President Manuel A. Roxas, the last President of the Commonwealth and First President of the Republic of the Philippines, served as a Brigadier General during World War II. An exemplary student in his days in the University of the Philippines, he embarked in a career in public service in both the executive and legislative branches.
As a Citizen soldier, he served in General MacArthur’s USAFFE Headquarters in Bataan and Corregidor, and finally in the Visayas and Mindanao. He returned to civil government service after the war, and destiny brought him to the highest office in the land.
Manuel Roxas was born on New Years Day, January 1, 1892 in Capiz, Capiz, a city that was renamed in his honor, to Rosario Acuña. His father, Gerardo Acuna Roxas, died before he was born. Roxas had two siblings, his brother Mamerto Roxas, and sister Margarita Roxas.
Manuel Roxas studied college in University of Manila, and law at the University of the Philippines College of Law, where he was a member of the college’s first ever graduating class in 1913. He placed first in the bar examinations held later that year. He was immediately drawn into politics, and began what became a lifelong career in government service as a provincial fiscal.