The Political Desires of the Filipino People Author(s): Conrado Benitez Source: The Journal of International Relations, Vol

. 10, No. 2 (Oct., 1919), pp. 151-157 Published by: Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29738343 . Accessed: 27/04/2013 09:51
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THE POLITICAL DESIRES OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE
By Conrado B?nites, Dean, College of Liberal Arts, University of the Philippines, Manila
A to get few months the news were of America ago the people surprised that a mission made up of forty representa?

tive Filipinos had left Manila and were coming toWashing? ton charged by the Philippine legislature with the duty of
conveying people, and to the United with States as much the "the frankest as assurance the to its of

of the good will, friendship, and gratitude
submit of Philippine question For settlement." final respect with independence, first time

of the Filipino
confidence a view the

in

history

a large delegation relationship, composed Filipino-American leaders of the people, but also of not only of the political was being officially of the population, elements the various sent to America to remind ago. Heretofore, voiced has been means through tofore, Philippine of formal the the her of her promise the demand for Philippine to the American of two decades independence

directly resolutions has

resident charge

by Congress of the Philippine and legislature, in Washington. Here? commissioners been was invite made of concern America's that only attention is universal the June the of question to the Filipino

independence

politicians.
States that recent the Nationalist America?only that tention The at this has the

But
served desire

the sending of the mission
to for independence from at the

to the United
to the among fact the

people.

And in this connection,
cable dispatches victory Party?the confirm

it is well to add that the
announcing Philippines of the third elections the mission to manner the con?

unanimous

sent that party in an unmistakable

as a whole the Filipinos and opportuneness propriety time when America 151

are for independence. this mission of sending with foreign

is overburdened

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152 and domestic

CONRADO BENITEZ

has been questioned. To the credit problems as expressed Governor-General Harrison of the Filipinos, by it should be remembered that during the before Congress, in the United States was busy engaged critical time when war of all ages, of the Philippines the people the greatest purposely lem, but their own national from discussing prob? their to military devoted prepa? energies instead, a spirit of loyalty to America and showed ration, unique The in the record of colonial authorities and relationships. now war are with America the of record acquainted people refrained

of the ten and a half million Filipinos over at the other side of the Pacific. And it is this same spirit of loyalty
which prompted to send signed, grievance, in her once the armistice the Filipinos, had been a friendly mission to America, and without to remind her that it was time she frankly domestic relations and after those she had principles she went into the war? the independence of the words of Manuel and chairman of the

any

practiced enunciated

principles the small L. Quezon,

before, during, led her which countries President "how could

to recognize In of Europe. of the Senate

mission,

nay, your assistance of the Czecho-Slovakia,

you, give your indeed, recognition, to the independence and cooperation and others, Poland, Jugo-Slavia,

and withhold

them from the Philippines?

Our experiment

in self-government has been pronounced by your own repre? a success. You were not bound sentatives by any promise to those countries, but you were and are so bound to the

Philippines."

Such has been the spirit which
America, world,

animated
in her effort of

in sending this mission. the Filipinos to rule the destinies of the European

is in danger

forgetting the destiny of her ten and a half million in the Philippines.

friends

the Filipino their legally Now, therefore, through people, constituted have come before the American representatives, :F rst, that as the following people submitting propositions and established in the act of Congress defined of August 29, of the government of the United 1916, the purpose over the Philippine its sovereignty is to withdraw as soon as a stable government can be established States Island therein;

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POLITICAL DESIRES that in accordance which ripe that has for will of the

OF THE FILIPINO with the terms

PEOPLE and

153

second,

provisions that con?

