Roxas, Manuel mänwĕl´ rō´häs [key], 1894–1948, Philippine statesman, b. Capiz, Panay. In 1921 he was elected to the Philippine house of representatives and in the following year he became speaker. After the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established (1935), Roxas became a member of the national assembly, served (1938–41) as secretary of finance in President Manuel Quezon's cabinet, and was elected (1941) to the Philippine senate. In World War II he was captured (1942) by the Japanese invasion forces. Ostensibly a supporter of the Japanese occupation, Roxas participated in the puppet government but was actually an intelligence agent for the Philippine underground. In 1946 he became the first president of the Republic of the Philippines and upon his death was succeeded by Elpidio Quirino.
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