|Born||9 Sep 1878|
|Died||19 Oct 1961|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Sergio Osmeña was born in Cebu to Juana Osmeña y Suico. He studied law at the University of Santo Tomas and passed the bar examination in 1903 while he ran a small local newspaper that he founded. In 1904, he was appointed the governor of Cebu by the Americans, and 1906 he was voted into the same office by the people of Cebu. In 1907, he was voted an assemblyman and the first Speaker of the Philippine Assembly. In 1935, he became the Commonwealth of Philippines' vice president, but was exiled out of the country during Japanese occupation at President Manuel Quezon's insistence. He won a second term as vice president in 1941 during the exile, and became the president in 1944 when Quezon died. When American forces reached the Philippines, Osmeña was invited to go with the first wave of trips landing on the island of Leyte, but he declined; he knew that while politically it was the right thing to do, he could not compete with the legacy left by Quezon, who was still being mourned as a hero. He refused to campaign during the election of 1946, and lost it to Manuel Roxas. He recommended to arrest and try Filipino leaders who collaborated with the Japanese during the war. Roxas, who also served in the Japanese puppet government during the war, rejected the recommendation, citing that re-arresting those already pardoned would place them in double jeopardy. After Osmeña's failure to bring collaborationists to court, David Bernstein, an Osmeña partisan, wrote that the "whitewash had succeeded.... The French executed Laval, while the Filipinos elected Roxas as President." While the analogy might be unfair, it did reflect the power of the old boys club of Manila politics.
Osmeña died at the Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Quezon City in 1961 and now rests in the North Cemetery in Manila.
Sources: American Caesar, Wikipedia.
Sergio Osmeña Timeline
|9 Sep 1878||Sergio Osmeña was born.|
|19 Oct 1961||Sergio Osmeña passed away.|
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