Press Release
January 24, 2018


Honoring the First Philippine Republic, Senator Richard J. Gordon on Tuesday delivered a privilege speech on his Senate Bill No. 1664 or "The First Philippine Republic Day Act," which seeks to declare January 23 of every year a special working holiday in the entire country. Gordon, a History and Government major, was the first to stand up on the floor to uphold the significance of the First Philippine Republic and reminded the people that it was a special day in our constitutional development.

"January 23 is significant today, as it was then, for proving to the world that Filipinos are capable of self-rule and self-determination, even after more than 300 hundred years of colonization by Spain. Truly, the First Philippine Republic was the beginning of, and the foundation upon which was established, the democracy which we so cherish today... Cavite is the Revolutionary capital. On the other hand, Bulacan is the Constitutional capital because that's where we developed the Constitution. It is important to remind us of our brave forebears and of our fight for freedom and independence, as well as of our peoples' capacity to endure," the senator said.

"As President Emilio Aguinaldo said, 'Great is this day, glorious this date, and forever memorable this moment in which our beloved people are raised to the apotheosis of Independence," he added, quoting Aguinaldo's line during the proclamation of the first Constitutional government.

The Malolos Constitution was officially promulgated and the First Philippine Republic was proclaimed and inaugurated at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan on January 23, 1899. On the same day, Emilio Aguinaldo took his oath of office as President.

The First Philippine Republic gave the Philippines, then fresh from both the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Spanish-American War between Spain and the United States, the distinction of being the first independent republic in Asia. The Republic endured until the American forces captured Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901.

Immediately after the speech, Senator Joel Villanueva stood up to manifest his intention to endorse the speech and be co-sponsor of the bill. "Let me congratulate, commend and associate myself with the speech and statements made by our distinguished colleague from Zambales," he said.

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