(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Arguments against Philippine independence and their answers"

AGAINST 
(EPENDENCE 
ilR ANSWERS 



VVASHING'ION, D. C. 
September, 191^ 



Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2007 witii funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.arcliive.org/details/argumentsagainstOOmeleiala 



ARGUMENTS AGAINST 
PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE 

AND 

THEIR ANSWERS 



BY 
JOSE P. MELENCIO 



y 




With an Introduction by 

CONRADO BENITEZ 

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, University of the Philippines 



IIOV 14 1911 



PUBLISHED BV 

THE PHILIPPINE PRESS BUREAU 

Munsey Building 
Washington, D. C. 



September, 1919 



MOORE'S PRINTCRAFT SHOP: WASHINGTON. O. C. 



CONTENTS /^T 



Page 

A. INTRODUCTION (by Conrado Benitez) 7 

B. THE ARGUMENTS STATED AND ANSWERED. 

I. The Filipinos are neither savages nor semi-savages 10 

Percentage of non-Christian peoples 10 

Literacy today 10 

Treatment of the non-Christian population 11 

Pre-Spanish civilization of the Filipinos 12 

Advancement during the Spanish regime 12 

Filipinos are ready for independence 13 

Philippine government is autonomous 14 

11. The Filipinos are a homogeneous people 15 

The word "tribe" a misnomer IS 

A common language exists 15 

No regional antagonisms 16 

Absence of caste 16 

III. The Filipino people are one in their demand for independence... 17 

Composition of the Philippine Mission 17 

Filipino attitude towards freedom 18 

IV. The Japanese bugaboo 19 

A scarecrow 19 

Assurances from Japan 19 

Attitude of Oriental peoples toward the Japanese 20 

The sanest course for Japan to take 21 

The League of Nations 22 

V. Will America be imperialistic ? ; . . . 22 

America's right to take the Philippines 23 

America's promise of independence 23 

The Philippines never an integral part of America 24 

America's Far Eastern interests and Philippine independence 

are compatible 24 

C. THERE IS A STABLE GOVERNMENT IN THE 

PHILIPPINES TODAY. 

The only condition precedent to the granting of Philippine inde- 
pendence 25 

Structure of the present Philippine government 25 

The islands are self-supporting 26 

D. LET US HAVE FAIR PLAY. 

The Philippines have been misrepresented 27 

The Philippines today and the United States in 1776 28 

E. CONCLUSION. 

Desire for an international personality •. 29 

America generous but unseeing 29 

Grounds for retention refuted 30 

5 



INTRODUCTION 

IT HAS been the privilege of the undersigned to have read 
almost all of the editorials and newspaper articles about the 
Philippines published in the United States since the arrival 
of the Philippine mission last March, and, as a part of the work 
in the Philippine Press Bureau, it has been his duty to write to 
those editors whose views were clearly based on misinformation. 
There were, however, so many of this type of editors that it 
became well-nigh impossible to write to them all, and to send them 
the same kind of data which had been already sent to many others. 
Hence, the necessity of gathering and classifying the arguments 
advanced, and answering them wholesale in one single publication. 
This Mr. Jose P. Melencio, graduate of the University of the 
Philippines, and member of the Philippine bar, has successfully 
done. 

With the publication of our weekly printed press bulletin, sent 
to all the important newspapers of the United States, and the 
Philippines, we are now enabled to challenge the truth of many 
gratuitous assumptions concerning the Filipinos — statements which 
heretofore had not been questioned because of the absence of 
Philippine publicity agencies in this country. But our press bulle- 
tins reach only newspaper men. On the other hand, the newly 
awakened interest in the Philippines, and in the Far East gen- 
erally, has created a big demand for Philippine materials on the 
part of libraries, colleges, and schools. Already several state 
departments of education, and colleges have adopted the Philippine 
problem as a topic for debate. Other institutions, both religious 
and educational, keep asking for important data. To meet this 
demand, the Philippine Press Bureau is now in a position to 
furnish the minimum amount of information which an American 
citizen should possess before he can intelligently pass judgment 
upon a vital American problem : the redemption of America's 
pledge to the Filipino people. 

Washington, D. C, Conrado Benitez. 

September 2g, ipip. 



"The destiny of the Philippine Islands is not to be a state or 
territory of the United States of America, but a daughter republic 
of ours — a new birth of liberty on the other side of the Pacific, 
which shall animate and energise those lovely islands of the 
tropical seas, and, rearing its head aloft, stand as a monument of 
progress and a beacon of hope to all the oppressed and benighted 
millions of the Asiatic continent." — Jacob Gould Schurman. 



"We ought to give the Filipinos their independence, even if we 
have to guarantee it to them,. But, by neutralization treaties with 
the other great powers similar to those which safeguard the in- 
tegrity and independence of Switzerland today, whereby the other 
powers would agree not to seize the islands after we give them 
their independence, the Philippines can be made as permanently 
neutral territory in Asiatic politics as Switzerland is today in 
European politics." — James H. Blount. 



"Once the United States decide to give the Philippines their 
freedom, the Japanese government will be the first to sign an 
agreement for their neutralization." — Premier Hara of Japan. 



ARGUMENTS AGAINST 

PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE 

AND 

THEIR ANSWERS 



Seasoned now and then with caustic and 
The Arguments insulting phrases, there are five arguments 
Stated against Philippine independence that are 

habitually adduced in this country whenever 
the question crops up for discussion. These arguments are : 

First. That the Filipinos, if not actually semi- 
savages, are still fresh from that stage of human develop- 
ment denominated "savagery," and that, therefore, they 
are not fit to paddle their canoe of state. 

Second. That the Filipinos are a heterogeneous con- 
glomeration of tribal groups, hopelessly differing from 
one another not only in language but also in customs and 
aspirations; and that, if given independence, they ivill be 
"cutting each other's throats." 

Third. That the bulk of the inhabitants do not desire 
independence. 

Fourth. That at the portals of those beautiful isles, 
there stands the frightful figure of Japan ready at the first 
opportunity to seize the archipelago in its iron claw. 

