Rogelio de la Rosa

Rogelio de la Rosa (born Regidor de la Rosa; November 12, 1916 – November 10, 1986) was one of the most popular Filipino matinee idols of the 20th century. Elected to the Philippine Senate from 1957 to 1963, he also was the first Filipino film actor who was able to parlay his fame into a substantial political career, paving the way for other than future Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians such as Senators Eddie Ilarde, Ramon Revilla Sr., Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid and President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

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.