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Chapter III



Government refers to the agency of the state through which its will is formulated,
expressed, and implemented. A state is, of course, more permanent than a
government. Since the declarations of our statehood in 1898, the Philippines have
already five republican systems of government, and one dictatorship

The Government in a state without a constitution is a government of men and of

laws or, simply stated, a government by the Rule of Force or Might Is
Right. The basis of political relationship between rulers and the people in such a
setting is fear impose their power through the use of fire and intimidation that
coerce the people into submission. Thus, it is but natural that inly through a
superior force could the rules of such government be replaced.

Modern democratic societies are governed by the Rule of Law. They have
adopted constitution that reign supreme in their polities and these were accepted
and obeyed by both political leaders and the people. The political relationship in
such constitutional governments is based not on the use of forces but on reason
and truth, morality, and consent.



1. Monarchy is one in which supreme power or sovereignty is vested in the ruler

or monarch. Monarchy is classified into two. Absolute monarchy where the ruler
rules by divine right; his words are considered as laws. Absolutism was the
practice of almost all nation states in Europe from the middle Ages to the 18th.
Limited Constitutional Monarchy is where the powers of the ruler are limited
by the constitution. In contemporary times. The United Kingdom of Great Britain,
Thailand and Japan have constitutional monarchy as their form of government

2. Aristocracy is that in which supreme power or authority is vested in a few

privileged class or group, whose righto power is based from ancient Greek city-
state of Sparta was ruled by Aristocrats. Before the assassination of Julius
Caesar and the establishment of the Roman aristocrats. Today, the government of
Myanmar (Burma) is considered as a military aristocracy.
3. Democracy is one in which supreme power is vested in the people. It is
classified into: direct democracy is where people directly govern themselves and
indirect democracy is where people elect representatives to act in their behalf.
It is therefore a mistake to state that the opposite of democracy is
communism. For propaganda purposes, this was the practice during the height of
the Cold War to distinguish the free and capitalist countries led by the United
States from the Iron Curtain countries (eastern European socialist states) led by
the erstwhile Soviet Union. Today, the socialist republics, of course, will never
accept that their states are not democratic and republican; they even argue that
their governments are more democratic and egalitarian than others. Communism
(classes society), according to Karl Marx is the next stage after socialism and is just
a utopia concept. So far, no state yet in history had ever achieved the Marxist
communist stage (when the state withers away).


1. Presidential System The main characteristics of the presidential

form of government are:

A. The president is both political and nominal head state.

B. The president is not part of legislature, and he cannot be removed from
office by the legislature except through impeachment,
C. The president is elected at large by the people with a fixed term of office.
The United States, Indonesia, and the Philippines practice the presidential
system of government. However, there are states which have presidents who are
just nominal or titular heads of state but do not exercise real executive powers.

Advantages of the Presidential system

A. The principle of the separation of powers and the system check and balances
among the three branches of government prevent concentration of powers in
anyone of them.
B. The people directly elect their top national leader (the president at large with
a fixed term of office and can be removed only impeachment.

Disadvantages of a Presidential System

A. In a country where more than half of the population is poorly educated and
misinformed about public issues, many people may vote out of personal
reasons and base their not on issues and qualifications of candidates. A
popularly elected president, therefore does not guarantee effective and good
governance. In the Philippine presidential system, is seems that PhD
professors of Politics and Governance may no longer have a chance against a
movie superstar in any election for national leadership assuming that the
latter had built-in edge in popularity through constant media exposure.
B. For tactical reasons, all legislature dominated by the opposition can hinder or
delay the passage of government-sponsored bills for the purpose of
discrediting a weak president and improve their chance capturing the
presidency in the next elections. Thus, unless the president could muster the
required majority pro-administration allies in Congress, continuous political
maneuverings, bickering, and horse-trading are expected among the

2. Parliamentary System. The characteristics of parliamentary form

of government are as follows:

A. There is a nominal or titular head of state (a monarch President) whose

functions are mainly formal and ceremonial. The Chief Executive of
government (Prime Minister, Premier, Chancellor, etc.) with the Cabinet is
part of the legislature, and is selected by the legislature, and can be
removed by the legislature if the legislature withdraws its vote of confidence
or support.
B. The Chief Executive and the Cabinet usually come from the dominant
political party and coalitions in the legislature. Almost all states in Europe are
parliamentary governments. India, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia,
Singapore, and Israel have parliamentary systems of government.

