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Interim Batasang Pambansa

The Interim Batasang Pambansa (English: Interim National Assembly) or the First Batasan was the legislature of the Republic of the Philippines from its inauguration on June 12, 1978 to June 5, 1984. It served as a transitional legislative body as mandated by the 1973 Constitution as the Philippines shifted from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government.

Events

Amendments to the Constitution

The 1973 Constitution was further amended in 1980 and 1981. In the 1980 Amendment, the retirement age of the members of the Judiciary was extended to 70 years. In the 1981 Amendments, the parliamentary system was modified: executive power was restored to the President; direct election of the President was restored; an Executive Committee composed of the Prime Minister and not more than fourteen members was created to “assist the President in the exercise of his powers and functions and in the performance of his duties as he may prescribe;” and the Prime Minister was a mere head of the Cabinet. Further, the amendments instituted electoral reforms and provided that a natural born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his citizenship may be a transferee of private land for use by him as his residence.

Lifting of martial law

After putting in force amendments to the Constitution and legislations securing his sweeping powers and with the Batasan under his control, President Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981. However, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus continued in the autonomous regions of Western Mindanao and Central Mindanao. The Opposition dubbed the lifting of martial law as a mere "face lifting" as a precondition to the visit of Pope John Paul II.

The Inauguration of the Fourth Republic

On June 30, 1981, President Marcos was inaugurated in grandiose ceremonies and proclaimed the “birth of a new Republic.” The new Republic lasted only for less than five years. Economic and political crises led to its demise.

The Aquino assassination

After seven years of detention, President Marcos allowed former Senator Benigno S. A. Aquino Jr. to leave the country for a coronary by-pass operation in the United States. Aquino agreed to the President’s request that he would not make any statements criticizing the Marcos regime. Before he left, Aquino told the First Lady: “I would like to express my profoundest gratitude for your concern …In the past, I’ve been most critical of the First Lady’s project… I take back all my harsh words – hoping I do not choke.”

However, Aquino broke his promise and called on President Marcos to return the Philippines to democracy and end martial rule. He urged reconciliation between the government and opposition.

After three years of exile in the United States, Aquino decided to return. The First Lady tried to dissuade him but in vain.

On August 21, 1983, former Senator Aquino returned to the Philippines. He was shot dead at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport while in the custody of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM). The assassination stunned the whole nation, if not, the whole world.

In a mass show of sympathy and awe, about two million people attended the funeral of the late senator from Sto. Domingo Church to Manila Memorial Park.

Meanwhile, President Marcos immediately created a fact-finding commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Enrique Fernando, to investigate the Aquino assassination. However, the commission lasted only in two sittings due to intense public criticism. President Marcos issued on October 14, 1983, Presidential Decree No. 1886 creating an independent board of inquiry. The board was composed of former Court of Appeals Justice Ma. Corazon J. Agrava as chairman, Amando Dizon, Luciano Salazar, Dante Santos and Ernesto Herrera.

The Agrava Fact-Finding Board convened on November 3, 1983. But, before it could start its work. President Marcos charged the communists for the killing of Senator Aquino: “The decision to eliminate the former Senator, Marcos claimed, was made by none other than the general-secretary of the Philippine Communist Party, Rodolfo Salas. He was referring to his earlier claim that Aquino had befriended and subsequently betrayed his communist comrades. “ The Agrava Board conducted public hearings, and invited several persons who might shed light on the crimes, including AFP Chief of Staff Fabian Ver and First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.

After a year of thorough investigation – with 20,000 pages of testimony given by 193 witnesses, the Agrava Board submitted two reports to President Marcos – the Majority and Minority Reports. The Minority Report, submitted by Chairman Agrava alone, was submitted on October 23, 1984. It confirmed that the Aquino assassination was a military conspiracy but it cleared Gen. Ver. Many believed that President Marcos intimidated and pressured the members of the Board to persuade them not to indict Ver, Marcos’ first cousin and most trusted general. Excluding Chairman Agrava, the majority of the board submitted a separate report – the Majority Report – indicting several members of the Armed Forces including AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Fabian Ver, AVSECOM head Gen. Luther Custodio and Metrocom chief Gen. Prospero Olivas.

Later, the 25 military personnel, including several generals and colonels, and one civilian were charged for the murder of Senator Aquino. President Marcos relieved Ver as AFP Chief and appointed his second-cousin, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos as acting AFP Chief. After a brief trial, the Sandiganbayan acquitted all the accused on December 2, 1985. Immediately after the decision, Marcos re-instated Ver. The Sandiganbayan ruling and the reinstatement of Ver were denounced by several sectors as a “mockery” of justice.

