[ MALOLOS CONSTITUTION, January 20, 1890 ]
MALOLOS CONSTITUTION POLITICAL CONSTITUTION
We, the Representatives of the Filipino people, lawfully convened, in order to establish justice, provide for common defense, promote the general welfare, and insure the benefits of liberty, imploring the aid of the Sovereign legislator of the Universe for the attainment
of these ends, have voted, decreed, and sanctioned the following:
POLITICAL CONSTITUTION TITLE I
Of the Republic
The political association of all the Filipinos constitutes a nation, whose states is called the Philippine Republic.
The Philippine Republic is free and independent.
Sovereignty resides exclusively in the people.
TITLE II Of the government
The Government of the Republic is popular, representative, alternative, and responsible, and is exercised by three distinct powers, called the legislature, the executive, and the judicial. Two or more of these powers shall never be vested in one person or corporation; neither
shall the legislative power be intrusted to a single individual.
TITLE III Of religion
The state recognizes the freedom and equality of religious worships, as well as the separation of the church and the state.
TITLE IV Of the Filipinos and their national and individual rights
The following are Filipinos:
Residence is considered as acquired by staying two years without interruption in any locality of the Philippine territory, having an open abode and a known mode of living, and contributing to all the charges of the nation. The condition of being a Filipino is lost in accordance
with the laws.
No Filipino or foreigner shall be arrested of imprisoned except by reason of a crime and in accordance with law.
All persons detained shall be released or delivered to the judicial authority within the twenty-four hours following the act of detention. All arrest shall be without effect or shall be carried to commitment within the seventy-two hours following the delivery of the detained
person to a competent judge. Notice of the order issued shall be given to the interested party within the same period.
No Filipino shall be imprisoned except by virtue of a writ issued by a competent judge. The decree under which the writ is issue shall be ratified or confirmed, the presumed criminal having been heard, within the seventy-two hours following the act of commitment.
No person shall enter the domicile of a Filipino or foreigner residing in the Philippine Islands without his consent, except in urgent cases of fire, flood, earthquake, or other similar danger, or of unlawful aggression proceeding from within, or in order to assist a person
within calling for help. Outside of these cases, the entrance into the domicil of a Filipino or foreigner residing in the Philippine Islands, and the searching of his papers or effects, can only be decreed by a competent judge and executed in the daytime. The searching of these
papers and effects shall always be done in presence of the interested party or of a member of his family, and, in their absence, of two witnesses residing in the same town ( pueblo). However, if an offender found in flagrante and pursued by the authorities or their agents should
take refuge in his domicil, these may enter the same, but only for the purpose of his apprehension If he should take refuge in the domicil of another, request should first be made of the latter.
No Filipino shall be compelled to change his domicil or residence except by virtue of a final judgment.
In no case can correspondence confined to the post-office be detained or opened by government authorities, nor can those made by telegraph or telephone be detained. But, by virtue of a decree by a competent judge, any correspondence can be detained and that carried through the
mails may also be opened in the presence of the accused.
All decrees of imprisonment, for the search of domicil, or for the detention of correspondence, whether written, telegraphic, or by telephone, shall be for cause. If the decree should lack this requisite, or if the causes on which it may be founded are judicially declared
unlawful or manifestly insufficient, the person who may have been detained, shall have the right to demand the liabilities which ensue.
No Filipino shall be prosecuted or sentenced except by a judge or tribunal, who, by virtue of the laws in force prior to the commission of the crime, has jurisdiction to take cognizance of the same, and in the form which the latter prescribed.
Outside of the cases prescribed in this Constitution, all persons detained or imprisoned without the legal formalities shall be discharged upon their own petition or that of any Filipino. The laws shall determine the form if proceeding summarily in this case, as well as the
personal and pecuniary liabilities incurred by the person who may order, execute, or cause to be execute, the illegal detention or imprisonment.
