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AN ASSESSMENT ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE PAST AMERICAN OCCUPATION

ON THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK OF PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT.

CHAPTER I

THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Introduction

Americas occupation of the Philippines paved way to new concepts in governance. The

Philippines first had direct connection with the United States of America when the Spanish

government sold the Philippines to the USA by signing the treaty of Paris. Since then, American

influence in many aspects of the Filipino society became widespread. The turnover of the

Philippines by the Spanish government to the USA gave way to for more aspects of American

culture and government to influence not only the way of living of Filipinos but also the

government system of the Philippines.

Before the United States bought the Philippines from the Spaniards, colonial type of

government was in effect, when the Americans took over, they implemented a new concept of

Government. They adapted aspects from their government such as their bill of rights and their

presidential type of government hierarchy to the framework of the existing Philippine

government.

The formal institutions and processes of presidential democracy were transplanted onto

the Philippines feudal economic structure. Due to the expenses involved in the voting process,
the elections eventually degenerated into intra-elite competition for local domination and access

to state sources. (Tate 2006)

The transition to Philippine Independence began with the adoption of a constitution in

1935 to serve as the basis of Commonwealth Government. The charter established a virtual copy

of the American system of government. The country initially was placed under Military

Government. Shortly thereafter, the reins of power were transferred to a civilian Governor-

General. (Tate 2006)

The Philippines adapted the presidential hierarchy of government officials. Aspects such

as the three branches of government and the principle of check and balance between these

branches are also adapted by the new government during the occupation of the Americans.

Rights of individuals stated in the American Bill of Rights were also adapted by the Philippine

government. The Philippine Government adapted principles, rules and laws which gives the

citizens equality and those that aim to remove oppression because the past Spanish Colonial

Government left a trauma.

The researchers will try to determine the extent of influence brought by the American

occupation to the existing form of government here in the Philippines. By determining such, we

can assess if it had been beneficial to the construction of the existing framework of Government

in the Philippines.

Statement of the Problem

1. How does the American occupation influence the framework of the existing government of the

Philippines?
2. What are the positive/negative effects on the influence of American occupation on the existing

framework of the Philippine government?

3. Why did the Philippines adapted the American framework of government instead of others?

4. What are the adjustments made by the Philippine government in adapting the government

framework of America?

Hypothesis

The researchers assume that the past American occupation became beneficial in the

construction of the existing framework of government in the Philippines.

Significance of the study

1. To the Future Researchers- This study will help them to serve as basis or guide in their

research that is related to the study

2. To the Historians This study will help them to know why the Philippine government adapted

the American Government framework among the other countries.

3. To the Government officials/politicians- This study will help them to be familiarized in the

Philippine government framework.

4. To the Professors- This study will help them to provide more information to their student and

improve their teaching strategies.

5. To the Students- This study will help them to be aware on why the Philippine government is

patterned in the American government.


Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is focused on the idea and conclusion of Experts and professors in the field of

Political Science and Philippine History in this study Assessment on the Influence of the Past

American occupation on the existing framework of Philippine government.

It is only limited to the Framework of American Government during the time that the

Philippine government adapt its framework. It is also limited in the American influence in

framework of government of the Philippines.

Definition of Terms

Government- Government is a distinct branch of study, dealing with the government set up of a

state on both national and local levels. The study covers the state constitution, laws, citizenship,

structures of the various levels of government, the election process, the judicial system, political

parties, interest groups, foreign affairs, etc.

Democracy- a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by

them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held

free elections.

Society- it is an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common

interests, beliefs, or profession.

Oppression- it is an unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.

Occupation- it is the possession, use, or settlement of land.


Influence- the power to change or affect someone or something: the power to cause changes

without directly forcing them to happen.

Framework- the basic structure of something: a set of ideas or facts that provide support for

something

Principle- it is a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption.

Hierarchy- it is a group that controls an organization and is divided into different levels.

Theoretical Framework

Governments are distinguished by their constitution, and if so, there would be three types of

government namely, Monarchy which is the rule of one, Aristocracy which is the rule of the elite

and Polity which is the rule of many. But each of these three possesses both a good side and a

deviant side. Monarchy can turn to Tyranny, Aristocracy to Monarchy and polity into

Democracy. (Aristotles Politics)

In order to understand the existing framework of government in the Philippines, one should look

back to its origins. The constitution of the Philippines was construed in reference to the

constitution of the United States so, it is only essential that one should first know and understand

the foundation of the United States constitution. Now, to understand how the existing United

States Constitution was construed, one must go back to its most important pioneers and look

deep into their ideologies.

