|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Filipinos Incapable of Government|
'Washington, Nov. 2. In accordance with the understanding reached at the . conference -at the White House yester- ; day the Philippine commission submit ted to the president the preliminary re-. re-. port which it had promised to prepare. The report appears to be a compact summary of conditions on the islands as the commission left them;, of the ! ; historical events which preceded the Spanish war and led to the original I Filipino insurrection; of the exchanges -5 between Admiral Dewey and the other American commanders and the insur- ; gents; the breaking out and progress i of the present insurrection, and finally a statement of the capacity of the Filipinos Fili-pinos for self-government. A notable feature of the report is a memoran-' memoran-' : , dum by Admiral Dewey, explanatory of his relations with Aguinaldo. The commission tells briefly how it conducted the task entrusted to it, hearing statements from all classes of people in Manila, as to the capability of the Filipinos for self-government, Ihe Jiabits and customs of the people, and also the establishment of municipal governments in many towns. All this matter is to be included in the final rc-s rc-s port. History of the Islands. Turning to the history of the islands, , - the commission attaches little impor- '. tance to the divers rebellions which had preceded that of 1SHG. As to this movement, move-ment, they declare it was in no sense an attempt to win independence, but solelv to obtain relief from intolerable abusls. To s-ustain this statement they quote from an insurgent proclamation, nhowing that what was demanded was the expulsion of the friars and the restitution res-titution to the peoyle of their lands, , - with a division of the episcopal see's between Spanish and native priests. It was also demanded that the Filipinos Fili-pinos haw parliamentary representa-' representa-' tion. freedom of the press, religious toleration, economic autonomy and laws similar to those of Spain. The abolition of the power of banishment was demanded, de-manded, with a legal equality for all persons in law and equality in pay be- tween Spanish and native civil ser-i ser-i vants. f The commission declares that these h demands had good ground: that on. pa- ; : per the Spanish system of government j i j was tolerable, but in practice every i ' ? Spanish governor did what he saw fit, and the evil deeds of men in the gov- eminent were hidden from Spain by strict press censorship. Allusion is j made to the powerful Katipunan so- ciety, patterned on the Masonic order, and' mainly made up of Tagalos, as a powerful revolutionary force. The War of 1896. The war begun in 1SS6 was terminated by the treaty of Biac-Na-Bate. The Filipinos were numerous, but possessed about only 800 small arms. The Spanish Span-ish felt that it would require 100,000 men to capture their stronghold, and j, concluded to resort to the use of money. ' . Certain concessions were also decided upon, including representation of the Filipinos in the eortes, the deportation of the friars, which was the principal question; the grant of the right of association as-sociation and a free press. ; Governor General Kivera was willing to pay $2,000,000. Mexican, when Aguin aldo and his cabinet and ".c-ading offi-u offi-u cers arrived in Hongkong. It appears, i however, that Paterno only offered the I latter $400,000. $200,000 to be paid when I Aguinaldo arrived at Hongkong and the I balance when the Filipinos had deliv- ered up their arms. The arrangement was not acceptable to Ihe people. The promises were never carried out, snd Spanish abuses began afresh, in Manila alone more than 200 men being ; executed. Hence sporadic revolutions i occurred, though they possessed noth-" noth-" ing like the strength of the original movement. Filipinos Unprepared For War. " The insurgents lacked arms, ammuni tion and leaders. The treaty had ended the war, which, with the exception of i an unimportant outbreak in Cebu. had been confined to Luzon, Spain's sover-r- eignty in the islands never having been questioned and the thought of inde- pendonce never having been enter- i.i tained. f The report then tells how General I Augustine came to Manila as governor I general at this juncture and war broke j out between Spain and the United I State--. Augustine sought to secure the I support of the Filipinos to defend Spain agair.et America, promising them au- I tonomy. but the Filipinos did not trust j him. Then came the 1st of May and ( the destruction of the Spanish fleet by Dewey, with the result of the loss of prestise to Spain. Then in June Aguinaldo Aguin-aldo came. On this point the commis-T commis-T sioti says: The following memorandum on this subject has been furnished the commission commis-sion by Admiral Dewey: Eelations With Aguinaldo. . "Memorandum of relations with Aguinaldo: On April 24. IMS. the following fol-lowing cipher dispatch was received at I Hongkong from E. Spencer Pratt, j United States consul at Singapore: 'Aguinaldo, insurgent leader, here, i Will come to Hongkong and arrange with commodore for general' co-opera- ! tion of insurgents at Manila if desired. Telegraph. PRATT.' "On the same day Commodore Dewey telegraphed Mr. Pratt: 'Tell Aguinaldo to come as soon as possible.' the neces- elty for haste being due to the fact that the squadron had been notified by the ' Hongkong government to leave those voters by the following day. ! I "The squadron left Hongkong on the I morning of the-251 h and Mivs Bay on I the 27th. Aguinaldo did not leave Sing- ap.re until the 2fith and so did not ar- , rive in Hongkong in time to have a conference with the admiral. "It had been reported to the comnio-. comnio-. dtn-e as early as March 1 by the United I ' " States consul at Manila and others that I the Filipinos had broken out in insur- j ruction against the Spanish authority in The vicinity of Manila, and on March 3 0 Mr. "Williams had telegraphed: 'Five thoustnd rebels, armed, in camp near city. Loyal to us in case of war.' Aguinaldo Calls On Dewey. "Upon the arrival of the squadron at Manila it was found this was no insurrection insur-rection to speak of, and it was accordingly accord-ingly decided to allow Aguinaldo to come to Cavite on board the McCul-loch. McCul-loch. He arrived with thirteen of his staff ii May 19. and immediately came on board the olympia to call on the commander-in-chief, after which he was allowed to land at Cavite and organize or-ganize an army. "This was done with the purpose of strengthening the United States forces and weakening those of the enemy. No alliance of any kind was entered into with Aguinaldo. nor was any promise of independence made to him, then or ' at any other time." The commission's report then rapidly sketches events now historical. It tells in substance how the Filipinos attacked the Spanish and how General Anderson! arrived and Aguinaldo. at his request, removed from Cavite to Bacoor. Says I Hie commission: Idea of Independence. j "Now for the first time rose the idaj of national independence. Aguinaldi issued a proclamation in which he took j 1he responsibility of promising it to his people on behalf of the American government, although he admitted freely free-ly in private conversation with members mem-bers of his cabinet that neither Admiral Dewey nor any other American had made him any such promise." The report states that Aguinaldo wished to attack the Americans when they landed at Paranaque, but was deterred de-terred by lack of arms and ammunition. ammuni-tion. From that point on there was a growing friction between the Filipinos and the American troops. "There was no conference," says the report, "between the oncers of the Fili pinos and our officers with a view to operating against the Spaniards, nor was-there co-operation of any kind. There never was any preconcerted preconcert-ed operations or any combined movement move-ment by the United States and Filipinos Fili-pinos against the Spaniards." . Wanted to Xoot Manila, Reference is made to Aguinaldo's demand de-mand that he be allowed to loot Manila and take the arms xjf the Spaniards. .The latter demand is said to confirm the statement that he intended to get possession of the arms to attack the Americans. Further evidence of the i hostile intentions of the Filipinos was found in the organization of a "popular "popu-lar club," which later on furnished a iJawal militia to attack the Americans. The decrees of the Filipino congress are also cited, as well as the making of bolis (knives) in every shop in Manila. Ma-nila. It ks shown that a considerable element in the Filipino congress wished to address President McKinley a request re-quest not to abandon the Philippines (at this stage the Paris conference was discussing the future ,of the Philippines). Philip-pines). The president was also to be asked his desire as to the form of government-he wished to establish. But all this time Aguinaldo' was preparing pre-paring for war and delaying these messages, mes-sages, and it was unjrstood the attack at-tack would come when the first act by the American forces which would afford af-ford ?- rretext. A brief chapter tells of the lack of (successes attending the effort made ut this time by General Merritt 'through a commission to arrive at a mutual understanding un-derstanding with Aguinaldo as to the intentions, purposes and desires of the . Filipino people. This brings the story up to the outbreak out-break on the evening cf the 4th of February, Feb-ruary, with-the attack upon the American Amer-ican troops following the action tf the Nebraska sentinel. Fight the Americans. The commission, in concluding this chapter, eavs: "After the landing of our troops Aguinaldo made up his m'.nd that it would be necessary to fight the Americans, Ameri-cans, and after the making of the treaty of peace at Paris this determination determi-nation was strengthened. He .did not only openly declare that he intended to light the Americans, but he excited everybody, and especially the military, by claiming independence, and it is doubtful whether nc -lad the power to check or control the army at the time hostilities broke out. "DeDlorabln as war is, the one in which we are now engaged was unavoidable. un-avoidable. Xo alternative was leftvto us, except ignominious retreat. It is not to be conceived that any American would sanction the surrender of Manila to the insurgents. Our obligations to other nations and to the friendly Filipinos Fili-pinos and to ourselves and our flag demand that force should be met with force. Whatever the future of the Philippines Phil-ippines may be. there is no course open to us now except the prosecution of the war until the insurgents are reduced to i submission. Could Not Withdraw Forces. '-'The -com-mission is of the opinion that there has been no time since the destruction of the Spanish squadron by Admiral Dewey when it was possible to withdraw our forces from the island?, either with honor to ourselves or with safety to the inhabitants." The commission then takes up the conditions of the country at the time of their arrival, comparing it with conditions con-ditions at the time they left a short time ago. A vivid picture is given of the anarchy existing among the inhabitants inhab-itants in and about Manila during the early spring. "The pituation in the city," says the commission, "was bad. Incendiary fires occurred daili-. The streets were almost al-most deserted. Half the native population popu-lation had fled, and most of the remainder re-mainder were shut in their houses. Business was at a standstill. Insurgent Insur-gent troops everywhere faced our lines, and the sound of riiie fire was frequently audible in our house. A reign of terror prevailed. Filipinos who had favored Americans feared assassination, and few had the courage to come out openly for us. .Fortunately there were among this number some of the best men of the city." The Commission's Proclamation. The report then speaks of the issu-' issu-' ance of the commission's proclamation and the good effects it had on public sentiment. The natives, accustomed to Spanish promises, urged the commission commis-sion that acts instead of promises .should be given them. As a result, native na-tive law courts were established, and this greatly aided in the restoration of public confidence. The flow of population popula-tion soon began to set toward the city. Natives who had fled from their homes returned. As showing the limited scope of the rebellion, the commission states: "We learned that the strong anti-American anti-American feeling was confined to the Tagalos provinces, namely, Manila, Cavite, Ca-vite, La Guna. Batangas. Morong. Bu-lucan. Bu-lucan. Nueva Ecija, Principe, Infanta and Zambales. It was strongest in the first six named, and hardly existed in the last four. The population of these provinces is estimated to be about 11,-500.000. 11,-500.000. but it should not be supposed that even in ihe six provinces imme-diately imme-diately adjacent to Manila, the people were united in their opposition to us. Kven here there was a strong conservative conserva-tive element, consisting of people of wealth and intelligence, opposed to the war." Outside' of Luzon. ! Under the heading, "The Rebellion Not a National Movement," the report treats of the rebellion out of the provinces prov-inces of Luzon, where it is stated the uprising was viewed at first with indifference in-difference and later with fear. Throughout Through-out the archipelago at large, there was trouble only at those points to which I Tagalos had been sent in considerable numbers. The machinery of insurgent I "government" served only for plunder-j plunder-j ing the people under the pretext of levvinsr war conl rihmions. while many of the insurgent officials were rapidly accumulating wealth. As to the state of affairs when the commission left, the report says: "Before "Be-fore the commission left the Philippines, Philip-pines, nearly all the inhabitants had returned to these ruined villages. Many of the houses had been rebi'ilt. Fields that had lain fallow for three years were green with growing crops. Municipal Muni-cipal governments had been established, ! and the people, protected by our troops, were enjoying peace, security and a degree cf participation in their own government previously unknown in the history of the Philippines. Attempts of the insurgents to raise recruits and money in the province of Bulucan were proving abortive, except when backed by bavonets and bulle'ts. and even in such cases the natives were applying to us for help to resist them." . Establishment