No person shall be deprived temporarily or permanently of his property or rights, or disturbed in his possession, except by virtue of a judicial sentence. Those functionaries who, under any pretext, should infringe this provision, shall be personally responsible for the damage
No person shall be deprived of his property except by reason of public necessity and welfare, previously justified and declared by the proper authority, and after paying indemnity to the owner prior to the act of expropriation.
No person shall be obliged to pay any tax which has not been voted upon by the Assembly or by the public corporations legally authorized to impose it, and whose assessment is not made in the form prescribed by law.
No Filipino in the full enjoyment of his civil and political rights shall be hindered in the free exercise of the same.
Neither shall any Filipino be deprived of:
- All persons born in Philippines territory. A vessel flying the Philippine flag shall, for this purpose, be considered a portion of the Philippine territory.
- The children of a Filipino father or mother, although born outside of the Philippines.
- Foreigners who have obtained a certificate of naturalization.
- Those who, without this, have acquired residence ("vecindad") in any town of the Philippine territory.
The right of petition shall not be exercised through any kind of armed force.
The exercise of the rights expressed in the preceding article shall be subject to the general provisions which regulate them.
Crimes committed upon the occasion of the exercise of the rights granted in this title shall be punished by the courts in accordance with the ordinary laws.
Any Filipino can found and maintain establishments of instruction or education, in accordance with the regulations that may be established. Popular education shall be obligatory and gratuitous in the schools of the nation.
Any foreigner may establish himself freely in Philippine territory, subject to the provisions governing the matter, exercising therein his industry, or devoting himself to any profession for the exercise of which the law does not require any certificates of fitness from the
No Filipino who is in the full enjoyment of his political and civil right shall be hindered from going freely from the territory, nor from removing his residence or property to a foreign country, without prejudice to the obligation to contribute to the military service and the
maintenance of the public charges.
A foreigner who has not been naturalized shall not exercise in the Philippines any office to which any authority or jurisdiction is attached.
Every Filipino is obliged to defend the country with arms when he is called upon by the law, and to contribute to the expenses of the state in proportion to his holdings.
The enumeration of the rights granted in this title does not imply the prohibition of any others not expressly stated.
No previous authorization shall be necessary for the prosecution of public functionaries before ordinary tribunals, whatever may be the crime they have committed. A superior order shall not exempt them from responsibility for the manifest, clear, and determinate infraction of a
constitutional provision. In other cases, it shall only exempt the agents who do not exercise any authority.
The guarantees provided for in articles 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 and paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 20, shall not be suspended in the Republic nor in any part of it, but only temporarily and by means of a law, when the security of the state in extraordinary circumstances requires it.
This having been promulgated in the territory to which it may apply, special law shall govern during such suspension, according to what the circumstances may demand. The latter as well as the former shall be voted in the national Assembly, and in case this is closed, the
government is authorized to issue the same, in conjunction with the permanent commission, without prejudice to the calling of the former at the shortest possible time and giving account of what may have been done. But neither one nor the other law shall suspend any other
guarantees than those mentioned in the first paragraph of this article, nor authorize the government to banish or deport any Filipino from the country. In no case can the military or civil heads establish any penalty other than that previously provided by law.
In the Philippine Republic no person shall be tried under a special law or by special tribunals. No person or corporation shall have privileges nor emoluments except as a compensation for public service which are fixed. " El fuero de Guerra y marina" ( the jurisdiction,
privileges and powers of the army and navy) shall extend solely to the crimes and misdemeanors having intimate connection with military and naval discipline.
No Filipino shall establish rights of primogeniture in succession ( "mayorazgos") , nor institutions entailing property, nor institutions entailing property, nor accept honors, decoration of orders (" condecoraciones") or titles of honor and nobility from foreign nations without
authorization of the government. Neither shall the government of the Republic establish institutions specified in the previous paragraph, nor grant honors, decoration of orders ( "condecoraciones") , or titles of honor and nobility to any Filipino. The nation may, however,
reward by special law approved by the Assembly eminent services rendered by citizens to their country.