Advantages of the Parliamentary System

1. Unity of authority and direction and unity of responsibility The
benefit of the merging of the executive and legislative branches will make
possible their coordinated program of legislation and administration. This set
up will enable the government in power to expedite fast passage of laws and
smooth governance.
2. It cuts costs and redundancy in lawmaking A parliamentary system
does not only cut tie but also the cost and redundancy in the legislation
process especially it is applied in a unicameral (one-chamber) legislature. At
present, in the bicameral (two Houses) Philippine Congress, bills that are
passed by the Lower House (House of Representatives) must have to be
approved by the Upper House (Senate).

Disadvantages of the Parliamentary System

1. Political inertia and despotism On the other hand, the parliamentary
system may lead to political inertia and even despotism in government,
especially when there is no more effective and vigorous opposition to guard
the ruling party. Failure of the opposite parties to achieve their roles as
fiscalizers (they are supposed also to act oligarchic one-party system and
authoritarianism, which happened to Singapore in recent two years during
the time of Lee Quan Yew.
2. Corruption in government The parliamentary system needs a citizenry
with a higher degree of political culture in order to succeed in a given polity.
In a society where a culture of corruption is endemic, and given the tayo-
tayo (what are we in power for?) mentality of a ruling party, it might
perpetuate the monopoly of power in the hand of few politicians whose
vested self-interests are their primary motivations of public service.
In a parliamentary system, pluralism must be encouraged and practiced.
Political parties must carry with them issue-oriented platforms of government
to differentiate them from the others. However, in the Philippines all the
traditional political parties have similar platforms. Only a handful carries
issue-oriented political objectives.

C. UNITARY AND FEDERAL-(As to the Distribution of Powers)

The unitary or centralized form of government is one where political

powers, functions, and responsibilities are being exercised by the national or
central government, while a federal system had defined powers, functions and
responsibilities which are distinct and separate from those of the member
states. Federal laws are enforced ail over the territory of the federal state, while
the laws of member states are enforced only within their respective territorial
jurisdiction. The Peoples Republic of China and the Philippines are examples of
centralized systems of government The United States and Malaysia have the
federal form of government.



1. De Jure is the rightful, lawful, and legitimate government that is

established in accordance with the Constitution. It is legally entitled to
recognition and administration of the state, but usually displaced or
removed from power or control The Philippine Commonwealth
government - in - exile in the US under President Manuel L. Quezon during
World War II is a good example.

2. De facto government is not established in accordance with the

constitution but which nevertheless exercises control and administration
of the state by reason of superior force brought by revolutions, invasions,
annexations, insurgence, etc., supplanting the De jure government. The
governments of President Corazon Aquino and Gloria Arroyo started as de
facto administration before they were subsequently legitimized by legal
processes and recognized by other states.


A. Military government is one where political power is directly exercised
and wielded by military leaders. It is usually established over occupied territories
by a belligerent country in times of war. The Americans first established a military
government in the Philippines during the Filipino-American War. The Japanese also
set up a military government during their initial occupation of the country in World
War II.
B. Dictatorial government is one where one person wields vast political
powers with the military and political party performing a supporting role. From
1972 to 1981, the country was under the dictatorship of President Ferdinand
Marcos, who simply described such dictatorial administration as just


Martial law is the law that has application when the armed forces (military
and police) are called upon by the president to help the government execute its
vital functions in a state of lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. Unlike in a
military government where supreme powers are vested in the top military
commanders, Martial law, however, does not supersede civilian authority, and
there are constitutional restrictions on its imposition.


A strong government must, therefore, endeavor to achieve the following
functions as suggested by Robert MacIver and Charles Page (1949):

1. Functions peculiar to the state:

a. Maintenance of order
b. Attainment of justice
c. Protection of a system of property rights
d. Formation of administrative and foreign policies

2. Functions for which the state is well - adapted

a. Conservation of natural resources
b. Control of monopoly
c. The maintenance of public services such as parks, playgrounds, schools and
d. Preservation of health

3. Functions for which the state is ill adapted

In general they are functions, which do not serve the need of the community
such as religion and literary and artistic production and evaluation.

4. Functions which the state is incapable of performing:

a. Control of peoples opinion
b. Regulation of morality
When any Philippine government administration religiously exercises its political
will to achieve what is embodied in the Preamble of the 1987 Constitution, then
that act is truly a step toward the establishment of a strong republic.