Montesquieu argues that the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of government should

be assigned to different bodies, so that attempts by one branch of government to infringe on

political liberty might be restrained by the other branches (Montesquieu, 1756)


Arguments for checks and balances in an essay oft quoted for its justification of government as

"the greatest of all reflections on human nature."(Madison, the Federalist no.51) The theory of

Montesquieu about the check and balance played an important role in the construction of the

United States framework of government by the federalists, Hamilton, Madison and Jay.

According to Montesquieu, governments cannot function well when there is only one branch

which will control the exercise of all powers. He added that there must be three branches which

will be the executive, legislative, and judicial and each of them given a government function and

a power to intervene with the discourses of each other to preserve common good, thus exercising

the principle of check and balance between those three branches. Madison explained the

importance of the existence of this principle in the Constitution.

The 1935 constitution of the Philippines, drawn up under the terms of the Tydings-

McDuffie Act, which created the Philippine Commonwealth, also served as a basis for an

independent Philippine government from 1946 until 1973 The framers of the Commonwealth

Constitution were not completely free to choose any type of government they wanted, since their

work had to be approved by United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt. They produced a

document strongly modeled on the United States Constitution. In fact, the 1935 constitution

differed from the United States document in only two important respects: Government was

unitary rather than federal, local governments being subject to general supervision by the

president, and the president could declare an emergency and temporarily exercise near-dictatorial

power.(http://www.mongabay.com/history/philippines/philippinesconstitutional_framework.html

#wF5LDYEYes7JXSpO.99)

There is neither one government that is considered as the perfect form nor the best form, but

there are ways to at least avoid the mistakes that the previous forms committed and make at the
very least, create better one. This principle is achieved by combining the positive aspects of

different concepts of government. The American Government framework is a combination of

ideologies and principles adapted from different governments whose primordial purpose is to

create a more sound society, thus the Philippine framework of government which originates from

the United States is also a combination of such ideologies and principles in laws and rules

implemented and followed.

Conceptual Framework

Input Process Output


In

1. Profile of the Assessment of the a. Greater


Respondents in respondents to the influence understanding of the
of the past American
terms of: existing frame work
occupation in the framework
of the Philippine government of Philippine
1. 1 Age
in the context of the ff. Government.
1.2 Gender factors:
b. More knowledge
1.3 Degree Attained a. Features of the about why the
Philippine government Philippine
1.4 Job during the time of government adapted
American occupation. the American
framework.
b. Modification made by
the Philippine
government in the
adaption of the American
framework
Figure 1.1 Conceptual Framework on the assessment on the influence of the past American

occupation on the existing framework of Philippine government.


The framework shows the flow of the study. It begins with the input, followed by the

process applied and the output of the study. Input includes the profile of the respondents. The

process contains ideas for the assessment of the influence of the past American occupation on the

existing framework of the Philippine government. The output contains the better understanding

of the impact in the influence the past American occupation on the existing framework of the

Philippine government.

CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Foreign and Local Related Study and Literature


It is stated in the US Constitution, the legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress which

shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. While in the 1987 Philippine

Constitution, the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall

consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by

the provision on initiative and referendum. The formation of the legislature of the Philippines is

same as that of the US Constitution states. A part of it is also stated in the study of Meinardus et

al. (2003) where like the Philippines, Germany has a bicameral legislature. But unlike here, the

members of the Upper House are not elected on a national level. The Federal Council, as it is

called, is more like the Senate in the United States, representing specific regions, in our case, the

regional governments.

It is also stated in the US Constitution, the executive power shall be vested in a President of the

United States of America. Same goes in the Philippines as stated in its 1987 Constitution. In the

Philippines, the President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines

and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress

lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In United States, the President shall be the commander in

chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states. There

are still similarities in the executive branch of the US and the Philippines as stated above such as

the President being the commander-in-chief of army of the country.

When it comes to the judicial branch of US, the judicial power of the United States shall be

vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time

ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices

during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which

shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. In the Philippines, the judicial power
is also vested in one Supreme Court in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial

power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights

which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a

grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or

instrumentality of the Government. The judicial power of both countries were vested in the

Supreme Court, only may differ when it comes to lower courts.