TITLE V Of the Legislative Powers ARTICLE 33
The legislative power shall be exercised by an Assembly of Representatives of the nation. The Assembly shall be organized in the form and under the conditions determined by the law which may be passed to that effect.
The members of the Assembly shall represent the whole nation and not exclusively the voters who chose them.
No Representative can receive from his electors any imperative instruction.
The Assembly shall meet every year. The president of the Republic has the prerogative to convoke it, suspend and close its sessions and dissolve it, with its concurrence or with that of the permanent commission in its default, and within the periods established by law.
The Assembly shall be open at least three months each year without including in this time that which is required for its organization. The President of the Republic shall convoke it on the 15 th April at the latest.
In an extraordinary case, he may convoke it outside of the legal period, with the concurrence of the permanent commission, and prolong the legislature when the term does not exceed one month, and when this is not done more than two times in the same legislature.
The National Assembly, together with the extraordinary Representatives, shall form the constituent assembly in order to proceed to the modification of the Constitution and to the election of a new President, convoked at least one month prior to the expiration of the power of the
former. In case of the death or resignation of the president of the Republic, the Assembly shall meet immediately in its own right and at the call of the President or of the permanent commission.
In the meantime, while the choice of the President of the Republic has not yet taken place, his powers shall be exercised by the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, who in his turn shall be relieved by a member of this tribunal, according to the laws.
Any meeting of the Assembly held outside of the period of the ordinary legislature shall be illegal and void. From this is excepted the case provided for in article 39, and that where the Assembly is constituted into a tribunal of justice, in which case it cannot exercise other
that judicial functions.
The sessions of the Assembly shall be public. However, they can be made secret at the petition of a certain number of its members, fixed by the rules, it being decided afterwards by an absolute majority of votes of the members present whether the discussion of the same should be
continued in public.
The President of the Republic shall communicate with the Assembly by means of messages, which shall be read from the rostrum by a Secretary of the government. The Secretaries of the government shall have a seat in the Assembly with the right to take the floor whenever they
request it, and may be represented in the discussion of nay particular project by commissioner designated by decree of the President of the Republic.
The Assembly may be constituted into a judicial tribunal, by means of a decree issued by it, or by the permanent commission, in its absence, or by the President of the Republic at the proposal of the Solicitor General or of the council of the government , in order to try crimes
committed against the security of the state by the President of the Republic and the members of the council of the government, by the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, and by the Solicitor General of the nation. The laws shall determine the mode of procedure for the
accusation, trial ( instruccion) , and pardon.
No member of the Assembly shall be prosecuted or molested for the opinions which may have expressed or the votes which he may have cast in the performance of his office.
No member of the Assembly shall be prosecuted in a criminal proceeding without previous authorization from the same or the permanent commission, to which an account of the act shall immediately be given for proper action. The imprisonment, detention, or apprehension of any
member of the Assembly shall not take place without previous authority from the same or the permanent commission. But once notice of the act of commitment has been given to the Assembly, responsibility ensues, if within two days following the notice it does not authorize the
detention or does not show the reasons upon which its refusal is founded.
The national Assembly shall, furthermore, have the following powers:
- The right of expressing freely his ideas and opinions either by word or by writing, availing himself of the press or any other similar means.
- The right of joining any association for all the objects of human life which may not be contrary to public morals; and finally,
- Of the right to petition, individually collectively, the different departments of government and the public authorities.
While the Assembly has not been involved, its president, vice-president, and secretaries shall continue in their office during four legislatures; and
- To make for its internal government.
- To examine the legality of the elections and the legal qualifications of its member elect.
- To appoint its president, vice-president, and secretaries upon its organization.
No bill shall become law without having been previously voted upon by the Assembly. In order to pass any law, there must be present in the Assembly at least a fourth part of the total number of members whose certificates of election have been approved and who have taken the oath
No bill can be approved by the Assembly without having been voted upon as a whole, and then article by article.
The Assembly has the right to criticize the government, and each of its member that of interpellation.
The introduction of laws belongs to the President of the Republic and the Assembly.
