Interim Batasang Pambansa

Interim Batasang Pambansa

The Interim Batasang Pambansa (English: "Interim National Assembly") or the "First Batasan" was the legislature of the Republic of the Philippines from its inauguration on June 12, 1978 to June 5, 1984. It served as a transitional legislative body as mandated by the 1973 Constitution as the Philippines shifted from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government.


Amendments to the Constitution

The 1973 Constitution was further amended in 1980 and 1981. In the 1980 Amendment, the retirement age of the members of the Judiciary was extended to 70 years. In the 1981 Amendments, the parliamentary system was modified: executive power was restored to the President; direct election of the President was restored; an Executive Committee composed of the Prime Minister and not more than fourteen members was created to “assist the President in the exercise of his powers and functions and in the performance of his duties as he may prescribe;” and the Prime Minister was a mere head of the Cabinet. Further, the amendments instituted electoral reforms and provided that a natural born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his citizenship may be a transferee of private land for use by him as his residence.

Lifting of martial law

After putting in force amendments to the Constitution and legislations securing his sweeping powers and with the Batasan under his control, President Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981. However, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus continued in the autonomous regions of Western Mindanao and Central Mindanao. The Opposition dubbed the lifting of martial law as a mere "face lifting" as a precondition to the visit of Pope John Paul II.

The Inauguration of the Fourth Republic

On June 30, 1981, President Marcos was inaugurated in grandiose ceremonies and proclaimed the “birth of a new Republic.” The new Republic lasted only for less than five years. Economic and political crises led to its demise.

The Aquino assassination

After seven years of detention, President Marcos allowed former Senator Benigno S. A. Aquino Jr. to leave the country for a coronary by-pass operation in the United States. Aquino agreed to the President’s request that he would not make any statements criticizing the Marcos regime. Before he left, Aquino told the First Lady: “I would like to express my profoundest gratitude for your concern …In the past, I’ve been most critical of the First Lady’s project… I take back all my harsh words – hoping I do not choke.”

However, Aquino broke his promise and called on President Marcos to return the Philippines to democracy and end martial rule. He urged reconciliation between the government and opposition.

After three years of exile in the United States, Aquino decided to return. The First Lady tried to dissuade him but in vain.

On August 21, 1983, former Senator Aquino returned to the Philippines. He was shot dead at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport while in the custody of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM). The assassination stunned the whole nation, if not, the whole world.

In a mass show of sympathy and awe, about two million people attended the funeral of the late senator from Sto. Domingo Church to Manila Memorial Park.

Meanwhile, President Marcos immediately created a fact-finding commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Enrique Fernando, to investigate the Aquino assassination. However, the commission lasted only in two sittings due to intense public criticism. President Marcos issued on October 14, 1983, Presidential Decree No. 1886 creating an independent board of inquiry. The board was composed of former Court of Appeals Justice Ma. Corazon J. Agrava as chairman, Amando Dizon, Luciano Salazar, Dante Santos and Ernesto Herrera.

The Agrava Fact-Finding Board convened on November 3, 1983. But, before it could start its work. President Marcos charged the communists for the killing of Senator Aquino: “The decision to eliminate the former Senator, Marcos claimed, was made by none other than the general-secretary of the Philippine Communist Party, Rodolfo Salas. He was referring to his earlier claim that Aquino had befriended and subsequently betrayed his communist comrades. “ The Agrava Board conducted public hearings, and invited several persons who might shed light on the crimes, including AFP Chief of Staff Fabian Ver and First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.

After a year of thorough investigation – with 20,000 pages of testimony given by 193 witnesses, the Agrava Board submitted two reports to President Marcos – the Majority and Minority Reports. The Minority Report, submitted by Chairman Agrava alone, was submitted on October 23, 1984. It confirmed that the Aquino assassination was a military conspiracy but it cleared Gen. Ver. Many believed that President Marcos intimidated and pressured the members of the Board to persuade them not to indict Ver, Marcos’ first cousin and most trusted general. Excluding Chairman Agrava, the majority of the board submitted a separate report – the Majority Report – indicting several members of the Armed Forces including AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Fabian Ver, AVSECOM head Gen. Luther Custodio and Metrocom chief Gen. Prospero Olivas.

