Laurel and Marcos

Weekend news flash from Newsbreak: swirling talk of unrest in the Philippine Navy amidst talk that Vice Admiral Mayuga will be replaced.

Anyway, as for today’s anniversary of martial law…

There should have been a national commemoration of martial law today, and the focus ought to have been on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.

But that wasn’t the case.

In The Explainer Blog, there are links to quite a few readings on martial law. In addition, I’d recommend three books:

Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage, by Pete Lacaba: the classic reportage on the First Quarter Storm.
How Democracy Was Lost, by Augusto Caesar Espiritu, a diary written during the closing months of the 1971-73 Constitutional Convention, by a delegate, detailing the moral surrender of his peers.
The Making of a Subversive, by Hernando Abaya, a great eyewitness account of what it was like to be arrested and detained in the early hours of martial law.

Another thing: Jose P. Laurel and Ferdinand Marcos. My theory is that the strongest intellectual influence on Marcos was the Japanese Occupation and the Laurel Republic and its constitution. This constitution is often overlooked, not least because it was only briefly in force, and the regime for which it was drafted has never enjoyed anything beyond a grudging recognition of (limited) legitimacy.

However it has been studied and its most notable influence, I think, has been on scholars such as Dr. Jose Abueva who has raised hackles by his proposing the qualification of the freedom of speech with “responsible.” It was drafted by many of those involved in drafting the 1935 Constitution. It was this constitution that granted Jose P. Laurel the authority to proclaim martial law in 1944.

Filipino Librarian quite remarkably points out that Laurel and Marcos dated their martial law proclamations on the same day -September 21. While Laurel was truthful with his -dating it the 21st but officially stating it would take effect the 22nd; Marcos signed his on the 22nd, implemented it on the 23rd, backdated it to the 21st.



The Filipino people, imploring the aid of Divine Providence and desiring to lead a free national existence, do hereby proclaim their independence, and in order to establish a government that shall promote the general welfare, conserve and develop the patrimony of the Nation, and contribute to the creation of a world order based on peace, liberty, and moral justice, do ordain this Constitution.

Article I. - The Republic of the Philippines

Section 1. The Philippines is a republican state. The government established by this Constitution shall be known as the Republic of the Philippines.

Sec. 2. The Republic of the Philippines shall exercise sovereignty over all the national territory as at present defined by law.

Article II. - The Executive

Section 1. The Executive power shall be vested in the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Sec. 2. The President shall be elected by a majority of all the members of the National Assembly at the place and on the date to be fixed by law.

Sec. 3. No person may be elected President unless he be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, is forty years of age or over, and has been a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding the election.

Sec. 4. The President shall hold office during a term of six years and may not be re-elected for the following term.

Sec. 5. The term of the President shall end at noon on the thirtieth day of December following the expiration of six years after his election, and from such time the term of his successor shall begin. If his successor shall not have been chosen before such time, or if the President-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the outgoing President shall continue in office until his successor shall ‘have been elected and qualified. In the event of the removal of the President from office or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the same shall devolve on the ranking Minister in the order of precedence established by law until a new President shall have been elected for the unexpired term. In the latter case, the election shall be held within sixty days after such removal, death, resignation, or inability.

Sec. 6. Before assuming the duties of his office, the President shall take the following oath or affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Republic of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.” (In case of affirmation, the last sentence will be omitted.)

Sec. 7. The President shall have an official residence and receive such compensation as may be fixed by law which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the government or any of its subdivisions or instrumentalities.

Sec. 8. The President shall have supervision and control of all the ministries, bureaus or offices, all local governments, and all other branches or instrumentalities of the Executive Department, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 9. The President shall be commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Republic of the Philippines and, whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawlessness, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion. In case of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, or imminent danger thereof, or when the public safety so requires, he may suspend the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.

Sec. 10. The President shall appoint the Ministers and Vice-Ministers, and with the advice of his Cabinet, shall appoint ambassadors, diplomatic ministers and consuls, heads of bureaus and offices, officers of the Army from the rank of colonel, of the Navy and of the Air forces from the rank of captain or commander, provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law.