According to Brittanica Encyclopedia, the training of Filipinos for self-government and ultimate

independence was an essential rationalization for U.S. hegemony in the islands. Policy

differences between the two main political parties in the United States focused on the speed with

which self-government should be extended and the date on which independence should be

granted. While for Agoncillo (1998), Partisan politics was one of those institutions which the

Americans brought to the Philippines. The municipal elections that followed the implantation of

American sovereignty gave the Filipinos the first taste of politics, American-brand. There are

many other influence by the Americans when it comes to politics. Thus many American political

practices finally found a rich soil in the Philippines. But over and above the negative effects of

the imported brand of politics, the Filipinos learned the intricate machinery of government. And

because of the control of the law making body and the Filipinization policy of Harrison led to a

deep political consciousness. The suppressed nationalism of the first decade of American rule

was released and ultimately found expression in the agitation for political independence.

As Abad (2003) stated, other actions done by Filipinos to have its own government is when, by

virtue of the Tydings-McDuffie Law, also called the Philippine Independence Act, a new

constitution was adopted. But still, the 1935 Constitution was patterned after the US system and

created a powerful executive, the presidency, in which executive power was solely vested. The
President served for a fixed term of four years with only one reelection. But this term was later

changed in 1987 Constitution. The semi-parliamentary features of government persisted until

1935, when, by virtue of the Tydings-McDuffie Law, also called the Philippine Independence

Act, a new constitution was adopted. The 1935 Constitution was patterned after the US system

and created a powerful executive, the presidency, in which executive power was solely vested.

The President served for a fixed term of four years with only one reelection.

Burns et al, (1990) as stated in his study, Americans believe that federalism along with the other

structures of government such as separation of powers, checks and balances that divide the

government power into various pockets to constrain government officials is more important to

preserving the liberty and protecting the rights than in the bill of rights. The theory about the

check and balances in the government can be dated to Montesquieus theory about the check and

balance played an important role in the construction of the United States framework of

government by the federalists, Hamilton, Madison and Jay. According to Montesquieu,

governments cannot function well when there is only one branch which will control the exercise

of all powers. From it, the framework where the government has the check and balances is also

applied here in the Philippine government.

Synthesis

The similarity of the study with those of the related literatures found above explains the origins

of the bases of the framework of American government which brought influence in the existing

framework of government in the period of their occupation.


Principles such as the bill of rights, liberty and the check and balance of government branches

which acted as the foundation of the framework of the United States government were well

known in the world of politics.

The theories presented by Montesquieu on his Spirit of Laws about the principle of checks and

balances acted an essential part in the creation of the Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison

and Jay.

The Philippine framework of government is considered to be closely similar in principal

concepts and structure to the framework of United State Government. Therefore, to have a

vantage point of how American occupation influenced the existing framework of government in

the Philippines, one must look back to the founding bases of the latter.
Chapter III

METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH

This chapter specifically presents the research design, sources of data, research instruments used

and the process for the analysis of such instruments and documents.

Research Design

This study made use of the descriptive type of research method. This method is well suited for

the collection of data needed for the study; this kind of technique will help the researchers gather

the most probable data that will be gather from the respondents by way of interview. This

research will aim to determine the influence of the past American occupation on the existing

framework of the Philippine government.

Respondents of the Study

The respondents of the study are the historians and professors of political science in selected

along the university belt.

The researchers selected the historians and professors of political science because the researchers

believe that they are all intellectual and very well informed about the topic of this study. Thus the

information gathered from respondents can be considered credible and reliable.


Research Locale

The researchers will conduct the study on the Schools along the University belt located at Claro

M. Recto Avenue, Manila. The researchers decided conducted the research in the University belt

for the reason its efficiency and time advantage of the researchers.

Instrumentation

The researchers will interview a professor and a historian coming from selected schools along

the University belt. We will present them a prepared set of questions during the said interview.

Data Gathering Procedure

The data will be gathered through steps and procedure that are efficient enough for the

researchers. Time adjustments were also made, taking into consideration the availability the

respondents so that the procedure may not be a distraction to their schedules.

First the researchers requested the approval of the schools, particularly in the department of the

political science and history, in conducting the research. After being granted, the researchers

started the interview.