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Today in History

August 29, 1916

MANILA, Aug. 28 — On August 29,1916, the Jones Law or the Act of Congress also known as the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 was approved.

The Jones Law contained the first formal and official declaration of the United States commitment to grant independence to the Philippines.

The law provides that the grant of independence would come only "as soon as a stable government can be established" which gave the United States Government the power to determine when this "stable government" has been achieved.

It aimed at providing the Filipino people broader domestic autonomy though it reserved certain privileges to the United States (Americans) to protect their sovereign rights and interests.

Jones Law replaced the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 (Philippine Bill of 1902) that served as the de facto initial constitution of the Philippine Islands after it was ceded by Spain to the United States by virtue of the Treaty of Paris.

Among the salient provisions of the law was the creation of an all Filipino legislature which created the Philippine Senate to replace the Philippine Commission, which had served as the upper chamber of the legislature.(PNA)

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