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January 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan

The Repubic, also known as Malolos Republic, was inaugurated on January 23, 1899 at Barasoain Church, Malolos with General Emilio Aguinaldo as President.

Earlier, Aguinaldo, who had returned to the Philippines from Hong Kong, had planned to form a Filipino government in the wake of victories against the Spaniards and to show the capacity of the Filipinos for self-government. Hence, he established a Dictatorial Government, then a Revolutionary Government.

He declared Independence at Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898, believing that such a move would inspire the people to fight more eagerly against the Spaniards and at the same time lead the foreign countries to recognize the independence of the country.

On September 15, 1898, the revolutionary Congress was convened in Malolos, Bulacan, tasked with drafting the constitution for the Philippines. The Congress was composed of both appointed and elected delegates representing all provinces of the Philippines. In the inaugural session of the Congress, Aguinaldo spoke and congratulated the delegates in his capacity as President of the Revolutionary Government. One of its first actions was to ratify the June 12, 1898 Proclamation of Independence yet again. The Malolos Congress approved the draft Constitution on November 29, 1898. It was returned by President Aguinaldo on December 1, 1898 for amendments, which were refused. President Aguinaldo  finally approved the draft constitution on December 23, 1898. It was formally adopted by the Malolos Congress on January 20, 1899 and promulgated by President Emilio Aguinaldo on January 21, 1899.

Aguinaldo’s adoption of the constitution, also known as, Constitución Política de la República Filipina, abolished the dictatorial government set up by the Pact of Biak-na-Bato on July 7, 1897.

The January 23 inauguration was held in ceremonies marked by the reading of the whole Constitution, by Secretary Ocampo; proclamation of the Republic of the Philippines by Congress president Paterno, followed by the proclamation of Aguinaldo as the elected President of the new Republic, and speeches by Aguinaldo and Paterno.

The Central government of the new Republic was constituted in part as follows:
President-        Emilio Aguinaldo
Department Secretaries- War – Baldomero Aguinaldo
Interior- Leandro Ibarra
Foreign Affairs- Cayetano Arellano (later replaced by Mabini)
Finance- Mariano Trias
Justice-   Gregorio Araneta
Welfare- Felipe Buencamino

However, the Malolos Republic did not last long. It ended with the capture and surrender of Aguinaldo to the American forces on March 23, 1901 in Palanan, Isabela, which effectively dissolved the First Republic.

On April 1, 1901, Aguinaldo announced allegiance to the United States, formally ending the First Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.

After the abolition of the First Philippine Republic, the U.S. continued its annexation of the islands pursuant to the Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish- American War.

The Philippines was under U.S. sovereignty until July 4, 1946, when formal independence was granted by the United States.



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