Osmeña file photo [915]

Sergio Osmeña

Given NameSergio
Born9 Sep 1878
Died19 Oct 1961


ww2dbaseSergio 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.

ww2dbaseOsmeña died at the Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Quezon City in 1961 and now rests in the North Cemetery in Manila.

ww2dbaseSources: American Caesar, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2006

Sergio Osmeña Interactive Map


Portrait of OsmeñaColonel Offley, Major General Gillem, Colonel Fitch, and Colonel Pierce of US Army 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment with Vice President Sergio Osmeña, Camp San Luis Obispo, California, United States, 1942-1944Sergio Osmeña speaking to troops of the US Army 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, Camp San Luis Obispo, California, United States, 1942-1944MacArthur wading ashore at Leyte, Philippine Islands, 20 Oct 1944
See all 10 photographs of Sergio Osmeña

Sergio Osmeña Timeline

9 Sep 1878 Sergio Osmeña was born.
30 Dec 1941 Sergio Osmeña was sworn in as the Vice President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines at the west entrance of the Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor, Philippine Islands.
1 Sep 1945 US Army turned the civil administration of the Philippines to President Sergio Osmeña. Press and mail censorship in the Philippines also officially ended on this date.
25 Sep 1945 The Philippine People's Court was established by President Sergio Osmeña to try war time collaborators.
19 Oct 1961 Sergio Osmeña passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
10 Mar 2007 09:43:35 PM

the article is good
2. min sun ye says:
8 Feb 2008 12:05:45 AM

this article really helped me a lot in my assignment in History!! thanks for this article, now, I can do my report about different famous presidents
3. Cain Santi says:
30 Nov 2012 01:41:00 PM

Tis a very fortuitous article
4. Anonymous says:
21 Mar 2018 09:39:36 PM

I have an old World War II picture of him.
5. Anonymous says:
25 May 2018 07:18:05 AM

Thank you! Now I can do my project on the Philippines during world war 2!

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