Sec. 11. There shall be a Council of State to advise the President on matters of national policy. It shall be composed of not more than twenty members to be appointed by the President from among citizens who may have rendered distinguished service to the Nation.

Sec. 12. The President, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of the National Assembly, shall have the power to declare war and make peace, and, with the concurrence of a majority of all its members, conclude treaties. He shall receive ambassadors and diplomatic ministers duly accredited to the Republic of the Philippines.

Sec. 13. The President shall have the power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction, for all offenses, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper to impose. He shall have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of the National Assembly.

Sec. 14. The President shall from time to time give to the National Assembly information of the state of he Nation, and recommend to its consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

Article III. – The Legislature

Section 1. The Legislative power shall be vested in the National Assembly.

Sec. 2. The National Assembly shall be composed of the provincial governors and city mayors as members ex-officio, and of delegates to be elected every three years, one from each and every province and chartered city. The date and manner of their election and the method of filling vacancies shall be prescribed by law, which shall not be subject to change or modification during the Greater East Asia War.

Sec. 3. No person shall be elected to the National Assembly unless he has been five years a citizen of the Philippines, and is at least thirty years of age.

Sec. 4.

(1) The National Assembly shall convene in regular session once every year on a date to be fixed by law, but no regular session shall continue longer than sixty days, exclusive of Sundays. It may also be called in special session by the President, for such time as he may determine, to consider general legislation or only such subjects as he may designate.

(2) The National Assembly shall choose its Speaker, a secretary, a sergeant-at-arms, and such other officers as may be required. A majority of all the members shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as the National Assembly may provide.

(3) The National Assembly shall be the sole judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its elective members, and may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. It shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts unless the National Assembly by adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless vetoed by the President within forty days after adjournment.

(2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. When a provision of an appropriation bill affects one or more items of the same, the President cannot veto the provision without at the same time vetoing the particular item or items to which it relates.

Sec. 10.

(1) No bill which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill.

(2) No bill shall be passed or become a law unless copies thereof in its final form shall have been furnished the members at least three calendar days prior to its passage by the National Assembly, except when the President shall have certified to the necessity of its immediate enactment. Upon the last reading of a bill no amendment thereof shall be allowed; and the question upon its final passage shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered on the journal.

Sec. 11.

(1) All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds
of the government.

(2) No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.

(3) No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces or to any penal institution, orphanage, or leprosarium.

Sec. 12. (1) The rule of taxation shall be uniform.

(2) The National Assembly may, by law, authorize the President, subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, to fix, within specified limits, tariff rates, import or export quotas, and tonnage and wharfage duties.

(3) Cemeteries, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenent thereto, and all lands, buildings and improvements used exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes, shall be exempt from taxation.

Sec. 13. In times of war or other national emergency, the National Assembly may by law authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy.

Sec. 14. When the National Assembly is not in session, the President may, in cases of urgent necessity, promulgate rules and ordinances which shall have the force and effect of law until disapproved by resolution before the end of the next regular session of the National Assembly.

Article IV. – The Judiciary

Section 1. The Judicial Power shall be vested in the Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be established by law.

Sec, 2. The National Assembly shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts, but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its original Jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, diplomatic ministers and consuls, nor of its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error, as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in all cases in which the constitutionality of any law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in question, or in which the jurisdiction of any court is in issue or where only errors or questions of law are involved.

Sec. 3. Unless otherwise provided by law, the Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices.

Sec. 4. The members of. the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President with the advice of the Cabinet. All judges of inferior courts shall be appointed by the President with the advice of the Supreme Court.

Sec. 5. No person may be appointed member of the Supreme Court unless he be a citizen of the Philippines, is at least forty years of age and has been a judge of a court of record or has been engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines for at least ten years.

Sec. 6. The National Assembly shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of the inferior courts but no person may be appointed judge of any such courts unless he be a citizen of the Philippines and has been admitted to the practice of law in the Philippines.

Sec. 7. The members of the Supreme Court and judges of inferior courts shall hold office during good behavior, until they become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which may not be diminished during their continuance in office except in case of a general revision of salaries of all officials and employees of the government.

