Centennial of the House of Representatives

Today is the centennial of the First Philippine Assembly, and thus of our present House of Representatives. It is also the 91st anniversary of the Philippine Senate.

Contemporary accounts of the inauguration of these two legislative chambers can be found in the Philippines Free Press blog: First Session of the Philippine Assembly, October 16, 1907 and Inauguration of the Senate, October 16, 1916.

Three later glimpses of the House (including its incarnation as the National Assembly): Last of the 100 days, May 27, 1939 and The Long Week, February 7, 1970 and The Philippine Congress, which I co-wrote with Teodoro Locsin, Jr.

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  1. Dinapinoy,

    I don’t know… do you?

    • DinaPinoy on October 17, 2007 at 5:21 am

    Manila Bay Watch :

    I don’t know… do you?
    sa tingin ko, simple lang: ang pinoy, palaging ‘oposisyon’ sa presidente. simple lang ang reason – corruption and pinas is going nowhere. walang pagbabago sa buhay ng ordinary pinoys. kaya naman, last election, naturally panalo ang against kay gloria. ano ba ang plataporma ng UNO? wala. ang masaklap dito, maliit lang ang middle class sa pinas, the ‘alert’ ones, ang mga nag-iisip ika nga.

  2. Judging from your comments, Dinapinoy, you seem to have given up — there seems to be no possible solution so am curious, do you suggest that we should stop elections altogether? Or perhaps vote only those that are pro-president?

    What do you think should be done? (To my mind, taking on the ‘blaming’ stance is certainly not gonna get anywhere either…)

  3. First thing to do is for Filipinos to realize — all Filipinos, from the highest officer of the land down to the smallest particule of a human being in the country — that it’s all a question of following the rules and respecting the law. As simple as that. Not hard to do really. When people start to do that, there will be changes.

    There should be no legal shortcuts, none whatsoever. Rules must be followed — the highest officer of the land MUST DO it too, no ifs no buts.

    Life really becomes a lot easier when rules are followed and when laws are respected.

    • bogchimash on October 17, 2007 at 6:09 am

    back to earth…

    talsik na ba jdv?

    • tonio on October 17, 2007 at 7:18 am


    even if JDV goes on national television saying that politicians have received campaign funds from criminals, unless he’s got documents and is willing to name names… it’s still “hearsay”.


    follow the rules? hmm… shouldn’t the highest officials set the example in this department?

    • DinaPinoy on October 17, 2007 at 7:28 am

    Manila Bay Watch :
    Judging from your comments, Dinapinoy, you seem to have given up — there seems to be no possible solution so am curious, do you suggest that we should stop elections altogether? Or perhaps vote only those that are pro-president?

    What do you think should be done? (To my mind, taking on the ‘blaming’ stance is certainly not gonna get anywhere either…)
    tama si marcos – bagong lipunan. sa tingin ko, yan lang ang solution. ang problema, naging slogan lang at sa salita lamang. ang gobyerno ng pinoy ay produkto ng pinoy. saan ba nanggaling si gloria? sa buwan?

    sayang – binigyan ni Ninoy ang pinoy ng pagkakataon na maibalik ang PRIDE ng pinoy. nang patayin si Ninoy at wala ring nangyari, umalis na ako ng bansa.

    panalangin ko, magising na sana ang pinoy…..

    -sumunod sa batas. pumila. huwag magtapon, etc. simple lang at kaya naman. tingnan mo ang pila sa taxi stands sa mga SMs.

    -huwag maglagay. umpisa yan ng corruption.huwag maglagay para bumilis ang papeles. sa airport, huwag mag-ipit ng $10 sa passport para di na buksan ang box mo. ito ang dapat gawin ng bawat pinoy. kunan ng video ang lagayan i-post sa youtube o ipadala sa TV.

    huwag tularan si ver at esperon.

    president of the republic:
    huwag tularan si marcos, erap at gloria. not necessarily in that order.

    • mlq on October 17, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Get rid of all politicians!!

