The Spanish Conquest• The conquest of the Philippines was an accident in history; inspired by economic gain, rationalized by religious zeal.• Alexander VI and the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) made it possible for the Spanish navigators to reach our shores.• Magellan discovered it; Villalobos named it and Legazpi officially set off the work of conquest
The Pre-Hispanic Philippines• No Philippines yet as a single polity (or political body)• What we know now as Philippines were a group of islands which share the same political features as its Asian neighbors, specially the Malayan Peninsula• Philippines were splintered into several small communities which were maritime / fluvial; each community was a center of its own; political power was preserved through kinship, alliances and use of power; religion was already an influential element in the exercise of power (Hindu, Buddhism, Islam); : social structure was in place; community was clannish
Government in / of the Philippines• Pre-colonial: Native• Colonial: a) Spanish (1521 – 1898) b) British (1762) c) American (1898 – 1946): the third republic under the American-sponsored constitution d) Japanese (1941 – 1945): the second republic under the Japanese- sponsored constitution• Pre-republican: a) La Liga Filipina (1892) b) Katipunan (1892) c) Revolutionary Government of Tejeros (1897) d) Revolutionary Government of Biak na Bato (1897) e) Dictatorial Government (May 4 – June 23, 1898)• Republic (post colonial): a) Malolos Republic (September 1898 – January 1899): the first republic under the Malolos Constitution b) Pre-martial law: Roxaz, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos b) Martial law: the fourth republic under the 1973 Constitution c) Edsa: the fifth republic under the 1987 Constitution d) Post-edsa: Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo
Spanish Government in the Philippines• The government was established through the so-called patronato real.• The king governed territories like the Philippines either through the main viceroyalties, Mexico (New Spain) or Peru. The Philippines was under the vice royalty of Mexico until 1821.• Smaller territories like the Philippines was under the direct supervision of a governor.• The viceroy and the governor represented the authority of the king; the king for his part ruled his territories with the advice of a council called audiencia.
Spanish Government in the Philippines• The datu class became the new principalia; they remained the head of their communities as cabeza de barangay whose main duties were tax collection and recruitment of polistas (laborers) for public service.• A barangay had around 40 to 50 families; together with other barangays, they formed a barrio.• An entire barrio could be under the care of an encomendero who collected tributes from the cabezas and assigned polos on certain men• When the tributes totaled 500 or more reales, a pueblo was elevated into a municipio headed by a gobernadorcillo together with four other local officials: teniente mayor (town deputy), juez de policia (peace and order), juez de sementeras (crops and lands), juez de ganados (livestock and butchering of animals for sale).• Several municipios formed an alcadia or later on, provincia, headed by an alcalde mayor or later gobernador provincial.• By 1885, the alcalde mayor was also referred to as gobernador civil to distinguish him from gobernador politico-militar.
Spanish Government in the Philippines• The highest royal official in the Philippines was the governor general. He reported to the king and the Council of the Indies, the advisory council of the King.• The governor general was referred to as president as the presiding officer of the audiencia; captain general as the chief military commander and vice patron of the church by virtue of the patronato real.• The governor general was aided by a local audiencia composed of oidores or judges: fiscal (prosecuting attorney), alguacil mayor (chief constable) and teniente de gran canciller (deputy of the chief chancellor)• Three checks on the power of the governor general: the Archbishop of Manila, the audiencia and the juicio de residencia.• The first governor general was Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1565-1571) and the last was Gen. Diego de los Rios (1898).
Spanish Government in the Philippines• Until 1837, the Philippines enjoyed representation in the Spanish cortes (1810-1813; 1820-1823; 1836-1837)• In 1837, the Spanish cortes abolished Philippine representation and in 1863, colonies like the Philippines were overseen by an office called Ministerio de Ultramar (Overseas Ministry).• The law that applied on the Philippines was no longer a special piece of legislation called Leyes de Indias• The aim of the Propaganda Movement was initially to restore the same political order through assimilation; later, assimilation gave way to the call for nationalization.
The First Republic (Malolos Republic)• The Filipinos briefly succeeded in establishing their own republican government in Malolos (the first republic); it folded up in 1899 when the Philippine-American broke out.• It succeeded the dictatorial government put up by Aguinaldo which lasted from May 24 to June 23, 1898.• The Malolos Congress was convoked by Aguinaldo on Sept. 15, 1898.• The draft as proposed by Felipe Calderon was presented on Oct. 8; discussion started Oct. 25.• Aguinaldo promulgated what is now known as Malolos Constitution on Jan. 21, 1899; on Feb. 4, 1899, the Philippine-American War broke out. The Philippine republic lasted until March 23, 1901.
American Occupation• Spain ceded the Philippines to the Americans at the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898 for $20M and this without any official representation or consultation with the Filipinos.• On December 21, 1898, Pres. Mckinley issued the famous “Benevolent Assimilation” proclamation, articulating the American policies on the annexation of the Philippines.
