PRES. SERGIO OSMEÑA, SR. (1878 – 1961)
Fourth President of the Philippine Republic. Second President of the Commonwealth of the
Philippines. Founder of the Nacionalista Party. Patriarch of the prominent Osmeña family.
Name: Sergio Suico Osmeña, Sr.
Date: 9 September 1878
Place: Cebu City
Place: Veteran’s Memorial Hospital, Quezon City
Cause: Natural Causes related to old age
Father: Owing to the circumstances of his birth, the identity of his father had been a closely guarded family secret.
Mother: Juana Osmeña y Juico
o 1st: Estefania Chiong Veloso
o 2nd: Esperenza Limjap
o From 1st Spouse: 5
o From 2nd Spouse: 3
San Carlos Seminary
Bachelor of Arts – Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1894)
Bachelor of Laws – University of Santo Tomas (1903)
Timeline and Highlights:
Classmate and best friend of Manuel Quezon in Letran and UST
Launched and Edited the newspaper El Nuevo Dia together with Jaime de Veyra and Rafael
Palma in 1900
Allowed by the Supreme Court to take the Bar Examination even though he only completed
3 years in Law School
o Placed 2nd among the Bar Topnotchers
Appointed temporary governor of Cebu in 1903
o appointed by the American Governor-General as reliever of Juan Climaco
Provincial Fiscal of Cebu
Governor of Cebu in 1904
Representative of hte 2nd District of Cebu in the First Philippine Assembly in 1907
o Organized and became the first president of the Nacionalista Party
o Speaker of the House – a post he held fo 15 years
Elected Senator in 1922
House of Representatives
While governor, he ran for election to the first Philippine Assembly of 1907 and was elected Speaker of that
body. Osmeña was 29 years old and already the highest-ranking Filipino official. He and another provincial
politician, Manuel L. Quezon of Tayabas, set up the Nacionalista Party as a foil to thePartido Federalista of
Manila-based politicians. The two would engage in a rivalry for political dominance ever since.
Osmeña was elected to the Philippine National Assembly in 1907 and remained a member of the lower house
until 1922. In 1922 he was elected to the Senate. He went to the United States as part of the OsRox Mission in
1933, to secure passage of the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Independence Bill which was superseded by the Tydings-
McDuffie Act in March 1934.
OFFICE NAME TERM
President Manuel L. Quezón 1941–1944 (extended, 1943)
Vice President Sergio Osmeña 1941–1944 (extended, 1943)
Secretary of Justice and
José Abad Santos 24 December 1941 – 26 March 1942
Secretary of Justice José Abad Santos 26 March 1942 – 8 May 1942
Secretary of Finance,
Andrés Soriano 26 March 1942 – 31 July 1944
Secretary of National
Defense, Public Works,
Basilio Valdes 24 December 1941 – 1 August 1944
Secretary of Public
Instruction, Health, and
Sergio Osmeña 24 December 1941 – 1 August 1944
Secretary to the
Manuel Roxas 24 December 1941 – 8 May 1942
Arturo Rotor 8 May 1942 – 1 August 1944
Secretary to the Cabinet Manuel Nieto 19 May 1944
Andrés Soriano 2 March 1942 – 26 March 1942
Treasurer of the
Andrés Soriano 19 February 1942 – 26 March 1942
Manuel Roxas 26 March 1942 – 8 May 1942
In 1924, Quezon and Osmeña reconciled and joined forces in what was denominated the Partido
Nacionalista Consolidado against the threat of an emerging opposition from the Democrata Party. The
reunited Nacionalista Party dominated the political scene until the second break-up when the
members polarized into Pros and Antis in 1934. Quezon and Osmeña again reconciled for the 1935
Presidential Election. In 1935 Quezon and Osmeña won the Philippine's first national presidential
election under the banner of the Nacionalista Party. Quezon obtained nearly 68% of the vote against
his two main rivals, Emilio Aguinaldo and Bishop Gregorio Aglipay.
They were inaugurated on 15 November 1935. Quezon had originally been barred by the Philippine
constitution from seeking re-election. However, in 1940, constitutional amendments were ratified
allowing him to seek re-election for a fresh term ending in 1943. In the 1941 presidential elections,
Quezon was re-elected over former Senator Juan Sumulong with nearly 82% of the vote. Re-elected
in 1941, Osmeña remained vice president during the Japanese occupation when the government was
in exile. As Vice-President, Osmeña concurrently served as Public Instruction Secretary from 1935–
40, and again from 1941–44.
The outbreak of World War II and the Japanese invasion resulted in periodic and drastic changes to
the government structure. Executive Order 390, 22 December 1941 abolished the Department of the
Interior and established a new line of succession. Executive Order 396, 24 December 1941, further
reorganized and grouped the cabinet, with the functions of Secretary of Justice assigned to the Chief
Justice of the Philippines.