    • mm on October 17, 2007 at 8:06 am

    testing testing

    • rego on October 17, 2007 at 8:13 am

    “Your analysis is flawed. First, don’t expect 100% voter turnout. Second, you can’t say that since Loren got 15 M votes then GMA got 35 M votes. You should instead count all the GMA senatorial candidates (Angara, Arroyo, Zubiri) that won and divide that by 12. 25% is the result. Third, it’s impossible to know that ‘majority of those who trooped to the polls are the ones who hated Gloria’. It’s like saying that pedestrians who enter the Starbucks along 5th Ave. near the Phil. consulate in NYC are coffee drinkers and those who don’t are not coffee drinkers.”



    Im really not claiming that my “analysis” is flawless. If you notice I leave my proposition open for correcton of everybody who have any other/

    Your simpe math of just getting the percentage of the admin winners over the over the rest of the winners has loopholes too/ And that is surely not acceptable to everybody.

    First how would you consider the 2 independents who won. Are they admin or opposition? If you are anti GMA , defintely you will consider them opposition that will surely lessen the numbers for Gloria.

    Then you have to assume that all those who voted for opposition hated Gloria.


    • rego on October 17, 2007 at 8:32 am


    If you look at all the countries with elections, you’ll find that not 100% of the population will participate in any political activity, you’ll be lucky if you get 50%, actually perhaps 20% of the voting age within the population. Lets be realistic, some are not interested, whether they are happy with the status quo or don’t care at all, or for some reason are unable to participate. Its basically the critical few who actually participate actively in matters of the state, and it is this critical few who matter. Statistically we don’t have to get a 100% (one by one) survey of all these people, just a representative sample.
    Even if you look at the odds, one can easily predict winning candidates just by using the SWS survey. If you dare, bet on it and you’ll see.



    You’re right there is really no election with 100% turn-out. So its really difficult to analyze the senate election. All we can come up is our individual perception of teh results

    On the survey as a tool for predicting results. I would go with Manolo that the top 8 candidates is the safest that they can predict.

    On interpreting the senate election results , I would go with tilliling.

    And I am sticking to my belefe that we cannot really use lection as a tool to fix our problem. because our electoral system is just so defective.

    • confused observer on October 17, 2007 at 8:47 am


    “we the people are true opposition”

    Well how can the people just be opposing, who? Time to buckle down to work. Let the opposition do its role. The make their choices during elections. The last one shows that things could balance out for the better. The senate is now opposition dominant. If the hous ggores opposition for example, then the balance is lost and it’s a grid lock. So the people are the loosers if the balance is not maintained.

    • rego on October 17, 2007 at 8:56 am

    “Again, being part of the business community I still encourage sobriety, we can manage this crises as we have always weathered strong typhoons, landslides, wars, and earthquakes – together, and with clear minds so we don’t cause irreparable damage to our institutions along the way.”

    I totaly agree. I really hope we can rise above the weaknesses of Gloria and all the politicians by not allowing that weaknesses to rule over us. I wish we can see their strengths use that to move the country forward.

    • BrianB on October 17, 2007 at 9:15 am

    “Get rid of all politicians!!”

    No one still sees it my way. Free the indios!

    • vic on October 17, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Among the proudest moments of the Philippines Congress was during l963 when Senator Jose Diokno was first elected senator, the first of his two terms, after being sacked (resign kuno) by former President Diosdado Macapagal from the Office of Secretary of Justice when he pursued the case of one American named Stonehill for Tax Evasion. The reason for the sacking was to save the many politicians who protested the “investigation”because they were suspected of being Greased by the American…that for you was the Father of PGMA.

    Jose Diokno distinguished himself as among of the few untouchables in the senate (incorruptible), a very rare breed indeed, you could hardly find today….

    • supremo on October 17, 2007 at 9:33 am


    you said ‘First how would you consider the 2 independents who won. Are they admin or opposition? If you are anti GMA , defintely you will consider them opposition that will surely lessen the numbers for Gloria.”

    Kaya nga independent. They are neither admin nor opposition. It’s 25% for GMA and 58.3 % for the opposition. Get it?

    “Then you have to assume that all those who voted for opposition hated Gloria.”

    Pareho ka pala ni GMA. If you are not with her, you are against her. That’s so immature.

    • Equalizer on October 17, 2007 at 9:37 am

    The Palace Gang is hell bent in turning our country not only into a “cyber province” but also into a “real world” feudal province of China!

