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The Bill also defined for the first time who the citizens of the Philippines were. They were all the inhabitants of the Philippine islands who were subjects of Spain as of 11 April 1899, who continued to reside therein, and all the children born subsequent thereto. This definition is still good law today. Jones LawOn 29 August 1916, the US Congress passed the Jones Law, otherwise known as the Philippine Autonomy Act. It established a tripartite government with real separation of powers; this was the prototype of our present set-up. The executive power was in the hands of an American Governor-General, who was independent of the Legislature, and who was given the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpusand impose martial law without the recommendation of the Legislature. The Legislature was composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives, all composed of Filipinos. The judiciary continued to be made up of the Supreme Court, the CFIs and Justice of Peace Courts. Under this set-up, while the Filipinos has all the legislative power, the Americans had all the executive power and thus, also the control of the government. Thus, in the Board of Control
POLITICAL LAW REVIEW Updated and Enlarged by RAM April 1996 Revised Edition PAGE 7 (National Coal Corporation) cases, the US Supreme Court ruled, despite the dissent of Holmes and Brandeis, that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House could not vote the stocks of the NCC and elect its directors because this was a political function. Only the Governor-General could vote the government shares, said the court. The definition of who were citizens of the Philippines first enunciated in the Philippine Bill of 1902, was carried over by the Jones Law. Tydings-McDuffie LawAlthough this was not an organic act, it is important in the constitutional history of the Philippines because it was to be the enabling statute, providing the mechanism whereby the constitution of an independent Philippines could be adopted. The law, upon its acceptance by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines, provided for (i) the calling of a Constitutional Convention to draft a Constitution for the Philippines, (ii) the adoption of a Constitution that established a republican government, with a Bill of Rights, and a separation of church and state, (iii) the submission of the draft to the US President for certification that the Constitution was in conformity with the conditions set by the Tydings-McDuffie Law, and (iv) its ratification by the people in a plebiscite. Complete independence was to take place ten (10) years after its effectivity. 1935 ConstitutionAccordingly, on 30 July 1934, an election was held to choose the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Claro M. Recto was elected President of the Convention. On 8 February 1935, the Concon approved the draft. On 23 March 1935, the draft was certified by the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt as conforming to the Tydings-McDuffie Law. On 14 May