Fifth. The promise to haul down the American flag 
from the Philippines must be withdrawn — the American 
Republic must be preserved. 

The first three of these arguments are the result of ignorance 
or of misrepresentations of things Philippine. The fourth is 
based on pure surmise, and calculated to be a scarecrow. The 
fifth smacks of imperialism. 

The following answers are submitted for the unbiased con- 
sideration of this commonwealth : 



I. 

THE FILIPINOS ARE NEITHER SAVAGES NOR SEMI- 
SAVAGES. 

It is not true that the Filipino people are savages. Neither 
is it true that they are semi-savages. It is admitted that there 
are about 500,000 non-Christian peoples in the archipelago, 
who used to be in a stage of savagery, dressed in scanty gar- 
ments, indulging in head-hunting at times, and dwelling in 
the mountains with only the bow and arrow as their venerable 
companions. But the days of head-hunting are gone. The 
mountain tribes as well as the Moros of Mindanao are fast being 
won over to the ways of civilization and of Americanism. 
Schools, hospitals and religious centers have been instituted 
among them. Many of them have been Christianized. They 
actually enter into trade transactions with the rest of the 
natives. 

But the significant fact is, that they constitute but a small 
fraction of the entire population of the islands, which is 
10,500,000. There are ten million Christian Filipinos. They 
have been Christians for 333 years. Forty-five per cent of the 
entire population of ten years of age and over 
Percentage of were literate before the Americans came. 
Non-Christian They have been educated in the schools which 
Peoples Spain had the kindness to establish among 

them. The foremost Spanish University in 
Manila is a quarter of a century older than Harvard. The 
founders of the short-lived Philippine Republic were, and many 
of the leaders of today are, products of Spanish schools. The 
system of teaching pursued was mediaeval to be sure. But the 

Filipinos made the best of it, and we were fairly 
Literacy well transformed into Mediaeval Europeans long 
Today before the implantation of America's sovereignty. 

The percentage of literacy now is 70 per cent. It 
is higher than the percentage in Italy, Greece, Roumania ; 
higher than in most countries whose independence has recently 
been recognized by the associated powers. 

The non-Christian peoples of the Philippines have always 
been accorded just treatment by the Christian population. 
Now they have representatives in each of the Houses of the 

10 



Philippine Legislature. There is a Moro Senator, two Moro 
Representatives, and one Igorot. The Mo- 
Treatment of the hammedan religion is respected by the rest 
non-Christian of the archipelago, resulting in a closer 

Population. relation between the Moros of Mindanao 

and the Christians of Luzon and the Vis- 
ayas. The following passage in a speech of a Moslem third 
member of the sub-province of Zamboanga is significant : 

"He who thinks that it is impossible for the Moslem and the 
Filipino to live together in peace and participate together in the 
government is foolish and lacks wisdom." 

The summer capital of the Philippine Islands (Baguio) is 
located in the heart of the mountains of Northern Luzon where 
Igorots abound. Daily, multitudes of them can be seen com- 
ing down from their homes among the pine trees, bringing 
the products of their plantations to the market, buying of the 
Christian Filipinos whatever objects attract their taste, and 
otherwise mingling peacefully with the visitors from the low- 
lands. Daily, they can be seen serving as waiters in hotels, 
employed as messengers and salesmen in stores, or acting as 
guides through the fastnesses of the mountains. In recogni- 
tion of their civic virtue, the charter of the city provides that 
there shall be an advisory council to be composed of Igorots. 
Igorots play baseball and tennis ; they send their children to 
school. Many of them are intermediate graduates, and many 
more are in the high schools. One Igorot is about to receive 
his degree of Doctor of Medicine in the University of the 
Philippines. Those who are Christians bear American names 
(such as Clapp, Irving, etc.), and are proud of it. 

It will surely be a question of only a decade or so when the 
non-Christian peoples of the Philippines will be completely 
won over to the ways and manners of civilized races. Being 
immuned from Mediaeval influences, and being reared exclu- 
sively under the ambient air of Americanism, they are destined 
to be a vigorous element in the ensuing processes of Philippine 
nationalism. 

There is one thing that the Filipino people have regretted 
ever since their association with America began. It is, that 
Americans, the great bulk of them, have always thought that 
twenty years ago the people of the islands were still in the 

U 



paleolithic stage of human development, and 
Pre-Spanish that it was only when the Americans came 
Civilization of that tiie processes of Filipino regeneration 
the Filipinos commenc*.i. We humbly retort that the 

Filipino people were possessed of a civiliza- 
tion of their own even before the Spaniards came. This is 
not stated by way of self-lauHation. It is the opinion of foreign 
writers, who, unbiased, have delved into the records of the 
centuries and have reproduced their discoveries in print. The 
following quotations are submitted : 

"The inhabitants of the Philippines possessed a culture of 
their own prior to the coming of the Spaniards to the islands. 

Those along the coasts were the most advanced in civilization. 
Their material wealth was considerable. The chief occupations were 
agriculture, fishing, weaving, some manufacturing, and trade both 
inter-island and with the mainland, generally in the form of barter. 
They were expert navigators. They used standard weights and 
measures. The year was divided into twelve lunar months. They 
had a peculiar phonetic alphabet, wrote upon leaves, and had a 
primitive literature. The majority of the people are said to have 
been able to read and write." (Justice George A. Malcolm, "The 
Government of the Philippine Islands," pp. 27 and 28.) 

"The inhabitants of these islands were by no means savages, 
entirely unreclaimed from barbarism before the Spanish advent in 
the sixteenth century. They had a culture of their own.*' (John 
foreman, an English scholar.) 

"They had already reached a considerable degree of civiliz- 
ation at the time of the Spanish conquest." (Ferdinand Blumen- 
tritt, an Austrian professor.) 

"Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, they found the ancestors 
of the present-day Filipinos in possession of considerable culture 
which is somewhat comparable to that of some of the mountain 
peoples of today." (Dr. James A. Robertson, an American scholar.) 

