Paulo B. Penano
Professor Vladimir Tolentino
The History and Evolution of the Philippine Constitution
* The 1897 Constitution of Biak-na-Bato, or Constituciong Halal sa Biak-na-Bato, promulgated by the Philippine Revolutionary Government on November 1, 1897, is the provisionary Constitution of the Philippine Republic during the Revolutionagainst Spain. It provides that the Supreme Council, vested with the supreme power of government, shall conduct foreign relations, war, the interior, and the treasury. * The 1899 Political Constitution of the Republic, known as the Malolos Constitution, was approved by President Emilio Aguinaldo on January 21, 1899 and served as the Constitution of the First Philippine Republic. It provides for a parliamentary form of government, but the President, and not a Prime Minister, acts as the head of government. Legislative power is exercised by the Assembly of Representatives of the Nation, and judicial power is lodge in a Supreme Court. * The 1935 Constitution of the Philippines, ratified on May 17, 1935, establishes the Commonwealth of the Philippines, defining its powers, composition and organization as it function as the Government of the Philippine Islands. It is based on the principle of separation of powers among the three branches of government. Executive power is vested in the President and shall serve for a single-six year term. Legislative power is vested in a unicameral National Assembly, and judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court. It also provides that upon proclamation of Philippine Independence, the Commonwealth of the Philippines shall be known as the Republic of the Philippines. 1. The 1939 Amendment -- The amendments liberalized all laws and made few changes on the economic provisions of the Tydings-Mcduffie Law. 2. The 1940 Amendments -- The amendments, by virtue of Resolution No. 73, provide...