Later, the 25 military personnel, including several generals and colonels, and one civilian were charged for the murder of Senator Aquino. President Marcos relieved Ver as AFP Chief and appointed his second-cousin, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos as acting AFP Chief. After a brief trial, the Sandiganbayan acquitted all the accused on December 2, 1985. Immediately after the decision, Marcos re-instated Ver. The Sandiganbayan ruling and the reinstatement of Ver were denounced by several sectors as a “mockery” of justice.


*First Regular Session: June 12, 1978 – June 6, 1979
*Second Regular Session: July 23, 1979 – June 11, 1980
*Third Regular Session: July 28, 1980 – April 28, 1981
*Fourth Regular Session: July 27, 1981 – June 1, 1982
*Fifth Regular Session: July 26, 1982 – April 14, 1983
*Sixth Regular Session: July 25, 1983 – June 5, 1984


*President/Prime Minister::His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos

*First Lady::Her Excellency Imelda R. Marcos (KBL, Minister of Human Settlements/Region IV-A)

*Prime Minister::Cesar E.A. Virata (KBL, Minister of Finance/Region IV-B), "elected June 30,1981"

*Deputy Prime Minister::Cesar E.A. Virata (KBL, Minister of Finance/Region IV-B)::Jose A. Roño, Jr. (KBL, Region VIII), "elected June 30,1981"

*Speaker of the Batasan::Querube C. Makalintal (KBL, Region IV-A)

*Speaker Pro-Tempore::Datu Blah T. Sinsuat (KBL, Region XII)

*Majority Floor Leader::Jose A. Roño, Jr. (KBL, Region VIII)

*Minority Floor Leader::Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (Pusyon Bisaya, Region VII)


The Interim Batasang Pambansa passed a total of 702 laws: Mga Batas Pambansa Blg. 1 to 702

Major legislation

* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 1] — "General Appropriations Act of 1978"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 2] — "Repeal of Presidential Decree No. 31 and the Consolidation of Taxes of Hotels, Motels and Other Establishments"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 3] — "National Internal Revenue Code Amendment"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 6] — "Reduction of the Penalty for Illegal Possession of Bladed, Pointed or Blunt Weapons"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 8] — "Definition and Implementation of the metric system and instituted the Modern Philippine Standard Time"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 22] — "The Anti-Bouncing Check Law"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 54] — "Setting the date of January 30, 1980 as the date for a plebiscite to ratify the 1976 Amendments to the 1973 Constitution of the Philippines"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 61] — "General Banking Act"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 62] — "Savings and Loan Association Act"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 63] — "Private Development Banks Act"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 64] — "Amending the DBP Charter"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 65] — "Amending the Rural Banks Act"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 66] — "Amending the Investment House Law"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 67] — "Amending the Central Bank Act"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 68] — "The Corporation Code"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 70] — "Amending the Labor Code"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 71] — "Amending the Revised Penal Code"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 72] — "National Census Act of 1980"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 73] — "Energy Conservation Act of 1980"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 74] — "Amending the Land Transportation and Traffic Code"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 76] — "Amending the Probation Law of 1976"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 79] — "Creation of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 122] — "Setting the date of April 7, 1981 as the date for a plebiscite to ratify the 1981 Amendments to the 1973 Constitution of the Philippines"
* [ Batas Pambansa Blg. 222] — "Barangay Election Act of 1982"


President/Prime Minister

ectoral Assemblymen

The sectoral members of the Interim Batasang Pambansa were elected at large on April 27, 1978.


ee also

*Batasang Bayan

External links

* [ Philippine Commission on Elections]
* [ Philippine House of Representatives]
* [ Philippine Senate]
* [ The LAWPH"i'L Project - Philippine Laws and Jurispudance databank]

Further reading

* Philippine Commission on Elections — Records and Statistics Division
* Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library
* cite book
last = Pobre
first = Cesar P.
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title = Philippine Legislature 100 Years
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id = ISBN 971-92245-0-9
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