of that law the people of the Philippines
government are ditions government and order, the international offered the complete establishment be capable

have organized a
evidence of an independent of maintaining law the welfare of all as well its

fully

administer

justice,

inhabitants

promote and discharge islands,

obligations. the Filipinos the first proposition, have not Concerning ever consider will the least fear that America her promise as "a scrap of paper." To quote from the joint resolution of the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives: .... in her pur? has been sufficiently America explicit of her occupation of the Philippines. from the poses beginning . . . . The American flag that waved over Cuba for lofty reasons of humanity observed and re? and justice, scrupulously is the same flag which, when the war spected after the victory, folds over its protecting spread to this part of the globe, extended And that Ameri? another people anxious for justice and liberty. can flag could not stand for emancipation in Cuba and at the same time for forcible in the Philippines. The subjugation ever in matters of if such consisted detail difference, existed, only of the cardinal principles. not in the affirmation and observance In one case, owing to the proximity of Cuba to the American shores, the terms of the problem were known at the outset and In the other, the for its solution. had been made provisions in the United States as to the true lack of adequate information conditions of the Philippine by long distance, problem, aggravated and naturally the question obscured gave rise to a momentarily Thus while Cuba became less determined and speedy procedure. occu? free and independent after scarcely four years of American as same her ideals the which the professed Philippines, pation, after more sister of the Antilles, continue in a state of dependency than twenty years of such occupation. Both opinion pledge. Concerning duly ment ment the appointed in the Philippines both in his proposition, of representatives should Harrison public be given has made second the the testimony American of the govern? American official statements, for the and American public of America's

are unequivocally

redemption

Governor-General

weight. preponderant state? the following and before the joint

addresses

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154 committee

CONRADO BENITEZ and House the hearings on

of the Senate

during

the Philippine

question in June:

There are about 1000 municipalities in the Philippines, all of which are governed by elective Filipino officials. There are about in the islands likewise governed by Filipinos. 42 provinces There are two elective houses of the legislature of composed entirely in the cabinet six are Filipinos, Out of seven members Filipinos. and most of the heads of the executive departments of the govern? It is true that there are still some 700 ment are Filipinos today. in the Philippines, Americans but for the most part they are and scientists, a class of and to my mind teachers, professors, men who would be desired by the Filipinos even if they had a picture That of practical presents complete independence. It has been going on for the last two and a half years, autonomy. or ever since the recent charter has been given us by Congress, and inmy opinion, during those two and a half years the Filipinos, been given an opportunity, have demon? having satisfactorily strated the fact that they have already established and are main? is prescribed in the which taining the stable form of government to their independence. preamble to the Jones bill as a prerequisite Vice-Governor Charles in an official cablegram to the "capacity for initiative evidenced spirit by the legislature, under the Jones law." E. Yeater attests as has a prerequisite been more to than

to the Secretary of War the constructive and the first The the organized stability

granting

of government used of Cuban independence

complied with by the Filipinos.
memorial to Congress,

In the language of the

our present government is a government based on the peaceful the whole of the country suffrage of the people, representing their powers from the people and subject to the limi? deriving and safeguards which tations the experience of constitutional has shown to be essential to the maintenance and government of individual rights. protection

Judged alone from the legal condition
act

imposed by the

of Congress of August in is no doubt 29, 1916, there are today the minds of those who know that the Philippines it must But be admitted ready for complete independence. the American one that on public is based government it is to it that the final appeal must campaign be made. of the makes independence

and opinion, is what This

Philippines

difficult, and yet full of promise; difficult, be

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POLITICAL DESIRES cause with we are in

OF THE FILIPINO with of the our

PEOPLE officials

155

affairs, are absorbed of private who in citizens, their own business, and do not have time to study other and yet whose to contributes problems, peoples' opinion the millions up the bigger public opinion, of the government. shapes the policies in the words because of Secretary which long run full of promise, of War "the Baker, in the And

concerned

not only dealing the administration

directly but also

make

American

love their own too well to deny people liberty it to others." It takes of the longer time to get the mass assume a to to and definite in stand to act, people regards which do not fare, but reasonable the heart appeal. when States the concern their individual wel? directly the of is sound and open to any people once the history And when of the long

