Jose P. Laurel: A "Hero" or a "Traitor"?

Jose P. Laurel: A "Hero" or a "Traitor"?
 
JOSE P. LAUREL is the third president of the Philippines. He was one of the most controversial politicians during his time. He was labeled as a collaborator, others think He was a hero, and others say He is a traitor.
          When President Manuel Quezon went to the United States during the Japanese occupation, Jose P. Laurel was elected by the National Assembly as President of the Republic of the Philippines. 
             It was a difficult time for him. While our country was struggling for independence, he tried to channel a peace treaty between the Philippines and Japan but when the Japanese surrendered, General McArthur ordered Laurel to be arrested for treason because he collaborated with the Japanese. This event led us to this classical issue, which every Filipino must know.
 
Possible reasons for believing that he is a hero:
1. Laurel did not, by his own free will, accept the occupation of the Japanese and its power; he made decisions that were for the greater good of the citizens. It was a mock collaboration, so to speak, to keep the Japanese from venting their anger to the innocent citizens.
2. The Executive Commission was ready to obey the orders of the Japanese Army for the “maintenance of peace and order and the promotion of well being of our people”. From this, it is inferable that the government was just trying to protect the people and not to sell them out to the invaders.
3. Laurel only wanted to lighten the blow that could wound all citizens and thus make him a patriot for having the foresight to shield the people from danger, torture and even, death.
4. The Quezon Administration gave an implied order to Laurel when he ordered him to do whatever it would take to protect the welfare of the Filipino people.
5. Laurel, when he became president of the Japanese funded government, decided to try and alter the constitution of the Philippines as well as the people of his country to Japanese standards.
 
Possible reasons for believing that he is a traitor:
1. He did not make any retaliation against the Japanese Government when they occupied the Philippines. Laurel would love to collaborate with the Japanese to attain its main goal that he wanted to lead the country.
2. He did not refuse to declare a war against the United States as ordered by the Japanese Government.
3. The mere fact that the he couldn’t offer his life to defend our country during the war disqualifies him to be considered as a hero. He chose to be controlled by the Japanese government in running our country during those times. 
4. Jose P. Laurel would be more powerful and influential with the side of the Japanese government. This will satisfy his political will, and that is to be the leader of a new independent country- that is the Philippines.
5. He admired many things about Japanese society like its domestic tranquility and its system of education which is focused on service to the state.
 
CONTRIBUTORS/ONLINE DEBATE MODERATORS:
The contributors are taking up Pre-Law course in a premier university in the Philippines:
Adriel C. Magpile graduated from Libacao Central Elementary School in Libaca, Aklan and New Era University High School in Philippines.  Adriel is always interested to know the opinions of his friends about the current events.
Justin Batac is an alumnus of Saviour
Elementary School and Holy Child School of Antipolo in Rizal, Philippines. He likes to play basketball and read fictional books.
Cavin Kay DG. Rigor is one of the finest graduates of San Agustin Elementary School and Novaliches National High School in Quezon City. He likes to draw, sing and digest cases.
Randy C. Villaseñor finished his elementary in Bagong Silang Elem. School and high school in Tala High School in Caloocan City. He loves to cook and currently works at Job Order Worker.
Earnest Raymond C. Carlos graduated from Talimundok Elem. School and Angeles National High School – Special Science Class in Pampanga. He is a music lover, a dog enthusiast and a sports enthusiast.
 
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