    “Gov’t Leases 1 Million Hectares to China Firm in Vague Contract. Cause-oriented groups and some legislators have expressed concern over the potential implications of the contract on the agrarian reform program and on the country’s food security. NEWSBREAK”

    “With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.” …Confucius

    • cvj on October 17, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Brianb, it is impossible to “get rid of all the politicians” as a category. It’s the dynamics of the system that causes people to act the way they do so if you replace the current crop with business people or NGO-types, their behavior will adjust to the system and you’ll see them behaving as politicians. As can be seen from Among Ed’s experience, even priests are subject to tremendous moral pressures after entering the political system.

    Also, your “free the indios” seems to be too broad and too narrow at the same time.

    • ramrod on October 17, 2007 at 10:59 am


    Good morning! I have to agree with you there. We all have our different roles to play and “politicians” to me have this unsavory one also. How anyone would want to be a politician I cannot imagine. The rewards may be great but the stress for me is too much, you have no privacy, people can attack your personality, morals, family, etc., the perils of being a public figure.
    I am relieved that some people came out into the open with these strange “cash disbursements.” This has been practiced for quite some time but easily dismissed as hearsay and most recipients just clammed up. The administration must have been taken by surprise by this, not all people clam up even if you ram money up their throats. Even JDV admitted these irregularities in the system (elections) in “The Explainer” last night. Though these could still be brushed aside as hearsay or something else as there is not evidence, proof, court decision, we still know its there and fact that its out in the open diminishes the power of these people to take advantage of silence and darkness…

    • qwert on October 17, 2007 at 11:30 am


    …just like some politicians they receive some money and they do not know who gave it because they did not see the face…

    • cvj on October 17, 2007 at 11:37 am

    Good morning ramrod, saw your pictures. Your handle fits you.

    From my acquaintances who belong to political families, they say that they have to be corrupt because the members of the public come to them for all sorts of assistance. Since the problem is inherent in the system, moral fortitude alone is not the answer. So it might be the case that practically all of them get money on the side to survive in which case the only way to distinguish among the corrupt political class is what proportion they give back to the public and what proportion they channel for their own use.

    That’s the reason why i think politicians (and their immediate families) should be cut-off from the cash economy. Give them a huge salary adjustment (to attract good talent) but every time they engage in a personal transaction, they should use a voucher (or electronic voucher). If you’re familiar with the ‘NETS’ system (used by the public) here in Singapore, that’s sort of the thing i have in mind for our politicos and their families.

    • MAV on October 17, 2007 at 11:56 am


    Just let me know if you intend to use this handle of yours. Why are you hiding in another handle? You trying to evade Tililing? You were the one who used the Harry handle of Tililing, right? You’re already very old so please comport yourself in a manner that befits your age.

    • ramrod on October 17, 2007 at 11:56 am

    “That’s the reason why i think politicians (and their immediate families) should be cut-off from the cash economy. Give them a huge salary adjustment (to attract good talent) but every time they engage in a personal transaction, they should use a voucher (or electronic voucher).” – cvj

    This is a radical departure from the way Philippine politics has been eversince but is the most sensible system I’ve seen. It could also separate the ones with professional intentions from the dubious ones and would even elevate the label “public servant” into a respectable line of work.

    • BrianB on October 17, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    If I were dictator, bureaucrats would be the highest paid Philippine employees. The most educated as well.

    • BrianB on October 17, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    “Also, your “free the indios” seems to be too broad and too narrow at the same time.”

    CVJ, this is in line with my belief that Filipinos still think like slaves. A harsher word for “colonial mentality,” the inadequate cliche.

    • cvj on October 17, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Brianb, i’m not so sure about bureaucrats being the highest paid. Well paid yes, but i believe that the highest paid should be the salesmen (on commission basis of course). In my experience within the Corporate world, i realized that a big corporation is actually a socialist cocoon, at least that part that is not exposed to the market. Believe me, if it were not for market pressures and corporate culture, corporate bureaucrats would behave exactly the same way as government bureacrats.

    Thanks for the clarification about slave mentality. It’s just that i don’t think it’s indios vs whoever since indios are already among the bad guys.

