Magsaysay, Ramón

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Magsaysay, Ramón

(rämōn` mägsī`sī), 1907–57, president of the Philippines (1953–57). When the Japanese invaded the Philippines (1941), he joined the army and was commissioned a captain. A guerrilla leader throughout the Japanese occupation, he was named (1945) military governor of Zambales province by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. While serving in the Philippine Congress (1946–50), Magsaysay presented a plan for subduing the HukbalahapHukbalahap
(Huk) , Communist-led guerrilla movement in the Philippines. It developed during World War II as a guerrilla army to fight the Japanese; the name is a contraction of a Tagalog phrase meaning "People's Anti-Japanese Army.
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 (Huk) guerrillas, which led to his appointment as secretary of national defense by President Elpidio QuirinoQuirino, Elpidio
, 1890–1956, Filipino statesman, b. Ilocos Sur prov., Luzon. After he was admitted (1915) to the bar he became a law clerk in the Philippine senate. For many years he was Manual Quezon's political aide.
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. He reformed the army, captured the top members of the Communist party, and fought the Huks, combining strong military action with a land resettlement program. After a dispute with President Quirino, however, Magsaysay resigned from his post (1953). He left the ruling Liberal party and ran for president on the Nationalist ticket, defeating Quirino by a large majority. As president, he cooperated closely with the United States and pursued a program of land and governmental reform. He was favored to win reelection to a second term, but died in an airplane crash (1957) before the voting began.

Bibliography

See biographies by C. Quirino (2d. ed. 1964) and M. M. Gray (1965).

Magsaysay, Ramon

 

Born Aug. 31, 1907, in Iba, Zambales Province, on the island of Luzon; died Mar. 17, 1957, in an airplane crash. Philippine politician and statesman.

In 1946, Magsaysay became a deputy to Congress from the Liberal Party. From 1950 to 1953, he was minister of defense and directed military actions against the insurgent forces. In 1953 he switched over to the Nacionalista Party, and as their candidate he was elected president. President from 1954 to 1957, Magsaysay followed a line in foreign affairs that was contradictory to the interests of the Philippines (for example, signing the 1954 SEATO pact), and he limited democratic freedoms within the country. At the same time he adopted a number of measures to protect national capital and was the initiator of laws that satisfied some demands of the popular masses (trade union legislation in 1953 and social security in 1954, as well as the land laws in 1954-55).