Sec. 8. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a Justice for the writing of opinion of the court. Any Justice dissenting from a decision shall state the reasons for his dissent.

Sec. 9. No law or executive order, ordinance or regulation may be declared unconstitutional without the unanimous vote of all the members of the Supreme Court.

Sec. 10. No decision shall be rendered by any court of record without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.

Sec. 11. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. All existing laws on pleading, practice and procedure are subject to alteration and modification by the Supreme Court.

Article V. – Impeachment

Section 1. The President and the Justices of the Supreme Court shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, or other high crimes.

Sec. 2. The National Assembly, by a vote of two-thirds of all its members, shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Sec. 3. The Supreme Court shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of three-fourths of all the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Sec. 4. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the government of the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law.

Article VI. - Citizenship

Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution and their descendants.

(2) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Sec. 2. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.

Article VII. - Duties and Rights of the Citizen

Section 1. It is the duty of every citizen to render personal military and civil service as may be required by law, to pay taxes and public charges, and to engage in a useful calling, occupation or profession.

Sec. 2. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Sec. 3. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

Sec. 4. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

Sec. 5. No ex post facto law shall be enacted.

Sec. 6. No person shall be imprisoned for debt.

Sec. 7. No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Sec. 8. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion, insurrection, rebellion, or when the public safety so requires.

Sec. 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

Sec. 10. Free access to the courts or administrative tribunals shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.

Sec. 11. Subject to such limitations as may be imposed by law in the interest of peace, morals, health, safety or public security:

(1) The right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.

(2) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall not be invaded.

(3) The right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be infringed.

(4) The free enjoyment and practice of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall not be curtailed.

(5) The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired.

(6) The freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, shall not be abridged.

Article VIII. - Conservation and Utilization of Natural Resources

Section 1. All agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all sources of potential energy, and other natural resources of the Philippines belong to the State, and their disposition, exploitation, development, or utilization shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens, subject to any existing right, grant, lease, or concession at the time of the inauguration of the government established under this Constitution. Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated, and no license, concession, or lease for the exploitation, development, or utilization of any of the natural resources shall be granted for a period exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, in which cases beneficial use may be the measure and the limit of the grant.

Sec. 2. No private corporation or association may acquire, lease, or hold public agricultural lands in excess of one thousand and twenty-four hectares, nor may any individual acquire such lands by purchase in excess of one hundred and forty-four hectares, or by lease of one thousand and twenty-four hectares, or by homestead in excess of twenty-four hectares. Lands adapted to grazing, not exceeding two thousand hectares, may be leased to an individual, private corporation, or association.

Sec. 3. The National Assembly may determine by law the size of private agricultural land which individuals, corporations, or associations may acquire and hold, subject to rights existing prior to the enactment of such law.

Sec. 4. The National Assembly may authorize, upon payment of just compensation, the expropriation of lands to be subdivided into small lots and conveyed at cost to individuals.

Sec. 5. No private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines, or to persons entitled by law to inherit in case of intestate succession.

Article IX. – General Provisions

Section 1. The flag of the Republic of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue, with a sun and three stars, as consecrated and honored by the Filipino people.

Section 2. The government shall take steps toward the development and propagation of Tagalog as the national language.

Sec. 3. There shall be a General Auditing Office to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues, receipts, expenditures of funds and properties of the government, its subdivisions and instrumentalities, as well as of such persons or institutions as may be provided by law.

Sec. 4. A Civil Service embracing all branches and subdivisions of the government shall be provided by law. Appointments in the Civil Service, except as to those which are policy-determining, primarily confidential or highly technical in nature, shall be made only according to merit and fitness, to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination.

Sec. 5. All public officers and members of the armed forces shall take an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

Sec. 6. No public officer or employee shall receive additional or double compensation unless specifically authorized by law.

Sec. 7. Public officers and employees shall not be engaged in the practice of any profession during their continuance in office; nor shall they, directly or indirectly, intervene in the management or control of any private enterprise which in any way may be affected by the functions of their office, or be financially interested in any contract with the government, or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.

