Institutionalization of Philippine "Insurrection"
Topics on Philippine "Insurrection"
America's 'First War for Humanity'
"The only trace of bitterness shown by veterans
was over their loss of combat and travel pay, and other benefits, because
the government refused to acknowledge officially that the conflict had
been a "war." A pamphlet prepared for a 1922 rennin of the Minnesota volunteers
complained that in "America's first war for humanity" --its longest since
the Revolution, with the longest combat service and highest percentage
of men killed or wounded --its veterans "Received No Bonus, No War Risk
Insurance, No Adjusted Compensation, No Vocational Training and No Hospitalization
Until 1922." In that year they were quietly granted veterans' benefits,
although the status of the conflict remained an "insurrection." "
--Stuart C. Miller, in his book Benevolent Assimilation , page 272
Definition of Conflict:
If there was an open armed conflict between the Filipinos and the Americans which broke out on February 4, 1899 and to last for many months, why was it called "insurrection" and not "war?"
Historian's Opinion on Philippine "Insurrection":
"There could be no insurrection, however, because the United States did not control the Islands when the Philippine-American War began in 1899. The fighting that ensued took place between two organized forces, one representing the government of the United States and the other representing the revolutionary government of the Philippine Republic under the leadership Emilio Aguinaldo."
Chapter Two - Indians and Insurrectos
Except for Manila which was held by the Americans and the Morolands of Mindanao, the Christian Filipino forces led by Emilio Aguinaldo controlled the rest of the Philippine archipelago.
After the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December
10, 1898 the Spaniards in the Philippines were no longer a military factor
except for their forces to cover the evacuation of their citizens and families.
All provinces except Zamboanga were abandoned by the Spaniards and many
of their officers, who had considered the Philippines as their home, joined
the forces of Aguinaldo instead of being repatriated to Spain.
Theodore Roosevelt's Proclamation
July 4, 1902
Whereas, many of the inhabitants of the Philippine Archipelago were in insurrection against the authority and sovereignty of the Kingdom of Spain at divers times from August, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, until the cession of the archipelago by that Kingdom to the United States of America, and since such cession many of the persons so engaged in insurrection have until recently resisted the authority and sovereignty of the United States; and
Whereas, the insurrection against the authority and sovereignty of the United States is now at an end, and peace has been established in all parts of the archipelago except in the country inhabited by the Moro tribes, to which this proclamation does not apply; and
Whereas, during the course of the insurrection against the Kingdom of Spain and against the Government of the United States, persons engaged therein, or those in sympathy with and abetting them, committed many acts in violation of the laws of civilized warfare, but it is believed that such acts were generally committed in ignorance of those laws, and under orders issued by the civil or insurrectionary leaders; and
Whereas, it is deemed to be wise and humane, in accordance with the beneficent purposes of the Government of the United States towards the Filipino people, and conducive to peace, order, and loyalty among them, that the doers of such acts who have not already suffered punishment shall not be held criminally responsible, but shall be relieved from punishment for participation in these insurrections , and for unlawful acts committed during the course thereof, by a general amnesty and pardon:
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Theodore Roosevelt,
President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority
vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby proclaim and declare, without
reservation or condition, except as hereinafter provided, a full and complete
pardon and amnesty to all persons in the Philippine Archipelago who have
participated in the insurrections aforesaid, or who have given aid
and comfort to persons participating in said insurrections , for
the offenses of treason or sedition and for all offenses political in their
character committed in the course of such insurrections pursuant
to orders issued by the civil or military insurrectionary authorities,
or which grew out of internal political feuds or dissension between Filipinos
and Spaniards or the Spanish authorities, or which resulted from internal
political feuds or dissension among the Filipinos themselves,
Provided, however, That the pardon and amnesty hereby granted shall not include such persons committing crimes since May first, nineteen hundred and two, in any province of the archipelago in which at the time civil government was established, nor shall it include such persons as have been heretofore finally convicted of the crimes of murder, rape, arson, or robbery by any military or civil tribunal organized under the authority of Spain, or of the United States of America, but special application may be made to the proper authority for pardon by any person belonging to the exempted classes, and such clemency as is consistent with humanity and justice will be liberally extended; and
Further provided, That this amnesty and pardon shall not affect the title or right of the Government of the United States, or that of the Philippine Islands, to any property or property rights heretofore used or appropriated by the military or civil authorities of the Government of the United States, or that of the Philippine Islands, organized under authority of the United States, by way of confiscation or otherwise;
Provided further, That every person who shall
seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take and subscribe the
following oath before any authority in the
"I, ________________ , solemnly swear (or affirm) that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the United States of America in the Philippine Islands and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that I impose upon myself this obligation voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God."
Given under my hand at the City of Washington this fourth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and two, and in the one hundred and twenty-seventh year of the Independence of the United States.
[ Source : U.S. Senate. The Mabini Case.
57th Congress., 2nd Session. Doc. No. 111
The [Philippine] "Insurrection"
Philippine-American relations started on the wrong foot. At the height of the Filipino Revolution against Spain, Admiral Dewey's armada showed up in Manila Bay and made a pretense of showing interest in the Filipinos' cause. In no time, U.S. troops started arriving en masse and, using guile, deprived General Emilio Aguinaldo of a chance to win a decisive victory over the besieged Spanish army.
It was a U.S. volunteer who fired the first shot that triggered the Filipino-American War, the second and concluding phase of the Revolution. It was a legitimate war of independence, a continuation of the Filipinos' struggle to achieve freedom, this time against a new enemy. But in American history books and official files, the Filipino cause is known as the "Philippine Insurrection."
