The Philippine Republic (Spanish: República Filipina), now officially known as the First Philippine Republic, also referred to by historians as the Malolos Republic, was established through the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution on January 22, 1899, in Malolos, Bulacan during the Philippine Revolution and the Spanish–American War, succeeding the Revolutionary Government of the Philippines. It was formally established with Emilio Aguinaldo as president.[Note 1] It maintained governance until April 1, 1901.[Note 2]
|1899[Note 1]–1901[Note 2]|
|Anthem: Marcha Nacional Filipina|
(English: "Philippine National March")
Majority: Christianity (Protestant, Roman Catholic)
Folk religion, Sunni Islam
|Emilio Aguinaldo (first)|
|Miguel Malvar (last; unofficial)|
|President of the Council of Government (Prime Minister)|
|Apolinario Mabini (first)|
|Pedro Paterno (last)|
|Historical era||Philippine–American War|
|January 23, 1899[Note 1]|
|April 1, 1901[Note 2]|
|1898[better source needed]||298,719 km2 (115,336 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Philippines|
The First Philippine Republic was established during the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire (1896–1897) and the Spanish–American War between Spain and the United States (1898). Following the American victory at the Mock Battle of Manila, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines, issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898, and established successive revolutionary Philippine governments on June 18 and 23 of that year.
In December 1898, Spain and the United States signed the two countries' 1898 Treaty of Paris, officially ending the Spanish–American war with Spain ceding its territorial claims over the Philippines to the United States. However, mutual ratification of this treaty would not be exchanged and proclaimed until April 11, 1899, in Washington, D.C., United States. The Malolos Constitution establishing the First Philippine Republic was proclaimed on January 23, 1899. The Philippine–American War began with the first shots being fired by American soldiers on February 4, 1899, which was before the Treaty of Paris was officially effective. The Philippine–American War resulted in American victory, with the US government declaring its end on July 2, 1902.
The First Philippine Republic is sometimes characterized as the first proper constitutional republic in Asia, although there were several Asian republics predating it – for example, the Mahajanapadas of ancient India, the Lanfang Republic, the Republic of Formosa or the Republic of Ezo, and Aguinaldo himself had led a number of governments prior to Malolos, like those established at Tejeros and Biak-na-Bato which both styled themselves República de Filipinas ("Republic of the Philippines"). Unlike the founding documents of those governments, however, the Malolos Constitution was duly approved by a partially elected congress and called for a true representative democracy.
In 1896, the Philippine Revolution began against Spanish colonial rule. In 1897, Philippine forces led by Aguinaldo signed a ceasefire with the Spanish authorities and Aguinaldo and other leaders went into exile in Hong Kong. In April 1898, the Spanish–American War broke out. The U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron, then in Hong Kong, sailed to the Philippines to engage the Spanish naval forces. On May 1, 1898, the U.S. Navy decisively defeated the Spanish Navy in the Battle of Manila Bay. Later in May, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines, established a dictatorial government on May 24, 1898 (formally established by decree on June 18), and on June 12, 1898, at Aguinaldo's ancestral home in Cavite, issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain. Following the proclamation of independence, Aguinaldo established a revolutionary government on June 23, 1898, under which the partly-elected and partly-appointed Malolos Congress convened on September 15 to write a constitution.
The Malolos Constitution written by the congress was proclaimed on January 22, 1899, creating what is known today as the First Philippine Republic, with Aguinaldo as its president. The constitution was approved by delegates to the Malolos Congress on January 20, 1899, and sanctioned by Aguinaldo the next day. The convention had earlier elected Aguinaldo president on January 1, 1899, leading to his inauguration on January 23. Parts of the constitution gave Aguinaldo the power to rule by decree.[Note 3] The constitution was titled "Constitución política", and was written in Spanish.
When the First Philippine Republic was constituted on January 22, 1899 in Malolos, that municipality became the seat of government of the Philippine Republic, and was serving as such when hostilities erupted between U.S. and Filipino forces in the Second Battle of Manila on February 4. On February 4, 1899, armed conflict erupted in Manila between Philippine Republic forces and American forces occupying the city subsequent to the conclusion of the Spanish–American War. That day President Aguinaldo issued a proclamation ordering and commanding that "peace and friendly relations with the Americans be broken and that the latter be treated as enemies, within the limits prescribed by the laws of war". The fighting quickly escalated into the Second Battle of Manila, with Philippine Republic forces being driven out of the city.