Three centuries of Spanish domination, 
Advancement despite its vices and illiberalities, had im- 

During the proved the condition and extended the 

Spanish Regime attainment and culture of the inhabitants 

of the Philippines. Let foreign writers 
again speak: 

"Three million people inhabit these different islands, and that 
of Luzon contains nearly a third of them. These people seemed to 
me no way inferior to those of Europe ; they cultivate the soil with 
intelligence; they are carpenters, cabinet-makers, smiths, jewelers, 

12 



weavers, masons, etc. 1 have gone through their villages and I 
have found them kind, hospitable, and affable." ("Voyage de la 
Perouse, author du Monde," Paris, I797. ^^, P- 347-) 

"If the general condition of the civilization of the Tagalos, 
Pampangos, Bicoles, Bisayans, Ilocanos, Cagayanes, and Sambales 
is compared to the European constitutional countries of Servia, 
Roumania, Bulgaria and Greece, the Spanish-Filipino civilization of 
the said Indian districts is greater and of larger extent than of those 
countries." (Ferdinand Blumentritt, in La S olidaridad of October 
15. 1899-) 

" * * * the Spanish rule was generally a mild one, partaking 
of a patriarchal character. * * * The governors and the gov- 
erned married, mingled socially and worshipped together. * * * 
Latin civilization was implanted. This found its principal avenues 
through the results of Christianity; the unifying influences of a 
central administration ; modern laws ; education, although not uni- 
versal ; freedom for women far in advanced of other Oriental 
countries; the introduction of other staple products; and contact 
with the outer world." (Justice George A. Malcolm^, The Govern- 
ment of the Philippine Islands, pp. 102-103.) 



THE FILIPINOS ARE READY FOR INDEPENDENCE. 

But, then, it is said that, despite their own civilization, 
despite the progress they have accumulated through the years, 
despite their magnificent response to America's approach — 
despite all this, it is said that the Filipinos are not fit to be 
the directors of their own affairs. America has preferred to 
give credence to the haphazard statements of travelers and 
to the sweeping assertions of multicolored interests. The 
opinions of her own governmental representatives — that of 
Admiral Dewey, those of the governors that were, and that 
of the actual incumbent — opinions expressed in their official 
capacity and under their official responsibility attesting to 
the capacity of the Filipino people to set up an independent 
nation — have all been discounted. It is easy to understand, 
however, why advocates of retention should harp upon, and 
ever and anon blazon out to the world, the unfitness of the 
Filipinos for self-government. We say it is easy to understand, 
because it is the only ground on which prolonged sovereignty 
over the Philippines can possibly be justified. In the words 
of Mr. Blount, "ever since Mr. McKinley took the Philippines, 
it has been the awkward but inexorable duty of the defenders of 

13 



tlujt good man's fame to deprecate Filipino capacity for self 
government/' 

The Filipinos submit that, tested by their showing of the 
last twenty years, their capacity for an independent national 
status cannot be challenged. All of the provincial governors 
who are the chief executives of the provinces, are now Filipinos, 

except the governors of the provinces of 
The Philippine Cotabato, Lanao and Sulu, in the department 
Government Is of Mindanao and Sulu. Of the forty-six 
Autonomous provincial treasurers, who are the chief 

financial officers, only seven are Americans. 
There are thirty Filipino district engineers and thirteen Amer- 
icans. There are about 1,000 municipalities in the Philippines 
all of which are governed by elective Filipino officials. There 
are about forty-five provinces likewise governed by Filipinos. 
There are two elective houses of the legislature composed 
entirely of Filipinos and elected by direct popular suffrage. 
Out of seven members in the Cabinet six are Filipinos, and 
most of the heads of the executive departments of the govern- 
ment are Filipinos. The Insular Treasurer is a Filipino. Al- 
most all of the teachers of the primary schools are Filipinos. 
Ninety-eight per cent of the teachers in the intermediate 
schools are Filipinos. And of the teaching force in the sec- 
ondary schools, 44 per cent are Filipinos. Of the 3o0 super- 
vising teachers 86 per cent are Filipinos and the majority of 
the academic and industrial supervisors are also Filipinos. 
There are six Filipino division superintendents of schools, and 
both the assistant director of education and the undersecretary 
of public instruction are Filipinos. About 50 per cent of the 
instructors and professors in the University of the Philippines 
are Filipinos. The local administration of justice is entirely 
in the hands of Filipinos, with the exception of sixteen Amer- 
ican ex-officio justices of the peace. Of the twenty-six District 
Judges of First Instance, nineteen are Filipinos and seven are 
Americans. There are four Filipinos and five American Just- 
ices in the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice has always been 
a Filipino. 

That is how autonomous our institutions are. And that is the 
autonomy which the Filipinos want converted into genuine sov- 
ereignty. We desire an international personality. We can never 

14 



hope to he a virile nation or race unless we are left alone to stand 
the battering of the times. The question of our fitness for self- 
government is for us to determine. WE KNOW THAT WB 
ARE FIT. 

II. 

THE FILIPINOS ARE A HOMOGENEOUS PEOPLE. 

Secondly, it is not true that the inhabitants of the Philippines 
are a heterogeneous mass of more or less antagonistic tribes 
ready to spring upon each other's throat as 
Word "Tribe" soon as they are set free. The outstanding 
a Misnomer fact is, that despite the distances from one 
island to another, we are a remarkably homo- 
geneous people. In the words of Mr. Taft, 

"the word 'tribe' gives an erroneous impression. There 
is no tribal relation among them. There is a racial 
solidarity among the Filipino people, undoubtedly. 
They are homogeneous. I cannot tell the difference 
between an Ilocano and a Tagalog, or a Visayan. The 
Ilocanos, it would seem to me, have something of an 
admixture of the Japanese blood ; the Tagalogs have 
rather more of the Chinese ; and it seems to me that the 
Visayans had still more. But to me all the Filipinos 
were alike." 