Sec. 8. The promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people shall be the concern of the State.

Sec. 9. The State shall promote scientific research and invention. Arts and letters shall be under its patronage. The exclusive right to writings and inventions shall be secured to authors and inventors for a limited period.

Sec. 10. All educational institutions shall be under the supervision of and subject to regulation by the State. The government shall establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of national education, and shall provide at least free public elementary instruction, and citizenship training to adult citizens. All schools, colleges, and universities shall aim to develop moral character, personal and collective discipline, civic conscience, and vocational skill, secure social efficiency, and teach the duties of citizenship. Optional religious instruction shall be maintained in the public schools as now authorized by law. The State shall create scholarships in arts, science, and letters for specially gifted citizens.

Sec. 11. The State shall afford protection to labor, especially to working women and minors, and shall regulate the relations between landowner and tenant, and between labor and capital in industry and in agriculture. The State may provide for compulsory arbitration.

Sec. 12. The State may, in the interest of national welfare or defense, establish and operate industries and means of transportation and communication, and, upon payment of just compensation, transfer to public ownership utilities and other private-enterprises to be operated by the government.

Sec. 13. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or other entities organized under the laws of the Philippines, sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by citizens of the Philippines, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. No franchise or right shall be granted to any individual, firm or corporation, except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the National Assembly when the public interest so requires.

Sec. 14. The National Assembly shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations, unless such corporations are owned or controlled by the government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.

Article X. - Amendments

Section 1. The National Assembly, by a vote of two-thirds of all its members, may propose amendments to this Constitution, but such amendments shall not be valid as part of the Constitution unless approved by the people at a plebiscite or convention especially called for that purpose and on the date and under conditions to be prescribed by law.

Article XI. - Transitory Provisions

Section 1. This Constitution shall be ratified by the people at a plebiscite or convention especially called for that purpose. The manner of holding such plebiscite or convention shall be provided by law.

Sec. 2. The first National Assembly shall convene at the place and on the date fixed by law, and immediately after its organization shall elect the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Sec. 3. The existing executive departments of the Philippine Executive Commission shall continue as Ministries of the Republic until the National Assembly shall by law provide otherwise.

Sec. 4. All laws of the Philippines shall continue in force until the inauguration of the Republic; thereafter, such laws shall remain operative unless inconsistent with this Constitution, until amended, altered, modified or repealed by the National Assembly, and all references in such laws to the government or officials of the Philippines or of the Philippine Executive Commission shall be construed, in so far as applicable, to refer to the government and corresponding officials under the Republic,

Sec. 5. All courts existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall continue and exercise their jurisdiction, except in so far as it may be inconsistent with the provisions of his Constitution, until otherwise provided by law in accordance with this Constitution; but all cases, civil and criminal, pending in said courts shall be heard, tried and determined under the laws then in force.

Sec. 6. All officers and employees of the government under the Philippine Executive Commission shall continue in office until the National Assembly shall provide otherwise; but all officers whose appointments are by this Constitution vested in the President shall vacate their respective offices upon the appointment and qualification of their successors.

Sec. 7. The prohibitions and limitations provided for in this Constitution, notwithstanding, the President of the Republic of the Philippines may enter into an agreement with any foreign nation for the utilization of natural resources and the operation of public utilities, which agreement shall expire upon the termination of the Greater East Asia War.

Sec. 8. All property rights and privileges acquired by any person, entity or corporation, since the outbreak of the Greater East Asia War, shall be subject to adjustment and settlement upon the termination of the said war.

Sec. 9. The provisions of this Constitution, except those contained in this Article and those which refer to the election and qualification of officers to be elected under this Constitution, shall not take effect until the inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines.

Article XII. - Special Provision

Section 1. Within one year after the termination of the Greater East Asia War, the National Assembly shall by law provide for the election by popular suffrage of delegates to a Constitutional Convention, which shall meet not later than sixty days after their election in order to formulate and adopt a new Constitution which shall become effective upon its approval by the people at a plebiscite to be held for the purpose. After such approval the National Assembly shall’ forthwith provide for the election of the officers under the new Constitution and the inauguration of the government established thereunder.

