June 19, 1943 the KALIBAPI Elected Twenty Members of the Preparatory Commission for Philippine Independence
At the outset of the Japanese occupation, the Japanese government established a military administration over the Philippines, as well as the Philippine Executive Commission, composed of several pre-war Filipino political leaders. The KALIBAPI (Kapisanan ng Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas) was also organized, designed to be the sole and exclusive political organization in the Philippines.
On June 19, 1943, The KALIBAPI elected twenty members of the Preparatory Commission to draft a constitution for Philippine independence. This is in accordance with Premier Hideki Tojo’s promise to grant independence to the Philippines. The Commission immediately started working on drafting of a constitution, which was said to have been drafted principally by Laurel. The document was submitted and was signed on September 4 and was ratified unanimously by a General Assembly of 117 KALIBAPI delegates on September 7, 1943.
Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (KALIBAPI) was formed as a replacement for the existing political parties after the same were dissolved on December 1942. It was organized to unify the people and to promote the oriental virtues.
KALIBAPI’s aim, as officially stated, was
“To unify the Filipinos, regardless of class, sex, rank, or creed, in order to extend positive cooperation to the Japanese Military Administration in the reconstruction of the country…and to invigorate in the people such Oriental virtues as faith, self-reliance, loyalty, patriotism, bravery, discipline, self-sacrifice, and hard work…”
It was emphasized that the KALIBAPI was not a political party, but a non-political service organization, although no person can be employed in the government and any of its institutions unless he is a member. All persons 18 years old or older could join, and a little later it was announced that all “civic bodies”, such as the Filipino “newsmen”, and writers, and nurses associations, the various women’s clubs and federations, even the Young Men’s Christian Association, were to be “sworn in”.
Jorge B. Vargas was appointed President ex-officio of the KALIBAPI and Benigno Aquino, Commissioner of the Interior, was appointed Vice President and Director-General.