of Governments. The chapter devoted to "Establishment "Establish-ment of Municipal Governments" gives in detail the efforts in that direction. There were mam.' difficulties encountered. encoun-tered. The condition of the people was found to, be most pitiable. They had been plundered by the insurgent troops, who had robbed them of jewels, money, clothing and even food, so that they were literally starving. Peaceful citizens citi-zens had been fired on; women had been maltreated. There v as general satisfaction that the Americans had come at last, and conditions seemed favorable for American Amer-ican propaganda. The towns of Bacoor and Imus were selected for the purpose of experiment, and after talks with the iocal "head men," a local form of government gov-ernment was established. Encouraged by the result, the work was continued at Paranaque, Las Pinas and other towns with similar good reeults. At the request of. iGeneral Lawton, who had been assigned to this work by General Otis, the commission prepared a simple scheme of municipal selfrgov- i i ' 11 1 ' 11 " ernment, similar enough to the old system sys-tem to be readily comprehensible to the natives, but giving-them liberties which they had never before enjoyed. This scheme was adopted and gave general satisfaction. In every instance enthusiasm enthu-siasm ran high before the commissioners commission-ers took their departure, and cheers were raised for General Lawton and for the country which he represented. Situation at Manila. The commission states that a large amount of supervision over the affairs of our new municipalities proved necessary, nec-essary, as the officials were timid and slow to comprehend their new- duties. At many of the elections the voters went about asking who they were expected ex-pected to vote for, and it was only with great difficulty that they were per- suaded to exercise the right of free suffrage. The commission sums up the situation at the time of their departure depart-ure as follows: "When we left Manila, a large volume vol-ume of business was being done, and the streets were so crowded as to be hardly safe. The native population was quiet and orderly and all fear of an uprising had long since passed. An efficient corps of native policemen was on duty. A system of public school in which English was taught had been advocated by the commission and established es-tablished by General Otis. Some 6,000 scholars were in attendance. In the Tagalo province of Luzon, where the anti-American feeling had been strongest, public sentiment had greatly changed, as evidenced by the fact that the military governor of Ba-langas Ba-langas had offered to surrender his troops and his province if we would only send a small force there. The Biools, in southern Luzon, had risen against tneir uagaio masters. JIacabees Our Friends. "The Macabebes were clamoring for an opportunity to fight in our ranks, and native soldiers and scouts were already serving under General Lawton. Stories of the corruption of . insurgent Officers were becoming daily more common, com-mon, and the disintegration of the enemy's en-emy's forces was steadily progressing. The- hope of assistance from - outside sources seemed to be all that held them together." Having given so much attention to the island of - Luzon,' the" commission then takes in detail-the conditions in the other Islands. " On this point it is stated that the rebellion is essentially Tagalo, and when it ends in Luzon it must end throughout the archipelago. The situation elsewhere than in Luzon is summed up as follows: "The only island, apart from Luzon, where serious trouble threatens, is Pana. to which a considerable force of Tagalo soldiers was sent before an outbreak of hostilities. Many of the Visayans of this island are opposed to the Tagalos, however, and it is not believed be-lieved that the latter can make a formidable for-midable resistance. "In Samar. Leyte and Masbate, the Tagalo invaders are numerically few and are disliked by the natives of these islands, whom they have oppressed. We were assured that 200 men would suffice suf-fice to restore order in Mindoro. Bobol was asking for troops, the Calamianes islanders had sent word that they would welcome us. Moros Are Peaceable. "There can be no resistance in Palawan. Pala-wan. Satisfactory relations had already al-ready been established with the warlike war-like Moros, whose sultan had previ1 ously been conciliated by a member of the commission and in Mindanao this tribe had even taken up our cause and attacked the insurgents, of whom there are very few in the island. In Cebu we have only to reckon with the lawless law-less elemerut, .which hr-.s never been very formidable there." Special attention is given to the island of Negros, as this seemed a field well adapted to the extension of an American system. Here the natives had adopted the extension of an