • Salvador Roman "Doy" (born November 18, 1928)
    Salvador Laurel
    Salvador Roman Hidalgo Laurel , also known as Doy Laurel, was Vice President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992 under Corazon Aquino. Before that, he briefly served as Aquino's first Prime Minister from February 25 to March 25 of 1986...

    , Vice President of the Philippines
    Vice President of the Philippines
    -Description:The Vice-President is the first in the Philippine line of succession, assuming the Presidency upon the death, resignation, or removal by impeachment and subsequent conviction of the incumbent. The position was abolished by Martial Law in 1972, and was not included in the original text...

     from 1986 to 1992.
  • Arsenio "Dodjie" (born December 14, 1931)
    Arsenio Laurel
    Arsenio "Dodjie" Laurel was a champion race car driver from the Philippines. He was the first two-time winner of the Macau Grand Prix, winning it consecutively in 1962 and 1963.-Early Life:...

    , earned fame in a wholly different field as a race car driver. He is a two-time winner of the Macau Grand Prix.
  • Mark Anthony Laurel (born April 12, 1993), earned fame in wholly different field as a game master.

Descendants

  • Patty Laurel, granddaughter and TV host/former MTV VJ
  • Denise Laurel
    Denise Laurel
    Denise Maria Sanz Laurel is a Filipina actress and singer. Laurel is a member of ABS CBN's circle of homegrown talents, Star Magic.- Biography :...

    , great-granddaughter and actress/TV personality

External links


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