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Form of government[edit]

According to Title II, Article 4 the Government of the Republic is to be popular, representative, alternative and
responsible, and shall exercise three distinct powers: namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. Any two
or more of these three powers shall never be united in one person or cooperation, nor the legislative power vested
in one single individual. The Government of the Republic is a Responsible Government, a very important aspect
of parliamentarianism where the executive branch is directly responsible to the legislative branch. This is further
emphasized in Title V, Article 50 and Title VII, Article 56.
Title V, Article 50 stated that the National Assembly of Representatives (the unicameral legislature of the Republic)
shall have the right of censure and each of the members the right of interpellation. Interpellation is a right granted to
representatives to directly question members of the executive branch. In other words, there are Question Periods
allotted to each member of the executive branch. While Title VII, Article 56 stated that executive power resides in
the President of the Republic, who shall exercise it through his Secretaries convened in a Council of government
that is led by the President of the council of government. The Constitution also stated in Title IX, Article 75 that the
secretaries of government shall be held jointly responsible by the National Assembly for the general policies of
Government, and individually for their personal actions like in mostparliamentary systems.
The parliamentary terminologies used in this constitution are different to the more usual Anglo-Saxon titles. Terms
like Parliament, Cabinet, Prime Minister, Minister, and Member of Parliament (or MP) are replaced with Assembly,
Council of Government, President of the Council of Government, Secretary, and Representative, respectively.
Permanent Commission[edit]
The Permanent Commission is created to make decisions when the National Assembly is in recess. The National
Assembly is empowered to elect seven of its members to constitute the Permanent Commission, with the obligation
that the Commission choose a President and a Secretary on its first session. The Permanent Commission powers
1. Declare whether or not there is sufficient cause to take legal action against the President of the Republic,
the Representatives, the Secretaries of Government, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, and the
Solicitor General in the cases provided for in this Constitution;
2. Convene the Assembly in extraordinary session in cases when the Court of Justice must be constituted;
3. Act on matters that have remained unresolved in order for them to be taken into consideration;
4. Convene the Assembly in extraordinary sessions when the exigency of the case so requires; and
5. Substitute the National Assembly in the exercise of its powers in accordance to the Constitution, except in
the power of creating and passing laws.The Permanent Commission shall meet whenever it is convened by
whoever presides over it in accordance to this Constitution.

The Schurman Commission also known as the First Philippine Commission was established by United States
President William McKinley on January 20, 1899, and tasked to study the situation in the Philippines and make
recommendations on how the U.S should proceed after the sovereignty of the Philippines was ceded to the U.S.
by Spain on December 20, 1898 following the Treaty of Paris of 1898.[1][2]

Its final report was submitted on January 3, 1900, and recommended the establishment of a civil government having
a bicameral legislature and being financially independent from the United States. The report also recommended the
establishment of a system of public education.[3][4]
On January 20, 1899, President McKinley appointed the First Philippine Commission (the Schurman Commission),
a five-person group headed by Dr. Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell University, to investigate conditions in the
islands and make recommendations. In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the
commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence. They declared, however, that the Philippines
was not ready for it.[5][6]
Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian government as rapidly as possible (the American
chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including establishment of a bicameral
legislature, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a system of free public elementary

Jacob Gould Schurman



Administrative office

Admiral of the United States

George Dewey


Charles H. Denby


Former Minister to China

Elwell S. Otis


Military Governor


Head of the Commission


Philippines Affairs Expert

Jacob G.

Dean C. Worcester


Survey visit to the Philippines[edit]

The three civilian members of the commission arrived in Manila on March 4, 1899, a month after the Battle of
Manila which had begun armed conflict between U.S. forces and Filipino forces under Emilio Aguinaldo.

General Otis viewed the arrival of his fellow commission members as an intrusion, and boycotted commission