Sessions

Leadership

  • President/Prime Minister

His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos

  • First Lady

Her Excellency Imelda R. Marcos (KBL, Minister of Human Settlements/Region IV-A)

  • Prime Minister

Cesar E.A. Virata (KBL, Minister of Finance/Region IV-B), elected June 30,1981

  • Deputy Prime Minister

Cesar E.A. Virata (KBL, Minister of Finance/Region IV-B)
Jose A. Roño, Jr. (KBL, Region VIII), elected June 30,1981

  • Speaker of the Batasan

Querube C. Makalintal (KBL, Region IV-A)

  • Speaker Pro-Tempore

Datu Blah T. Sinsuat (KBL, Region XII)

  • Majority Floor Leader

Jose A. Roño, Jr. (KBL, Region VIII)

  • Minority Floor Leader

Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (Pusyon Bisaya, Region VII)

Legislation

The Interim Batasang Pambansa passed a total of 702 laws: Mga Batas Pambansa Blg. 1 to 702

Major legislation

Members

President/Prime Minister

Position Ministers Party
President/Prime Minister
Ferdinand E. Marcos
KBL

Cabinet Members

Position Ministers Party
Cabinet
Manuel Alba
KBL
Baltazar A. Aquino
KBL
Jesus Azurin
KBL
Onofre D. Corpuz
KBL
Jose P. Dans
KBL
Romulo Espaldon
KBL
Enrique T. Garcia
KBL
Jesus Hipolito
KBL
Alfredo L. Juinio
KBL
Jaime C. Laya
KBL
Melecio S. Magno
KBL
Juan L. Manuel
KBL
Sylvia Montes
KBL
Roberto V. Ongpin
KBL
Leonardo B. Perez
KBL
Troadio T. Quiazon, Jr.
KBL
Gerardo T. Sicat
KBL
Juan C. Tuvera
KBL
Vicente Valdepeñas, Jr.
KBL
Cesar E.A. Virata
KBL

