Emilio Aguinaldo was the first president in Philippine history. He was a Filipino revolutionary and politician that was officially recognized as the First President of the Philippines (1899–1901) and led the Philippine forces first against Spain in the latter part of the Philippine Revolution (1896–1897), and then in the Spanish–American War (1898), and finally against the United States during the Philippine–American War (1899–1901). He was captured by American forces in 1901, which brought an end to his presidency.

In 1935, Aguinaldo unsuccessfully ran for President of the Philippine Commonwealth against Manuel Quezon. After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, he cooperated with the country's new rulers, even making a radio appeal for the surrender of the American and Filipino forces in Bataan. He was arrested as a collaborator after the Americans returned but was later freed in general amnesty.

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