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September 4, 1943

In the presence of a captive crowd, the New Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines was publicly signed by the members of the Constitutional Commission. I obtained my copy within hours after the signing, thanks to the goodness of one of the signatories.

The first impression one gets from reading the Constitution is that the framers had exerted much effort to make it appear that they worked on it with absolute freedom—free from external pressures and from the dictates of the higher-ups, and that they are trying to convince the people that they had created a truly independent nation. No mention is made of Japan or of any future relationship with her in the whole of the Constitution. Neither is the fact of the war alluded to, nor the role that the Philippines plays in it. Nor is there any reference to the Lady Co-Prosperity Sphere, nor of the place the Philippines is going to occupy among the satellites revolving around the Rising Sun.

If the Constitution were to be implemented to the letter and according to the spirit of its texts; if there were nothing more in its context than what appears in print; if all the powers of government therein prescribed were exercised without intervention from outside, then the Philippines would indeed be the master of its destiny. But would the Constitution be implemented as it is written?