From the mountain tops of Luzon to the southernmost point 
of Mindanao the peoples have similar features and color ; their 
ways and manners are very much the same ; their style of 
living and their customs are very much alike ; and they are 
being educated along identical lines. True, they speak many 
languages ; for that topography has been responsible. But they 
have always had a common medium of social and govern- 
mental intercourse. It used to be the Spanish language. It 
is now fast being supplanted by the Eng- 
A Common lish. And English is well-nigh the exclu- 

Language Exists sive social and official language of the 
archipelago. The system of education is 
so conceived and executed as to conduce to that end inevitably. 
American methods and standard of living, American history 
and ideals, are being daily brought home to the children. All 
which makes for a strong nationality, for a virile spirit of 
nationalism that will be more potent as the days go by. 

15 



There exists no antagonism whatever between the various 
peoples of the PhiHppines. The national legislature is com- 
posed of men from all "tribes." All groups enjoy equal civic 
rights. Sectional riots have never transpired. The test for 

a governmental position is not a sectional test : 
No Regional it is individual mettle and capacity. The 
Antagonisms President of the Philippine Senate is a Tagalo. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives 
is a Visayan. The Attorney General is an Ilocano. The Presi- 
dent of the University is an Ilocano. And so on in gradation. 
Everywhere in the government, the Tagalo works side by side 
with the Visayan, Ilocano or Bicolano. No cleavage between 
the "tribes" can be shown to exist, and no cleavage has ever 
existed. 

Likewise, aristocracy and caste are absent in the social and 
political structure of the Philippines. The Four Hundred, in 
its popular acceptation, finds no counterpart there. The 
wealth of the islands is evenly distributed. There is an unusual 

division of land among the people, giving rise to 
Absence an intelligent middle class. There are no big in- 
of Caste dustrial combines such as America has, which are 

often accused of tampering with legislation. Our 
leaders rise to power, not through money or pull. They rise 
through grit and intellectual alertness. Many of the foremost 
men in the islands today have come from the humblest families 
dwelling in unpretentious nipa homes. The spirit of our in- 
stitutions is identical with America's spirit — the spirit of 
equal opportunity to all. It is the spirit that makes men free. 

Arid what is most remarkable — we need not give instructions 
in a hundred per cent Philippinism. We need no apostles to 
preach that kind of a gospel. We are not confronted with the 
stupendous task of making every citizen a hundred per cent Fili- 
pino. We have no anarchists in our midst. No bolsheviks. No 
I. W. Ws. A Filipino, however hyphenated he be, loves his flag, 
which, by law, he is not permitted to display. He loves his 
country. He does not think of disrupting her. He would light, 
bleed and die for her. 

But, then, it is prophesied that if independence is granted, "the 
people will quarrel, there will be rival factions, and neither will 

16 



have the mental balance to accept results that are adverse." So 
be it. But we answer : Was not America's civil war the great 
disruption that promptly solidified her national structure, until 
today she is the mightiest commonwealth on the face of the globe? 

III. 

THE FILIPINO PEOPLE ARE ONE IN THEIR 

DEMAND FOR INDEPENDENCE. 

It is not true that the Filipinos as a whole do not want inde- 
pendence. All statements to the contrary are calculated to defeat 
the present campaign for independence, for reasons more or 
less personal. The mission that recently visited this country, for 
example, has been attacked as non-representa- 
Composition of tive of the will of the masses and that it was 
the Philippine composed of a coterie of politicians dominated 
Mission solely by a desire to attain personal distinction. 

The facts about that mission are as clear as 
day. It was composed of members of both Houses of the Phil- 
ippine Legislature and of representatives of the commercial, labor 
and agricultural interests of the islands. Both parties of the 
Philippines were likewise represented. The mission was created 
by the so-called Commission of Independence, which, in turn, 
was created by the Philippine Legislature and is a permanent 
body enjoined to consider and report to the Legislature: (a) 
Ways and means of negotiating now for the granting and recog- 
nition of the independence of the Philippines; (b) external 
guarantees of the stability and permanence of said independence 
as well as of territorial integrity; (c) ways and means of organiz- 
ing in a speedy, effectual and orderly manner a constitutional 
and democratic internal government. The sending of the mission 
had the sanction of the Legislature, as is evident from Concurrent 
Resolution No. 11 passed by that body. That sanction was sup- 
plemented by a "Declaration of Purposes" which was drawn up 
by the same Legislature for the guidance of both the Commission 
of Independence and the Philippine mission to this country. In 
that "Declaration of Purposes" the Legislature expressly says : 
"Therefore, as far as it is humanly possible to judge and say, we 
can see only one aitn for the Commission of Independence : In- 
dependence; and we can give only one instruction: To get it." 

Now, it must be conceded that all representative governments 
are based on the principle that the constituted delegates of the 

17 



people are the true spokesmen of their desires. This is the very 
essence of the system of popular representation. That being the 
case, it is not understood how any man acquainted with repub- 
hcan institutions can assert that the action taken by the Philippine 
Legislature does not reflect the real desires of the Filipino people. 

But that is not all. As soon as the sending of the Philippine 
mission was approved by the Philippine Legislature, the 1,000 
municipalities of the islands as well as the various associations 
throughout the archipelago flooded Manila with resolutions unani- 
mously ratifying the step taken. Organs of public opinion, in 
their editorial columns as well as in their special articles, were 
also emphatic in their approval of the sending of the mission to 
this countr}\ The manifestation at the pier when the mission 
sailed was an eloquent and graphic testimony of the popular 
sentiment with regard to independence. 

These facts, coupled with the further fact that the Philippine 
mission came over at the expense of the Filipino people, con- 
clusively show that the Filipino people endorse the purposes for 
which the mission had come. If the movement for independence 
fails at this time, other missions will be sent in the future to raise 
with more vigor the Philippine cry for that ideal. 

It is indeed idle to speak of the Filipinos as not desiring their 
freedom when history records that they fought for that freedom 
before the Americans came. They had established a republic 
before America set foot on Philippine soil. They resisted 
America's coming by force of arms during all 
Filipino Atti- the time that America had not specifically pro- 
tude Towards claimed her real colonial policy. It was only 
Freedom when America announced that she came to the 

Philippines, not for the purpose of exploiting 
the islands, but for the purpose of lifting them to the level of 
modern civilization that the Filipinos consented to be under 
America's control for the time being. 

