The Philippines in World War II, 1941-1945: A Chronology and Select Annotated Bibliography of Books and Articles in English

By Walter F. Bell | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Japanese Occupation Policies and Filipino Collaboration

Japan's occupation policies in Asia in general and the Philippines in particular have been a subject of increasing attention among scholars in recent years. Scholars have examined such issues as Japanese administrative methods and the degree of collaboration by local elites. These issues, particularly the issue of collaboration by the upper class, the degree of support for Japan in the Philippines, war crimes, and the political and psychological effects of the Japanese regime, apply directly to the Philippines. The case of Jose Laurel and Jorge B. Vargas, two of Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon's high prewar cabinet officials ( Laurel was Justice Secretary, Vargas was Executive Secretary), is particularly controversial. Laurel accepted the post of President of the nominally independent Japanese-supported Philippine government and Vargas was Laurel's closest assistant. After the war Vargas and Laurel were arrested by the American occupation authorities at General MacArthur's direction and incarcerated at Sugamo prison near Tokyo. They were subsequently given amnesty. This case was the most high-profile of hundreds of such cases which demonstrate how war and occupation aggravated social cleavages in Philippine society.


Books:

388. Agoncillo Teodoro A. The Burden of Proof: The Vargas- Laurel Collaboration Case. Manila: University of the Philippines Press, 1984. 462p.

Agoncillo vigorously defends the conduct of both Jose Laurel and

-241-

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