1. Common Good - Hutchins (1974) defines politics as the science of the
Common Good. Ferkiss (1974) defines common good to consist in the fulfilment
of the collective needs of the human species, including global society (humanity
as a whole). It is made up of interests which all human beings share and share
equally, the fulfillment of which is not competitive but a communal process
since the fulfillment of the needs of one individual in this context does not
conflict with the fulfillment of the needs of another and may depend on it.
The common good consists of those properties of the total social system
which must be maintained if the system is to function, survive, and develop, and if
the individual interests as such or any member of the system are to be served.
2. Public Interests - Lippmann (1955) defines public interest as what people
would choose if they saw clearly, thought rationally; acted disinterestedly, and
benevolently. All citizens' interests, therefore, are necessarily subordinate to the
achievement of public interests, since the citizens can only survive and develop
if the state survives or develops.

3. Justice - The Roman law refers it to the phrase Render to each his due Marx
defines it by the slogan From each according to his abilities and to each
according to his needs." Adler (1963) also states that justice treats equals
equally and unequals unequally in proportion to their inequality
Without justice, who will punish wrongdoers and criminal offenders? Without it,
who will prevent exploitation of the weak from the powerful? Who will stop
discrimination or oppression?

In his Ethics, Aristotle classified justice into commutative and

distributive justice. Commutative justice from the Latin word commutatio or
exchange deals with relationships between individuals. For example
commutative justice in a sense is served if employers give fair and living wages
to their workers, and not depriving them of what they ought to deserve.
Distributive justice refers to the obligations of society, particularly the State,
to share out the peoples benefits and offices according to merit, and tasks
according to capabilities. For example, when nepotism is practiced by top
government officials in the appointments of subordinates, it is a violation of
distributive justice.

4. Political Will - is the determination of the government to relate to what is

perceived as beneficial to public interests and acts to implement its decisions
on such in order to achieve a better future for its citizens. Political will exists
primarily in the political leadership of government but is usually influenced and
encouraged by public opinion.




The concept of equality has confronted many of the best thinkers of the
past several centuries: from Locke and Rousseau to the eminent social critic
Aldous Huxley. Man is by nature free, equal and independent," insists Locke.
Jose Rizal re-asserted that concept when he also declared: man is born equal,
free, naked, and without chains, Is equality, therefore, a natural attribute,
inborn in all human beings? Or is it a myth created by men for some purpose in
a specific piece and time? Harold Laski (1958) claims that equality is one of
the permanent passions of mankind and its achievement will lead to the
natural expansion of the human spirit. Rossiter (1962), however, holds the
opposite view that men are grossly unequal...in most qualities of mind, body
and spirit. Aldous Huxley (1955) also insists that equality is a concept invented
by man to mask, and justify his natural self-interest. Now, is the concept of
equality attainable as a politically correct concerns?

Political equality means the equal right of every citizen to participate in the
political process and to be treated equally by it. It includes equal protection of
the laws of the state the right to vote and to hold office. Economic equality,
however, seems a quixotic function in Third World capitalistic States like ours as
its standard definition by itself says it.
Economic equality is obtained when every citizen has approximately the same
amount of material goods. In the Philippines where two thirds of the people are
poor and ill-educated, can politics attain the conditions that would obtain
economic equality for the citizenry? Ironically, this has been the objective of
every government administration since Philippine independence in 1946.

Today, the Philippines lags behind her Asian neighbors in economic

development, despite the fact that she was politically tutored, developed, and
prepared during her colonization by American democratic principles (actually
before American tutelage, the Philippines had already produced the first
republic in Asia-a consequence also or the its first national democratic
revolution of 1896 in the Asia-Pacific region.)



The Congress shall give priority to the enactment of measures that

protect and enhance the right of all people to human dignity, reduce social,
economic inequalities, remove cultural inequalities by equitably
diffusing wealth and political power for the common good, (Section 1;
Article 13)


More than the concept of liberty, freedom means the absence of

constraints According to John Stuart Mill in his work On Liberty, freedom is
achieved Only when individuals are free to explore or profound any idea they
wish can there be hope of discovering the truth...for only in the struggle against
error can truth emerge." Political freedom, therefore means the freedom to
disagree without fear of punishment. Economic freedom is the freedom to
acquire and dispose one's wealth without restraint or hindrance. These
freedoms however, are not absolute and their extent and protection vary from
one state to another depending upon the political and economic systems.


