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The Malolos Constitution.

Translation by Sulpicio Guevara from the original Spanish text

POLITICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC


Titles I to IV
Titles V to VII

TITLE VIII

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

Article 58. The President of the Republic shall be elected by absolute majority of votes by the Assembly and by the special Representatives, convinced in chamber assembled.

His term of office shall be four years, and may be reelected.

Article 59. The President of the Republic shall have the right to initiate the introduction of bills equally with the members of the Assembly and promulgate the laws when duly voted and approved by the latter, and shall see to it that the same are duly executed.

Article 60. The power to execute the laws shall extend to all cases conducive to the preservation of internal public order and to the external security of the State.

Article 61. The President shall promulgate the laws duly approved by him within 20 days following their transmittal to him by the Assembly.

Article 62. If within this period, the President should fail to promulgate them, he shall return them to the Assembly with his reasons for the return, in which case the Assembly may consider same, and it shall be presumed that it does not insist in re-approving them if not re-passed by a vote of at least two- thirds of the members of the Assembly present in a quorum. If re-passed in the manner indicated, the Government shall promulgate same within ten days, with a manifestation of its non-conformity.

The same obligation is imposed upon the Government if it allows twenty days to elapse without returning the bill to the Assembly.

Article 63. When the promulgation of a law has been declared urgent by express will of an absolute majority of votes of the Assembly, the President of the Republic any require of the Assembly to re-approved same which cannot be refused, and if the same bill is re-passed, the President shall promulgate it within the legal period, without prejudice to his making of record his non- conformity with the bill.

Article 64.the promulgation of laws shall be made by publishing them in the official gazette of the Republic, and shall have the force of law thirty days following such publication.

Article 65. The President of the Republic shall have at his disposal the army and the navy, and may declare war and make and ratify treaties with he prior consent of the Assembly

Article 66. Treaties of peace shall not take effect until voted upon by the Assembly.

Article 67. The President of the Republic, in addition to his duty to execute the laws, shall:

  1. Supervise civil and military employees in accordance with the laws.
  2. Appoint the Secretaries of the Government.
  3. Direct the diplomatic and commercial relations with foreign powers.
  4. See to it that justice id duly and promptly administered throughout the Philippines.
  5. Grant pardon to convicted criminals in accordance with laws, except ant special provision relation to the Secretaries of the Government.
  6. Preside over all national functions and receive ambassadors and accredited representatives of foreign powers.

Article 68. The President of the Republic may be authorized by special law:
  1. To alienate, transfer or exchange any portion of Philippines territory.
  2. To incorporate any other territory to the Philippine territory.
  3. To admit the stationing of foreign troops in Philippine territory.
  4. To ratify treaties of alliance, defensive as well as offensive, special treaties of commerce, those which stipulate to grant subsidies to a foreign power, and those which may compel Filipinos to render personal service.

    Secret treaties in no case may prevail over the provisions of open treaties made publicity.

  5. To grant general amnesties and pardons.
  6. To coin money.

Article 69. To the President belongs the power to issue regulations for the compliance and application of the laws in accordance with the requisites prescribed in said laws.

Article 70. The President of the Philippines, with the prior approval by majority vote of the Representatives, may dissolve the Assembly before the expiration of its legislative term.

In case the Assembly is dissolved, new elections shall be called within three months.

Article 71. The President of the republic may be held liable only of cases of high treason.

Article 72. The salary of the President of the Republic shall be fixed by special law which may not be changed except after the presidential term has expired.

TITLE IX

THE SECRETARIES OF GOVERNMENT

Article 73. The Council of the Government is composed of one President and seven Secretaries, each of whom shall have under his charge the portfolios of Foreign Relations, Interior, Finance, War and Marine, Public Education, Communications and Public Works, and Agriculture, Industry and Commerce.

Article 74. All the facts done by the President of the Republic in the discharge of these duties shall be signed by the corresponding Secretary. No Public official shall give official recognition to any act unless this requisite is complied with.

Article 75. The Secretaries of Government are jointly responsible to the Assembly of the general administration of the Government, and individually for their respective personal acts.

Article 76. In order to exempt them from responsibility, when held guilty by the Assembly, a petition to this effect approved by absolute majority of the Representatives is necessary.

TITLE X

THE JUDICIAL POWER

Article 77 To the Court corresponds exclusively the power to apply the laws, in the name of the Nation, in all civil and criminal trials.

The same codes of laws shall be applied throughout the Republic, without prejudice to certain variations according to circumstances as determined by law.

In all trials, civil, criminal, and administrative, all citizens shall be governed by one code of laws of procedure.

Article 78 The courts of justice shall not apply general local regulations, except when they conform to the laws.

Article 79. The exercise of judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in other courts established by law.

Their composition, organization, and other attributes shall be determined by the laws creating them.

Article 80. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Solicitor-General shall chosen by the National Assembly in concurrence with the President of the Republic and Secretaries of the Government, and shall be absolutely independent of the Legislative and Executive Powers.

Article 81. Any citizen may file suit against any member exercising the Judicial Power for any crime committed by them in the discharge of their office.

TITLE XI

PROVINCIAL AND POPULAR ASSEMBLIES

Article 82. The organization and attributes of provincial and popular assemblies shall be governed by their respective laws.

