Jose Paciano Laurel (1891-1951). President of the Philippines
during the Japanese occupation
Before World War II, Laurel was a noted jurist and legislator. His accomplishments, however are overshadowed by his controversial role as President of the Philippines during the war.
When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1942, Laurel offered his services to them. and because of his strong anti-American stance, he was given high positions culminating in his becoming president in 1943, in conflict with the Filipino government-in-exile formed by Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmena, in Washington, DC.
After the war, Laurel was indicted with 132 counts of treason. Participating in a general amnesty, Laurel was never tried in court. Many Filipinos, however believed that Laurel only served the Japanese to help lessen the burdens of the Filipinos during the harsh occupation.
In 1949 he ran for president against Elpidio Quirino, but lost in a close race.