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The Philippine Revolution
The Revolutionary Government of 1898

      The Dictatorial Government lasted for only a month, from May 24 to June 23, 1898. At the instance of Mabini, Aguinaldo delivered on June 23 a message, penned by Mabini, giving his reasons for changing the form of government to a revolutionary one. On the same day, Aguinaldo issued a decree setting up the Revolutionary Government. It change the title of the chief of state from Dictator to President and defined the object of the government as the "the struggle for the independence of the Philippines until all nations, including the Spanish, shall expressly recognize it, and to prepare the country so that the true republic may be established."

      To help the President in his duties, four departments were created, namely:

      • the Department of Foreign Affairs, Navy and Commerce
      • the Department of War and Public Works
      • the Department of Police and Public Order, Justice, Education and Hygiene
      • the Department of Finance, Agriculture and Manufacturing Industry

      The department secretaries were not responsible for the decrees of the President, but they were to sign them "with the President to give them authority." The President appointed the department secretaries and personnel of each department.

      The decree also provided for the creation of Congress. As has been seen, the decree of June 18 provided for the election of delegates from each province to represent it in Congress. The decree of June 23 provided that in those provinces which had not yet been pacified, that is to say, provinces which had not yet been taken from the Spaniards, the delegates for said provinces were to be appointed by the President. The powers of Congress were defined as follows:

      To watch over the general interest of the Philippine people, and the carrying out of the revolutionary laws; to discuss and vote upon the said laws; to discuss and approve, prior to their ratification, treaties and loans; to examine and approve the accounts presented annually by the Secretary of Finance, as well as extraordinary and other taxes which may thereafter be imposed.

      History of the Filipino People. Teodoro A. Agoncillo

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