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Monthly Archives: May 1939

Last of the 100 days, May 27, 1939

May 27, 1939

Last of the 100 days
By the Amateur Assemblyman

“WELL, my friends,” Speaker Jose Yulo is said to have told several Assemblymen last week, “all of you have had your palabas. You have given privilege speeches. You have directed investigations. You have passed important bills or amended them. You have had your share of newspaper headlines. Now give me a chance to show off. Let’s close it ahead of time.”

The he announced he would give his colleagues a big feed at the Manila Hotel at 8 p.m. on the last of the 100 Days, four hours before the witching hour of midnight, when the clock was stopped in other legislative windups.

It was a subtle and effective trick that would have done credit to a veteran, and proved that the debutante Speaker had come of political age. The Assemblymen, in high good humor, rattled off bill after bill in third and final reading, and cleared the table by 6:45 p.m. with the approval of the P8,180,000 public works appropriation. Assemblyman Eugenio Perez occupied the rostrum during the last lap. The Assembly passed a total of 87 bills in the 100 Days; five have already been signed by the President.
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Mr. Chief Justice, May 27, 1939

May 27, 1939

Front Page Faces

Mr. Chief Justice

WHILE small smart Jose Yulo was closing up the legislative mill in Manila, small wise old Ramon Avanceña was grinding away at the judicial mill in Baguio, with adjournment fixed for the end of this month. If the Assembly’s record of the fast but careful legislation was impressive, even more so was the Supreme Court’s record of swift justice.

The Justices had rendered an average of five decisions a day, had by last week broken the standing record for the court’s summer sessions by deciding over 200 cases. The last Baguio session was held in 1935; 180 cases were disposed of. About 260 cases are expected to be cleaned up by the end of the 1939 session. This does not include resolutions, except those on motions for reconsideration of cases.
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Crooked judges get the boot, May 27, 1939

Crooked Judges Get the Boot
May 27, 1939

“THE administration of justice cannot be expected to rise higher than the moral and intellectual standards of the men who dispense it. To bulwark the fortification of an orderly and just government, it shall be my task to appoint to the bench only men of proven honesty, character, learning, and ability, so that every one may feel when he appears before the courts of justice that he will be protected in his rights, and that no man in this country from the chief executive to the last citizen is above the law.”

President Quezon meant every word of the foregoing pronouncement, which he made on the occasion of his induction into office on November 15, 1935, as chief executive of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. That he is determined to purge this country of inept, corrupt and venal judges who dispense injustice instead of justice, who make a donkey of the law and who have no scruples about prostituting their sacred positions for personal gain, should be apparent to all by now. Since he assumed office, several judges in different parts of the Islands have been summarily dismissed from the government service for inefficiency, corruption, immorality and dishonesty.
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In like a lion, out like a lamb, May 13, 1939

May 13, 1939
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

ON APRIL 26, 1937, a tall, energetic incredibly handsome Hoosier named Paul V. McNutt landed in Manila as second U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines.

Not much was known about him in the Philippines, except that he had the reputation of being the “Hitler of Indiana,” where he had recently completed a four-year term as governor and was not eligible for reelection.

But typhoon signals were definitely flying so far as relations between the High Commissioner and the President of the Commonwealth were concerned. President Roosevelt had appointed Mr. McNutt while President Quezon was on a train en route to Washington. This was an obvious slight of Mr. Quezon, who had become accustomed to having American presidents consult him before naming a governor general. In Washington Mr. Quezon had called on Mr. McNutt, but it was evident that there would later be a showdown in Manila as to who was Number 1 in the Philippines.
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Whooping it up, editorial for May 13, 1939

May 13, 1939

Whooping it Up—Con Bombo Y Platillos

IT LOOKS like the real thing this time. After many false starts, President Quezon’s reelection bandwagon is on its way. From Basco to Bongao, men in public life are rushing to get aboard. Not only politicians, but businessmen and doctors and lawyers and bankers have endorsed the move to amend the Constitution to permit the reelection of President Quezon.

To be sure, there are several obstacles which must be overcome. A constitutional convention must be held, and the amendment must be ratified by the electorate. Finally, it must be approved by the President of the United States.

But the obstacles aren’t worrying the people on the bandwagon. When there’s a will, there’s usually a way. And those who are whooping it up for the reelection of President Quezon have plenty of determination.

At all events, they’re whooping things up on the bandwagon, and a lot more passengers want to get on. Constitutions aren’t amended every day in the year, and it looks like excitement ahead.

Free Press straw vote will feature reelection, May 6, 1939

May 6, 1939

Free Press straw vote will feature reelection

ONE of the liveliest political topics of the day, and one on which virtually everyone has an opinion, is the reelection of President Quezon. Advocated intermittently almost from the day Mr. Quezon took his oath of office, the reelection issue assumed formidable shape last week when Assemblyman Quintin Paredes openly sponsored it. The Philippines Herald whooped things up by advocating reelection in a front page editorial. Several assemblymen have prepared bills to amend the Constitution. And for the first time, President Quezon has remained significantly silent.