A Representative of the Assembly who has accepted from the government a pension, employment, or commission with a salary, shall be understood to have renounced his office. There is excepted from this provision the office of Secretary of the government of the Republic and other
offices provided for by special laws.
The office of Representative shall be for a term of four years, and those who exercise it are, by way of reimbursement, entitled according to the circumstances to a sum determined by law. Those who absent themselves during the whole legislature shall not be entitled to
reimbursement, but may recover this right by assisting all the following ones.
TITLE VI Of the permanent commission ARTICLE 54
The Assembly, before adjournment, shall elect seven of seven of its members to constitute a permanent commission during the period that it is closed, the latter being obliged to designate a president and secretary in its first session.
In the absence of the Assembly, the permanent commission shall have the following powers:
- To accept resignations presented by its members, and to grant leaves of absence according to the rules.
The permanent commission shall meet whenever it is convoked by the person who presides over it, in accordance with the Constitution.
TITLE VII Of the Executive Department ARTICLE 56
The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Republic who shall exercise it through his Secretaries.
The administration of the private interests of the towns, provinces, and the state, correspond respectively to the municipal ( populares) assemblies, the provincial assemblies, and the administration in power according to the laws, and upon the basis of the most ample
decentralization and administrative autonomy.
TITLE VIII Of the President of the Republic ARTICLE 58
The President of the Republic shall be elected by an absolute majority of the Assembly and special Representatives, assembled in a constituent assembly. His appointment shall be for a term of four years, and he may be re-elected.
The President of the Republic shall have the initiative of the laws as the members of the Assembly, and he shall promulgate the laws when they have been passed and approved by the latter, and shall supervise and insure their execution.
The power to cause the laws to be executed shall extend to all that is conducive to the consideration of public order in the country and to the security for the state abroad.
The President of the Republic shall promulgate the laws within twenty days after they have been transmitted to him by the assembly for final approval.
Iff within this time they shall not have been promulgated, the President shall return them to the Assembly with a statement of the causes of their detention, in which case the latter shall proceed to their reconsideration; and if they are not repassed by a vote of two-thirds of
the members of the Assembly present, the latter shall not be understood to insist upon their passage. If the law shall have been repassed in the manner indicated, the government shall promulgate it within ten days, causing its nonconformity to appear therein. The government
shall be obliged to do the same if it allows the term of twenty days to pass without returning the law to the Assembly.
When the promulgation of a law has been declared urgent by express vote of an absolute majority of the Assembly, the President may by means of a message, stating his reasons, call upon them to reconsider it, which request shall not be denied, and after the same law has been
approved anew, it shall be promulgated within the legal period, without prejudice to the President's right to cause to be put therein his nonconformity.
The promulgation of laws shall be effected by publication in the official periodical of the Republic, and they shall take effect after thirty days from the date of the publication.
The President of the Republic shall command the army and navy, declare war and ratify treaties, with the previous consent of the Assembly.
Treaties of peace shall no be final until after they have been approved by the Assembly.
Besides the necessary powers for the execution of the laws, the President shall have the following prerogatives:
- To declare whether or not there is sufficient reason to proceed against the President of the Republic, the Representatives, Secretaries of the Government, President of the Supreme Court of Justice, and the Solicitor General, in the case provided for by the Constitution.
- To call the Assembly to special session in those cases where it should constitute itself into a tribunal of justice.
- To give course to business that may have been pending in order that it may be considered.
- To call the Assembly into a special session whenever the exigency of the case demands; and
- To take the place of the Assembly in all its function according to the Constitution, with the exception of the right to make and pass laws.
The President of the Republic needs the authority of a special law:
- To confer military and civil employment according to the laws.
- To appoint the Secretaries of the government.
- To direct the diplomatic and commercial relations with other powers.
- To see that speedy, and complete justice is administered in the entire territory.
- To pardon offenders according to the laws, except what is provided relative to the Secretaries of the government.
- To preside over national ceremonies and to receive the envoys and representatives of foreign powers accredited to him.
In no case shall secret articles of a treaty nullify those which are public.