Today especially when imperialism has already been dislodged 
from the throne-rooms of empires and when freedom is the tide 
and passion of the time, it is a bagatelle to say that our people 
do not want independence. Our desire for independence is not 
the mere wild prank of a raw, unbalanced populace; it is a 
national movement to consummate a dearly cherished national 
ideal. It will not do to dismiss our plea with an icy smile. 

18 



IV. 

THE JAPANESE BUGABOO. 

Statements that Japan covets the Philippines are based on 
sheer surmise. No facts have been cited to support them. The 
papers would have it understood that Japan will just lay its claws 
on the Philippines, reason or no reason. By some such statements 

the American people were scarecrowed a few years 
A ago not with respect to the Philippines but with 

Scarecrow respect to America herself. It was said that Japan 

desired to invade America ; that America, unpro- 
tected as she was, was an easy prey. Years have passed since 
then, and the prophecy was not fulfilled. Will the prophecy be 
fulfilled in the case of the Philippines ? The Filipinos think other- 
wise, and their opinion is based on the considerations that follow : 

The flow of Japanese immigrants into the Philippines is neglible 
as compared with the flow into the United States, California and 
Hawaii specially. Today, there are only about 10,000 Japanese 
in the Philippines. If it was the intention of Japan's diplomacy 
to absorb the islands through pacific methods, an unlimited num- 
ber of her subjects would have been sent to the country year in 
and year out. Be that as it may, the United States today is not 
giving the Philippines protection against that system of conquest. 
The Philippine Legislature, for example, enacted a law limiting 
the ownership of Philippine lands to Americans and Filipinos, but 
that law required the approval of the President, and the State 
Department decided to recommend that it be vetoed ; so the law 
had to be withdrawn. 

Japan has repeatedly belied her intention to colonize the islands. 
Count Okuma, while premier of Japan, has explicitly said : "Japan 
has no ulterior motive, no desire to secure more territory, no 
thought of depriving China or any other people of anything they 

now possess." Dr. T. Masao, the President of 
Assurances the recent Parliamentary Mission that visited 
From Japan Manila, has assured the islands thus : "Japan 

and the Philippines are the best of friends. There 
is no ground, no basis, no foundation for quarrel and suspicion. 
You are rich in natural resources. Your country is immensely 
wealthy in raw products. Japan is eminently a manufacturing 
country. We are rich in finished products. There is every reason 

19 



to be gained by mutual friendly and peaceful co-operation." The 
present Premier of Japan has likewise stated in his official ca- 
pacity that Japan has no intention to take over the Philippines 
for colonial purposes, and that the Japanese government will be 
the first to sign an agreement for the neutralization of the archi- 
pelago. To the same effect was Baron Uchida's assurance. 

The Filipinos see no reason why these utterances shouldH be 
distrusted. On the contrary, we are aware that the spirit of 
Bushido is incrusted in the consciousness of Japan — she respects 
her given word. And at times we are even led to think that if 
at all Japan poses as the champion of the Orient, zmth now and 
then an outpouring of hostility against the Occident, it is because 
all Bast has ever painfully suffered from the racial prejudice of 
the West. 

Then there is the general attitude of Oriental peoples towards 
the Japanese to be considered. Japan's designs on China have 
been exposed before the powers in the peace conference. The 
Chinese, as a bulk, have never liked the Japanese by reason of 
the many concessions that have been wrung 
Attitude of from China by the Japanese government, 

Oriental Peoples under the guise of "spheres of influence." 
Toward the These spheres of influence are in fact and 

Japanese import a shattering of Chinese territorial in- 

tegrity, an absorption of China's most fertile 
spots, such as her regions of coal supply, her iron mines, and the 
like. The more Japan encroaches upon the mainland of China, 
the more will the Chinese feel that their destiny as a nation is 
doomed and the more they will dislike the Japanese as a people. 
The case of Shantung has intensified that dislike. And if ever 
China awakes from her lethargy, Japan will have to account for 
all the alleged affronts. 

Korea is actually in revolution against her Japanese rulers. 
The spirit of nationalism is surging in this land of 18,000,000 
people. Hatred against the Japanese is manifested on every side. 
Actual force has been necessary to quell disturbances. Freedom 
is the cry there, 

Russia, which is a country of astounding magnitude, lies in 
the north of Japan. The results of the Russo-Japanese war are 
still painfully fresh in the minds of the Russians. The day may 

20 



yet come when the Russians will attempt to wrench from the 
Japanese that part of Russian territory known as Manchuria 
which might and the tide of battle have thrown into the hands of 
the Japanese. 

Japan, therefore, is surrounded by peoples not bound to her by 
ties of blood or national interests, peoples who look upon her 
international acts with open fear and suspicion, peoples who 
have never been willing to be subject peoples, peoples who are 
awake to the modern principles of government and of interna- 
tional relations. 

To add to that array of unwillinq nationalities another unwilling 
nationality like the Philippines would he to throw the ivhole Bast 
into a camp always antagonistic to pretensions of domination on 
the part of Japan. In the course of time, the potency of the an- 
tagonism will be irresistible. 

The Filipinos will never condescend to look up to the Japanese 
as their rulers. The reason is plain : Their custom and manners, 
their religion and their ideals are glaringly dififerent from, if not 
antagonistic to, those of the Japanese. 

Japan, of course, might indulge in the hazardous act of killing 
every Filipino — of wiping the entire race out of the globe, a 
cold-blooded deed. But would she in the light of Germany's 
experience? 

Strategically also, it would be unwise for Japan to add to her 
already scattered territory a group of islands numbering about 
3,000, because all of these must needs be protected and fortified 
if Japan is to remain secure in her foothold. 