    • vic on October 18, 2007 at 2:19 am


    you mentioned our charitable works among my townmates in North America and now it involves all townmates worldwide, thanks to internet.

    ours involves mostly giving back to our town (see alimodian.net) mostly in infrastructure, like helping finance a barangay centre or chapel, and lately my townmates in Northeast and Western states started the project of supplying thousands of books and a Reading center in town and also distributing the books among barangays. Its been going since l986 and we also take pleads for donations among the town’s civic citizen and raise funds for them, mostly by contributions from our town mates here that keeps growing with later arrivals.

    But we are open to suggestion among town mates and even consider some from our LGU officials. And I believe we are making some impacts…

    • BrianB on October 18, 2007 at 4:00 am

    “the highest paid should be the salesmen”

    CVJ, salesmen are a dying breed, naturally. That we have lots of salemen here, that there are more need for salesmen than any other worker is an indication of our backwardness.

    • cvj on October 18, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Brianb, the sales profession falls under the category of what Hardt and Negri calls affective labor, which is:

    …labor that produces or manipulates affects such as a feeling of ease, well-being, satisfaction, excitement, or passion…- Multitude, Hardt and Negri

    Far from being a sign of backwardness, the rise of the sales profession is part of a general trend towards immaterial or biopolitical labor, i.e.,

    …labor that creates not only material goods but also relationships and ultimately social life itself – Multitude, Hardt and Negri

    …which is the new hegemonic form of labor. As Hardt and Negri explains…

    When we claim that immaterial labor is tending toward the hegemonic position we are not saying that most of the workers in the world today are producing primarily immaterial goods. On the contrary, agricultural labor remains, as it has for centuries, dominant in quantitative terms, and industrial labor has not declined in terms of numbers globally. Immaterial labor constitutes a minority of global labor, and it is concentrated in some of the dominant regions of the globe. Our claim, rather, is that immaterial labor has become hegemonic in qualitative terms and has imposed a tendency on other forms of labor and society itself. Immaterial labor, in other words, is today in the same position that industrial labor was 150 years ago, when it accounted for only a small fraction of global production and was concentrated in a small part of the world but nonetheless exerted hegemony over all other forms of productio. Just as in that phase all forms of labor and society itself had to industrialize, today labor and society have to informationalize, become intelligent, become communicative, become affective – Multitude, Hardt and Negri

    Salesmen (and -women), along with our nurses, call center agents, IT professionals and even lawyers are the future of labor.

    • BrianB on October 18, 2007 at 10:59 am


    I use the Internet to purchase stuff. Saves me time and a lot of bullshit.


    Tandaan mo,

    “ang batang swapang at sinungaling ay d tatangkad,uusli ang ngipin, at mananatiling unano!”-Diosdado Macapagal

    • ramrod on October 18, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Actually, technology has radically changed the sales profession, case in point is BrianB’s internet purchases. When I started out as a salesrep for Zuellig a long time ago, we divided the Philippines into several regional units, each unit was managed by a national sales manager, each unit or PD (pharmaceutical division) had several AM units (or area manager) who had several PD salesmen under him, all in all the salesforce was more than a thousand or so.
    Several years after, the AM units were reduced to 1 KAM (keys accounts manager), a laptop, pos hand held, and ZEOS (fondly called Zuellig Eliminates Old Salesmen by the union), the system connects major hospitals and major customers directly to the warehouse (computer base of course). Now we are just talking about local operations here.
    In our company now, the whole Philippine operations (in billions of Php) is run by 1 person alone (with a help from a call center). Of course, there is still a need for the company to have a face (person) and who will make the market analysis, political scenario, plant visits, etc.? Honestly, you have to be a salesman and a marketing man rolled into one, add IT literate to the list. And if you want career advancement in the regional level, you need to speak Mandarin or Cantonese, if you’re eying global career advancement you have to speak a European language (I’m still deciding between French or Finnish), my boss advises French.

    • cvj on October 18, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Brianb, yeah we know the Internet is bullshit free.

    • kaptan on October 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    100 years of desperate championing of elite interests. 100 years of pseudo-nationalism at the expense of the Filipino people.
    100 years of outright marginalization of the Left.
    100 years of landlord land reform.
    100 years of fake political parties.
    100 years of bludgeoned democracy.

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