During the 1930s, Laurel and many other Filipino leaders became interested in the Japanese warrior code of Bushido, as a means of counter-acting what they felt was the moral and ethical weakness and lack of a sense of identity and purpose of younger Filipinos. These ideas surely influenced some aspiring politicians.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

19 thoughts on “Laurel and Marcos

  1. There are times when martial law is necessary.

    Today, as we commemmorate the proclamation of martial law, let us remember that it was the dictatorship that followed and not martial law itself that we should never allow to happen again.

  2. The “Laurel Republic” constitution categorically refers to the “Republic of the Philippines”, something which the 1935 constitution only obliquely holds out as a promise in its final article:

    “The government established by this Constitution shall be known as the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Upon the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States and the proclamation of Philippine independence, the Commonwealth of the Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the Republic of the Philippines.”

    That is why it has been said that World War II marked the end of colonialism as it was then known. The first taste of independence given by the Japanese and the Germans was addictive, no matter how brief or fleeting. It was like first blood. After that, it was never the same. And so, one by one, the former colonial masters had to relinquish their colonies. India, Indochina, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, they all had to be given independence.

    The 1935 constitution took pains to safeguard American property rights through provisions such as:

    “The property rights of the United States and the Philippines shall be promptly adjusted and settled, and all existing property rights of citizens or corporations of the United States shall be acknowledged, respected, and safeguarded to the same extent as property rights of the Philippines.”

    Including the following provision on debts guaranteed by the U.S. government: “where bonds have been issued under authority of an Act of Congress of the United States by the Philippine Islands, or any province, city or municipality therein, the Government of the Philippines will make adequate provision for the necessary funds for the payment of interest and principal, and such obligations shall be a first lien on all taxes collected.”

    It also adds: “The Government of the Philippines will assume all continuing obligations of the United States under the Treaty of Peace with Spain ceding the Philippine Islands to the United States.”

    And then this final insurance policy: “Notwithstanding the provisions of section one, Article Thirteen, and section eight, Article Fourteen, of the foregoing Constitution, during the effectivity of the Executive Agreement entered into by the President of the Philippines with the President of the United States on the fourth of July, nineteen hundred and forty-six, pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth Act Numbered Seven hundred and thirty-three, but in no case to extend beyond the third of July, nineteen hundred and seventy-four, the disposition, exploitation, development, and utilization of all agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, and other natural resources of the Philippines, and the operation of public utilities, if open to any person, be open to citizens of the United States and to all forms of business enterprises owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by citizens of the United States in the same manner as to, and under the same conditions imposed upon, citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations owned or controlled by citizens of the Philippines.”

    The Laurel constitution only says:

    “All property rights and privileges acquired by any person, entity or corporation, since the outbreak of the Greater East Asia War, shall be subject to adjustment and settlement upon the termination of the said war.”

    World War II really changed the course of the world. In the Philippines, nationalists like Claro M. Recto were labeled as collaborators because they sympathized with the idea of immediate independence, which the Japanese were all too conveniently willing to grant. In comparison, the Laurel constitution gives very little consideration to the traditional colonial masters.

    Ties between the old man Laurel and Ferdinand Marcos really ran deep. Laurel felt a perverse form of affinity with the young Marcos, impressed by the young man’s brilliance and daring. He became Marcos’ protector and guide, first acquitting Marcos of murder and later on mentoring the aspiring young politician. Ironically, ties also ran deep between Laurel and the Aquinos. Ninoy Aquino’s father was one of Laurel’s most loyal admirers and Ninoy himself was an unofficial member of the Laurel household.

  3. Yes, mlq3. I’m glad you pointed it out. I purposely cited the parity amendment since it was added to the 1935 constitution, albeit after the war. It brings Jose P. Laurel back into controversy because he was later involved in the Laurel-Langley agreement which nationalists later denounced him for. Sort of like coming back full circle and making the man a bit more of an enigma.

  4. I also find it eerie that the “Greater East Asia War” gets specifically mentioned a few times in this 1943 constitution. Sure, it’s a war-time constitution and it reflects the reality of that time. But it’s still kind of spooky.