American Amer-ican system, including a congress, and had raised the American flag. They believed themselves capable of managing man-aging their own affairs and asked for a battalion of troops to hold in check a mountainous band of fanatics. The battalion was furnished, but the people proved unable to carry out their programme, pro-gramme, owing to ill feeling among their own officials. Americans Popular In Negros. The Americans remained popular. At the request of General Otis, a new and simplified scheme of government for the island, giving the people a large voice in their affairs, but placing an American in full control, was put into operation. It brought about satisfaction satisfac-tion and public order is better in the island today than at any time during the last twenty years. Summing up the failure of the native form of government gov-ernment and the success of the American Amer-ican control, the commission says: "The flat failure of this attempt to secure an independent native government govern-ment in Negros, conducted, as it was, under the most favorable circumstances, circum-stances, makes it apparent that here, as well as in the less favored provinces, a large amount of American control is at present absolutely essential to a successful suc-cessful administration of public affairs." af-fairs." The efforts at conciliation with Aguinaldo and his various commissions commis-sions are set forth in detail. These commissioners com-missioners were assured of the beneficent benefi-cent purposes of the United States and the president's readiness to grant the Filipino people as large a measure of home rule and as ample liberty as was consistent with the ends of government, "subject only to the recognition of the supremacy "of the United States a point which, being established, the commission invariably refused even to discuss." Aguinaldo Is Ambitious. The commission adds that nothing came of ths negotiations, as Aguinaldo's Aguinal-do's emissaries were without powers and merely came and came again for. information. Courteous reception was accorded the insurgent commissions and earnest appeals made to stop further fur-ther bloodshed, all witnessing "the spirit of patient conciliation" exhibited by the American commission in endeavoring en-deavoring to resell an amicable adjustment ad-justment with the insurgents, as well as the obduracy of Aguinaldo. The report re-port sums up the result of these fruitless fruit-less exchanges as follows: "No- better proof could be furnished 1 that the primary object of his struggle strug-gle is not, as is pretended, the liberty of the Filipino peoples, but the continuance contin-uance of his own arbitrary and despotic, power. In any event, the American people may feel confident that no effort ef-fort was omitted by the commission to secure a peaceful end of the struggle, but the opportunities they offered and urged were all neclected, if not, indeed, in-deed, spurned." The chapter devoted to "capacity for self-government" is the result, the report re-port states, of diligent inquiry for several sev-eral months, in the course of which a great number of witnesses were examined, ex-amined, of all shades of political thought and varieties of occupation, tribe and locality. The most striking and perhaps the most significant fact in the entire situation is the multiplicity multi-plicity of tribes inhabiting the archipelago, archi-pelago, the diversity of their languages j (which are mutually unintelligible) j and the multifarious phases of civil- j-ization j-ization ranging all the way from the highest to the lowest. As to this the ! report says: j Loyalty of Tribal Type. j "The Filipinos are not a nation, but a variegated assemblage of different tribes and peoples, and their loyalty is still of the tribal type." Concerning their intellectual capacities capa-cities the commission says;. "As to the general intellectual capacities of the : Filipinos, the c'mmlsr.ioc is disposed to rate them high. But, excepting in a limited number of persons, these capa- 11 in iii i ii i '"" ,j, i iiiu. mi cities have not be;n developed by education edu-cation or experience. "The masses of the people are uneducated. uned-ucated. That intelligent public opinion opin-ion on which popular government rests does not exist in the Philippines, and it cannct exist until education has elevated ele-vated the masses, broadened their intellectual in-tellectual horizon and disciplined their , faculty of judgment. And even then i the power of self-government cannot be assumed without considerable previous training and experience under the guidance guid-ance and tutelage of an enlightened and liberal foreign power. For the bald fact is that the Filipinos have never had any experience in governing them- selves." The report shows that this inability I for self-government is due to the old I Spanish "regime, which gave the Filipinos