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Politics of the Philippines

The Philippines has a representative democracy modeled on the United States system. The 1987 constitution, adopted during the Aquino administration, reestablished a presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature and an independent judiciary. The president is limited to one 6-year term. Provision also was made in the constitution for autonomous regions in Muslim areas of Mindanao and in the Cordillera[?] region of northern Luzon.

The Philippine Senate[?] is elected at large. There are currently 24 senators, 13 of whom were elected in May 2001. Of a possible 250 members of the House of Representatives, 206 are elected from the single-member districts. The remainder of the House seats are designated for sectoral representatives elected at large through a complex "party list" system.

When Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the Presidency, her LAKAS-NUCP-KAMPI party also regained its dominant position in Congress. The party leads the 187 member Sunshine Coalition[?] composed of several major and minor parties. In the Senate, the pro-administration coalition controls 13 of the 24 seats. Members of the Philippine Congress tend to have weak party loyalties and change party affiliation easily.

The government is pursuing corruption-related criminal cases against former President Estrada, who is currently under detention. The terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group[?] (ASG), which recently gained international notoriety with its kidnappings of foreign tourists in the southern islands, is a major problem for the government. In May 2001, the ASG kidnapped several Americans that it still holds. Efforts to track down and destroy the ASG have been unsuccessful. Rising crime and concerns about the security situation have begun to have a negative impact on tourism and foreign investment. The government continues to face threats from both Muslim separatist groups and communist insurgents and is pursuing peace talks with both groups.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
local short form: Pilipinas

Data code: RP

Government type: republic

Capital: Manila

Administrative divisions: 73 provinces and 61 chartered cities*; Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Angeles*, Antique, Aurora, Bacolod*, Bago*, Baguio*, Bais*, Basilan, Basilan City*, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Batangas City*, Benguet, Bohol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Butuan*, Cabanatuan*, Cadiz*, Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro*, Calbayog*, Caloocan*, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Camiguin, Canlaon*, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cavite City*, Cebu, Cebu City*, Cotabato*, Dagupan*, Danao*, Dapitan*, Davao City* Davao, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dipolog*, Dumaguete*, Eastern Samar, General Santos*, Gingoog*, Ifugao, Iligan*, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Iloilo City*, Iriga*, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, La Carlota*, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Laoag*, Lapu-Lapu*, La Union, Legaspi*, Leyte, Lipa*, Lucena*, Maguindanao, Mandaue*, Manila*, Marawi*, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain, Naga*, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Olongapo*, Ormoc*, Oroquieta*, Ozamis*, Pagadian*, Palawan, Palayan*, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Pasay*, Puerto Princesa*, Quezon, Quezon City*, Quirino, Rizal, Romblon, Roxas*, Samar, San Carlos* (in Negros Occidental), San Carlos* (in Pangasinan), San Jose*, San Pablo*, Silay*, Siquijor, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao*, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tacloban*, Tagaytay*, Tagbilaran*, Tangub*, Tarlac, Tawitawi, Toledo*, Trece Martires*, Zambales, Zamboanga*, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur

Independence: 4 July 1946 (from US)

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 June (1898) (from Spain)

Constitution: 2 February 1987, effective 11 February 1987. (See Constitution of the Philippines.)

Legal system: based on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (since January 20, 2001) when a popular revolt, dubbed EDSA II, overthrew the corrupt administration of ex-Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA (since 30 June 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (since January 20, 2001) when a popular revolt, dubbed EDSA II, overthrew the corrupt administration of ex-Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA (since 30 June 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with the consent of the Commission of Appointments
elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for six-year terms; election last held 11 May 1998 (next to be held 11 May 2004)
election results: Joseph Ejercito ESTRADA elected president; percent of vote - approximately 40%; Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO elected vice president; percent of vote - NA% Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, however, assumed the presidency when Joseph Estrada was overthrown in a popular revolt on January 20, 2001.

Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Kongreso consists of the Senate or Senado (24 seats - one-half elected every three years; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Kapulungan Ng Mga Kinatawan (221 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; note - an additional 50 members may be appointed by the president)
elections: Senate - last held 11 May 1998 (next to be held 11 May 2001); House of Representatives - elections last held 11 May 1998 (next to be held 11 May 2001)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LAMP 12, Lakas 5, PRP 2, LP 1, other 3; note - the Senate now has only 23 members with one seat vacated when Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO became vice president; the seat can only be filled by election and is likely to remain open until the next regular election in 2001; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LAMP 135, Lakas 37, LP 13, Aksyon Demokratiko 1, other 35

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, justices are appointed for four-year terms by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial and Bar Council

Political parties and leaders: Aksyon Demokratiko or Democratic Action [Raul ROCO]; Laban Ng Masang Pilipino or LAMP (Struggle of the Filipino Masses) [Joseph ESTRADA, titular head, Eduardo "Danding" COJUANGO, chairman, Edgardo ANGARA, party president]; Lakas [Raul MANGLAPUS, chairman, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, secretary general, Jose DE VENECIA, party president]; Liberal Party or LP [Raul DAZA, president, Jovito SALONGA, chairman, Florencio ABAD, secretary general]; People's Reform Party or PRP [Miriam DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO]

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ernesto MACEDA
chancery: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 467-9300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-7614
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tamuning (Guam)
consulate(s): San Diego and San Jose (Saipan)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas C. HUBBARD
embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita Manila 1000
mailing address: FPO 96515
telephone: [63] (2) 523-1001
FAX: [63] (2) 522-4361

Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a white equilateral triangle based on the hoist side; in the center of the triangle is a yellow sun with eight primary rays (each containing three individual rays) and in each corner of the triangle is a small yellow five-pointed star

See also : Philippines, Political History of the Philippines



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