Malolos Congress

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Malolos Congress
Coat of arms or logo
Houses La Asamblea De Representantes
Founded September 15, 1898
Disbanded November 13, 1899
Preceded by Spanish Cortes
Succeeded by Taft Commission
Seats 136[note 1]
Coat of arms of the Philippines.svg
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The Malolos Congress or formally known as the "National Assembly" of representatives was the constituent assembly of the First Philippine Republic. It met at the Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Bulacan.[2] It drafted the Malolos Constitution.

The Congress was not much more than a decoration.[2] "That is to show to the foreign correspondents that we Filipinos are civilized, but the bulk of the work in nation building were done at the Malolos Cathedral by the executive branch of government led by (Phiilppine President Emilio) Aguinaldo, who was in command of the army fighting the Americans," said attorney Cris Santiago, past president of the historical society of Bulacan (known as Samahang Pangkasaysayan ng Bulacan or Sampaka).[2]

Political Constitution[edit]

Main article: Malolos Constitution

Following the declaration of independence from Spain on June 12, 1898 and transformation of the dictatorial government to a revolutionary government on 23 June, the Malolos Congress election was held between June 23 and September 10. On 15 September 1898, the revolutionary congress convened in Barasoain Church in Malolos (now Malolos City, Bulacan) with Pedro Paterno as president and Gregorio S. Araneta as vice president.[3] On 29 September, the 12 June Declaration of independence was ratified.[4] The congress then decided to draft a Constitution, a decision opposed by Apolinario Mabini, the Prime Minister of the revolutionary government (President of the Council of Government).[4] The resulting Malolos Constitution was ratified on November 29, 1898, signed into law on December 23, approved on January 20, 1899, sanctioned by President Emilio Aguinaldo on January 21, and promulgated on January 22.[5][6] The document states that the people have exclusive sovereignty. It states basic civil rights, separated the church from the state, and called for the creation of an Assembly of Representatives (A.K.A. National Assembly) which would act as the legislature. It also calls for a parliamentary republic as the form of government with the president elected for a term of four years by a majority of the Assembly.[7]


  • Regular Session: September 15, 1898 – November 13, 1899
    • Special Session: February 4, 1899


Major legislation[edit]

Legislation Enactment Ratification
Declaration of Independence[8] June 12, 1898 September 29, 1898
Declaration of War against the United States[9] June 2, 1899 June 2, 1899

Malolos Constitution[edit]

Main article: Malolos Constitution
Malolos Constitution[7]
Approved Promulgated
January 21, 1899 January 22, 1899


  • President of the Revolutionary Government/First Philippine Republic:
Emilio Aguinaldo y Fámy
  • Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government/First Philippine Republic (President of the Council of Government):
Apolinario M. Mabini
Pedro A. Paterno elected on May 7, 1899
  • President of the National Assembly (of Representatives):
Atty. Pedro A. Paterno - Pedro A. Paterno of Santa Cruz, Manila
  • Vice President of the National Assembly (of Representatives):
Gregorio Araneta
  • Secretaries of the National Assembly (of Representatives):
Atty. Pablo Roque Tecson - Pablo Roque Tecson: Atty. Pablo R. Tecson of Balanga, Bataan and Atty. Pablo de Leon Ocampo: Pablo Ocampo of Quiapo, Manila.

Council of Government (Cabinet) Members[edit]

  • Secretary of Finance:
Mariano Trías y Closas
Hugo Ilagan elected on May 7, 1899
  • Secretary of the Interior:
Teodoro Sandico
Severino de las Alas elected on May 7, 1899
  • Secretary of War:
Baldomero Aguinaldo y Baloy
Mariano Trías y Closas elected on May 7, 1899
  • Secretary of Welfare:
Gracio Gonzaga
  • Secretary of Foreign Affairs:
Apolinario Mabini y Maranan
Leon Ma. Guerrero - Leon Maria Guerrero elected on May 7, 1899
  • Secretary of Public Instruction:
Aguedo Velarde
  • Secretary of Public Works and Communication:
Maximo Paterno
  • Secretary of Public Works and Communication:
Leon Ma. Guerrero - Leon Maria Guerrero

Members (Representatives)[edit]

Soldiers of the Philippine Revolutionary Army during a session of the congress.