Administration and cabinetWar Cabinet 1944–45
President Osmeña with members of his cabinet. Front row; left to right: Jaime Hernandez,
Secretary of Finance; President Osmeña; Col. Carlos P. Romulo, Resident Commissioner and
Secretary of Information. Back row, left to right: Col. Mariano A. Erana, Judge Advocate
General of the Philippine Army and Secretary of the Department of Justice, Labor, and
Welfare; Dr. Arturo B. Rotor, Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce; Ismael Mathay, Budget
and Finance Commissioner; Colonel Alejandro Melchor, Undersecretary of National Defense,
representing General Basilio Valdes, Secretary of National Defense.
General[disambiguation needed] Jaime Hernández (Filipino) 30 December 1941 – 1 August 1944
Resident Commissioner Joaquín Miguel Elizalde 30 December 1941 – 1 August 1944 (given cabinet rank on 8 May 1942)
Secretary of Information
and Public Relations
Carlos P. Rómulo 1943–1944
On 8 August 1944, President Osmeña issued Executive Order 15-W reorganizing and
consolidating the Executive Departments of the Commonwealth government. The
reorganization of the government after it was reestablished on Philippine soil was undertaken
with Executive Order No. 27; 27 February 1945.
OFFICE NAME TERM
President Sergio Osmeña
Secretary of Finance Jaime Hernández
Secretary of National Defense and
Secretary of Information and Public Relations
Carlos P. Romulo (concurrent
Secretary of Justice, Labor and Welfare Mariano A. Eraña (acting capacity)
Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce Manuel Nieto
Secretary to the President Arturo Rotor
Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo
Budget and Finance Commissioner Ismael Mathay
Judge Advocate General of the Army Mariano Eraña
Economic Adviser Urbano Zafra
Military Adviser Alejandro Melchor
Cabinet and judicial appointments 1945–46
Executive Order No. 27; 27 February 1945 was issued upon the restoration of civilian authority to
the government of the Commonwealth, and members of the new cabinet appointed on 8 March
1945. Subsequent renaming and mergers of departments have separate listings.
OFFICE NAME TERM
President Sergio Osmeña 1944–1946
Secretary of the Interior Tomás Confesor 1945
Secretary of Finance and Reconstruction Jaime Hernández 1945–1946
Secretary of Justice, Agriculture and Commerce Delfin Jaranilla 1945
Secretary of Justice Ramon Quisumbing 1945–1946
Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce Vicente Singson Encarnacion 1945–1946
Secretary of National Defense Tomás Cabili 1945
Secretary of National Defense and Interior Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. 1945–1946
Secretary of Health and Public Welfare Basilio Valdes 1945
José Locsin 1945–1946
Secretary of Public Instruction and Information Francisco Benitez 1945
Secretary of Education Francisco Benitez 1945–1946
Secretary of Public Works and Communications Sotero Cabahug 1945–1946
Secretary of the Budget Ismael Mathay 1944–1945
Secretary to the President José S. Reyes 1945–1946
Secretary of Labor Marcelo Aduru 1946
Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo 1945–1946
Off Leyte, October 1944 Left to right: Lieutenant General George Kenney, Lieutenant GeneralRichard
K. Sutherland, President Sergio Osmeña, General Douglas MacArthur.
President Sergio Osmeña together with GeneralDouglas MacArthur during the historic landing
atLeyte in 1944.
Osmeña accompanied U.S. General Douglas MacArthur during the landing of U.S. forces in
Leyte on 20 October 1944, starting the liberation of the Philippines during the Second World
War was both the combined Filipino and American soldiers including the recognized guerrilla
units was fought to the Japanese Imperial forces. Upon establishing the beachhead,
MacArthur immediately transferred authority to Osmeña, the successor of Manuel Quezon, as
Philippine Commonwealth president.
Restoration of the Commonwealth
With Manila liberated,General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, on behalf of the United
States, turned over the reins of government of the Philippines to Commonwealth President,
Sergio Osmeña, on 27 February 1945, amidst brief, but impressive, ceremonies held at
the Malacañan Palace. President Osmeña, after thanking the United States through General
MacArthur, announced the restoration of the Government of the Commonwealth of the
Philippines and work out the salvation of the Philippines from the ravages of war.
