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July 25, 1945 – General Douglas MacArthur addresses 1st Congress of The Commonwealth of The Philippines – Shortwave report – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
July 25, 1945 – The Battle of Manila 3 February – 3 March 1945 – was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944–45, during the Second World War. It was fought by forces from both the United States and the Philippines against Japanese troops in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The month-long battle, which resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater. Japanese forces committed mass murder against Filipino civilians during the battle. Along with massive loss of life, the battle also destroyed architectural and cultural heritage dating back to the city’s founding, and Manila became one of the most devastated capital cities during the entire war, alongside Berlin and Warsaw. The battle ended the almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city’s capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur’s key to victory in the campaign of reconquest. To date, it is the last of the many battles fought within Manila’s history.
The First Commonwealth Congress initially convened with 14 senators and 66 congressmen. Two more senators reported and nine congressmen joined their colleagues in later sessions. Among the members of the First Commonwealth Congress was Representative Elisa Ochoa from Agusan, the first woman ever elected to the Philippine national legislature.
The two chambers of Congress assembled in joint session in the afternoon of June 9, 1945, to hear President Osmeña deliver his state of the nation address. Osmeña expectedly dealt with several proposed legislation to rebuild the financial infrastructure of the Philippines and restore government institutions. He also tried to address issues concerning the terms of office of officials elected in 1941 just before the Japanese invasion. Because of the severe damage caused to property by the war, the legislators who were hurriedly called to Manila in June 1945, including Roxas and Quirino, had no appropriate attire for the congressional sessions other than their army khaki uniforms. President Osmeña ordered two pairs of sharkskin suits to be purchased by the government (from the Manlapat tailoring shop across the temporary Congress building) for each of the legislators around the time of the opening of Congress.
A few foreign dignitaries also addressed the joint session in the next six months. This included U.S. High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt and General MacArthur who received a commendation from the Congress and a second resolution making him an honorary citizen of the Philippines.
Here is one of those addresses, from July 25, 1945 as broadcast via Shortwave to the U.S
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