Everyday History
National Assembly elects its members from the KALIBAPI.
Daily History Japanese Occupation of the Philippines Philippine History

KALIBAPI holds assembly elections: Sept. 20, 1943

On this day in 1943, Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (KALIBAPI) held elections for the 108 members of the National Assembly of the Second Philippine Republic.

Of the 108 members of the National Assembly, 54 were elected from among members of KALIBAPI, which was headed by its director general Benigno Aquino Sr. The KALIBAPI was the sole political party endorsed by the Japanese Military Administration at the time.

The rest of the seats were reserved for city mayors and governors from the Commonwealth Government who had survived the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. A total of 46 provincial governors and eight city mayors were appointed a ex-officio members.

The National Assembly became the main legislative body of the Japanese-sponsored Second Philippine Republic. After its members were elected, it held its first special session on September 25, 1943 for the election of its speaker as well as the president of the Second Philippine Republic.

A second special session was held October 17 to 23, 1943 after the Second Philippine Republic proclaimed Philippine independence on October 14. The assembly passed a number of resolutions thanking the Japanese Military Administration and the Empire of Japan.

The assembly held its first and only regular session from November 25, 1943 to February 2, 1944. During this period, it created 66 committees as well as passed 66 laws and 23 resolutions, including the law creating the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the law creating the Central Bank, and a law granting additional powers to the President.

Among its notable members are Elisa Ochoa of Agusan, who was elected the first female member of the National Assembly in 1941 before the Japanese occupation; Paulino Gullas from Cebu City, founded Cebu’s longest-running newspaper, The Freeman; Leon Guinto, who also served as Mayor of Manila; and Gil Montilla, who was speaker of the National Assembly from 1935 to 1938 during the Commonwealth Government.


Elefante, Fil. V. “The Philippines’s Second Republic and a forgotten Independence Day.” BusinessMirror. June 13, 2016

National Assembly Yearbook 1943. National Assembly of the Philippines. Manila, Philippines.

Duka, Cecilio. Struggle for Freedom, 2008 Ed. Manila: Philippines. Rex Bookstore, Inc., 2008. p. 266

Speech delivered by the Acting Director General of the Kalibapi Camilo Osias, over Station PIAM, in connection with the first anniversary of the KALIBAPI, December 7, 1943.” Presidential Museum and Library.

Evolution of the Philippine Constitution.” Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

TODAY IN HISTORY: On September 20, 1943.” Senate of the Philippines. September 20, 2016. Accessed via the Official Facebook page of the Senate of the Philippines.

Trivia question:

Who were the two KALIBAPI officials who broke away from the party in 1944 and established the Makabayang Katipunan ng mga Pilipino (MAKAPILI)?

Yesterday’s answer: Peter Cosandey

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