Viewed from all these aspects, the sanest course for Japan to 
take with regard to the East is to court the friendship of all 
Oriental peoples. This is the sanest course notwithstanding the 
Ishii-Lansing agreement or any other gentlemen's agreement that 

might exist or be negotiated. To pose as the 
The Sanest Master of the Orient will be hazardous for 

Course for Japan in the extreme. The staunchest opposi- 

Japan to Take tion will come from the Philippines. Other 

nationalities of the Far East will follow suit, 
for the nations there are attuned to the new era of progressive 
humanity. The Filipinos would be glad to be a friend to Japan 

21 



commercially and internationally. They would contribute their 
mite in the regeneration of the East. But they will never count- 
enance Japanese domination over them : they will never consent 
to be a footstool of the Nipponese Empire. 

But all these considerations aside, it would seem that all hob- 
goblins concerning the Japanese menace should vanish in the 
face of the new order of things in the world. Reference is mad© 
to the new international instrumentality which has just been 

instituted by the powers and denominated the 
The League League of Nations. This is the most promising 
of Nations creation of the age. The old order of perpetual 

conquest and dominion-seeking has been blotted 
out. The peoples of the world are war-weary. "Never again !" is 
their plaintive cry. That might is right is a discarded pet phrase 
of the militant world. The rights of small nationalities have been 
vindicated and safeguarded. The Parliament of Man and the 
Federation of the World of which Tennyson had sung is well- 
nigh a reality. 

We Filipinos are not pinning our faith, however, on the ma- 
chinery or efficacy of the League of Nations. // the zvorld is to 
remain donned in armors of steel and iron, we, too, could equip 
land and naval forces. We confidently believe we could turn out 
fighters that can approximate, if not equal, other soldiers of the 
world in valor and skill. We, too, can fortify our islands. We 
are aware that despite their numerousness, they have a unique 
military advantage — a physical strategic unity. In the words of 
Messrs. Davis, Frye and Reid, "there is hardly a single island in 
the group from which you cannot shoot across to one or more of 
the others — scarcely another archipelago in the world in which 
the islands are crowded as closely together and so interdependent." 
(Cited in Blount, "The American Occupation of the Philippines," 

V. 
WILL AMERICA BE IMPERIALISTIC? 

The traditional policy of America is against colonial expansion. 
From the foundation of this Republic to the present day, the 
American people have adhered to that policy. When, therefore, 
we hear American statesmen today crying in vigorous language 
that the promise of independence to the Philippines should be 
withdrawn lest the American republic disintegrate, we are tempted 

22 



to suspect that some Americans are resolved to override their 
country's traditions. 

The PhiHppines fell under America's domination by the stroke 
of chance. The taking of the islands was not an inevitable result 
of the war to liberate Cuba. America herself was startled when 
Dewey cabled the unexpected news that the American flag had 
been hoisted on Philippine soil. That America 
America's had no right to take the Philippines may be 

Right to Take proved beyond question. Mr. James H. Blount 
the Islands has done that admirably in his book, "Ameri- 

can Occupation of the Philippines." We shall 
not rehearse the circumstances here, because it will only be re- 
viving the gloomy discord of the past. 

The people of this country know that the Filipinos have always 
been desirous of being free. The resistance to America's coming 
is the eloquent proof of the sentiment in the Philippines with 
regard to freedom. Ever since the implantation of American 
sovereignty the spirit of nationalism has been 
America's vigorously asserting itself in the archipelago. 

Promise of The clamor for independence has been insistent. 

Independence It became acute somewhere in 1916, and the 
Jones Bill was passed by the United States 
Congress, which announced in unequivocal terms that America 
will unrivet the shackles of political bondage and give the long- 
awaited independence as soon as a stable government is estab- 
lished by the Filipinos. The Filipino people firmly believe that 
this declaration by the duly constituted representatives of the 
American nation will not be a mere scrap of paper, to be shriveled 
to ashes at the whim of imperialistic souls. It will not do to 
contend, as one writer has contended, that the preamble of the 
Jones Law of August 29, 1916, containing that declaration, is 
not an integral part of the law itself and that, therefore, it may 
be flung aside by succeeding Congresses if they so choose. De- 
spite that fact, if fact it be fairly and logically, the promise to 
grant independence is there, clear and unmistakable. It is in 
black and white. It is a ratification of the policies enunciated by 
the Presidents of America, from McKinley down. To repudiate 
the promise, as was ponderously trumpeted some time ago, is the 
most crass injustice that can be perpetrated by America upon a 
people whose only national fault, in the words of Andrew Car- 

23 



negie, "is that they believe in the American Declaration of In- 
dependence." 

The Philippines have never been an integral part of the Amer- 
ican republic. America's Constitution did not follow her flag 
in the islands. The Filipinos have never been American citizens 
as the Porto Ricans have been. The tw^enty million dollars paid 
Spain by the United States was not a pur- 
The Philippines chase price of the islands and their people. 
Never an The amount was paid : First, as a salve to 

Integral Part Spain's feelings; second, as an assumption 

of America of Spain's debt for pacific improvements, ex- 

isting then in the form of bonds bearing 6 
per cent interest; and third, because America preferred to pay the 
sum rather than indulge anew in the costly luxury of war. (Vide, 
"The Americans in the Philippines," by Le Roy, p. 124, note; 
also pp. 369-370; "The Government of the Philippine Islands," 
by Geo. A. Malcolm, pp. 178 and 179; pp. 193-194, note.) If the 
Philippines are not, thus, an integral part of America, it is not 
seen how it can be averred that if the islands be given their status 
as a sovereign nation, the American republic would disintegrate. 

One thing should not be overlooked : the sooner independence 
is granted to the Filipinos the stronger will be the ties that bind 
them to the American commonwealth and to the American people ; 
the more the granting is delayed the more will the Filipinos sus- 
pect that America is bent on the perpetual retention of the archi- 
pelago and the denial of the righteous claims of Philippine na- 
tionalism. That would be astoundingly disappointing to the Fili- 
pinos whose love for freedom is inborn. Admiration for America 
might dwindle as a consequence, and trade relations between 
America and the Philippines might suffer impairment. 

