established Spanishas the official language of the
Philippines. The Preamble reads:“
"Nosotros los Representantes del PuebloFilipino, convocados legítimamente paraestablecer la justicia, proveer a la defensacomún, promover el bien general y asegurar losbeneficios de la libertad, implorando el auxiliódel Soberano Legislador del Universo paraalcanzar estos fines, hemos votado, decretadoy sancionado la siguiente"
(We, the Representatives of the Filipino people,lawfully covened, in order to establish justice, provide for common defense, promote thegeneral welfare, and insure the benefits of liberty, imploring the aid of the SovereignLegislator of the Universe for the attainment of these ends, have voted, decreed, and sanctioned the following)
Commonwealth and Third Republic (1935)
, approvedand adopted by the Commonwealth of the Philippines(1935-1946) and later used by the Third Republic of thePhilippines (1946-1972). It was written with an eye tomeeting the approval of theUnited States Government as well, so as to ensure that the U.S. would live up toits promise to grant the Philippines independence andnot have a premise to hold onto its "possession" on thegrounds that it was too politically immature and henceunready for full, real independence.The Preamble reads:“
"The Filipino people, imploring the aid of DivineProvidence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promotethe general welfare, and secure to themselvesand their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice,liberty, and democracy, do ordain and promulgate this constitution."
”The original 1935 Constitution provided for unicameralNational Assembly and the President was elected to asix-year term without re-election. It was amendedin
1940to have a bicameral Congress composed of aSenate and House of Representatives, as well thecreation of an independentelectoral commission. TheConstitution now granted the President a four-yearterm with a maximum of two consecutive terms inoffice. A Constitutional Convention was held in1971 to
rewrite the 1935 Constitution. The convention wasstained with manifest bribery and corruption. Possibly
the most controversial issue was removing thepresidential term limit so that Ferdinand E. Marcoscould seek election for a third term, which many feltwas the true reason for which the convention wascalled. In any case, the 1935 Constitution wassuspended in 1972with Marcos' proclamation of martial
, the organization established by the Japanese tosupplant all previous political parties. Upon ratificationby the Kalibapi assembly, the Second Republic wasformally proclaimed (1943-1945). José P. Laurelwasappointed as President by theNational Assemblyandinaugurated into office in October of 1943. Laurel was
highly regarded by the Japanese for having openlycriticised the US for the way they ran the Philippinesand because he had a degree fromTokyo InternationalUniversity. The 1943 Constitution remained in force in Japanese-controlled areas of the Philippines, but wasnever recognized as legitimate or binding by thegovernments of theUnited States or of the
Commonwealth of the Philippinesand guerrillaorganizations loyal to them. In late 1944, PresidentLaurel declared a state of war existed with the UnitedStates and the British Empire and proclaimed martiallaw, essentially ruling by decree. His government inturn went into exile in December, 1944, first to Taiwanand then Japan.After the announcement of Japan's
surrender, Laurel formally proclaimed the SecondRepublic as dissolved. Until the 1960s, the SecondRepublic, and its officers, were not viewed as legitimateor as having any standing, with the exception of theSupreme Courtwhose decisions, limited to reviews of criminal and commercial cases as part of a policy of discretion by Chief Justice Jose Yulocontinued to be
part of the official records (this was made easier by theCommonwealth never constituting a Supreme Court,and the formal vacancy in the chief justice position forthe Commonwealth with the execution of Jose AbadSantosby the Japanese). It was only during theMacapagal administration that a partial, politicalrehabilitation of the Japanese-era republic took place,with the recognition of Laurel as a former president andthe addition of his cabinet and other officials to theroster of past government officials. However, the 1943charter was not taught in schools and the laws of the1943-44 National Assembly never recognized as valid orrelevant. The Preamble reads:“
"The Filipino people, imploring the aid of DivineProvidence and desiring to lead a free national existence, do hereby proclaim their independence, and in order to establish agovernment that shall promote the general welfare, conserve and develop the patrimony of the Nation, and contribute to the creation of aworld order based on peace, liberty, and moral justice, do ordain this Constitution."
”The 1943 Constitution provided strong executivepowers. The Legislature consisted of a unicameralNational Assembly and only those considered as anti-UScould stand for election, although in practice mostlegislators were appointed rather than elected.The New Society and the Fourth Republic (1973)The 1973 Constitution, promulgated after Marcos'declaration of martial law, introduced a parliamentary-style government. Legislative power was vested in aNational Assembly whose members were elected forsix-year terms. The President was elected as thesymbolic head of state from the Members of theNational Assembly for a six-year term and could be re-elected to an unlimited number of terms. Upon election,the President ceased to be a member of the NationalAssembly. During his term, the President was notallowed to be a member of a political party or hold anyother office. Executive power was exercised by thePrime Minister who was also elected from the Membersof the National Assembly. The Prime Ministerwas the
head of government and Commander-in-Chief of thearmed forces. This constitution was subsequentlyamended four times (arguably five depending on howone considers Proclamation No. 3 of 1986). The 1973Constitution was amended in 1976 to allow theincumbent president to hold the position of primeminister and president simultaneously and to exerciselegislative powers as well. This allowed Marcos tofurther consolidate his power. A minor amendment in1980 changed the retiring age of judges from 65 to 70years of age. Amendments were done again in1981 which established a semi-parliamentary or (semi-presidential) form of government with a presidentelected by direct vote of the people. Additionally,