Independence Contest in the Philippines

August 5, 1933

Report Outline
Impending Action on American Proffer of Independence
Strategy of the Independence Movement
Controverted Political Provisions of Independence Act
Economic Problems Created by the Act
Philippine Independence: the American Point of View

Impending Action on American Proffer of Independence

Nacionalista Split on Acoptance of Independence Act

The Philippine Independence Act, adopted by Congress on January 17, 1933, over President Hoover's veto, must be accepted by the Filipino people before it goes into effect. The Philippine Legislature, or a special convention, is empowered to pass upon the question. Action must be taken during the current session of the Legislature or soon thereafter, since under the act, if it is to become effective, a Philippine constitutional convention must be assembled before January 17, 1934.

The impending decision upon the independence act has precipitated a fiery controversy between two groups of the country's political leaders. One faction, opposing unconditional acceptance of the act, has formed around the leadership of Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippine Senate, president of the majority party, and long the most outstanding figure in Philippine politics. The other faction supports the stand of Senator Sergio Osniena and Representative Manuel Roxas, joint leaders of the recent independence mission to the United States; they defend the independence act which they were instrumental in obtaining at Washington. These three men have long been the great triumvirate of the all-powerful Nacionalista party, but now that party is split wide open by the independence controversy. In the present legislature Quezon retains control while Roxas has been ousted as Speaker of the House, but it is reported that the creation of two new parties, of fairly equal strength, is now virtually inevitable.

Meanwhile the faults and merits of the independence act are being debated in all parts of the archipelago. Business in the legislature has been delayed by the absence of members who are stumping the provinces. The daily papers are filled with debates, and analyses of the act, running to hundreds of thousands of words. The largest auditoriums have been crowded to hear debates or partisan discussions. Classes in the University of the Philippines have been disrupted by demonstrations, debates, and public meetings, and prominent professors have engaged in the bitterest controversy.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aug. 10, 1990  Can Democracy Survive in the Philippines?
Feb. 06, 1987  Philippine Politics
Oct. 28, 1983  Political Unrest in the Philippines
Oct. 24, 1980  The Philippines Under Stress
Apr. 25, 1975  Philippine Instability
May 17, 1967  The Philippines: Time of Frictions
May 17, 1950  Philippines in Transition
Apr. 12, 1945  Rehabilitation of the Philippines
Aug. 05, 1933  Independence Contest in the Philippines
Dec. 12, 1931  Economics of the Philippine Problem
Nov. 06, 1926  The Problem of the Philippines
Jan. 28, 1924  Philippine Independence
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific