The Puppet Government, or the Second Philippine Republic, is a Japanese-imperial-sponsored government established during the Japanese occupation and World War II in the Philippines. This government sought to legitimize Japanese occupation in the country and promised independence for the Filipino people but Imperial government failed to commit to this pledge.
Established in October 14, 1943, Jose P. Laurel was inaugurated as the first President of the Second Philippine Republic after leaving his post as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. The Japanese's choice for president was based on Laurel's open criticisms against the U.S administration in the Philippines and his degree from Tokyo International University. Benigno Aquino Sr. and Ramon Avancena were also elected as vice-presidents, and Manuel Roxas and General Jorge Vargas were appointed as the cabinet member and chair of the Executive Commission, respectively.
The first act of the puppet regime was to sign a military alliance with Japan. The second act appealed for the sympathy of the United States but was denied by the said country. US President Franklin Roosevelt refused to recognized the puppet government.
The Puppet Government was established in the pursuit of creating the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere under the chairmanship of the Japanese Imperial government. Manuel Roxas and Jose Laurel wrote and signed the Philippine puppet constitution which was an act of rebellion against the U.S. and a testament of allegiance to Japan.
Those who pledged their loyalty to Japan were showered with supply of the best food, luxuries and finest accommodations while the Filipino who did not pledged suffered under the harsh Japanese rule. <ref name="test1"> A Toast to Edsa. (accessed May 21, 2008) </ref> The sons of Laurel were sent to Japan to study. Consequently, the Puppet Government gained little popularity amongst the Filipino people.
The Americans through General Douglas MacArthur led a war against the Japanese in the Philippines. Manila was liberated in March 4, 1945 and on March 22 of the same year President Laurel and the Second Republic officials departed for Japan.
- Roosevelt's Statement. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=16330 (accessed May 20, 2008)