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September 29, 1898, the Malolos Congress Ratified the Declaration of Independence

On September 29, 1898, the Malolos Congress ratified the June 12, 1898 Act of the Declaration o Independence proclaimed in Kawit, Cavite. Despite its brief existence, the ratification was one of the Malolos Congress’ two achievements (the other was the framing of the Malolos Constitution, which was promulgated by President Aguinaldo on January 21, 1899).

The Malolos Congress (Photo: http://www.kahimyang.com)

It all begun on September 15, 1898, when Aguinaldo formally opened the revolutionary congress at the church of Barasoain in Malolos. Later the representatives elected their officers: Pedro Paterno, president; Benito Legarda, Vice President; Gregorio Araneta, First Secretary and Pablo Ocampo, Second Secretary.

It was not long after their first convening that the Malolos Representatives ran into conflict with Mabini, who believed that the times demanded not the writing of a supreme law, which required the luxury of time, but an executive made strong by congressional support.

In the end Congress prevailed over Mabini, and began their constitutional work. There were three draft constitutions presented: one authored by Mabini, another by Paterno and a third drafted by Felipe Calderon, a Cavite lawyer. The latter’s draft, influenced by constitutions of various South American nations, was eventually chosen. This constitution would become the Malolos Constitution of 1899.

The new constitution was approved by the revolutionary congress on January 20, 1899, and sanctioned by President Emilio Aguinaldo on January 21, 1899.

Sources:

http://www.kahimyang.com

http://www.nhcp.gov.ph

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