These laws shall conform to the following principles:

  1. The government and management of the particular interest of the province or town shall be discharge by their respective corporations, the principle of direct and popular elections being the basis underlying each of them.
  2. Publicity of their sessions, within the limits provided by law.
  3. Publication of all appropriations, accounts and agreements affecting same.
  4. Government interference and, in the absence thereof, by the National Assembly, to prevent provinces and municipalities exceeding their powers and attributes to the prejudice of the interest of individuals and of the nation at large.
  5. Power of taxation shall be exercised to the end that provincial and municipal taxation do not come into conflict with power of taxation of the State.

TITLE XII

ADMINISTRATION OF THE STATE

Article 83. The Government shall submit every year to the Assembly a budget of expenditures and income, indicating the changes made from those of the preceding year, accompanying the same with a balance sheet as of the end of the year, in accordance with law.

This budget shall be submitted to the Assembly within ten days following the commencement of its session.

Article 84. No disbursement of funds shall be valid unless made in accordance with an appropriation law, or with a special law in the form and manner prescribed by the same.

Article 85. The Government, in order to dispose of the property and effects of the State, and to borrow money secured by mortgage or credit of the Nation, must be authorized by special law.

Article 86. Public debts contracted by the Government of the Republic, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, shall be under the special guaranty of the Nation.

No debts shall be contracted unless the means of paying the same are also voted upon.

Article 87. All laws relating to income, public expenses or public credits shall be considered as part of the appropriation and shall be published as such.

Article 88. The Assembly shall determine every year, upon the recommendation of the President of the Republic, the military forces by land and sea.

TITLE XIII

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

Article 89. The Assembly, on its own initiative or that of the President of the Republic, may purpose amendments to the Constitution, indicating what article or articles are to be amended.

Article 90. This proposal having been made, the President of the Republic shall dissolve the Assembly, and shall convoke a Constituent Assembly which shall meet within three months. In the decree convoking the Constituent Assembly, the resolution mentioned in the proceeding article shall be inserted.

TITLE XIV

CONSTITUTIONAL OBSERVANCE, OATH, AND LANGUAGE

Article 91. The President of the Republic, the Government, the Assembly and all Filipino citizens shall faithfully observe the provisions of the Constitution; and the Legislative Power, upon approval of the Appropriations Act, shall examine if the constitution has been strictly complied with and whether violations duly held liable.

Article 92. The President of the Republic and all other officials of the Nation shall not enter into the discharge of their office without having taken the prescribed oath.

The oath of the President of the Republic shall be taken before the National Assembly.

The other officials of the Nations shall take their oath before the authorities determined by law.

Article 93. The use of languages spoken in the Philippines shall be optional. This use cannot be regulated except by virtue of law, and solely for acts of public authority and in the courts. For these act the Spanish language may be used in the meantime.

TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Article 94. Meanwhile and without prejudice to the provisions of Article 48 and to the acts of the commissions designated by the Assembly to translate and submit to the same the organic laws in the development and application of the rights granted to Filipino citizens and for the government of the public powers therein mentioned, the laws of the Republic shall be considered those found existing in these Islands before the emancipation of the same.

The provisions of the Civil Code relating to marriage and civil registry, suspended by the Governor General of these islands; the Instructions of April 26, 1888 to carry into effect Articles 77,78,79,and 82 of said Code; the law on civil registry of June 17, 1870 which refers to Article 332 of the same, and the Regulation of December 13 following for the enforcement of this law, without prejudice to the Chiefs of towns continuing to be in charge of inscriptions in the civil registry and intervening in the celebration of marriages between Catholics, shall also be deemed in force and effect.

Article 95. In the meantime that the laws referred to in the preceding article have not been approved or enforced, the Spanish laws which said article allows to be enforced provisionally may be amended by a special law.

Article 96. Once the laws approved by the Assembly have been promulgated in accordance with Article 94, the Government of the Republic shall have the power to issue decrees and regulations necessary for the immediate organization of the various organs of the State.

Article 97. The present President of the Revolutionary Government shall assume later the title of President of the Republic and shall discharge the duties of this office until the Assembly when convoked proceeds to the election of one shall definitely exercise the duties of the office.

Article 98. The present Congress, composed of members by suffrage or by decree, shall last for four years, or for the duration of the present legislative term commencing the 15th of April of next year.

Article 99. Notwithstanding the general rule established in paragraph 2 of Article 4, in the meantime that the country is fighting for its independence, the Government is empowered to resolve during the closure of the Congress all questions and difficulties not provided for in the laws, which give rise to unforeseen events, by the issuance of decrees, of which the Permanent Commission shall be duly apprised as well as the Assembly when it meets in accordance with this Constitution.

Article 100. The execution of article 5, Title III shall be suspended until the constituent Asse4mbly meets in session.

In the meantime, municipalities which require spiritual ministry of Filipino priest may provide for his necessary maintenance.

Article 101 Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 62 and 63, bills returned by the President of the Republic to the Congress may not be repassed except in the legislature of the following year, this suspension being under the responsibility of the President and his Council of Government. When these conditions have been fulfilled, the promulgation of said laws shall be obligatory within ten days, without prejudice to the President making of record his non-conformity.

If the reapproval is made in subsequent legislative terms, it shall be deemed law approved for the first time.

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE. All the estates, edifices, and other property possessed by religious corporations in these islands shall be deemed restored to the Philippine State as of May 24, 1898 when Dictatorial Government has been constituted in Cavite.

BARASOAIN, the 20th day of January, 1899.

The President of the Congress
PEDRO A. PATERNO

The Secretaries
PABLO TECSON
PABLO OCAMPO
Titles I to IV
Titles V to VII

 

Source: Centennial Publication. National Historical Insitute

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