Rogelio De La Rosa - Senator and Presidential Candidate

Senator and Presidential Candidate

In the 1957 general elections, de la Rosa ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate under the banner of the Liberal Party. He served for one 6-year term spanning the 4th and 5th Congress. As a Senator, he was active in issues of particular concern within his home province of Pampanga such as fisheries and agriculture, emerging as a strong advocate for nationalization of those industries. Appropriately, de la Rosa was also interested in issues relating to the Filipino film industry, co-authoring a bill that would lead to the establishment of a Board of Censors.

After 3 years in the Senate, De La Rosa decided to run for the presidency as an independent candidate. His residual popularity as a film star, as well as the unpopularity of incumbent re-electionist Nacionalista Carlos P. Garcia made him a credible candidate. The other major candidate in the race was then-Vice President Macapagal of the Liberal Party, his former brother-in-law. Then shortly before election day, de la Rosa withdrew from the election. The reasons for his withdrawal remain a mystery. According to his official Senate biography, de la Rosa was concerned about the strength of what he perceived as the corrupt political machinery of President Garcia, and was ultimately convinced that his withdrawal from the race was the only way to ensure Garcia's defeat. Whatever the motivation, de la Rosa's gambit proved successful, and Macapagal was easily elected over Garcia.

Returning to the Liberal Party, de la Rosa was defeated for reelection to the Senate in the 1963 general elections. He would never again be elected to public office.

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