The granting of independence to the islands should not neces- 
sarily jeopardize America's interests in the Eastern hemisphere. 
The attitude of the Filipino people with regard to the maiter 
seems to be this: If America desires coaling statiotis in the 

Philippines, she may have them as 
America's Eastern well under a Philippine republic. If 

Interests and America desires to make Manila her 

Philippine Independence threshhold to the trade of the rapidly 
Are Compatible unfolding East, she shall have the 

privilege under a government by the 
Filipinos. If America must have military and naval bases in the 

24 



archipelago — if she must have an "easternmost frontier," as one 
American editor has expressed it — she will also have that. The 
proposition of the Filipinos today is to have America recognize 
now the independence of the Philippines, under terms to he ne- 
gotiated upon by duly appointed representatives of the Americans 
on one part and of the Filipinos on the other. The Filipinos owe 
to America much of what they and their country are today, and 
it is not selfish — much less, unreasonable — for Americans to insist 
that any political arrangement affecting the status of the islands 
shall definitely and adequately safeguard the needs of America's 
commerce. 



THERE IS A STABLE GOVERNMENT IN THE PHIL- 
IPPINES TODAY. 

There is only one condition precedent to the granting of Phil- 
ippine independence. And that is, that as soon as a stable govern- 
ment has been established in the islands, independence will be 
granted. There is today a stable government in the Philippines. 

It is a government elected by the 
The Only Condition peaceful suffrages of the people, sup- 

Precedent to the ported by the people, capable of main- 

Granting of Philippine taining order and of fulfilling its inter- 
Independence national obligations. It is patterned 

after republican institutions. It has 
the necessary checks and balances. It is run on the party system. 
We have a legislature which is composed entirely of Filipinos, 
and elected by direct popular suffrage. We have a Council of 
State which is an advisory body to the governor general. It de- 
termines the policy of the different departments of the govern- 
ment and recommends measures to the Legislature. We are 
more progressive than many countries of the world in fiscal legis- 
lation ; we have adopted the budget system of government appro- 
priation and expenditures, and this has systematized our finances. 

Our government is divided into several 
Structure of departments, much in the same way that 

Present Philippine the United States Government is divided. 
Government At the head of each department is a Secre- 

tary. And the department secretaries con- 
stitute the Cabinet, the members of which might appear or might 

25 



be summoned before the legislature to account for their acts. 
They are thus directlfy responsible not only to the chief executive 
of the islands, but also to the representatives of the people. 

The whole archipelago is divided into provinces ; they cor- 
respond to the states of the American Union. Each province is 
divided into municipalities ; these correspond to the counties of 
the United States. At the head of each province is a governor; 
the legislative body is Provincial Board. The executive of each 
municipality is a president; the legislative body is a municipal 
council. The governors, the presidents and the members of the 
local legislative bodies are all elected by direct popular suffrage. 

Such in skeleton is our system of government. It has been 
functioning without a hitch ever since its adoption. It combines 
the fine traits of American institutions and the virile attribute of 
the English system of governmental finance. Above all, it has 
been honest. And it is self-supporting. It has established peace 
and order throughout the archipelago. It has undertaken numer- 
ous public works. It has made education universal and free. It 
has improved the sanitation of the islands. It has encouraged 
agricultural and industrial enterprises. It has extended credit. 

It is not a fact, as many Americans assert, that the islands are 
a financial burden to the United States. The Insular Treasury 
has always had sufficient funds with which to meet all the expenses 
of the Insular Government, and a surplus besides. No United 

States dollar has ever been expended in the 
The Islands Are sanitation, education, and public works of the 
Self-Supporting archipelago. What America has done was to 

furnish the brains, the enterprise, and the 
example with which to hasten the material and intellectual de- 
velopment of the Filipino nation. The financial part of the 
undertaking was borne by the Filipinos through a representative 
system of taxation. 

America, it is true, has a standing army in the Philippines which 
is paid from the United States Treasury. But the existence and 
maintainance of that standing army are incident upon the taking 
over and retention of the islands. Clearly, if America must con- 
tinue holding a territorial possession, she necessarily must have 
forces and fortifications with which to challenge aggressive de- 
signs on the part of any other power. » 

26 



LET US HAVE FAIR PLAY 

We protest against the insidious tactics of some American 
writers who, in the haste to cripple the Fihpino plea for inde- 
pendence, invariably decorate their magazine and newspaper 
articles with pictures of the backward, scantily dressed, peoples 
of the Philippines. We call that foul play. For those people are 
by no means representative of the bulk of Filipinos. They con- 
stitute the decided minority — one-twentieth of the total population 
of the archipelago. They inhabit the mountains and do not 
meddle with the affairs below. It is not fair to predicate Filipino 
capacity for self-government on the looks, attire and backwardness 
of those mountain people. They are to the Philippines what the 
Indians are to America — no more, no less. The 10,000,000 Chris- 
tian Filipinos are doing their best to educate. Christianize and 
otherwise bring them within the fold of modern civilization. We 
do not seek to exterminate or exploit them. We do not confine 
them in reservations. We are approaching them in the most 
friendly way. And they are responding eagerly. 

So, too, by press materials cunningly 
Islands Have Been arrayed and cunningly written, actual con- 
Misrepresented ditions in the Philippines have been twist- 
ed. Our manners and mode of living have 
been ridiculed. We have been misrepresented beyond forgetting. 
Our defects have been exaggerated. And our virtues and attain- 
ments have been misantrophically brushed aside. 

We would request the writers who are antagonistic to the 
Philippine ideal to once in a while favor our cause with pictures 
and descriptions of the conditions of today — not ot the conditions 
of two decades ago — in the regions where modernity has had its 
touch. 