- In order to eliminate or exchange any part of Philippine territory.
- In order to annex any other territory to the Philippines.
- In order to admit foreign troops in Philippine territory.
- In order to ratify treaties of alliance, offensive and defensive, special treaties of commerce, those which stipulate to give subsidy to a foreign power, and all those which may bind the Filipinos individually.
The President of the Republic has the power to make rules for the compliance and application of the laws, in accordance with the requisites prescribed in the same.
The President of the Republic may, with the previous concurrence of a majority vote of the Representatives, dissolve the Assembly before the expiration of its legal term. In case, new elections shall be ordered within three months.
The President of the Republic shall be only responsible in case of high treason.
The compensation of the President of the Republic shall be fixed by a special law, and cannot be changed until the end of the presidential term of office.
TITLE IX OF the Secretaries of the government ARTICLE 73
The council of the government shall be composed of a President and seven Secretaries, who shall have charge of the portfolios of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Finance, War and Navy, and Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce.
All that which the President ma order or decide in the exercise of his authority shall be assigned by the proper Secretary. No public officer shall comply with any order lacking this requisite.
The Secretaries of the government are jointly responsible to the Assembly for the general policy of the government, and individually for their personal acts. The Solicitor General of the nation shall prosecute and the Assembly shall judge them. The laws shall determine the cases
in which the Secretaries of the government are responsible, the penalty to which they are subjected, and the mode of proceeding against them.
If they should be convicted by the Assembly, their pardon needs the previous petition of an absolute majority of the Representatives.
TITLE X Of the Judicial Department ARTICLE 77
The power to apply the laws in civil and criminal cases in the name of the nation, shall belong exclusively to the courts. The same Code shall govern in the entire Republic without prejudice to certain modifications which in special circumstances the laws may prescribe. There
shall not be established in them more than one system of law for all citizens in all ordinary in all ordinary trials, civil and criminal.
The courts shall not apply general and municipal regulations except in so far as they in harmony with the laws.
The exercise of the judicial power resides in one Supreme Court of Justice and in the tribunals prescribed by the laws. Their membership, organization, and other attributes shall be governed by the organic laws.
The President of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Solicitor General shall be appointed by the National Assembly in concurrence with the President of the Republic and the Secretaries of the government, and shall be absolutely independent from the legislative and executive
Any citizen may bring a public action against all the members of the Judicial Department for offenses which they may commit in the exercise of their power.
Of the provincial and municipal assemblies
The organization and powers of the provincial and municipal assemblies shall be governed by their respective laws. These shall observe the following principles:
- In order to grant amnesties and general pardons.
- In order to coin money.
TITLE XII Of the administration of the state ARTICLE 83
Each year the government shall present to the Assembly a budget of the income and expenses, showing the alterations made in those of the preceding year, at the same time inclosing a balance of the last fiscal year according to law.
No payment shall be made unless it be in accordance with the Appropriations Law or other special one, in the form and under the responsibilities which laws may determine.
The government needs to be authorized by law in order to dispose pf any property of the state or to secure a loan upon the credit of the nation.
The public debt which the government may have contracted according to this Constitution, shall be under the special guaranty of the nation. No indebtedness shall be created without voting at the same time for the means by which to pay it.
All the laws relating to incomes, public expenditures, or public credits shall be considered a part of those of the budgets, and shall be published as such.
Every year the Assembly shall, at the recommendation of the President of the Republic, fix the military forces of land and sea.
TITLE XIII Of the amendments of the constitution ARTICLE 89
The Assembly on its own motion or at the recommendation of the President of the Republic, may resolve to amend the Constitution, prescribing for this purpose, the article or articles which are to amended.
This declaration made, the President of the Republic shall be dissolve the Assembly, and convene the constituent assembly which shall meet within the following three months. The resolution provided for in the preceding article shall be inserted in the notice of the convention.