Regional Assemblymen

The members of the Interim Batasang Pambansa were elected per region on April 7, 1978.
Region Regional Assemblymen Party
Region I
Ilocos Region
Jose D. Aspiras
KBL
Salacnib F. Baterina
KBL
Lucas V. Cauton
KBL
Andres A. Cosalan
KBL
Roque B. De Guzman
KBL
Felipe P. De Vera
KBL
Victor S. Dominguez
KBL
Conrado F. Estrella
KBL
Vicente D. Millora
KBL
Jermias U. Montemayor
KBL
Joaquin L. Ortega
KBL
Antonio V. Raquiza
KBL
Antonio P. Villar
KBL
Jeremias Z. Zapata
KBL
Region II
Cagayan Valley
Rodolfo B. Albano
KBL
Prospero G. Bello
KBL
Juan Ponce Enrile
KBL
Simon G. Gato
KBL
Gualberto B. Lumauig
KBL
Carlos M. Padilla
KBL
Bejamin B. Perez
KBL
Rolando T. Puzon
KBL
Region III
Central Luzon
Vicente Abad Santos
KBL
Rolando T. Puzon
KBL
Felicita G. Bernardino
KBL
Angel D. Concepcion
KBL
Leopoldo D. Diaz
KBL
Juan R. Liwag
KBL
Vicente P. Magsaysay
KBL
Baldomero T. Mangiliman
KBL
Estelito P. Mendoza
KBL
Narciso S. Nario
KBL
Teodulo C. Natividad
KBL
Blas F. Ople
KBL
Cicero J. Punzalan
KBL
Antonino P. Roman, Jr.
KBL
Mercedes C. Teodoro
KBL
Eller D. Torres
KBL
Region IV-A
Metro Manila
Emilio M. Abello, Sr.
KBL
Estanislao G. Alinea, Jr.
KBL
Jose P. Bengzon
KBL
Jose Conrado Benitez
KBL
Manuel A. Camara
KBL
Fred J. Elizalde
KBL
Gerardo S. Espina
KBL
Alejandro A. Fider
KBL
Pablo B. Floro
KBL
Edgar U. Ilarde
KBL
Querube C. Makalintal
KBL
Imelda R. Marcos
KBL
Roberto M. Oca, Jr.
KBL
Vicente T. Paterno
KBL
Waldo S. Perfecto
KBL
Ricardo C. Puno
KBL
Rogelio M. Quiambao
KBL
Carlos P. Romulo
KBL
Januario B. Soller, Jr.
KBL
Arturo M. Tolentino
KBL
Rolando B. Zamora
KBL
Region IV-B
Southern Tagalog
Mariano V. Agcaoili
KBL
Helena Z. Benitez
KBL
Leonides C. De Leon
KBL
Soledad L. Dolor
KBL
Gilberto M. Duavit
KBL
Estanislao A. Fernandez, Jr.
KBL
Nemesio V. Ganan, Jr.
KBL
Salvador H. Laurel
KBL
Jose J. Leido, Jr.
KBL
Expedito M. Leviste
KBL
Pedro T. Mendiola
KBL
Jorge A. Nuñez
KBL
Teodoro Q. Peña
KBL
Carmencita O. Reyes
KBL
Frisco F. San Juan
KBL
Godofredo M. Tan
KBL
Arturo R. Tanco, Jr.
KBL
Medardo L. Tumagay
KBL
Cesar A. Villariba
KBL
Cesar E.A. Virata
KBL
Luis A. Yulo
KBL
Region V
Bicol Region
Jose M. Alberto
KBL
Ricardo B. Butalid
KBL
Socorro G. De Castro
KBL
Emilio Espinosa, Jr.
KBL
Arnulfo F. Fuentebella
KBL
Carlos R. Imperial
KBL
Augusto G. Ortiz
KBL
Maximino A. Peralta
KBL
Marcial R. Pimentel
KBL
Dolores H. Sison
KBL
Francisco S. Tatad
KBL
Luis R. Villafuerte
KBL
Region VI
Western Visayas
Teodoro U. Benedicto
KBL
Salvador B. Britanico
KBL
Fermin Z. Caram, Jr.
KBL
Pedro G. Exmundo
KBL
Alfonso A. Garcia
KBL
Roberto A. Gatuslao
KBL
Rodolfo S. Layumas
KBL
Leopoldo H. Locsin
KBL
Jaenito Q. Madamba
KBL
Narciso D. Monfort
KBL
Jose Y. Montalvo
KBL
Remo J. Montelibano
KBL
Arturo F. Pacificador
KBL
Jose T. Tumbokon
KBL
Neil D. Tupas
KBL
Jose Y. Varela, Jr.
KBL
Region VII
Central Visayas
Natalio B. Bacalso
Pusyon Bisaya
Bartolome C. Cabangbang
Pusyon Bisaya
Eutiquio C. Cimafranca
Pusyon Bisaya
Alfonso N. Corominas, Jr.
Pusyon Bisaya
Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
Pusyon Bisaya
Filemon L. Fernandez
Pusyon Bisaya
Jorge M. Kintanar
Pusyon Bisaya
Valentino L. Legaspi
Pusyon Bisaya
Mariano R. Logarta
Pusyon Bisaya
Enrique L. Medina, Jr.
Pusyon Bisaya
Dominador M. Pernes
Pusyon Bisaya
Jesus L. Villegas
Pusyon Bisaya
Julian B. Yballe
Pusyon Bisaya
Region VIII
Eastern Visayas
Damian V. Aldaba
KBL
Victor A. Amasa
KBL
Edilberto A. del Valle
KBL
Artemio E. Mate
KBL
Emiliano J. Melgazo
KBL
Benjamin T. Romualdez
KBL
Jose A. Roño
KBL
Alberto S. Veloso
KBL
Fernando R. Veloso
KBL
Nicanor E. Yñiguez
KBL
Region IX
Western Mindanao
Antonio M. Ceniza
KBL
Joaquin F. Enriquez, Jr.
KBL
Manuel M. Espaldon
KBL
Guardson R. Lood
KBL
Hussin T. Loong
KBL
Celso J. Palma
KBL
Ulpiano P. Ramas
KBL
Kalbi T. Tupay
KBL
Region X
Northern Mindanao
Edelmiro A. Amanta, Sr.
KBL
Reuben R. Canoy
Mindanao Alliance
Concordio C. Diel
KBL
Carlos O. Fortich
KBL
Constantino C. Navarro
KBL
Liliano B. Neri
KBL
Emmanuel N. Pelaez
KBL
Henry Y. Regalado
KBL
Antonio R. Tupaz
KBL
Region XI
Southern Mindanao
Alejandro D. Almendras
KBL
Benjamin V. Bautista, Sr.
KBL
Rodolfo P. Del Rosario
KBL
Teodoro P. Palma Gil
KBL
Jose G. Puyat, Jr.
KBL
Jorge P. Royeca
KBL
Felicidad C. Santos
KBL
Rogelio M. Sarmiento
KBL
Manuel M. Garcia
KBL
Jose T. Sison
KBL
Region XII
Central Mindanao
Jesus P. Amparo
KBL
Anacleto D. Badoy, Jr.
KBL
Tomas B. Baga, Jr.
KBL
Abdullah D. Dimaporo
KBL
Ahdel S.T. Pangandaman
KBL
Ernesto F. Roldan
KBL
Datu Blah T. Sinsuat
KBL
Estanislao V. Valdez
KBL

Sectoral Assemblymen

The sectoral members of the Interim Batasang Pambansa were elected at large on April 27, 1978.
Sector Region Sectoral Assemblymen
Youth
Luzon
Danilo L. Concepcion
Rogelio C. Peyuan
Visayas
Luisito R. Patalinhug
Mindanao
Nurodin M. Mamaluba
Any Region
Macairog G. Aznar
Judy V. Carunungan
Industrial Labor
Luzon
Ruben O. De Ocampo
Eulogio R. Lerum
Visayas
Januario T. Seno
Mindanao
Princess Porti A. Pacasum
Agricultural Labor
Luzon
Luis M. Taruc
Jose M. Cervantes
Visayas
Rolando N. Bayot
Mindanao
Jiamil Ismael Dianalan

References

See also

External links

Further reading

  • Philippine Commission on Elections — Records and Statistics Division
  • Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library
  • Pobre, Cesar P. Philippine Legislature 100 Years. ISBN 971-92245-0-9.

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