With the election of
Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 as president of the United States, the official policy changed once again.
On January 13, 1933, the U.S. Congress passed the Howes-Cutting Bill granting Philippine independence after
12 years, but reserving military and naval bases for the U.S. and imposing tariffs and quotas on Philippine
exports. The bill was rejected by the Filipinos. Led by Quezon, the Philippine Senate advocated a new bill
and won the support of President Roosevelt. The Tydings-McDuffie Bill, passed in 1934, granted absolute and
complete independence by 1946, and provided for an interim commonwealth supervised by the U.S., but with a
Philippine president elected by national vote and with a constitution. Adopted in February 1935, the constitution
was approved by President Roosevelt and ratified by a plebiscite of the Philippine people on May 14.
The commonwealth was formally established on November 15, with Quezon as the first president. He was reelected in 1941.
Japanese planes attacked the Philippines on December 8, 1941,
and a large-scale invasion began two weeks later. Japanese occupation and warfare caused widespread destruction all over the country. The
Japanese government inaugurated Jose P. Laurel as president on October 4, 1943 under on a puppet government. On October 20, 1944, U.S. forces
returned to the Philippines under General Douglas MacArthur, who had been military commander in the islands before the Japanese attack.
The Japanese officially surrendered on September 2, 1945.
Quezon had died in 1944, and
he was succeeded by Sergio Osmeņa, his vice-president. The government returned to Manila in 1945, and on April 23, 1946, Roxas was elected
president, with Elpidio Quirino as vice-president. To help in the rehabilitation of the islands the United States established preferential trade
relations and awarded the islands several hundred million dollars in war damage and rehabilitation aid.