  5. I just visited the site, Bantayog ng mga Bayani, and was appalled to learn that many of those tortured and killed during Martial Law were student activists in their early and mid-twenties. I’ve always thought that Marcos’ victims were all old and middle-aged men like Diokno and Aquino. I was wrong.

    One of these young martyrs could have been our President by now. A lot of us are asking, “Is there a Redeemer? Somewhere, somehow a Redeemer liveth! ”

    One of those youth could have been the Redeemer, now gone forever — slain in the altar of one man’s greed and ambition.

    Lest we forget…

  6. From the Bantayog website, one of those on the list – Macliing Dulag “Kalinga elder who led resistance against [the] dictatorship’s dam project“. I could just imagine the dilemma the DLSU student leader/explainee may have on this. On the one hand, here was a victim of Martial Law, on the other hand, this guy was after all blocking one of Marcos’ infrastructure projects.

  7. THere’s a story about Former Pres. Laurel. It was said that he had killed a rival suitor once. the American Judge who heard his case was impressed with him and did not want to see that such brilliance be laid to waste. He was acquitted.

    So he likely saw that same brilliance in future Ex Pres. Marcos and he repaid his good fortune.

    Of course, this was only a story and I’m not sure if anyone alive can still verify this.

  8. Elinca’s observations are correct. Among those listed in the Bantayog website:

    Median age of the 4 persons killed within Marcos’ prescribed term of office as duly elected President (1971 to 1973): 23 years old

    Median age of the 37 persons killed during Marcos’ extended term but before Ninoy’s assassination (1974 to 1982): 27 years old

    Median age of the 45 persons killed in the year Ninoy was assassinated and after (1983 to 1986): 34 years old (I excluded the three nuns who drowned in the sinking of MV Cassandra)

    The oppositionists who survived the dictatorship (e.g. Roces, Diokno, Tanada) had a median life expectancy of 73 years.

  9. Hello Manolo,

    I was fortunate enough to have encountered Chairman Abueva when a ChaCha discussion was held in a Metro manila school. He may be bright but he isn’t impressive at all.

    Do you remember the remaining few scenarios I told you about how a SINGLE ruling party is going to be removed from power Constitutionally within an election term based on the provisions laid forth by Abueva’s Concom?

    Just in case not; I gave you these possibilities:

    1) a large number of MPs from the ruling party renounce their affiliations, turncoat and at which point they will be ejected as members of parliament. The opposition then might have enough numbers to be considered as the majority party and topple the ruling party.

    2) a large number of MPs from the ruling party vote against a VOTE OF CONFIDENCE on their own government when such is called (as embodied in subsection 2 of section 28 of ArticleVII of the Concom proposals). Parliament will thus be dissolved and ALL OF THEM will be out of power and will need to run for elections again where they have to spend money and still risk the chance of losing. And still to be considered is whether their party will still endorse them as its candidate!

    3) and last but not the least is that a large number of MPs from the ruling party are incapacitated to perform their duties or even die en masse!

    Of the 3; only the 3rd has a miracle of happening! And all of them still hinge on the interpretation of what is the number of all the members of Parliament.

    But wait, Chairman Abueva wasn’t finished yet.

    Subsection 4 of section 4 of Article VII of the Concom recommendation reads “In case any vacancy arises in Parliament, a special election may be called to
    fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Member of Parliament thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.”

    That seems plain to understand. Any vacancy seems to apply to any vacancy in Parliament. Though that is likely to pose a problem with MPs of proportional party representation.

    We all know that they want turncoatism to be banned. But look at how they want it interpreted.

    In Abueva’s “Why Reform Our Political Parties and Electoral System? A PRIMER” he states
    4. The proposal in “Section 12. Any elective official who leaves his party before the end of the term shall forfeit his seat.” And he will be replaced by his political party.


    I can understand if the MP was from the proportional party representation category but what Abueva seems to want is for the party to retain hold even for district representation.

    That would be inspite of the “In case any vacancy ……” provision.

    That makes one wonder what their interpretation of “special elections” is with regards the vacancy in Parliament.