American forces pushing north from Manila after the outbreak of fighting captured Caloocan on February 10. On March 29, as American forces threatened Malolos, the seat of government moved to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. On March 31, American forces captured Malolos, the initial seat of the Philippine Republic government, which had been gutted by fires set by withdrawing Philippine Republic forces. Emilio Aguinaldo and the core of the revolutionary government had by then moved to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Peace negotiations with the American Schurman Commission during a brief ceasefire in April–May 1899 failed, and San Isidro fell to American forces on May 16. The Philippine Republic core government had moved by then to Bamban, Tarlac, and subsequently moved to Tarlac town. Aguinaldo's party had already left Tarlac, the last capital of the Philippine Republic, by the time American troops occupied it on November 13.
American forces captured Calumpit, Bulacan on April 27 and, moving north, captured Apalit, Pampanga with little opposition on May 4 and San Fernando, Pampanga on May 5. This forced the seat of government to be shifted according to the demands of the military situation.
In October 1899 American forces were in San Fernando, Pampanga and the Philippine Republic was headquartered not far north of there, in Angeles City. On October 12, an American offensive to the north forced the Philippine Republic to relocate its headquarters in November to Tarlac, and then to Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. On November 13, under pressure by American forces, Aguinaldo and a party departed Bayombong by rail for Calasiao, Pangasinan, from where they immediately proceeded eastwards to Sta. Barbara in order to evade pursuing American forces. In Santa Barbara, they joined a force of some 1200 armed men led by General Gregorio del Pilar.
On November 13, in a conference in Bayambang, Pangasinan, Aguinaldo decided to disperse his army and begin guerrilla war. From that point on, distance and the localistic nature of the fighting prevented him from exercising a strong influence on revolutionary or military operations. Recognizing that American troops blocked his escape east, he turned north and west on November 15, crossing the mountains into La Union province. Aguinaldo's party eluded pursuing American forces, passing through Tirad Pass near Sagada, Mountain Province where the Battle of Tirad Pass was fought on December 2 as a rear guard action to delay the American advance and ensure his escape. At the time of the battle, Aguinaldo and his party were encamped in Cervantes, about 10 km south of the pass. After being notified by a rider of the outcome of the battle and the death of del Pilar, Aguinaldo ordered that camp be broken, and departed with his party for Cayan settlement.
Aguinaldo's party, traveling with del Pilar's force, reached Manaoag, Pangasinan on November 15. There, the force was split into vanguard and rear guard elements, with Aguinaldo and del Pilar in the vanguard. The vanguard force overnighted in Tubao, La Union, departed there on November 16, and was in Naguilian, La Union by November 19, where word was received that American forces had taken Santo Tomas and had proceeded to Aringay. Aguinaldo's force arrived in Balaoan, La Union on November 19, pushed on the next day, and arrived at the Tirad Pass, a natural choke point, on November 23. General del Pilar decided to place a blocking force in Tirad Pass to delay pursuing American forces while Aguinaldo's party moved on.
The Battle of Tirad Pass took place on December 2, 1899. 52 men of del Pilar's 60-man force were killed, including del Pilar himself. However, the Filipinos under del Pilar held off the Americans long enough for Aguinaldo's party to escape. Aguinaldo, encamped with his party about 10 km south of the pass in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, was apprised of the result of the battle by a rider, and moved on. The party reached Banane settlement on December 7, where Aguinaldo paused to consider plans for the future. On December 16, the party departed for Abra to join forces with General Manuel Tinio. The party traveled on foot through a pass at the summit of Mount Polis, and arrived at Ambayuan the next morning. The party pushed on to Banane, pursued closely by American forces. At this point, Aguinaldo's party consisted of one field officer, 11 line officers, and 107 men. The remainder of December 1899 was spent in continuous trek.
The party was at the border of Abra and Cagayan provinces on Aguinaldo's 31st birthday on March 23, 1900. The trek from place to place continued until about May 22, 1900, when Aguinaldo established a new headquarters in Tierra Virgen. On August 27, 1900, after American forces landed at Aparri, Cagayan, Aguinaldo concluded that Tierra Virgan had become untenable as a headquarters and decided to march to Palanan, Isabela. On December 6, 1900, the party reached Dumasari, and arrived in Palanan the following morning.
Aguinaldo remained in Palanan until his capture there by American forces with the aid of the native scouts on March 23, 1901. Following his capture, Aguinaldo announced allegiance to the United States on April 1, 1901, formally ending the First Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.[Note 2]
Executive power was exercised by the President, through his cabinet secretaries. The incumbent president of the Revolutionary Republic initially assumed the presidency. Presidents were elected by the legislature to terms of four years and is eligible for reelection.
