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William Howard Taft addressing the audience at the First Philippine Assembly in the Manila Grand Opera House.

The Philippine Assembly was the legislative body of the Philippines during the earlier part U.S. colonial administration. It served as the lower house of the legislature with the Philippine Commission, headed by the U.S. Governor General serving as the upper house.



The Philippine Assembly was convened at the old Manila Grand Opera House on October 16, 1907. Two dominant political groups—the Partido Nacionalista and Partido Nacional Progresista vied for positions in the Assembly. Minority parties also fielded their candidates as well as independent aspirants. The Nacionalista Party, the party that espoused "immediate and complete independence" headed by Sergio Osmeña, captured majority of the 80 – seat Assembly. However, a situation of conflict prevailed, for the legislative arm of government consisted of an elective Assembly composed of Filipinos and an appointive Commission (later to become the Senate), the majority of the members of which were Americans. Such conflicts, however, came to an end when the legislative powers were vested by the Jones Law in a bicameral legislature composed exclusively of Filipinos. From 1907 to 1916, the legislative power was vested in a legislature, with the Philippine Commission as the upper house and the Philippine Assembly as the lower house thereof.[1]

Pursuant to the provisions of the Jones Law, the legislative set-up was changed. The Philippine Commission was abolished and the Philippine Legislature, inaugurated on October 16, 1916, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives was established. Thus, the history of Philippine Senate can be traced in relative term from the time the Americans colonized the country.

See also


  1. ^ Zaide 1994, pp. 285-286


  • Zaide, Sonia M. (1994), The Philippines: A Unique Nation, All-Nations Publishing Co., ISBN 971-642-071-4  

External links



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