Order is defined as the condition of state and stability, in which

everything is functioning properly. The maintenance of peace and order in a
polity is an ever-imperative governmental function because its breakdown leads
to chaotic conditions. From which render governance almost impossible. Internal
disorders brought by unresolved problems of insurgency, whether ideological,
religious or ethnic in nature, surely impede social and economic development.
Anarchy or the state of lawlessness, the widespread incidences of crime, the
continuous disturbance of peace and order, in many historical instances, had
always threatened the very existence of the state.


One popular definition of politics is that It is the science of the Common

Good. The ultimate objective of politics and governance, therefore, is the
attainment of satisfactory quality of life for every citizen. The pursuit of
happiness, an inalienable right of every citizen should be the consequence of
correct politics and effective governance. It is further note that the quality of
life of citizens depends upon the quality of politics in a country. US President
John Adams correctly stated that the test of government was how much of a
contribution it made to the material prosperity of its citizens, and that the
government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word,
happiness to the greatest number of persons in the greatest degree is the


The political unit was the barangay, which was composed of 30 to 100
families. The term barangay was derived from the Malay word balangay"
meaning boat, which the early Malay settlers used in coming to the Philippines.
The barangay was a monarchy ruled by a Chieftain called Datu, Hari or Rajah (in
Muslim communities). Each barangay was independent and was considered
village state for having the elements of statehood.
The Chieftain had great powers. He was chief executive and chief judge of
the barangay. As a lawmaker, he got counsel and advice from village elders. In
time of war, he was the Supreme Commander of the barangay forces.
The barangay, although monarchial in form, was a consultative
government The Datu consulted with the village elders on matters like political
alliance with other barangays, or the declaration of war with an enemy. The Datu
could not make judicial decisions without the approval of the elders on certain
Baranganic Relations
The Barangays carry on trade and commerce among themselves. They
concluded treaty of friendship and alliance with each other through the ritual the
sanduguan (blood compact).
Some barangay confederations were formed through the marriage of a noble
of one barangay with a princess of another barangay. Barangays also merged for
protection against enemies.
Baranganic wars were caused by, among others: maltreatment or murder of
a member of one barangay by another, and rape or abduction of the wives and

Pre - Spanish Laws

The ancient Filipinos had written and customary (oral) laws. The oral laws
were tribal customs and traditions handed down from generation to generation.
The Chieftains upon consultation with the community elders promulgated the
customary laws. The Maragtas Code was one of the earliest examples of the
written laws.
The proposed law from the datu and approved by the elders would be
announced to the barangay inhabitants by a crier, called the omalohocan to put it
immediately in effect.


The colony was administered by the Council of the Indies; the body that
was created to help the Spanish monarch in administering overseas colonies. In
1821, the year Mexico was separated from Spain, the Philippines was directly
administered from Spain. In 1863, another body was created: the Ministry of the
Colonies (Ministerio Del Ultramar), which was assisted by the Council of the

Laws Applied to the Philippines

The laws governing the Spanish colonies like Mexico and Latin America were
compiled and published into a code called Leyes de Indias (Laws of the Indies).
These laws were also applied to the Philippines. Other Spanish laws that were
enforced in the Philippines were the Leyes de Taro, Siete Partidas, and La
Novisema Recopilacion.

The Central Government

The Spanish authorities, guided by their experience in Central and South
America, organized a centralized system of government in the Philippines. The
Governor or Captain-General who was appointed, by the King of Spain headed the
Central Government. The Governor-General exercised vast powers. He was the
King's official representative in the colony. As Chief Executive, he appointed and
dismissed minor government officials. Together with the Royal Aundencia
(Supreme Court), he issued executive orders with the force of law. As Vice Royal
Patron, he had the right to nominate priests to ecclesiastical position. He was the
ex-officio President of Royal Audiencia. And as Captain-General, he was the
Commander in Chief of colonial armed forces. Truly, the Governor-General held
tremendous powers that he was the little king in the colony. The king bestowed
to the Governor-General the Cumplase, his right as Governor to suspend the
operation of the royal decree if in his opinion said decree would not benefit the

The Judicial System

The Royal Audiencia was created in 1954. It served as the Supreme Court or
Court of Last Appeal for civil and criminal cases Executive and legislative functions
were also performed by the Audiencia. Laws that were enacted upon agreement
between the members of the Royal Audiencia and Governor-General were called
Actos Acordados. In cases of vacancy of the position of Governor-General due to
death or incapacity, the Audiencia acted as Governor- General. Six (6) times the
Royal Audiencia acted as Governor-General (1600-1608, 1616-1618, 1632-1633,
1677-1679, 1689-1690 and 1715-1717). As Auditor-General, the Royal Audiencia
audited the expenditures of the colonial government.

