Gonzalo R. Malihan


Of the 202 delegates elected to the 1934 Constitutional Convention which was tasked to draft a Constitution under the Philippine Independence Act, Jose Laurel of Batangas, Manuel Roxas of Capiz, and Elpidio Quirino of Ilocos Sur subsequently became Philippine Presidents. Catapulted to the highest Philippine government position, their involvement with the 1934 Constitutional Convention established significance to that Convention and its output – the 1935 Constitution. The study aims to find out based primarily on the Constitutional Convention records the contributions and philosophy of Laurel, Roxas and Quirino in the drafting of the 1935 Constitution. It employed historical narrative in the analysis and interpretation of events within MacCormick’s and Weinberger’s Neo-Institutionalism. The study reveals that Laurel stressed constructive conservatism as a guiding principle in the drafting of the Constitution. His most significant contributions were the Bill of Rights and an independent judiciary. Roxas strongly assisted in the stewardship of the proceedings and espoused a Constitution premised on clear-cut political hypotheses. Quirino had minimal participation as he had other concurrent government positions. However, his proposals on the few occasions he participated had a substantial impact on the output of the Convention. Their ideas, statesmanship and wisdom reflected the dynamics of politics within the context of institutional socio-political realities.


constitution, bill of rights, drafting, government

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