With the division of the Philippine legislature between the American-controlled Commission and Filipino-controlled Assembly, Americans could directly intervene in legislation. Filipinos were only given full legislative power on August 29, 1916 with the passage of the Jones Law, or the Philippine Autonomy Act,[1] which restructured the Philippine Legislature into the Senate (which replaced the Philippine Commission) and the House of Representatives (which replaced the Philippine Assembly).[2] It also divided Philippines into 12 senatorial districts, which were to be represented by two senators each:[3] the first placer in each senatorial district would serve for six years, while the second placer would serve for three years.[4] Thereafter, senators would hold six-year terms. Representatives, on the other hand, were to serve for three years.

By 1914, tensions were rising among the Nacionalistas over Assembly Speaker Sergio Osmeña’s increasing power.[5] As a result, a leftist faction headed by Teodoro Sandiko of Bulacan broke away from the Nacionalistas and formed the Partido Democrata Nacional, although they were often referred to as the Terceristas (Third Party men).[6] The Terceristas accused the Partido Nacionalista of not fulfilling its promises to the Filipino people through its Tagalog newspaper Consolidacion.[7] The Terceristas found common ground with the Progresistas, who wanted independence with the status of a protectorate under the United States. Both parties were opposed to the Nacionalistas, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison, and his constant and exclusive consultation with Osmeña.[8] Their common sympathies drew the two parties together, until their eventual merging into the Partido Democrata on April 22, 1917.[9]

The June 6, 1916 Philippine Assembly (renamed the House of Representatives in August) election marked another victory for the Nacionalistas, who captured 83% of the seats.[10] The passage of the Jones Law proved to be a victory for resident commissioner Manuel L. Quezon and the Partido Nacionalista, and this was reflected in the results of the first Senate election, which was held on October 3, 1916.[11] The Nacionalistas captured all but two seats, including one of the two appointed senators who represented the non-Christian Twelfth District, composed of the Mountain Province, Baguio, Nueva Vizcaya, and the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.[12] Only one elected senator, Vicente Singson Encarnacion of the First District, was a Progresista;[13] the other appointed senator of the Twelfth District was independent.[14] Quezon received the largest individual vote of 30,554.[15] He was elected Senate President and would keep that position until 1935, making him the longest-serving Senate President.

Election-Data---1916---FB---1

Election-Data---1916---FB---2

Endnotes

[1] Clarita R. Carlos and Rommel C. Banlaoi, Elections in the Philippines: From Pre-colonial Period to the Present (Makati City: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 1996), p. 26.

[2] Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, “The Jones Law of 1916,” August 29, 1916, link.

[3] Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, “The Jones Law of 1916,” August 29, 1916, link.

[4] Clarita R. Carlos and Rommel C. Banlaoi, Elections in the Philippines: From Pre-colonial Period to the Present (Makati City: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 1996), p. 30.

[5] Dapen Liang, Philippine Parties and Politics: A Historical Study of National Experience in Democracy (San Francisco, CA: The Gladstone Company, 1970), p. 89.

[6] H. W. Brands, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines (New York City, NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 113.

[7] Dapen Liang, Philippine Parties and Politics: A Historical Study of National Experience in Democracy (San Francisco, CA: The Gladstone Company, 1970), p. 89-90.

[8] Dapen Liang, The Development of Philippine Political Parties (Hongkong: South China Morning Post, 1939) p. 99.

[9] Dapen Liang, Philippine Parties and Politics: A Historical Study of National Experience in Democracy (San Francisco, CA: The Gladstone Company, 1970), p. 92.

[10] Dapen Liang, Philippine Parties and Politics: A Historical Study of National Experience in Democracy (San Francisco, CA: The Gladstone Company, 1970), p. 91.

[11] Dapen Liang, Philippine Parties and Politics: A Historical Study of National Experience in Democracy (San Francisco, CA: The Gladstone Company, 1970), p. 91.

[12] Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, “The Jones Law of 1916,” August 29, 1916, link.

[13] Clarita R. Carlos and Rommel C. Banlaoi, Elections in the Philippines: From Pre-colonial Period to the Present (Makati City: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 1996), p. 31.

[14] Dapen Liang, Philippine Parties and Politics: A Historical Study of National Experience in Democracy (San Francisco, CA: The Gladstone Company, 1970), p. 91.

[15] Clarita R. Carlos and Rommel C. Banlaoi, Elections in the Philippines: From Pre-colonial Period to the Present (Makati City: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 1996), p. 31.