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

Sunday January 22, 2012 ()

On January 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic, also known as the Malolos Republic, was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan 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.

Malolos Republic Inauguration 1899
(The arrival of Aguinaldo at Malolos on January 23, 1899 for the inauguration of the first Philippine Republic)

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.

Notably, Aguinaldo adopted the Constitución Política de la República Filipina, drawn up by the Philippine Constitutional Convention in the Barasoain Church in Malolos in January 1899 to replace the dictatorial government set up by the Pact of Biak-na-Bato on July 7, 1897.

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.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives
Photo credit: Philippine President Museum and Library


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