To American eyes, it may be true that we are crude in un- 
numbered ways, that our proletariat are oftentimes destitute of 
the means by which they could enjoy the modern comforts of 
life, that our standard of living is very far behind that of America, 
that we have traits that are not very Occidental. But these are 
no arguments against our ability to govern ourselves. Neither 
should they be made a deterrent to the granting of our complete 
independence. For we are advanced in thought and ideas; we 
realize the advantages and, unbaffled, we practice the ways of 

27 



modern republicanism; zve have the poise, the intelligence and the 
aplomb that are essential in a democracy. 

"Let him who scoffs at the impossibility of Phihppine progress 
without even awaiting events make a comparison between the 
United States when she adopted her Constitution, and the Phil- 
ippines if she be permitted to ratify hers. In 1790 the number 
of inhabitants in the United States was under 
The Philippines four million. The Philippines have double 
Today and the this. Of the American inhabitants, nearly one- 
United States fifth were negroes. The Philippines have 
in 1776 nowhere near this proportion of non-Chris- 

tians. Of the American inhabitants, the 
ancestors of eight-tenths were probably English and a homogen- 
eous part of the community. Of the Filipinos, at least as large 
a percentage are of one race. Of the Americans, the intellect of 
the people was little developed. The graduating classes of all the 
colleges in 1789 counted up to about 170. The graduating classes 
of one university in the Philippines exceed this number. In 
economic conditions the United States were little advanced, 
although the country abounded in natural resources. The same 
statement can be written for the Philippines." (Justice Geo. A. 
Malcolm: "Government of the Philippine Islands," p. 250.) 



CONCLUSION 



We wish to write across the consciousness of America that the 
Filipinos are a nation moved by an intense desire to be free ; that 
we are a people with a feeling and a sense of dignity, and as such 
resent the numerous insults repeatedly hurled against us; that it 
is not fair that we be invariably and indiscriminately pictured as 
savages, neither is it just that our defects should be exaggerated 
and our virtues ignored, whenever we press our claims to 
sovereignty. 

The burning desire of the Filipinos is to have an international 
personality. They long for a more dignified place in the sister- 
hood of the nations. They believe that too long a dependence on 

28 



America would only stultify their initiative and their latent 
energies as a people. Clearly, they cannot hope 
Desire for an to be a strong nation or race unless left alone to 
Internationa] face the vicissitudes of time. They are perfectly 
Personality willing to take a chance. It is a manly attitude 
and should not be discouraged. It should com- 
mand instead the admiration of this stalwart republic. Certainly 
it deserves the encouragement and support of true Americans. 

Signs of impatience for the long-awaited freedom are already 
visible in the Philippines. The people feel that justice delayed 
is justice denied. America, indeed, has been generous but 
unseeing. She has chosen to listen — unconsciously, let us hope — 

to the incantations of bigoted interests with 
America Generous regard to the capacity and attainment of the 
But Unseeing Filipinos, and not to the testimony of her 

duly appointed representatives. And the 
Filipinos properly inquire : Of what use are America's official 
representatives in the Philippines if their opinions and recom- 
mendations are to be discarded as soon as uttered? There is 
Governor General Harrison, for example, and there is Vice 
Governor Yeater. They have repeatedly made statements sub- 
stantiating the claims of the Filipinos that they are ready for 
their badge of sovereignty. Governor General Harrison person- 
ally appeared before Congress the other day. Under his responsi- 
bility as representative of the American people in the Philippines 
he stated that the Filipino people are ready for an independent 
status as a nation. What was the result? A portion of America 
smiled. A portion said that the official did not know what he was 
talking about. A portion stated that the Governor was playing 
politics and riding for a fall. A portion is asking : "Is it possible 
that the Filipinos have advanced so far?" The limit of jaunty 
indifference was reached when the joint committee which heard 
the presentation of the Philippine case pigeonholed the plea for 
independence, to be resurrected time alone knows when ! We 
repeat our query : Of what use are America's official representa- 
tives in the Philippines if they are not to be believed? 

Retention of the islands is sought to be justified on many 
grounds. Fear of aggression on the part of Japan is one of them. 
Magnified with a thousand doleful phrases, this is the ground that 

29 



has been repeatedly pushed to the forefront to scare the Filipino.- 
But in thus hesitating to turn the islands 
Grounds for loose, because Japan might gobble ihcm up, 

Retention Refuted does not America, to quote the Charleston 
(S. C.) American, "openly confess that she 
has failed to make the zvorld safe for democracy f" Is the world 
to understand, then, that America dares not challenge the power 
that dares lift its finger to defile the magnificent colonial handi- 
work that is the Philippines? Shall democracy be ever cowed in 
front of dynastic imperialism f 

Then, it is said that the Philippines are being held as a trust 
to civilization ; that the trust is a sacred trust ; that it must be 
fulfilled before the islands could be allowed to go to shift for 
themselves. Pray, tell us who shall decide whether the sacred 
trust has been executed or not? Will it be the imperialists who 
would cling to their outworn creed even though the heavens fall? 
Will it be the commercial interests of the land whose deity is 
the Dollar? Will it be the exigencies of politics? If any of these 
be the case, then Philippine independence will never come to pass. 
For plead for it as best we can, any of those as the judge will 
just be standing by "as unheeding as the Nile," 

Finally, we are told that this is not the time for talking inde- 
pendence, that the world is in a state of flux, that it is unsafe 
to let us embark in the turbulent tides of international aflfairs. 
And yet other small nationalities of the world were given their 
freedom even before the smoke of battle had died away. They 
are nations, too, that are sandwiched between dynasties and 
peoples born and reared beneath the dogmas of haughty militarism. 
And America, in all her present greatness, rejoices to behold the 
scene, because it was her job! Shall there be exceptions, then, in 
international justice? Must America sympathize only with the 
cause of Ireland or only with the cause of Poland, or of the 
Czecho-Slovaks ? How long will the shot heard around the world 
be turning back against the principle which propelled it? 

The Filipinos cannot but zvonder! 



30 



University of California 

SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 

405 Hllgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1388 

Return this material to tt>e lit>rary 

from wtiich It was t>orrovyed. 



^ OCT 3 



2000 



^ 



s^v 



JAN122(I04 



^c^"^"- 



St? 



^U«^