It was not an insurrection, of course. The word means an open revolt against civil authority, defiance against constituted government. The American forces in 1899 were interlopers in Philippine affairs, uninvited visitors who had overstayed their welcome. The only authority at the time was the Philippine Republic under Aguinaldo, the first constitutional government in Asia.
The Philippine-American War was one of the most savage in military history. Many historians have referred to it as "the first Vietnam," owing to the death, torture, savagery, and destruction that characterized the war. The case of the Balangiga bells sears the memory not only for the sentiments attached to the carillons but to the murderous violence that befell the town of Balangiga.
That war deserves commemoration, which the nation performs today, the centennial of the struggle. It was an unforgettable experience for the Filipinos who contended with new arms technology and novel military tactics. The war lasted longer than the first phase of the Revolution, sired its own heroes and heroines. When the newcomers officially declared victory, Filipino generals and their men fled to the hills to continue the fight.
Apart from paying tribute to these heroes, we ought to press a campaign to have the United States voluntarily rectify current references to the Philippine-American War as the "Philippine Insurrection." The campaign includes the rehabilitation of General Aguinaldo not as a "brigand" but a statesman-warrior. The campaign was started in the Philippine Senate with a resolution calling on President Estrada to secure a proper and just rectification of the error.
It is said, of course, that history is written by the victors. But with the hindsight of a hundred years, and the long history of friendship between Filipinos and Americans, it becomes the obligation of the United States to correct the mistake. Many Filipinos are also saying that American textbooks on Bataan and Corregidor — including the tragic Death March — edit out much of the valor and participation of Filipino soldiers.
As a sidebar, February historically is observed, under the auspices of Philippine and Japanese organizations, as Philippine-Japan Friendship Month. The occasion reminds us about the cause of the "comfort women," the Asian women, including Filipinas, who were pressed into prostitution by the Japanese imperial army. The victims have asked for justice — through apologies and proper restitution. Tokyo has refused to take official cognizance of the issue, preferring to have a privately organized fund to handle the matter. This is an evasion of responsibility. The Japanese government has already apologized to China, South Korea, and other Asian countries for wrongs committed by its troops during World War II. An apology to the comfort women and the masses of Filipinos who were victimized by Japanese cruelty is long overdue.
For now, the Philippine foreign office should undertake a diplomatic initiative for the United States to correct its history books and official files on the Philippine-American War. It was not, to repeat, an act of banditry but a legitimate exercise of the Filipino people of their right to be free of foreign domination. References to the War as an "insurrection" must stop in the interest of historical truth and justice and for building permanent foundations of mutual friendship and respect. Failure to do so would leave real gaps between young generations of Filipinos and Americans in their understanding of a common past.
HCON 60 IH
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Whereas the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, which was formed by veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection to help secure rights and benefits for their service, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 1999;
Whereas American service personnel have fought, bled, and died in every war, conflict, police action, and military intervention in which the United States has engaged during this century;
Whereas over history, veterans service organizations have ably represented the interests of veterans in Congress and State legislatures across the Nation, and established networks of trained service officers who, at no charge, have helped millions of veterans and their families secure the education, disability compensation, and health care benefits they are rightfully entitled to receive as a result of the military service performed by those veterans; and
Whereas veterans service organizations have been deeply involved in countless local community service projects and have been constant reminders of the American ideals of duty, honor, and national service: Now, therefore, be it
(2) the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee should recommend to the Postmaster General that such a series of commemorative postage stamps be issued.
SCON 12 IS
S. CON. RES. 12
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 22, 1999
Ms. COLLINS (for herself, Mr. INOUYE, Mr. NICKLES, Mr. ROTH, Mr. FRIST, Mr. JEFFORDS, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Mr. TORRICELLI, Mr. KERRY, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. COVERDELL, Mr. VOINOVICH, Mr. SHELBY, Mr. HELMS, Mr. ROBB, Mr. CLELAND, Mr. CONRAD, Mr. DASCHLE, Mr. GRASSLEY, Mr. ABRAHAM, Mr. AKAKA, Mr. ALLARD, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. BROWNBACK, Mr. BRYAN, Mr. CHAFEE, Mr. CRAIG, Mr. DODD, Mr. DOMENICI, Mr. ENZI, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mr. FITZGERALD, Mr. GORTON, Mr. GRAMM, Mr. GREGG, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. STEVENS, Mr. THURMOND, Mr. WELLSTONE, Mr. SPECTER, Mr. ASHCROFT, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. WARNER, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. REID, Mr. INHOFE, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. BIDEN, Mr. GRAMS, Mr. LOTT, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. WYDEN, Mr. HATCH, Mr. CRAPO, and Mrs. LINCOLN) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs
Requesting that the United States Postal Service issue a commemorative postage stamp honoring the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Whereas the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (hereinafter in this resolution referred to as the 'VFW'), which was formed by veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection to help secure rights and benefits for their service, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 1999;
Whereas members of the VFW have fought, bled, and died in every war, conflict, police action, and military intervention in which the United States has engaged during this century;
Whereas, over its history, the VFW has ably represented the interests of veterans in Congress and State Legislatures across the Nation and established a network of trained service officers who, at no charge, have helped millions of veterans and their dependents to secure the education, disability compensation, pension, and health care benefits they are rightfully entitled to receive as a result of the military service performed by those veterans;
Whereas the VFW has also been deeply involved in national education projects, awarding nearly $2,700,000 in scholarships annually, as well as countless community projects initiated by its 10,000 posts; and
Whereas the United States Postal Service has issued commemorative postage stamps honoring the VFW's 50th and 75th anniversaries, respectively: Now, therefore, be it
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Philippine-American War Centennial Initiative (PAWCI)