the fundamental law of the Philippine Republic from 1898 to 1901.
The Malolos Constitution was adopted by the Revolutionary Congress, held during October and November 1898 in the village of Barasoain near the city of Malolos. It took effect on Jan. 21, 1899. The constitution assigned to the legislative body, a unicameral national assembly, full control over the executive power (a president elected by the national assembly) and the judicial system. The constitution provided for universal and direct elections, the separation of church and state, compulsory and free education, and equal legal status for the languages of all the Philippine nationalities. It precisely delimited the rights of citizens. Of special importance was the article on nationalization (without compensation) of the real estate of the religious corporations, the largest landowners in the country. Because of the war against the Philippine Republic launched by the USA in February 1899 and the subsequent seizure of the Philippines by the USA, the constitution never became widely effective. However, it left a profound mark on the consciousness of the people, and, when the USA introduced a law in 1902 on the governance of the Philippines, several provisions from the Malolos Constitution relating to civil rights had to be adopted.