In addition to his basic powers, the 1899 Constitution assigned the following duties to the presidency:
The constitution established a Council of Government (Cabinet), composed of a President and seven Secretaries. The following individuals were appointed to Cabinet positions:
|President of the Cabinet||Apolinario Mabini||January 2 – May 7, 1899|
|Pedro Paterno||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
|Secretary of Foreign Affairs||Apolinario Mabini||October 1, 1898 – May 7, 1899|
|Secretary of the Interior||Teodoro Sandico||January 2 – May 7, 1899|
|Secretary of Finance||Mariano Trías||January 2 – May 7, 1899|
|Hugo Ilagan||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
|Severino de las Alas||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
|Secretary of War and Marine||Baldomero Aguinaldo||July 15, 1898 – May 7, 1899|
|Mariano Trías||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
|Secretary of Justice||Gregorio Araneta||September 2, 1898 – May 7, 1899|
|Secretary of Welfare[c]||Gracio Gonzaga||January 2 – May 7, 1899|
|Felipe Buencamino||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
|Maximo Paterno||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
|Secretary of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce||León María Guerrero||May 7 – November 13, 1899[b]|
The following are the executive departments:
Legislative power was exercised by an Assembly of Representatives initially composed by members of the Revolutionary Government and subsequently elected to four year terms and organized in the form and manner determined by law and referred to at various points in the constitution as the National Assembly. It specified that assembly members would be chosen by election, but left the manner of the election to be later specified by law. The assembly was initially composed of the former members of the Malolos Congress and had powers and responsibilities detailed in Title IV of the constitution.
Municipal and provincial governments under the Republic had quickly reorganized upon Aguinaldo's decrees of June 18 and 20, 1898. The Malolos Constitution cited on Article 82 the organization of provincial and popular assemblies which had the power of taxation.
The government also claimed jurisdiction over the overseas territory of Palaos (Modern day Palau) and the Sulu archipelago. Both areas are represented in the Congress by representatives appointed by President Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo sent a letter to the Sultan of Sulu requesting that the islands be part of the First Philippine Republic, but the letter was ignored.
Provisional Law on the Judiciary was issued on March 7, 1899, in accordance to the provisions of the 1899 Malolos Constitution providing that the Chief Justice shall be chosen by the National Assembly with the concurrence of the president and secretaries of the government. Aguinaldo appointed Apolinario Mabini to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on August 23, 1899; however, the appointment did not materialize because of the Philippine–American War.
The Supreme Court included Gracio Gonzaga serving as president; Juan Arceo and Felix Ferrer as Chamber Presidents; and Deogracias Reyes, Juan Tongco, Pablo Tecson and Ygnacio Villamor serving as Associate Justices
One of the important laws passed by the Malolos Congress was the law providing for a national loan to buoy up the national budget in which the Republic was trying to balance. The loan, worth 20 million pesos, was to be paid in 40 years with an annual interest of six percent. The law was decreed by Aguinaldo on November 30, 1898.[clarification needed][page needed]
When Philippine independence was declared on June 12, 1898, the Philippine Revolutionary Army was renamed the Philippine Republican Army. Aguinaldo then appointed Antonio Luna as Director or Assistant Secretary of War by September 28, 1898, and the Philippines first military school, the Academia Militar was established in Malolos.
When the Republic was inaugurated on January 23, Luna had succeeded Artemio Ricarte as the Commanding General of the Republican Army. With such powers at hand, Luna attempted to transform the weak, undisciplined revolutionary army into a disciplined regular army for the service of the Republic.
Aguinaldo Shrine where Philippine independence was declared from Spain
Cuenca House served as the headquarters of the Philippine revolutionary government in 1898.
The Malolos Cathedral Basilica. The Palacio Presidencia and Office of the President Emilio Aguinaldo from September 1898 – March 1899.
Pamintuan Mansion, where the first anniversary of Philippine independence was celebrated in 1899
Sideco house served as Emilio Aguinaldo's capitol from the fall of Malolos on March 31, 1899, until May 17, 1899, when San Isidro was taken by the Americans.
Historical marker located in present-day Tarlac State University, where the headquarters of the revolutionary republic transferred in 1899
[O]n 24 March, Aguinaldo was captured in the mountain region of Palanan, Isabela Province, and on 2 April 1901 he took an oath of allegiance to the United States. On 19 April 1901 he appealed to all Filipinos to accept the sovereignty of the United States. The existence of the revolutionary government came to an end officially when, on 4 July 1901, U.S. Military government ceased to exist in the Philippines.
On 19 April 1901 Aguinaldo issued a farewell proclamation to his people, bringing the republic to an end: ...
Whereas the insurrection against the authority and sovereignty of the United States is now at an end
WHEREAS, Tuesday, April 16, 2002, marks the centennial celebration of the end of the Philippine-American War [and] WHEREAS, the day also marks the day when General Miguel Malvar, a true-blooded Batangueño and the last President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government surrendered to the Americans; ...