Essential documents related to the Laurel presidency and the Second Republic
The 1943 Philippine Constitution: Jose P. Laurel, appointed president of the Preparatory Commission for Philippine Independence—and relying on his long experience in government and his role in framing the 1935 Constitution—took the lead in crafting the 1943 Constitution, whose transitory provisions underscored its temporary nature. As Dr. Ricardo T. Jose writes, “The ensuing 1943 constitution established a republican government with a strong executive, which Laurel felt was important for that time, for more direct action. It stressed the duties and obligations of the people rather than their rights and privileges, so as to mobilize the nation so that it may survive during the emergency period. This constitution, however, was categorically temporary, until the end of the war. Once peaceful conditions were restored, the transitory provisions of the constitution clearly stated that a new one would be promulgated to suit the times.” Laurel had played an extremely prominent role in the drafting of the 1935 Constitution. The 1943 Constitution, was heavily influenced by the 1935 Charter, but can also be said to have reflected more of the political ideas of Laurel than the prewar constitution, which the Japanese refused to recognize.
The Philippine Flag during the Second Republic: For a short period during the Second World War, two versions of the Philippine flag existed. The flag above was the one used by the Second Philippine Republic, which was established in the islands under the auspices of the Empire of Japan, with Jose P. Laurel serving as President. The flag was raised by former President Emilio Aguinaldo and General Artemio Ricarte during the inaugural of the Second Republic on October 14, 1943. However, on December 13, 1943, President Laurel issued Executive Order No. 17, s. 1943, which restored the 1936 design of the Philippine flag.