Title 5 of the Malolos Constitution Simplified

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Title 5: The Legislative Power

Article 33: The Assembly of Representatives

Legislative power is with the Assembly of Representatives, organized in the form and manner determined by law.

Article 34

Its Members shall represent the whole nation, and not exclusively the electors who elected them.

Article 35

No representative shall receive from his electors any imperative mandate whatsoever.

Article 36

The Assembly shall meet every year.

The President of the Republic has the right to convoke it, suspend and close its sessions, and dissolve the same, within the periods prescribed by law enacted by the Assembly or by the Permanent Commission.

Article 37

The Assembly shall be open at least three months each year, without including in this period the time spent in its organization.

The President of the Republic shall convoke the Assembly, not later than April 15.

Article 38

In extraordinary cases, he may convoke the Assembly outside of the period fixed by law, as determined by the Permanent Commission, and prolong its law-making, provided the extended period does not exceed one month and provided further that such extensions do not take place more than twice during the same legislative term.

Article 39

The National Assembly, jointly with the special Representatives, shall organize committees for the organization of the Assembly and for the election of the new President of the Republic, which shall be formed at least one month before the expiration of the term of office of the Representatives.

In case of death or resignation of the President of the Republic, the Assembly shall meet in session by its own right or by initiative of the President or of the Permanent Commission.

Article 40

In the meantime that the new President has not been chosen, his functions shall be exercised by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court whose office shall be taken over by one of the Justices of the Court, in accordance with law.

Article 41

Any session of the Assembly held outside the period of ordinary legislature shall be unlawful and void.

The case provided in Article 30 and in which the Assembly has constituted itself into a Tribunal of Justice shall be excepted, but in the latter case no other functions shall be exercised except that pertaining to judicial functions.

Article 42

The sessions of the Assembly shall be public. However, sessions may be held in secret upon petition of a certain number of its members fixed by the Rules, deciding afterwards by an absolute majority of votes of the members present if the discussion on the same subject has to continue in public.

Article 43

The President of the Republic shall communicate with the Assembly by means of messages, which shall be read by a Department Secretary.

The Department Secretaries shall have the right to be heard in the Assembly, upon their request, and they may be represented in the discussion of certain bills by Commissioners appointed by decrees of the President of the Republic.

Article 44

The Assembly may constitute itself into a Tribunal of Justice to hear and determine crimes committed against the security of the State by the President of the Republic and members of the Council of Government, by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and by the Solicitor General of the Nation, by means of a decree promulgating it, or by the Permanent Commission, or by the President of the Republic upon petition of the Solicitor General or Council of Government.

The law shall determine the mode and manner of the accusation, instruction, and disposition of the proceedings.

Article 45

No member of the Assembly shall be prosecuted nor held accountable for the opinions expressed by him, nor by the vote taken by him in the discharge of his office.

Article 46

No member of the Assembly shall be prosecuted criminally without authority of the Assembly or of the Permanent Commission to which an immediate report of the facts shall be made, for its proper action.

The imprisonment, detention, or apprehension of a member of the Assembly shall not be carried out without the prior authority of the same or by the Permanent Commission. The moment the Assembly is notified of the order of imprisonment, it shall incur liability if, within two days following the notification, it does not authorize the imprisonment or give sufficient reason upon which the refusal is based.

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