    Does Abueva and company mean special elections wherein the electorate votes again or do they mean internal party elections of the party concerned in the particular districts? It is a given that for proportional party representation, the vote is internal party elections.

    Given my experience with him, I don’t think it bodes well.

    You can scratch option 1 above if the party will retain hold even for district representation. Anyway, option 1 and even option 2 are “snowballs in hell” scenarios.

    Chairman Abueva must have been pretty peeved with Sheila Coronel. Madame Coronel oversaw the compilation of PCIJ’s work evaluating the Chacha of ex- Pres. Marcos and the present one.

    The PCIJ work of which Abueva happens to be a member of the board of advisers painted him in unflattering colors.

    He got slapped silly! Of course, PCIJ didn’t inform him of the project knowing he was involved. PCIJ was just professional in that they released their work even though Abueva would sustain a black eye.

    And a black eye it was! Serves Abueva right.

    There are many provisions in the Concom proposals that are sneaky or stinks that one might think certain provisions were written by Tolkiens “Gollum” himself.

    If you are a gambling man Manolo; I’d bet you a hamburger that those stinking and sneaky provisions were influenced by Chairman Abueva!

  10. that’s why i said before, new society was sneaky….same with sigaw’s proposals. it was a fake batasan, this will be a fake parliament.

  11. check the arguments of kit tatad against singaw. i think they are valid. after all, tatad has been been there, than that. he know the ins and outs. he is a veteran. he was one of the “greatest men” of makoy. he mayde doing the best thing in his life “if” the filipinos will listen to him, just this time.

  12. The Chico dam project was one of those things Marcos thought up as part of his grand vision to wean our country from dependence on foreign oil. If memory serves, it did not push through because it got overtaken by EDSA. That should give people a great topic for discussion during coffee breaks, eh? The rights of our cultural minorities vs the demand of the majority for power to run industries, microwave ovens, and Playstations.

    By the way, has there been any independent account on the ante-dating of the Martial Law proclamation? What I keep reading is that Marcos ante-dated it to the 21st because of some mumbo-jumbo, hokum and hex, numerological reason, which sounds pretty urban-legendish to me. Makes much more sense to have actually signed the proclamation on the 21st then announced it later after all his opponents have been neutralized. It might be a case of some people’s readiness to believe any weird theory about Marcos than to actual events.

  13. Jeg, you’re right to point out the genuine trade-offs between energy independence and ancestral rights. I read that this time around, the same trade-offs are being brought up with regards to the issue of large-scale mining in the Cordillera. Aside from the Chico Dam, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was also part of Marcos’ vision for energy independence and that also fell through. So while we can say that Marcos had the vision, it was clear that he fell far short when it came to implementation. (He would have felt at home in the IT industry.)

    In any case, by their brave opposition, the Kalinga’s and other cultural minorities have taught the rest of the Filipino people a practical lesson on why we need a deliberative democracy.

  14. Speaking of nuclear power, the founder of Greenpeace recently went to bat for it. See this Washington Post story:

    Every government we had since Cory did not have a vision for our country’s energy-independence. It seems that they just accepted the fact that we’ll be forever dependent, counting on WB loans and such to tide as over as our dollars are drained to buy more foreign oil. The conspiracy theorist in me see the hand of Big Oil in our energy policies since Cory, and that policy could be summed up in 2 words: Bahala and na. 🙂

  15. Jeg, i remember Ernesto Maceda being interviewed shortly after EDSA where he announced that the Energy Department will be absorbed into his own Natural Resources department largely because of issues related to corruption. Your conspiracy theory is plausible, but I’d attribute this more to the tendency of Filipino governments to discard even the good programs of the previous administration just because.

    There are those (like Patrick Moore) who say that nuclear power is the only technology which can be implemented on a scale that can replace oil and coal. I haven’t studied the science of it so I’m withholding judgment. If we decide to go nuclear, from a contingency planning standpoint, we better train up a couple of hundred thousand volunteers for dealing with a Chernobyl-type disaster. Half of Europe is still inhabitable because of the hundreds of thousands of Soviet army and reservist personnel who were enlisted into preventing the melting core from seeping into the water table.

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