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History, Republic of the Philippines

Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Clark Air Base, Philippine constitution, Philippine economy

In 1944 Osmena succeeded Quezon, who died in the United States, as president of the government-in-exile. Osmena returned to Manila in 1945, and plans went forward to inaugurate the independent Republic of the Philippines. Manuel Roxas challenged the elderly Osmena for the presidency and split from the Nationalist Party to form the Liberal Party. Roxas won the election of April 1946 and became the first president of the new republic, with Elpidio Quirino as vice president. The Republic of the Philippines was formally proclaimed on July 4, 1946.

The postwar administration faced staggering problems. The countryís infrastructure and economy were in ruins. To help in the republicís rehabilitation, the United States established preferential trade relations and awarded the new nation several hundred million dollars in war damage and rehabilitation aid. As a condition of receiving the aid, the Philippines was forced to agree to give U.S. investors parity, or equal economic rights with Filipinos. The parity privileges included the right to exploit the countryís natural resources, which required an amendment to the Philippine constitution. Other trade agreements and contingencies also tied the Philippine economy to that of the United States. In addition, the United States maintained a military presence in the Philippines. In 1947 the U.S. government secured an agreement allowing it to retain jurisdiction over numerous military installations, including Clark Air Base and Subic Bay, for a period of 99 years. In 1959 the Philippines amended the agreement, giving the United States a new 25-year lease for fewer bases.

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Article key phrases:

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