Today in Philippine History, February 8, 1935, the Philippine Constitution was adopted

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Signing of the 1935 Philippine Constitution on March 23, 1935.
(Signing of the 1935 Philippine Constitution on March 23, 1935. Seated, left to right: George H. Dern, Secretary of War; President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signing the Constitution of the Philippine Commonwealth; Manuel L. Quezon, President, Philippine Senate; standing, left to right: Brig. Gen. Creed F. Cox, Chief, Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department; Frank Murphy, Governor General of the Philippine Islands; Cordell Hull, Secretary of State; Key Pittman, Chairman, Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Senate; Pedro Guevara, Philippine Resident Commissioner; Miguel Cuaderno, Vice President, Philippine National Bank, Manila, P. I.; Manuel Roxas, Representative, Philippine Legislature, Delegate, Constitutional Assembly; Francisco A. Delgado, Philippine Resident Commissioner)

On February 8, 1935, the delegates to the 1935 constitutional convention agreed on the final draft of the constitution after having deliberated for several months. It was signed by the 202 members on February 19. The convention which opened on July 30, 1934, was under the Presidency of Senator Claro M. Recto.

The constitution was certified by US President Roosevelt on March 23, 1935 as in conformity to the Tydings-MyDuffe act. In May 14, 1935, it was ratified by the Filipino people by a plebiscite.

The Constitution which followed the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Jones Act, was drafted as for a fully independent nation, but an "Ordinance Appended to the Constitution", consisting of three sections, the first of which contained 20 paragraphs, provided for the form of government which was to function "pending the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines".

The Ordinance also provided that, during the Commonwealth period, "citizens and corporations of the United States shall enjoy in the Commonwealth of the Philippines all the civil rights of the citizens and corporations, respectively, thereof".

Coincidentally, February 8 is also the birth anniversary of Senator Recto.

Reference:
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Journal, Volume XXVII, Number 11, November 1952
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons, Netherlands


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