The Provincial and Municipal Governments

Those provinces that were pacified and were already recognizing Spanish
rule were called Alcadias. The provincial governor was called the Alcalde Mayor.
He was appointed by the Governor-General. He exercised executive and judicial
powers. He received low salary but because of the Indulto de Comercio, the
privilege of the provincial Governor to engage in trade, his office became lucrative.
The unpacified regions were called Corregimientos, headed by a Corregidor,
usually a military officer.
Under the provincial government was the Municipal government. The town
or pueblo was composed of barrios (villages) and was headed by a
Gobernadorcillo (little governor). The gobernadorcilio was addressed as Capitan
and his wife, Capitana. The Capitan was elected by 13 electors (six of the electors
were Cabezas de Barangay, and the other six were incumbent. Cabezas de
Barangay). The 13th elector was the outgoing Capitan.
Every town was divided into barrios (barangay), each under a cabeza de
Barangay who did not receive any salary. But the Cabeza was given part of the
taxes collected in his barangay He was considered as a member of the principalia
(aristocratic class).

FRAILOCRACY (Quasi-Theocratic Colonial Government)

The doctrine of the union of Church and State that was practiced by almost
all absolute monarchial states during those times, spawned in the Colony an
invisible government called frailocracia; meaning rule of the friars. The friar-
curates became very influential and so powerful that the Spanish civil authorities,
including the Governor General feared them. The reason for this was that because
of the political instability in the Mother country, the colonial administration in the
Philippines kept on changing the civil officials. From 1849 to 1898, forty-five
Governor General had been assigned to the colony and each one of them sought
the counsel of the friars who had been permanently residing in the country.
Moreover, these Governors Generals, mostly military officers, were perceived in
Manila as no longer the representatives of a secure and stable monarchy and were
viewed as the partisans of Madrid politicians. This enabled the friars to develop
more their power and influence over colonial affairs. Since the friars were found in
each town, they gradually became the ruler of that political unit; the friar became
the supervisor of local elections; the administrator of schools, chairman of the
board of taxation, of health, of charity; was responsible through the parish registrar
for census taking, and for certifying the personal identification card The friars
influence extended into so many areas and became a dominant force in the
colonial administration during the last four decades of the 19th century.

A. Dictatorial Government
When Aguinaldo arrived at Cavite in 1898 to resume 'the Revolution, he had
first with him a draft of a constitution prepared by Mariano Ponce for the creation
of a Revolutionary Government. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, his adviser, however,
persuaded him that the country was not yet prepared for a Revolutionary
Government, and because of the critical conditions brought by the war, a
Dictatorial Government was needed. On May 24, 1898 through a decree, Aguinaldo
established a Dictatorial Government. The decree also nullified all orders issued
under the Biak Na Bato Republic and that the Dictatorial Government was only
temporary in nature and was to last until peace and liberty be attained. One of
the first official acts of the Dictatorial Government was Aguinaldo's Circular on May
29, 1898, urging the humane treatment of Spanish prisoners of war. The Dictator
also ordered that all crimes must be prosecuted by military courts. The most
important achievement of the Dictatorial Government was the declaration of
Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 at Kawit (Cavite el Viejo).

B. The Revolutionary Government

Exactly ten days after the declaration of Philippine Independence, Aguinaldo,
upon the advice of Apolinario Mabini, decreed the change of the Dictatorial
Government to the Revolutionary Government. The decree changed Aguinaldos
title of Dictator to President of the Revolutionary Government. Aguinaldo defined
that the principal aim of the Revolutionary Government was for the ultimate
recognition by all nations of Philippine Independence and that a true Republic may
be established.
The Revolutionary Government created four departments: The Department
of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Finance, the Department of Interior and the
Department of Justice. Aguinaldo appointed the department Secretaries and their
respective personnel. On July 15, 1898, the first Cabinet of the Revolutionary
Government was composed the following: Baldomero Aguinaldo, Secretary of War;
Mariano Tries, Secretary .of Finance; Leandra Ibarra, Secretary of Interior. Later,
Apolinario Mabini joined Aguinaldos cabinet as Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
A Decree of June 18, 1898 of the Dictatorial Government provided for the
reorganization of the local government in the provinces already liberated from'
Spanish control. The same decree provided for the election of representatives from
each province who would constitute a Republican Congress. Aguinaldos decree of
June 23 (now under the Revolutionary Government) restated the need for 3
Revolutionary Congress. The Malolos Congress On September 15, 1898, the
Malolos Congress was inaugurated at Barasaoin Church, Malolos, and Bulacan.
Aguinaldo in his message extolled the people's patriotism and informed the
delegates for their historical task in writing a constitution. Majority of the delegates
of the Malolos Congress belonged to the educated class-lawyers, physician,
businessman, engineers, teachers, writers and military officers.
The Congress elected by majority votes its officials: Pedro Paterno,
President; Benito Legarda, Vice President; Gregorio Araneta, First Secretary; Pablo
Ocampo, Second Secretary. Among the significant achievements of the Malolos
Congress were:
1. The ratification of Philippine Independence.
2. The promulgation of the Malolos Constitution that ushered the birth of
the first Philippine Republic.

