Press Release
September 15, 2023

Zubiri, Legarda remember Malolos Congress

As the country observes the 125th anniversary of the Malolos Congress, Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri enjoins colleagues to keep the spirit of Malolos alive.

"On this day in 1898, the Malolos Congress, the first legislature of our own government, was established," Zubiri said.

The Senate President took pride that the secretary of the Malolos Congress, Pablo Ocampo Sr. was his grandmother's grandfather. "And I am very proud to carry on his legacy as a public servant," he said.

"Here in the Senate, we will continue to uphold the principles of independence and sovereignty that have been the foundation of the Malolos Congress," he added.

On September 15, 1898, the revolutionary Congress was convened in Malolos, Bulacan. It was the country's first legislature and it was tasked to draft the country's first Constitution.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda is the Guest of Honor during the program at the Barasoain Church today, September 15, 2023.

In her manifestation at the Senate plenary last Thursday, September 13, 2023, Legarda recalled that representatives from various parts of the country gathered in the church of Barasoain, Malolos, Bulacan "to create laws that would govern the newly-born Filipino nation."

"The whole archipelago was represented, from as far north as Cagayan, as far south as Siasi and Jolo, as far west as Palawan, and as far east as Palau which our forebears considered as part of our family," she said.

The senator said the Constitution drafted by the Malolos Congress had enshrined "civil liberties such as the freedom of religion, the right to privacy, and right to due process, the separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers, and the autonomy and empowerment of local governments."

"The Malolos Congress, alongside the revolutionary government led by President Emilio Aguinaldo, showed to the whole world our capability for self-governance. Aside from writing our own laws, we were able to establish local governments, a literary-scientific university and public schools, a military academy, and newspapers with wide circulation. We sent representatives to various major cities in the world, who brought with them copies of our Constitution and news of our victories," Legarda said.

"Today, we remain committed to the ideals of representative democracy that our forebears enshrined in the Constitution they wrote," she said.

Legarda urged colleagues and their staff to visit the Museo ng Republika ng 1899 in Barasoain Chuch during the opening of an exhibit by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to be led by Chairman Emmanuel Franco Calairo.

"The NHCP leads us in sustaining the memory of our nascent republic by maintaining the Museo ng Republika ng 1899 in Barasoain, and by marking the places connected with our rich republican story," Legarda said.

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