Fili-pinos little or no pari in governing themselves. After reviewing this Spanish Span-ish system, the commission sums up on this point: Cannot Govern Themselves. "This is all the training in self-government, which the inhabitants of the Philippine islands have enjoyed. Their lack of education and political experience, experi-ence, combined with their racial and linguistic diversities, disqualify them, in spite of their mental gifts and dem- ocfatic views, to undertake the task of governing the archipelago at the present pres-ent time. "The most that can be expected of them is to co-operate with the Americans Amer-icans in the administration of general affairs, from Manila as a center, and to undertake, subject to American control con-trol or guidance (as may be found necessary) nec-essary) the administration of provincial provin-cial and municipal affairs. Fortunately, Fortunate-ly, there are educated Filipinos, though they do not constitute a large proportion of the entire population, and their support and services will be of incalculable value in inaugurating and maintaining the new government. As education advances and experience ripens, the natives may be entrusted with larger and more important parts of the government self-government is constantly kept in view as a goal. In this way, American sovereignty over the archipelago will prove a great political po-litical boon to the people. "Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission believes the government - cf the Philippines would speedily lapse into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did rot necessitate, neces-sitate, the intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the island among them. "Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea of a free self-government and united Philippine commonwealth com-monwealth at all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the Philippine point of view of maintaining American sovereignty over the archipelago is recognized by all intelligent Filipinos, and even by those insurgents who desire de-sire an American protectorate. The latter, it is true, would take the revenues reven-ues and leave us the responsibilities. Nevertheless they recognize the indubitable in-dubitable fact that the Filipinos cannot can-not stand alone. "Thus the welfare of the Filipinos coincides with the dictates of national honor in forbidding our abondonment of the archipelago. We cannot, from any point of view, escape the responsibilities responsi-bilities of government which our sovereignty sover-eignty entails, and the commission is strongly persuaded that the performance perform-ance of our national duty will prove the greatest blessing to the peoples of the Philippine islands." One of the closing chapters of the report is devoted to a tribute to "our soldiers and SRilors in the war." The commission dismisses the reports of the desecrating of churches, the mudering of prisoners and the committing com-mitting of unmentionable crimes and say they are glad to express the belief that a war wasjngver more humanely conducted, saying: "If churches were occupied it was only as a military necessity, and frequently fre-quently after their use as forts by the insurgents had made it necessary to I train our artillery upon them. Prisoners Prison-ers were taken whenever opportunity afforded, often to be set at liberty after , being disarmed and fed. Up to the time of our departure, although numerous spies had been captured, not a single Filipino had been executed." The commission gives a general view j of the value of the islands, their gen- j eral richness in agricultural and forest products, their mineral, wealth and; their commanding- - geographical posi-j tion. . Commerce Will Increase. They state that the Philippines j should soon become one of the great j traders of the east. Manila is already j connected by new steamship lines with j Australia, India and Japan and she will become the natural terminus of many other lines, when a ship canal connects the Atlantic with the Pacific. It cannot be doubted that commerce will greatly increase and the United States will obtain' a large share in this treatment. The report concludes: "Our control means to the inhabitants inhabit-ants of the Philippines internal peace and order, a guarantee against foreign aggression and against the dismemberment dismember-ment of their country, commercial and industrial prosperity and as large a share of the affairs of government ,as they shall prove willing to take. When peace and prosperity shall have been established throughout the archipelago, when education shall have became general, gen-eral, then, in the language of a leading Filipino, his people will, under our guidance, 'become more Americans than the Americans themselves.' " - The report is signed by J. G. Schur-man, Schur-man, George Dewey, Charles Denby, Dean C. Worcester.