The Malolos Constitution

Felipe Calderon headed a committee composed of nineteen members to
draft a constitution. Three constitutional plans (Mabini, Paterno, and the Calderon
Plans) were submitted to the committee for study and deliberations. The Calderon-
chaired committee chose the Calderon plan as the best and. submitted it to
Congress for approval. President Aguinaldo at first, upon the advice of Mabini, was
reluctant to approve the Calderon-drafted constitution but bowing to the will of
majority in Congress; he finally approved the constitution on January. 21, 1899. The
Malolos Constitution thus became the organic law of the Philippines.
The Malolos Constitution provided for a democratic state with a
government that was popular, representative and responsible". It also
provided for an executive, legislative, and judicial department each distinct from
each other. The legislative branch, however, was superior to either the executive
and judicial branches. This was due to the creation of Permanent Legislative
Commission to continue enacting laws even when Congress was in recess. The
legislative branch also elected the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court with the
concurrence of the President and the cabinet an evidence of obvious superiority of
the legislature over the two branches. The Constitution also provided for a Bill of
Rights for both Filipinos and aliens and instituted safeguard against abuses of
these rights. On July 23, 1899 the first Republic of Asia was inaugurated in festive
ceremonies at Barasaoin Church, Malolos. Aguinaldo took his oath of the office as
President of the Republic.


A. Military Government
Soon after the defeat Of the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay, General
Wesley Meritt, the Commander of the American forces issued a proclamation
addressed to the Filipino people announcing the military occupation of Manila. 0n
August 14, 1898, the day after the capture of Manila, the American military rule in
the Philippines begun with General Meritt as the First Military Governor. After
serving less than a month, he was succeeded on August 29, 1898 by General
Elwell S. Otis (1898-1900), who, in turn was succeeded on May 5, 1900 by General
Arthur McArthur (1900-1901), the last Military Governor. The military rule lasted
only three years from 1898 to 1901

B. Civil Government
Congress passed the Spooner Amendment, a rider" to the Us Army
appropriations bill, which gave the President of the United States full power in
administering the Philippines and signaled the replacement of the military
government in the colony by a civil regime. The Civil-Government was inaugurated
in 1901 before the formal end of the Filipino-American War. William H. Taft was
appointed as Civil Governor. During the first decade of the 20th century, the
country had five American Civil Governors. They were William Howard Taft, Luke E.
Wright, Henry Clay Ide, James Francis Smith, and William Cameron Forbes.

Tydings-Mcduffie Law
Entitled An Act to Provide for the Completed Independence of the
Philippine Islands, to Provide for the Adoption of a Constitution and a
Form Of Government for the Philippine Islands", the Tydings-McDuffie Law
provided a Philippine Commonwealth to govern the country for a transition period
of 10 years, after which the US would grant independence to the Philippines on July
4, 1946
The Law required a Philippine Constitution to establish a republican system
of government, to contain a Bill of Rights, and to be ratified by the Filipino people.
The Constitution had to be approved by the US President.
The Law also provided that the US would have direct supervision and control
of the Foreign affairs of the Commonwealth; that Filipino immigration to the US
would be restricted, but there would be no limit to the number of Americans who
might like to immigrate to the country; that Americans would have the same civil
rights as those of Filipino citizens; that a partial free trade system be set between
the Philippines, in which Philippine products within specified quota could enter the
US free Of duty during the first five years of the Commonwealth. After that
Philippine goods pay tariffs and other duties on a graduated scale. US products,
however, would be allowed to enter the country free of duty and in unlimited
quantities. The law maintained US military bases in the Philippines. It also provided
that enactments passed by the Philippine Legislature involving foreign trade,
currency, and immigration would have to be approved by the American President.
Lastly, the law provided that a High Commissioner would represent 'the United
States in the Philippines.
The Tydings-McDuffie Law authorized the Philippine Legislature to call a
constitutional convention to draft the Constitution of the Philippines. Accordingly,
on July 10 1934, (the date of election earlier proclaimed by Governor Frank
Murphy), the Filipinos elected 202 delegates (120 Antis, 60 Pros and 22
independents) to the constitutional convention. Claro M. Recto became the
President of the constitutional convention. The finished the constitutional draft was
influenced by the US, Biak-na-bato, and Malolos Constitutions, McKinley
Instructions, the Philippine Bill of 1902, the Jones Law, and the Tydings-McDuffie
Law. The Philippine Constitution was approved by President F.D. Roosevelt on
March 23, 1935.