meetings.[8] The commission spent a month meeting with Ilustrados who had deserted Aguinaldo's Malolos
Republic government and studying the Malolos Constitution and other documents of Aguinaldo's revolutionary
government. Meanwhile, with U.S. forces under Otis advancing northwards from Manila, the seat of Aguinaldo's
revolutionary government had been moved from Malolos to new headquarters in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. When
Malolos fell at the end of March, it was moved further north to San Fernando, Pampanga.[9]
The commission published a proclamation containing assurances that the U.S. did not intend exploitation of
Filipinos, but their "advancement to a position among the most civilized peoples of the world", and announced
"that the United States is ... anxious to establish in the Philippine Islands an enlightened system of government
under which the Philippine people may enjoy the largest measure of home rule and the amplest liberty." The
revolutionary government counterproposed a three-month armistice during which representatives of the two
governments would meet and arrange terms for the settlement of the war. President McKinley's instructions to
the Commission issued in Washington before the outbreak of hostilities had not authorized it to discuss an
Meetings in April with Aguinaldo's representative, Colonel Manuel Arguelles, convinced the commission that
Filipinos wanted concrete information on the governmental role they would be allowed to play, and the
commission requested authorization from McKinley to offer a specific plan. McKinley authorized an offer of a
government consisting of "a Governor-General appointed by the President; cabinet appointed by the GovernorGeneral; [and] a general advisory council elected by the people." McKinley also promised Filipinos "the largest
measure of local self-government consistent with peace and good order.", with the caveat that U.S.
constitutional considerations required that Congress would need to make specific rules and regulations. [10]
A session of the Revolutionary Congress convened by Aguinaldo voted unanimously to cease fighting and
accept peace on the basis of McKinley's proposal. The revolutionary cabinet headed by Apolinario Mabini was
replaced on May 8 by a new "peace" cabinet headed by Pedro Paterno. and Felipe Buencamino. After a
meeting of the Revolutionary Congress and military commanders, Aguinaldo advised the commission that he
was being advised by a new cabinet "which is more moderate and concilatory", and appointed a delegation to
meet with the commission. At this point, General Antonio Luna, field commander of the revolutionary army,
arrested Paterno and most of his cabinet.[11]
Confronted with this development, Aguinaldo withdrew his support from the "peace" cabinet, and Mabini and his
cabinet returned to power. Schurman, after proposing unsuccessfully to the commission that they urge McKinley
to revise his plan to enlarge Filipino participation, cabled the suggestion to the President as his own. McKinley
instructed Secretary of State John Hay to cable Schurman that he wanted peace "preferably by kindness and
conciliation," but the preference was contradicted by a threat to "send all the force necessary to suppress the
insurrection if Filipino resistance continued." McKinley also polled the other commission members, receiving a
response that "indecision now would be fatal" and urging "prosecution of the war until the insurgents submit." [11]

The commission concluded that "the United States cannot withdraw. ... We are there and duty binds us to
remain. The Filipinos are wholly unprepared for independence ... there being no Philippine nation, but only a
collection of different peoples."[5][12]

The Malolos Congress

Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree on July 18, 1898 asking for the election of delegates to the
revolutionary congress, another decree was promulgated five days later, which declared that
Aguinaldo would appoint representatives of congress because holding elections is not practical at that
time. He appointed 50 delegates in all (but this number fluctuated from time to time). In accordance
with these two decrees, Aguinaldo assembled the Revolutionary Congress at the Brasoain Church in
Malolos, Bulacan on September 15, 1898.
The atmosphere was festive and the Pasig Band played the national anthem. After Aguinaldo had
read his speech congressional elections were held among the delegates present. The following were
among the most important achievements of the Malolos Congress:
1. In September 29, 1898, ratified the declaration of Philippine independence held at Kawit, Cavite on
June 12, 1898
2. Passage of a law that allowed the Philippines to borrow P 20 million from banks for government
3. Establishment of the Universidad Literatura de Filipinas and other schools
4. Drafting of the Philippine Constitution
5. Declaring war against the United States on June 12, 1899
Malolos Constitution
A committee headed by Felipe Calderon and aided by Cayetano Arellano, the constitution was
drafted, for the first time by representatives of the Filipino people and it is the first republican
constitution in Asia. The constitution was inspired by the constitutions of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa
Rica, Brazil, Belgium and France. After some minor revisions (mainly due to the objections
of Apolinario Mabini), the final draft of the constitution was presented to Aguinaldo. This paved the
way to launching the first Philippine Republic. It established a democratic, republication government
with three branches - the Executive, Legislative and the Judicial branches. It called for the separation
of church and state. The executive powers were to be exercise by the president of the republic with
the help of his cabinet. Judicial powers were given to the Supreme Court and other lower courts to be
created by law. The Chief justice of the Supreme Court was to be elected by the legislature with the
concurrence of the President and his Cabinet.
First Philippine Republic
The first Philippine Republic was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan on January 21, 1899. After being
proclaimed president, Emilio Aguinaldo took his oath of office. The constitution was read article by
article and followed by a military parade. Apolinario Mabini was elected as a prime minister. The other
cabinet secretaries were: Teodoro Sandico, interior; Baldomero Aguinaldo, war; Gen. Mariano Trias,
finance & war; Apolinario Mabini, foreign affairs; Gracio Gonzaga for welfare, Aguedo Velarde, public
instruction; Maximo Paterno, public works & communication; and Leon Mara Guerrero for agriculture,
trade & commerce.
The Philippine National Anthem

Aguinaldo commissioned Julian Felipe, a composer from Cavite province was asked to write an an
instrumental march for the proclamation of independence ceremony. The original title was "Marcha
Filipina Magdalo". This was later changed to "Marcha Nacional Filipina". The lyrics was added in
August 1899 based on the poem titled "Filipinas" by Jose Palma. The original lyrics was written in
Spanish, then to English (when the Flag Law was abolished during the American period) then later,
was translated to Tagalog, which underwent another change of title to Lupang Hinirang, the
Philippine National Anthem. Continue to Filipino-American Hostilities.