Ramon Magsaysay

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Philippine president Ramon Magsaysay (August 31, 1907 - March 17, 1957) was the third President of the Third Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until his death. He was a Nacionalista.



Early life and career

Ramon Magsaysay was born in Iba, Zambales to Exequiel Magsaysay, a blacksmith, and Perfecta del Fierro, a schoolteacher. Of Visayan descent, he nonetheless was ethnically affiliated with the Ilocanos of Iba and considered himself as one of them. He went to high school at Zambales Academy (ZA).

In 1927 he enrolled at the University of the Philippines. He took up a pre-law course and later shifted to engineering, all the while working as a chauffeur to support himself. However, he did not finish his course due to illness. Eventually he studied commerce at Jose Rizal College, graduating in 1933.

When World War II broke out in the Philippines, Magsaysay joined the motor pool of the 31st Infantry Division of the Philippine army. Following the fall of Bataan in 1942, he organized the Western Luzon Guerilla Forces that fought against the Japanese.

In 1946 Magsaysay was elected on the Liberal party ticket to the Philippine House of Representatives. He was appointed Secretary of National Defence in the administration of President Elpidio Quirino in 1950. He intensified the campaign against the Hukbalahap guerillas, waging one of the most successful anti-guerilla campaigns in modern history. This success was due in part to the unconventional methods he employed, namely utilizing soldiers to distribute relief goods and other forms of aid to outlying, provincial communities. Where before Magsaysay the rural folk looked on the Philippine Army if not in distrust, at least with general apathy, during his term as Defense Secretary Filipinos began to respect and admire their soldiers. In 1953 he resigned his post as defense secretary, criticizing the Liberal government and becoming the presidential candidate of the Nacionalist party.


In the Philippine election of 1953, Magsaysay was decisively elected president over the incumbent Elpidio Quirino. He was sworn into office wearing the Barong Tagalog, a first by a Philippine president.

As president, he was a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal spokesman against communism during the Cold War.

During his term, he made Malacaņang Palace literally a "house of the people", opening its gates to the public.

On March 16, 1957 Magsaysay left Manila for Cebu where he was scheduled to speak at an educational institution. That same night, he boarded the presidential plane heading back to Manila. In the early morning hours of March 17, his plane was reported missing. It was late in the afternoon that day that newspapers reported that the airplane had crashed on Mt. Manunggal in Cebu, and all those aboard were killed except one newspaperman, Nestor Mata. Vice President Carlos P. Garcia assumed the presidency to complete the last eight months of Magsaysay's term.

An estimated 2 million people attended Magsaysay's burial on March 22, 1957.

See also

External link

Preceded by:
Elpidio Quirino
President of the Philippines
Succeeded by:
Carlos P. Garcia

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Template:Philippine presidentstl:Ramon Magsaysay


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