Profession: 3rd President of the Philippines
Why Famous: José Laurel had a distinguished career as a supreme court justice before, during the WW II Japanese occupation of the Philippines he cooperated with the Japanese by forming a government in 1943 and assuming the presidency.
Laurel's presidency remains controversial and wasn't officially recognized by later regimes until the 1960s. His presidency is remembered today for its efforts to deals with both food shortages and general dissent. Laurel was able to resist Japanese efforts to draft Filipinos into the Japanese war effort.
During his first year in office Laurel survived an assassination attempt when he was shot around 4 times with a 45 caliber pistol.
After Japan's surrender in 1945, Laurel was arrested and charged with 132 counts of treason but due to an amnesty never tried. He was elected to the senate in 1951 and retired from public life in 1957.
- 1943-10-14 Japan declares the Philippines independent under President José P. Laurel
- 1944-09-22 President Jose P. Laurel declared the Philippines under martial law in 1944 through Proclamation No. 29