The national assembly, by a vote of three-fourths of all its members, may propose an amendment to the Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such an amendment must be approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election, at which the amendment is submitted to the people for ratification. It must also be submitted to the President of the United States for approval. If the latter approves the amendment or fails to disapprove it within six months from the time of its submission, the amendment shall take effect as part of the Constitution.

Feeling that the issue of reelecting President Quezon is a very vital one, and realizing that in the final analysis it is the Filipino people who must decide whether or not President Quezon will be reelected, the Free Press has decided to conduct a scientific, nationwide straw vote on this issue.

This weekend, 12,500 ballots will be mailed to responsible, property-owning citizens in every province in the Philippines. The ballots are apportioned among the provinces on the basis of the population of each province, as reported by the census taken this year. Due to the extra political strength of Manila, an additional 700 ballots are being distributed in the capital. The answers will be tabulated as soon as they are received and published in forthcoming issues of the Free Press.

On each ballot is the question: “Do you think the Philippine Constitution should be amended to permit the reelection of President Quezon?” Votes may be registered either as “Yes” or “No.” On each ballot will be typed the name of the province to which it is sent, but this is merely for the purpose of tabulating the final results by provinces. The vote will be a secret one and the voter will not sign his name. A stamped, self-addressed envelope accompanies each ballot, so that all the voter need do it indicate his opinion for or against the constitutional amendment to permit the reelection of President Quezon, place the ballot in the envelope and drop it in the mail. The Free Press will do the rest.

Previous polls

This will be the third big straw vote conducted by the Free Press, and with pardonable pride the Free Press can claim that its two previous polls turned out to be accurate forecasts of the people’s opinion.

The first truly nationwide straw vote on a large scale ever conducted in the Philippines was the Free Press poll on he Hare-Hawes-Cutting law, conducted in February and March of 1933. On that occasion, 10,000 ballots were mailed out and 65 percent of them were returned. Of the votes recorded, 56 percent opposed the Hare-Hawes-Cutting law. The first Free Press straw vote had accurately reflected public opinion.

Then, in August and September of 1937, shortly after President Quezon returned from Washington where he had flirted with the idea of independence in 1939, the Free Press sent out 12,500 ballots asking whether the people favored or opposed shortening the transition period. In this case, 67 percent of the ballots were returned. There was some raising of eyebrows when the final result showed 55 percent opposing and only 45 percent favoring the shortening of the transition period. Yet subsequent events showed that the Free Press poll had once more mirrored public opinion. Today virtually no one favors a shorter transition period, and quicker independence would not be accepted in the Philippines unless it were accompanied by substantial economic concessions.

Thus, with the record of two successful straw votes behind it, the Free Press now makes its third effort to find out exactly what the people think about a vital public issue.

It should be recalled that the ballots on the reelection of President Quezon are not being mailed to every voter. That is not necessary, where ballots can be sent to representative voters. Nor are all Free Press subscribers to receive ballots. Nor all assemblymen. Nor all school teachers. The idea is to get enough typical citizens to be able to reflect public opinion in general. And that can be done with 10,000 ballots as well as with 1,000,000. In fact, the famed Gallup polls in the United States “sample” public opinion by asking their questions of only 10,000 people (out of 130,000,000) and yet because those questioned are scientifically weighted, the Gallup polls have established the remarkable record of repeatedly forecasting election results with an allowable error of only three percent.

“Should the Constitution of the Philippines be amended to permit the reelection of President Quezon?”

That is the vital question at issue in the Philippines today, and that is the question which the Free Press is asking 12,500 responsible citizens to answer. Their opinions will be reported in the forthcoming issues.

Free Press straw vote will feature reelection, May 6, 1939

May 6, 1939

Free Press straw vote will feature reelection

ONE of the liveliest political topics of the day, and one on which virtually everyone has an opinion, is the reelection of President Quezon. Advocated intermittently almost from the day Mr. Quezon took his oath of office, the reelection issue assumed formidable shape last week when Assemblyman Quintin Paredes openly sponsored it. The Philippines Herald whooped things up by advocating reelection in a front page editorial. Several assemblymen have prepared bills to amend the Constitution. And for the first time, President Quezon has remained significantly silent.

The national assembly, by a vote of three-fourths of all its members, may propose an amendment to the Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such an amendment must be approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election, at which the amendment is submitted to the people for ratification. It must also be submitted to the President of the United States for approval. If the latter approves the amendment or fails to disapprove it within six months from the time of its submission, the amendment shall take effect as part of the Constitution.

Feeling that the issue of reelecting President Quezon is a very vital one, and realizing that in the final analysis it is the Filipino people who must decide whether or not President Quezon will be reelected, the Free Press has decided to conduct a scientific, nationwide straw vote on this issue.
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