A. Japanese Military Government
A day after the bloodless fall of Manila, the Japanese began to establish
military authority in areas they had already occupied. On Jan. 3, 1942, Lt. Gen.
Masaharu Homma, the commander of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the
Philippines, issued a proclamation declaring the U S. sovereignty over the
Philippines had "completely disappeared." Homma declared martial law under a
Japanese Military Administration.
The Japanese authorities invited prominent Filipino leaders to form a new
government of the Philippines, but under the supervision and control of Japanese
military High Command. On Jan 23, 1942, the Executive Commission was created
by the Japanese military authorities. It was composed of Jorge Vargas as Chairman
and six commissioners - Benigno Aquino Sr. (Interior), Antonio de Las Alas
(Finance), Rafael Alunan (Agriculture and Commerce) Jose P. Laurel (Justice), Claro.
M. Recto (Education, Health, and Public Welfare), and Quintin Paredes (Public Works
and Communications, Former National Assembly Speaker Jose Yulo was designated
as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Japanese advisers were assigned into) each
departments of the Executive Commission.
The Japanese authorities also reorganized the local governments. The
provincial boards, city and municipal councils were transformed into advisory
bodies to the provincial governors and city and municipal mayors who assumed
executive and legislative powers. Several cities and provinces were abolished.
Manila was expanded to include the neighboring towns and renamed City of
Greater Manila.
During the early days of Japanese occupation of the Philippines, General
Homma listed 17 acts punishable by death and other severe punishments under
martial law. These, included rebellion, espionage, causing damage on roads,
waterways and communications, stealing arms and ammunitions, murder, robbery,
arson, counterfeiting, and aiding a person who had violated martial law.

B. Japanese sponsored Constitution and Second Philippine Republic

To facilitate their efforts to rally the Filipinos to their side and sway them
against the Americans, the Japanese promised independence to the Philippines.
The promise was first made by Japanese Premier Hideki Tojo who, in a speech
before the Diet, Japans parliament, on Jan. 21, 1942. To prepare the groundwork
for Philippine independence, the Japanese authorities ordered the creation of the
Preparatory Commission for Philippine Independence. This commission was headed
by Jose P. Laurel with Ramon Avancena and Benigno Aquino as first and second
vice chairmen, respectively. It was given the task of framing a constitution for an
independent Philippine Republic. The constitution was drafted and signed by
members of the commission on Sept. 4, 1943. It was ratified three days later by
the members of the Kalibapi (Kapisanan sa paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas).
The 1943 Japanese sponsored Constitution established a Republic of the
Philippines with three branches of government. The executive power was vested in
the President of the Philippines. The unicameral National Assembly exercised
legislative powers. The judicial power was vested in a Supreme Court and other
inferior courts. The KALIBAPI chapters in the provinces and cities chose the 54
delegates-one for each of the 46 provinces and eight chartered cities to the
National Assembly. On September 25, 1943, the National Assembly unanimously
chose Benigno Aquino Sr. as Speaker and Jose P. Laurel as President of the republic.
Elisa Ochoa, from Agusan, was the lone woman member of the Assembly.
On Oct. 14, 1943, for the second time, the independence of the
Philippines was declared and a Philippine Republic was formally inaugurated. On
the day of the inauguration of the Republic, the Japanese Military Administration
was abolished. However, in the provinces where there were Japanese garrisons, the
Japanese still controlled and governed the people.
The puppet Republic, was also ignored by most countries. Only Japan,
her Axis allies (Italy and Germany), fascist 8 Spain and a handful of Axis satellite
states, recognized the Philippines. Of course, the Allied Powers and the states at
war with the Axis did not recognize the new Republic. They continued to recognize
the government-in-exile of President Quezon. The republic, however, did not mean
much to the majority of the Filipinos, especially to the guerilla fighters who
continued with their underground resistance. Many remained loyal to Quezon and
to the Commonwealth as their dejure government. They knew that the new
Republic, like the German- controlled Vichy government of France, was merely a
puppet government, still manipulated by Japan.