Among the 85 delegates who convened in Malolos, there were 43 lawyers, 17 doctors, five pharmacists, three educators, seven businessmen, four painters, three military men, a priest and four farmers.[2] Five of the 85 delegates did not have a college degree.[2]

Emilio Aguinaldo (seated, center) and ten of the delegates to the first Assembly of Representatives.

List of National Assembly Representatives (members) by province as of July 7, 1899.[10][11]

Province Elected Appointed
Manila 4 0
Batangas 4 0
Bulacan 4 0
Cavite 4 0
Camarines 4 0
Ilocos Sur 3 1
Ilocos Norte 6 0
Laguna 4 0
Pampanga 4 0
Pangasinan 2 2
Iloilo 0 4
Cebu 0 4
Leyte 0 4
Albay 4 1
Cagayan 1 2
Bataan 3 0
Isabela 2 1
La Union 1 2
Nueva Ecija 3 0
Tarlac 3 0
Zambales 2 1
Sorsogon 0 3
Negros Occidental 0 3
Negros Oriental 0 3
Samar 0 3
Capiz 0 3
Antigua** 0 3
Bohol 0 3
Zamboanga 0 3
Misamis 0 3
Calamianes*** 0 3
Masbate 0 3
Mindoro 1 2
Morong 2 0
Lepanto 3 0
Batanes Islands 1 1
Nueva Vizcaya 1 1
Abra 1 0
Padre Burgos (Benguet) 1 2
Catanduanes 0 2
Paragua*** 0 2
Palaos* 0 1
Totals 68 68
136[note 1]

*Modern-day Republic of Palau.
**Renamed to Antique.
***Currently parts of Palawan, Paragua corresponding to mainland Palawan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Filipino historian Teodoro Agoncillo, in his book Malolos, numbered the delegates as of July 7, 1899 at 193 (42 elected and 151 appointed).[1]


  1. ^ Teodoro A. Agoncillo (1897), Malolos: The Crisis of the Republic, University of the Philippines Press, pp. 224 and Appendix F (pp,658–663), ISBN 978-971-542-096-9 
  2. ^ a b c d e Balabo, Dino (December 10, 2006). "Historians: Malolos Congress produced best RP Constitution". Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Kalaw 1927, pp. 120, 124–125
  4. ^ a b Kalaw 1927, p. 125.
  5. ^ Guevara 2005, p. 104.
  6. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2009). The encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars: a political, social, and military history. ABC-CLIO. pp. 364–365. ISBN 978-1-85109-951-1. 
  7. ^ a b Guevara, Sulpico, ed. (2005). The laws of the first Philippine Republic (the laws of Malolos) 1898-1899. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library (published 1972). pp. 104–119. Retrieved 2008-03-26. . (English translation by Sulpicio Guevara)
  8. ^ The Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence
  9. ^ "Pedro Paterno's Proclamation of War". MSC Schools, Philippines. June 2, 1899. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  10. ^ Kalaw, Maximo M. (1927). "The development of Philippine politics". Oriental commercial: 121. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  (citing Volume II, Galley 2 of Major J. R. M. Taylor's translation and compilation of captured insurgent records (Taylor 1907))
  11. ^ *War Department, Bureau of Insular Affairs (1907). "I. Telegraphic Correspondence of Emilio Aguinaldo, July 15, 1898 to February 28, 1899, Annotated" (PDF). In Taylor, John R.M. Compilation of Philippine Insurgent Records (archived from the original on 2008-10-03). Combined Arms Research Library. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library
  • Corazon L. Paras. (2000). The Presidents of the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines. Quezon City: Giraffe Books. ISBN 971-8832-24-6. 
  • Pobre, Cesar P. (2000). Philippine Legislature 100 Years. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publ. ISBN 971-92245-0-9.