President Osmeña proceeded with the immediate reorganization of the government and its
diverse dependencies. On 8 April 1945, he formed his Cabinet, administering the oath of office to
its component members. Later, President Osmeña received the Council of State to help him solve
the major problems confronting the nation. Government offices and bureaus were gradually
reestablished. A number of new ones were created to meet needs then current. Also restored
were the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the inferior courts. The Court of Appeals was
abolished and its appellate jurisdiction was transferred to the Supreme Court, the members of
which were increased to eleven – one Chief Justice and ten Associate Justice – in order to attend
to the new responsibilities. Slowly but steadily, as the liberating forces freed the other portions of
the country, provincial and municipal governments were established by the Commonwealth to
take over from the military authorities.
Rehabilitation of the Philippine National Bank
Following the restoration of the Commonwealth Government, the Congress was
reorganized. Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Quirino were elected Senate President and Senate
President pro tempore respectively. At the House of Representatives, Jose Zulueta of Iloilo was
elected Speaker and Prospero Sanidad as Speaker pro tempore. The opening session of the
Congress was personally addressed by President Osmeña, who reported on the Commonwealth
Government in exile and proposed vital pieces of legislation.
The First Commonwealth Congress earnestly took up the various pending assignments to solve
the pressing matters affecting the Philippines, especially in regard to relief, rehabilitation, and
reconstruction. The first bill enacted was Commonwealth Act No. 672 – rehabilitating the
Philippine National Bank.
Yielding to American pressure, on 25 September 1945, the Congress enacted C.A. No. 682
creating the People's Court and the Office of Special Prosecutors to deal with the pending cases
President Sergio Osmeña and his family at the Malacañang gardens.
United Nations Charter
President Osmeña sent the Philippine delegation, which was headed by Carlos P. Romulo, to the
San Francisco gathering for the promulgation of the Charter of the United Nations on 26 June
1945. Other members of the delegation were Maximo Kalaw, Carlos P. Garcia, Pedro Lopez,
Francisco Delegado, Urbano Zafra, Alejandro Melchor, and Vicente Sinco. The 28th signatory
nation of the United Nations, the Philippines was one of the fifty-one nations that drafted the UN
Charter. Once approved by Philippine delegation, the UN Charter was ratified by the Congress of
the Philippines and deposited with the U.S State Department on 11 October 1945.
Foreign Relations Office
To prepare for the forthcoming independent status of the Philippine, President Osmeña created
the Office of Foreign Relations.
Vicente Sinco was appointed as its first Commissioner, with
cabinet rank. In this connection, President Osmeña also entered into an agreement with
the United States Government to send five Filipino trainees to the U.S. State Department to
prepare themselves for diplomatic service. They were sent by U.S. State Department to the
United States embassies in Moscow and Mexico Cityand consulates in Saigon and Singapore.
On 5 December 1945, President Osmeña appointed Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo as
his representative to accept Philippine membership in the International Monetary Fund and in the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which bodies had been conceived in the
Bretton Woods Agreement, in which the Philippine had also taken part. Romulo signed said
membership on 27 December 1945 on behalf of the Philippines.
Bell Trade Act
On 30 April 1946, the United States Congress, at last approved the Bell Act, which as early as 20
January had been reported to the Ways and Means Committee of the lower house, having been
already passed by the Senate. President Osmeña and Resident Commissioner Ramulo had urged
the passage of this bill, with United States High Commissioner, Paul V. McNutt, exerting similar
The Act gave the Philippines eight years of free trade with the United States, then twenty years
during which tariffs would be upped gradually until they were in line with the rest of the American
tariff policy. The law also fixed some quotas for certain products: sugar – 850,000 long
tons; cordage – 6,000,000 pounds; coconut oil – 200,000 long tons; cigars – 200,000,000
pounds. This aid was coupled with that to be obtained from the recently passed Tydings Damage
bill, which provided some nine hundred million dollars for payment of war damages, of which one
million was earmarked to compensate for church losses. The sum of two hundred and forty
million dollars was to be periodically allocated by the United States President as good will. Also,
sixty million pieces of surplus property were transferred to the Philippines government.
1946 presidential election
Main article: Philippine presidential election, 1946
Soon after the reconstitution of the Commonwealth Government in 1945 Senators Manuel
Roxas, Elpidio Quirino and their allies called for the holding on an early national election to
choose the president and vice president of the Philippines and members of the Congress. In
December, 1945 the House Insular Affairs of the United States Congress approved the joint
resolution setting the election date no later than 30 April 1946. Prompted by this congressional
action, President Sergio Osmeña called the Philippine Congress to a three-day special session.
Congress enacted Commonwealth Act No. 725, setting the election on 23 April 1946, and was
approved by President Osmeña on 5 January 1946.
Three parties presented their respective candidates for the different national elective positions.
These were the Nacionalista Party- Conservative (Osmeña) Wing, the Liberal Wing of the
Nacionalista Party, and the Partido Modernista. The Nacionalistas had Osmeña and
Senator Eulogio Rodriguez as their candidates for president and vice president, respectively. The
Modernistas chose Hilario Camino Moncado and Luis Salvador for the same positions. On the
other hand, the standard bearers of the Liberals were Senators Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Quirino.
