America's Double-Crosses
Double-Crosses In Words and In Dids

If the acts and decisions of the U.S. military commanders was for the best interest of their country, they were considered as betrayal of trust as well as "double-cross" by the Filipinos who considered the Americans  their allies from the time their forces first set foot in the islands. These double-crosses were manifested in words and in dids in many specific occasions, such as:

  • First Double-Cross (Independence War):  Filipinos being denied  their share in the victory of Battle of Manila
  • While the Filipinos cooperated with the Americans in the Battle of Manila, they were blinded by the fact that the battle was set to be a mock and prearranged one -to save the Spaniards from humiliating defeat in the hands of the Filipino forces. The mock battle would also avoid possible court martial of their commanders in Madrid for easily capitulating to the Americans. After the Battle of Manila, McKinley ordered Gen. Merritt and Commodore Dewey, which stated: 

    "There will be no joint occupation with the insurgents."

    The Filipinos were excluded in the victory celebrations, thus robbed of the glory of the victory!
  • Second Double-Cross: (Moro Resistance Wars):The unilateral abbrogation of the Bates-Sultan Treaty
  • At the height of the Independence War, the Americans signed a treaty of friendship with the Sultan of Jolo in August 1899 with the hope of preventing the Moro people from joining with the Christian forces of Aguinaldo. When the Christian Filipinos were defeated and subjugated, the U.S. unilaterally abrogated the Bates Treaty and turned their forces against the Muslim Filipinos. 
  • Third Double-Cross (At U.S. Senate Hearings): Denying the existence of U.S.-Filipino alliance
  • The U.S.-Filipino alliance to defeat the Spaniards in the Philippines was a known fact among the members of the U.S. military and diplomatic circles. But when the policy makers in Washington changed their minds on the "Philippine issue" and asserted their imperialistic interest,,  it became expedient to deny the existence of the U.S.-Filipino alliance.
    This denial was officially recorded in the U.S. senate hearings when Admiral Dewey stated:

    "I never treated him [Aguinaldo] as an ally, except to assist me in my operations against the Spaniards."

        • PAWCI

    Double-cross in the Christian land:
    • America's First Double-Cross: Denying Aguinaldo's Filipino nationalist forces  their share of the Manila victory
    Insensitive to the wounded pride of the Filipinos, General Merritt added insult by saying:
    "We purposely gave the insurgents no notice of the attack on Manila, because we did not need their cooperation."
    "Click" photo to view 
    a larger image.
    An editorial cartoon from Chicago Journal titled: 

    "Puzzle Picture -Find the Governor of the Philippines" 

    depicting U.S. General Wesley Merritt and Commodore George Dewey smoking and sitting on top of Emilio Aguinaldo, who is wearing a crown, on Luzon. 

    Double-crosses in the Morolands:
    • Unilateral Abrogation of the Bates-Sultan Treaty.  Looking only after its own interest, the United States, upon recommendation by Gen. Leonard Wood, unilaterally abrogated the Bates-Sultan of Jolo Treaty on March 2, 1904, blaming the Sultan for his failure to control the Moro rebellion.   The U.S. did not even acknowledge the fact that they had provoked the Moro people into rebellion by drastically imposing personal cedula taxes and introducing Christian-based education and customs which were diametrically opposite to the Islamic religious beliefs. Moreover, the Moro people has always looked upon the United States, a non-Muslim country, with great suspicion considering their centuries of colonial struggle against Spain without being totally subjugated.
    • Manipulative Dismantling of the Sultanate of Jolo.  Not satisfied with the abrogation of the treaty, worried by the fact that the Bates-Sultan Treaty of 1899 had recognized the "Government of the Sultan", and that the Sultan would demand for continued recognition of his quasi-government status, the U.S. "persuaded" the subjugated and powerless Sultan to sign the Carpenter-Sultan of Jolo Treaty on March 22, 1915 renouncing "all pretentious of sovereignty" over the whole Sulu Archipelago and reducing his sultanate government status to a mere "religious symbol" of his people. 
    • Opening of the Morolands for Migration.  When General Leonard Wood, the former military governor of the Moro Province who advised the U.S. president to unilaterally abrogate the Bates-Sultan of Jolo Treaty in 1904, became the civil governor of the Philippines in the 1920s, he implemented a U.S-style migration policy of populating the vast frontier land of Mindanao,  including the areas considered by the Moros as their ancestral lands, by encouraging Christian Filipinos to settle in Mindanao, the so-called Philippine "Land of Promise." Many landless Luzon and Visayan Christian Filipinos responded to this migration policy not aware of the ill-will they had created to the Moro people who considered them as land-grabbers.  Consequently, this policy was to inflame the ancient hatred of the Moros against the Christians who were considered allies of the Spaniards in trying to subjugate them, and to remain to this day as the root cause of never-ending conflict between the Moro people and the Christians Filipiinos.


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    Link to Articles written by Lela Noble


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    Philippine-American War CentennialInitiative (PAWCI)