In the desire of the Filipinos to achieve independence, they decided to call a convention in order to establish a Philippine Congress who are constituted by elected representatives of all the provinces of the Philippines. On September 15, 1898, the “Malolos Congress” was inaugurated. The newly established congress had a total of 85 representatives whom have a high educational status and belongs to the rich families. They all convene in the Barasoin Church in Malolos, Bulacan. The representative includes lawyers, writers, engineers, merchants, businessman, doctors, pharmacists, and rich farmers.
The elected president of the Malolos Congress was Dr. Pedro Paterno; BenitoLegarda as vice-president; Gregorio Araneta and Pablo Ocampo as secretary. One September 29,1898, the Malolos Congress approved and agreed to the independence that was proclaimed by Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
The Malolos Congress had made many important laws. Some of the major laws are as follows:
- Concurred the Philippine Independence proclaimed in Kawit, Cavite
- Prepare the Malolos Constitution
- Allowed the borrowing of PhP 20 million pesos for the government
- Establish the Literary University of the Philippines
The Malolos Constitution
The most important task that was made by the Malolos Congress is the preparation of the first Philippine constitution. The drafting and preparation of the constitution was headed by Felipe Calderon along with the members of the Malolos Congress.
The Philippine constitution established in Malolos constitutes having a democratic government. The Malolos Constitution is considered as the first democratic constitution made in the whole of Asia.The constitution established a free Republic. The first Republic of the Philippines was inaugurated on January 23, 1899 and General Emilio Aguinaldo was proclaimed as the first president of the Philippines.
The newly established Republic of the Philippines comprises of three branches: the executive, legislative, and judiciary. The three branches has its own separate powers. The newly formed government’s powers was also separated from the church. The rights of the Filipino people and the duties and responsibilities of the government officials were also written in the constitution.
Every Filipino citizen were given a freedom to choose his own religion. The power to make and ratify new laws was given to the Philippine Assembly to which all of its representative were elected by the Filipino people. The president acts as the implementer along with his seven secretaries. The seven secretaries were appointed by the president and they will be responsible to the Congress.
Author’s note: Another compiling story and history of my motherland and its citizens.