TITLE XIV Of the observance of and oath to the constitution and the languages ARTICLE 91
The President of the Republic, the government, the Assembly and all Philippine citizens shall faithfully keep the Constitution; and the legislative power, immediately after approving the Appropriation Law, shall examine if the Constitution has been strictly observed and the
infractions corrected, providing for whatever is convenient in order to exact responsibility from the transgressors.
The President of the Republic and all other officials of the nation shall not enter upon the performance of their duties without previously taking the oath of office. The President of the Republic shall take this oath before the national Assembly. All other officials shall take
it before authorities prescribed by law.
The use of the language spoken in the Philippines is optional. It can only be regulated by law, and solely as regards acts of public authorities and judicial affairs. For these acts, the Spanish language shall be used for the present.
ARTICLE 94 Transitory provisions
In the meantime, without prejudice to the provisions of article 48 and to the committee which may have been appointed by the Assembly to draft and report the organic laws for the development and application of the rights granted to Filipino citizens, and for the government of
the public powers determined by the Constitution, the laws in force in these Islands prior to their emancipation shall be considered as laws of the Republic. In the same way the following shall be considered in force: The dispositions of the Civil Code regarding marriage and the
civil registry, suspended by the Governor General of these Islands; the Instructions of April 26, 1888, for the enforcement of articles 77, 78, 79, 82 of said Code; the Law of Civil Registry of June 17, 1870, to which articles 332 of the same code refers, and the regulations of
December 13, 1870, for the enforcement of this law, without prejudice to the local heads continuing in charge of the registrations in the civil registry and intervening in the celebration of the marriage of Catholics.
While the laws referred to in the foregoing article are not yet approved, the provisions of the Spanish laws provisionally made effective by said article may be modified by any special law.
Once the laws approved by the Assembly in accordance with article 94 have been promulgated, the government of the Republic is authorized to issue decrees and regulations necessary for the immediate constitution of the different organs of the state.
The actual President of the revolutionary government shall henceforth assume the title of President of the Republic and shall exercise this office until, after the constituent assembly has been convoked, it shall have proceeded to the election of the person who is to fill the
This Congress, with the members composing it and those who are yet coming by election or appointment, shall last four years, that is to say, during the whole of the present legislature, beginning from the 15 th of April of next year.
Notwithstanding the general established in paragraph 2, article 4, during the time that the country may have to struggle for its independence, the government is authorized while Congress is closed, to determine whatever questions and difficulties not provided for by the laws,
may arise from unforeseen events, by means of decrees which shall be brought to the knowledge of the permanent Commission and the Assembly at its first meeting held in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
The execution of article 5, title 3, is hereby suspended until the meeting of the constituent assembly. In the meantime, the municipalities of those places which require the spiritual services of any Filipino priest, shall provide for his necessary support.
Notwithstanding the provisions of articles 62 and 63, the laws returned by the President of the Republic to the Congress shall not be repassed until the legislature of the following year, these being suspended under the responsibility of the President and his council of
government. Having been repassed according to these conditions, its promulgation becomes obligatory within ten days, the President stating his nonconformity thereto. If it should be repassed in subsequent legislatures, it will be considered as a law approved for the first time.
All the lands, building, and other properties belonging to the religious corporations in these Islands shall be understood to have been restored to the Filipino state on the 24 th of May last, the day in which the dictatorial government of Cavite was constituted. Barasoain,
January twentieth, eighteen hundred and ninety.
- The government and management of the private interests of the province or towns by their respective corporations, the principle of popular and direct election being the basis of the organization of said corporations.
- Publicity of their sessions within the limits prescribed by law.
- Publications of the budgets, accounts, and important ordinances.
- The invention of the government, and in a proper case by the national Assembly in order to prevent the provincial and municipal corporations from exceeding their powers, to the prejudice of general and individual interests.
- The determination of their powers in matter of taxes, in order that the provincial and municipal taxation may never be antagonistic to the system of taxation of the state.
The President of Congress, PEDRO A. PATERNO
The Secretaries, PABLO TECSON, PABLO OCAMPO Adopted from Malcolm, G., Philippine Constitutional Law, Appendix A, p. 568.