After the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese control in 1944, The
Americans restored the Commonwealth government in the Philippines with Sergio
Osmena as the President (Quezon died while in exile in the US). As provided earlier
by the Tydings-McDuffie Law, the Americans granted Philippine Independence on
July 4, 1946. Thus, the Third Republic which adopted the 1935 constitution was
born. Five presidents (Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal and Marcos)
had administered the government of the Republic. However, in 1972, President
Marcos declared martial law and established a dictatorial government, Pressured
by the international community Marcos eventually lifted martial law in 1981
restoring the republican system (4th republic). Marcos, the lone president of the
5th republic was overthrown by the people power revolt (Edsa 1) in 1987 which
ushered a 5th republic with Corazon Aquino as the first president (After Aquino,
Ramos and Estrada became presidents; Macapagal Arroyo is the incumbent
president). Henceforth, the 1987 Philippine Constitution which was drafted by
President Aquinos appointed constitutional commission became the fundamental
law of the Philippines to the present.


The Republic of the Philippines is a constitutional democracy. It is also
an indirect or representative democracy, that is, the sovereign people elect their
government officials to represent and serve them. However, in an indirect
democracy, one flaw is that in a country like ours where poverty and ignorance
abound, the lower classes are always represented by upper class leaders who
are more inclined to work for their class interests.
The ideal objective of politics and governance is the attainment of a
Strong State, or the maintenance of it, if it was already achieved. A republic is a
Strong State when it has achieved political will in safeguarding its independence
in foreign policy, in maintaining peace and order, in attaining-equal protection of
the laws for its citizens, and providing the best standards of living for the majority
of the people. "Nobody is above the law" is the constant credo in a strong republic.
The opposite of this condition is the Soft State where political and social
instability and economic crisis are common problems of governance. In the 19th
century and the first half of the 20th century, soft states where in common in Latin
America. These states were also called banana republics" due to their
vulnerability to external and internal threats, which often were constantly the
causes of their overthrow and replacement by a new one.
The Strong State, however, should not be equated with a totalitarian,
dictatorial or authoritarian government. A strongman or dictator should not be
equated to an effective leader of a strong state neither could the latter be equated
to the generalissimo or supreme leader of a police state: The fundamental
freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are still enforced and respected in
strong states.
Manifestation of republicanism and democracy in the 1987
1. The principle that our government is government of laws and not of men
2. The observance of the rule of the majority
3. The existence of the Bill of Rights
4. The right of suffrage.
5. Observance of the principle of separation of powers and the mechanism of
checks and balances among the branches of government.
6. The accountability of public officers.
7. The separation of Church and State.
8. Respect for human rights, social justice and human dignity.
9. Civilian authority is supreme over military at all times.
10. Full disclosure by the state of all its transactions involving public
11. Right of the people to revolt against an unjust government.


Like the United States government, the Philippine government is also a

presidential system since 1946 (there was, however, a change to presidential-
parliamentary system during Martial law administration of President Marcos).
There is new a long-standing debate among members of Congress on the pros and
cons of the presidential system.

In a presidential system, the principle of the separation of powers among

the executive, legislative, and the judicial branches is practiced. Under this
principle, a department must not encroach upon the powers of the other two
branches as set by the Constitution. This doctrine prevents the accumulation of
powers in one person or branch of government, which is characteristic of
dictatorial or despotic government. Along with the principle of separation of
powers, is a system of check and balance, which is also observed by the three
departments of government. Each branch is given by the Constitution specific
powers with which to check the others.

Unlike the US, the Philippines by tradition and practice (since Spanish
times) opted for a unitary or centralized system of government. In a centralized or
unitary system all powers of government are reserved to the central government
but may be delegated to the local governments. The advantages of a centralized
government are: the provision of uniform laws and policies, equal representation
and allocation of government funds, clearer lines authority, and prevents the
development of independent centers of power. A federal system, on the other
hand, can free the national government to deal effectively and exclusively with
more important national issues and concerns. Federalism could also accommodate
cultural diversity, often ethnic and religious in nature, within the bounds of a
single political system.