matters

and bloody
known,

struggle of the Filipinos
people against of America was

for emancipation
learn the have to appreciate

is

more
United those

fully the historical
to war

fact that the cause which
Spain self-same been

led the
cause

which forced the Filipinos to fight against Spain, demanding
fundamental in the rights of man life which political in the Philippine involved question citizen definite. clear, and the duty of the American are prepared Till that time comes the Filipinos a nation-wide education word campaign is used of education in America. incorporated the moral issue of Americans?then long ago will become to wage The

for more of advisedly, knowledge and civilization and actual is all condition Filipino history to make that is necessary see their the citizens of America the was a towards There time when indeed duty Filipinos. even members of the American had to be shown Congress the location Then, followed on the map. of the Philippines the era of misrepresentation, in order to justify the retention the backward when the

retentionists, to show had

people,?naturally run their own

enough, This was the period of sen? government. sational in America?the exhibition of the publicity finely the publication of profusely shaped but half-naked Igorrotes; illustrated articles the life of the wild magazine portraying

of the Islands, of the country condition and could not be trusted to savages

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156 tribes. The effect

CONRADO BENITEZ of even the those in this recent exhibitions and those articles

may

still be traced in the ignorance displayed
written with mission. you belonged to a people that year visit of our Lord to this

by many

editorials

in connection Philippine Suppose the leaders reforms and was

1919, and of the country centu?

for several

ries had been leading a civilized Christian

life; for years

for constitutional of your people have been asking in rise in vain; finally, and your father you revolt, are and friends either shot and other relatives brothers have Your the given people their all for what meet to the the with extent they success thought in their

or banished?they their right. against struggle out of all your

sovereign

except capital. territory on the scene and takes the place of the former appears and not knowing The third party, your history sovereign. accom? that have all you actually disregards past sacrifices, party plished quished. cooperate of it. The and But understanding gives you ensues. no War credit for it. A period and you follows, lost not have faith. and make are of mis? van?

her of driving a third But

your in the work new

people of reconstruction,

They a success

in the is democratic and believes sovereign If every to petition. that right time you exercise right the statement of public you are met with by the moulders editors of your newspapers?that people were opinion?the and cannibals savages, years ago, head-hunting only twenty it to grant inde? is preposterous them and that therefore, would after that many of tutelage, years only pendence you not resent such an insult?

The
resent

ten million Christian Filipinos
committed American learned against

living today deeply
them by so many bitter From

libels the many of their new citizens have

they experience, of the teaching that A little education. especially opinion of ten pings

sovereign. to appreciate the significance is the basis of an efficient democracy a is indeed thing, dangerous learning

upon whose community public of the fate the righteous determination depends and one-half Our newspaper million clip? people. the Filipinos to granting show that the only opposition

in a democratic

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POLITICAL DESIRES what men. desire who arises

OF THE FILIPINO who

PEOPLE believe

157 that

they

from men

actually

America

found in the Philippines
retained

naked savages and wild

would like to see the Philippines perma? for know the and the nently temper exploitation, too to heart of the American well espouse citizenry openly are solicitous are those who over their cause. There the once are of the left and these safety alone, Filipinos they Those like to be assured was independence that no harm ever attained shall ever befall nation them. with? attain But leave success by any would foreign

would

out the people
the parental in life? essential the who

taking a chance?
roof and If absolute condition

If individuals did not
they aggression how many alone? should

took a chance, from safety to

was

an

independence, Could two case

nations would be independent today?
withstood And The yet, attacks would submit of Germany? these say that their national

Could Belgium have
France countries

not be independent?
Filipinos to the American

people in the confident hope that it will merit a just con?
a just consideration is possible But only after the parties with concerned have been duly acquainted the facts of the case. We have no right to ask the American a given period to come to a decision of time, within people sideration. all but we demand decision and our not a whatever judgment, mission, the first an is arrived of our problem, will be the result at, of prejudice and ignorance. fuller study so that, of honest To quote

from the instructions
"national

of the Philippine
record of over

legislature to the

day occup?t open book, and is now unhesitatingly examination and criticism of the world."

of American

from years, twenty on until is the present, submitted to the

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