Filipino Disunity During the War
While the Filipino nationalists (irreconcilables and the autononists) were debating whether or not to accept the autnonomy offer of the United States, little did they know that the Hispanicized Filipino ilustrados (assimilationists) had already collaborated with the  American occupying forces.
      • P.A.W.C.I.

Factionalism: The Second Enemy

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
  "It was characteristic of the Filipinos to split into factions, but the encouragement given to General Antonio Luna's aspiration to supersede his supreme chief was unfortunate, for Aguinaldo was not the man to tolerate a rival.  He had rid himself of Andres Bonifacio in 1896, and now another disturber of that unity which is strength had to be disposed of.  The point of dispute between these two men was of public knowledge."
      • John Foreman, 

      • The Philippine Islands, 1906
  Photo of Gen. Antonio Luna, a brave soldier who was appointed as Director of War before the outbreak of the war. He fought a strong defense against the American forces commanded by General Lloyd Wheaton in the Battle of Bagbag/Calumpit. His temperament as a disciplinarian brought him many enemies within rank and file of the Philippine government and led to his assassination by men known to be loyal to Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. 

On Bonifacio's Execution:
[In reference to the Bonifacio-Aguinaldo power struggle during the Katipunan Revolt (1896-1897)]
"This tragedy [of Bonifacio's execution] smothered the enthusiasm for the revolutionary cause and hastened the failure of the insurrection in Cavite, because many from Manila, Laguna, and Batangas who were fighting for the province [of Cavite] were demoralized and quit, and soon the so-called central government had to witdraw to the mountains of Biak-na-Bato in Bulacan…"
      • Apolinario Mabini, writing in his 

      • memoirs "La Revolucion Filipinas"
Andres Bonifacio, founder of the
Katipunan Society. The Katipunan sparked the Philippine Revolution on August 1896 in the Cry of Balintawak. In the Tejeros Convention in March 1897, Bonifacio lost the power to Aguinaldo as titular head of the newly-formed Revolutionary Government.  Refusing to abide by the humiliating results of the Tejeros Convention, he was tried and executed for counter-revolutionary activities.

On the Loss of General Luna:
[In reference to the Luna-Aguinaldo power struggle during the Independence War (1899-1902)]

Three Distinct Affiliation Groups of Filipinos During the War: The Irreconcilable Hardliners
"Our country is passing through a critical stage. The loyal Filipinos will have a terrible end. It is not because the enemy is greater, but because of the corruption and treason of our countrymen. They hesitated on the way and are selling us for a handful of gold."
      • Apolinario Mabini
Photo of Apolinario Mabini, a brilliant lawyer who graduated with a nearly perfect scholastic records. He was involved with Dr. Jose Rizal's La Liga Filipina and was arrested but was immediately released, the authorities thinking that a paralytic person would be incapable of revolutionary activities. Upon Aguinaldo's return from his Hong Kong exile on May 1898, Mabini was summoned to help him set up an emergency government. Thereupon, Mabini crafted all Aguinaldo's decrees and proclamations giving legitimacy to Aguinaldo's revolutionary government. When the war ended, he was exiled to Guam for his refusal to swear allegiance to the U.S. After writing his memoir "La Revolucion Filipinas," he was allowed to return to the Philippines where he finally swore allegiance to the U.S. He was struck by the cholera epidemic in 1903 at the young age of 39.
"Our arms are our only defense. Once we yield them we are at the mercy of our conquerors and will have no recourse but to accept their conditions."
Issues Confronting the Filipinos During the Independence War (1899-1902)
Issues that Divided the 
Filipinos into Factions
Course of Action Occurrence
Total Philippine independence advocated by Apolinario Mabini and Gen. Antonio Luna. War for Independence February 4, 1899 to 
July 4, 1902
Autonomy or limited self-rule under the sovereignty and protection of the American flag.

Pedro A. Paterno, the second President of the Cabinet of the Philippine Republic who replaced Apolinario Mabini and advocated autonomy. When Gen. Luna vigorously objected, he was forced to issue a Declaration of War against the United States on June 2, 1899.

  • U.S. offer for autonomy acceptable to the Paterno Cabinet; 
  • Gen. Luna vigorously objected  autonomy threatening arrest to all advocates of autonomy.
Autonomy offer made by U.S. Secretary of State John Hay on May 5, 1899 through the First U.S. Philippine (Schurman) Commission.
  • Collaboration?
  • Cooperation?
  • Abandonement?
  • Assimilation?
T.H. Pardo de Tavera, president of the Partido Federal (Federalistas), the first Philippine political party organized on February 22, 1901, promoted statehood for the Philippines as its platform.  He was one of the delegates to the Malolos (Revolutionary) Congress that passed the Constitution of the republic during the Revolutionary Days in 1898.
  • Negros Constitution establishing the Negros government under the protection of the American flag;
  • Ilustrados accepting influential positions and serving in American-established government while Emilio Aguinaldo's nationalist forces were retreating northward.
  • Appointment of Anecito Lacson as Negros governor on March 1899;
  • Appointment of Anecito Clarin as Bohol Governor on April 20, 1901
  • Appointment of Cayetano Arellano as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on May 29, 1899
Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano, the first Filipino to be appointed to the highest official position by the Americans while Aguinaldo was waging the Independence War. Together with Pardo de Tavera, he was one of the "Little Brown Brothers" as W.H. Taft would call the newly-colonized Filipinos.

Dissension Within the Lower Rank:

Collaboration with the Americans: A Proof of Collaboration U.S. Unqualified Support to the Collaborators Offering No Resistance Against the Americans

"Simultaneously with the prosecution of the Panay Island campaign, General Miller opened negotiations for the submission of Negros Islands to American sovereignty…Aniceto Lacson accepted these terms, and General Miller formally appointed him Governor of the Island in March 1899.  It is evident, therefore, that no union existed between the local government of Negros and Aguinaldo's Republic in Luzon."

Disunity in Zamboanga

"The arrival of an American expidition in the waters of Zamboanga on November 15, 1899, produced a sanguinary crisis in these faction fueds. Vicente Alvarez at once took measures to oppose the invaders' landing, whilst his rival, Isidro Midel, resolved to side with the Americnas.  The want of unity amongst the natives themselves was a great help to the Americans' plans. By this timethere appeared a third aspiran to local frame in the person of Melanio Sanson… Each of thses three individuals sought to rid himslef of his two rivals."

Definiton of Terms: Tests for Collaboration:
  1. Was there an enemy?
  2. Did the collaborator consider the U.S. as an enemy?
  3. Did the collaborator believe in the independence cause?
  4. Was the collaborator connected to the independence cause, directly or indirectly?
The Autonomy Offer That Divided the Nationalists

"July 5, 1899

"Schurman, Manila.


Filipinos Killing Filipinos for the Colonial Masters

"In drafting the Army Reorganization Act of 1901, Congress authorized the enlistment of up to 12,000 Filipinos in special "scout" units, and within a year 5,000 Filipinos were serving in the Philippine Scouts.  The Scouts were active in suppressing the remnants of the Filipino-American War and in the establishment of peace in the early years of commission government.  During the twelve years ending with 1913, Scout losses in action included 127 killed and 170 wounded.  Two-thirds of these casualties occurred in fighting prior to mid-1906, primariuly in actions against revolutionary guerillas on Luzon and Samar."



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Philippine-American War Centennial Initiative (P.A.W.C.I.)