American Occupation• Military Government – started August 14, 1898, after the capture of Manila; the first military governor was Adm. Wesley Merritt• Civil Government – inaugurated July 4, 1901 upon the recommendation of the so-called Schurman Commission; headed by a civil governor whose position was created October 29, 1901; the civil governor had both executive and legislative powers; the first American civil governor was William H. Taft. William Taft created a cabinet which included Filipino elites like Cayetano Arellano as chief justicer of the Supreme Court; Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Benito Legarda and Jose R. Luzurriaga as nonvoting members of the Taft Commission; Felipe Buencamino was director of the Bureau of Civil Service. The civil governor was likewise the president of the Philippine Commission which during the American colonial period acted as the upper house of the legislature and the Philippine Assembly as the lower house.
The Second Republic• Commonwealth of the Philippines: enacted by Tydings-McDuffie Law which passed by US Congress on March 23, 1934 ; the law provided a transition period of ten years at the expiration of which the Philippines would be granted independence. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was inaugurated on November 15, 1935 with Manuel L. Quezon as President and Sergio Osmeña as Vice President. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was republican and presidential in form. Executive branch was headed by the president; the legislative function belonged to the unicameral National Assembly in the beginning and then later on, to the bicameral Congress; the judicial power was vested upon the Supreme Court. The Commonwealth was the second republic. During the Japanese period, it functioned in exile in Washington from May 13, 1942 to October 3, 1944. It was re-established by Gen. Douglas MacArthur on February 27, 1945. Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Quirino were the last President and Vice President of the Commonwealth. They would also serve as the President and Vice President of the post-war era.
The Third Republic during Japanese Occupation• The Philippines was attacked by Japan being a colony of the US. The offensive was launched four hours after the attack of Pearl Harbor.• On January 23, 1942, Japan, thru the Jorge B. Vargas, created the Executive Commission which will reorganize the national government into a puppet civilian government under a military rule. It was named as Central Administrative Organization aided by the so-called Council of State.• To win the Filipinos’ sympathy, Japan sponsored the establishment of a puppet republic (the third republic) under the auspices of the so-called “Greater East- Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”• The establishment of the republic was facilitated by KALIBAPI or Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas). KALIBAPI headed by Jose Laurel as President and Benigno Aquino Sr. and Ramon Avanceña as Vice Presidents. It prepared the constitution of the third republic.• On September 25, 1943, Jose Laurel was elected by the National Assembly (a unicameral legislature created by KALIBAPI) and on October 14, 1943, the third republic was inaugurated.• The third republic was dissolved at the defeat of Japan here in the Philippines on February 1945. Pres. Laurel proclaimed its dissolution on August 17, 1945.
The Fourth Republic• Created under the 1973 Constitution which was drafted, ratified and promulgated during the Marcos’ martial law.• Martial law paved the way for the establishment of a constitutional dictatorship.• When amended in 1981, the form of government was changed from presidential to parliamentary.• The 1973 took effect from January 23, 1973 until it was replaced by the so-called Freedom Constitution of 1986, the constitution that provided legal foundation for the revolutionary government of Corazon Aquino.• Ferdinand Marcos was first elected and re-elected under the 1935 Constitution; through the imposition of martial law, he remained in power from 1971 to 1986. All in all, he was president for 21 years.
The Fifth Republic• At the end of the EDSA Revolution, Corazon Aquino and Salvador Laurel announced that they were putting up a revolutionary government in the name of the Filipino people.• After Marcos fled to Hawaii and his dictatorial government collapsed, Aquino’s revolutionary government went ahead with the preparation for a new constitution to replace the haunted 1973 Constitution.• The present republic was established by virtue of the 1987 Constitution which was drafted by a Constitutional Commission created under Art. V of Proclamation 3 issued on March 25, 1986.• The work of the Constitutional Commission began on June 2, 1986 and ended Oct. 12, 1986. It was ratified in a plebiscite on Feb. 2, 1987.• The 1987 Constitution provided for a presidential form of government, reminiscent of 1935 Constitution.• After Corazon Aquino, there have three presidents elected under the 1987 Constitution: Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo.
Conclusion• Despite its many drawbacks, our colonial experiences (Spanish, American, Japanese) helped likewise to mature politically.• These experiences enabled us to be aware of and to launch social, legal and political infrastructures required of a modern republican democracy.• After the War, the greatest threat to our democracy came from Martial Law imposed by Ferdinand Marcos. Martial law started with benign hopes but its implementation and continuance for twenty years greatly outweigh whatever gains it achieved or hoped to achieve.• Throughout history, we also see how the local politics remain to be dominated by the political and economic elites; the 1987 Constitution hoped to remedy this by promoting an egalitarian democracy.• Today, the greatest threats to our democratic life come from the government itself in the form of massive graft and corruption, economic greed, patronage politics, etc. The result of this is massive poverty which together with all the factors cited explained why Philippine democracy remains in its incipient stage up to this day.