On 3 January 1946, President Osmeña announced his re-election bid. On 22 January 1946
Eulogio Rodriguez was nominated as Osmeña's running mate for Vice President, in a convention
held at Ciro's Club in Manila. According to the Manila Chronicle:
The convention opened at 10:15 in the morning when the acting secretary of the party, Vicente
Farmoso, called the confab to order. Congressman José C. Romero, who delivered the keynote
speech accused Senate President Manuel Roxas and his followers "of fanning the flames of
discontent among the people, of capitalizing on the people's hardship, and of minimizing the
accomplishment of the [Osmeña] Administration. These men with the Messiah complex have
been the bane of the country and of the world. This is the mentality that produces Hitlers and the
Mussolinis, and their desire to climb to power. they even want to destroy the party which placed
them where they are today."
Senator Carlos P. Garcia, who delivered the nomination speech for President Sergio Osmeña,
made a long recital of Osmeña's achievements, his virtues as public official and as private citizen.
A statue of President Osmeña in front of the Osmeña Museum in Cebu City.
Entering the convention hall at about 7:30 p.m, President Osmeña, accompanied by the
committee on notification, was greeted with rounds of cheer and applause as he ascended
the platform. President Osmeña delivered his speech which was a general outline of his
future plans once elected. He emphasized that as far as his party is concerned, independence
is a close issue. It is definitely coming on 4 July 1946
On 19 January 1946, Senator Roxas announced his candidacy for President in a convention
held in Santa Ana Cabaret in Manila. According to the Manila Chronicle:
...more than three thousand (by conservative estimate there were only 1,000 plus)
delegates, party members and hero worshipers jammed into suburban, well known Santa
Ana Cabaret (biggest in the world) to acclaim ex-katipunero and Bagong Katipunan organizer
Manuel Acuña Roxas as the guidon bearer of the Nacionalista Party's Liberal Wing. The
delegates, who came from all over the Islands, met in formal convention from 10:50 am and
did not break up till about 5:30 pm.
They elected 1. Mariano J. Cuenco, professional Osmeñaphobe, as temporary chairman; 2.
José Avelino and ex-pharmacist Antonio Zacarias permanent chairman and secretary,
respectively; 3. nominated forty-four candidates for senators; 4. heard the generalissimo
himself deliver an oratorical masterpiece consisting of 50 per cent attacks against the
(Osmeña) Administration, 50 per cent promises, pledges. Rabid Roxasites greeted the Roxas
acceptance speech with hysterical applause.
President Osmeña tried to prevent the split in the Nacionalista Party by offering Senator
Roxas the position of Philippine Regent Commissioner to the United States but the latter
turned down the offer. As a result of the split among the members of the Nacionalista Party,
owing to marked differences of opinion on certain vital issues of which no settlement had
been reached, a new political organization was born and named the Liberal Wing of the
Nacionalista Party, which would later become the Liberal Party. The election was generally
peaceful and orderly except in some places where passions ran high, especially in the
province of Pampanga. According to the "controversial" decision of the Electoral Tribunal of
the House of Representatives in re Meliton Soliman vs. Luis Taruc, "Pampanga was under the
terroristic clutches and control of the Hukbalahaps. So terrorized were the people of Arayat,
at one time, 200 persons abandoned their homes, their work, and their food, all their
belongings in a mass evacuation to the poblacion due to fear and terror.
A total of 2,218,847 voters went to the polls to elect their President and Vice President who
was to be the Commonwealth's last and the Republic's first. Four days after election day, the
Liberal party candidates were proclaimed victors. Roxas registered an overwhelming majority
of votes in 34 provinces and 9 cities: Abra,
Agusan, Albay, Antique, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan, Camarines
Norte, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Cavite, Cotabato, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Laguna, La
Union, Leyte, Marinduque, Mindoro, Misamis Oriental, Negros Occidental, Nueva
Vizcaya, Palawan, Pangasinan, Rizal, Romblon, Samar, Sorsogon, Sulu,
Surigao, Tayabas, Zambales, Manila, Quezon City, Bacolod City (Negros Occidental), Iloilo
City (Iloilo),Baguio City (Mountain Province), Zamboanga City (Zamboanga), Tagaytay
City (Cavite), Cavite City (Cavite) and San Pablo City (Laguna). Likewise, the Liberal Party
won nine out of 16 contested senatorial seats. In the House of Representatives, the Liberals
won an overwhelming majority with 50 seats while the Nacionalistas and the Democratic
Alliance only got 33 and 6 seats, respectively.