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The Quest for Independence: A Civilian Perspective
“Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! You give sovereignty unto whom
You will, and You withdraw sovereignty from whom You will. You exalt whom You will and You abase whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Truly! You are Able to do all things.”
The Glorious Qur’an 3:26
Great empires, caliphates, sultanates, communist states and democratic republics had risen with glory, power and wealth as if they would last forever, yet all had fallen into the pit of time. The demise of one was always followed by the rise of another. The failures all made were as clear as the traces of their achievements. While destruction may have accompanied their fall, it was always followed by renewal. Collectively, all contributed towards the advancement of human civilization. Truly, “in Allah’s Hand is all good.” Mankind as a whole has never been made less by an empire’s rise and fall. Only those who think that power belongs to them are the true losers. Many centuries ago, no Tausug or Spanish would have thought that their fate would be intertwined in history. One lived on the tip of Southeast Asia while the other lived on the tip of Western Europe. But records tell us that Tausugs and Spaniards share a common historical fate. Muslims founded the Suluk Sultanate while the Spanish Empire was born out of the remnants of the Muslim Caliphate. Both fought each other like centuries-old enemies as soon as they met, and their war did last for centuries. Perhaps, this Tausug-Spanish war was one of the longest ever in history. The Tausugs fought for Islam while the Spaniards fought to replace Islam with their own religion. The Spanish Empire enslaved people while the Suluk Sultanate traded with slaves. Both rose to prominence in the 15th century and both fell at about the same time by the end of the 19th century. The Suluk Sultanate and the Spanish Empire also had a common adversary- the Americans, who sealed their respective fate with a treaty. Finally, the end of the Suluk Sultanate paved the way for a representative government, while the Spanish empire’s demise gave freedom to their subjects of more than 300 years. The fates of the Tausugs and other inhabitants of the Philippines were also directly connected, but other people largely influenced this connection. White men somewhere in Europe and America decided that the brown Malay people in Asia needed their help badly. They thought that their religion was better than ours; they thought that their way of life should be enforced upon us even if they must kill, take our lands or enslave us for centuries. So they devised a plan, apportioned the earth between themselves in form of treaties, and finally launched the terror of colonization. Three major treaties affect us today even as our forefathers were affected centuries ago. The first was the Treaty of Versailles1 between Portugal and Spain on July 7, 1494. This treaty was the result of the Spanish Pope’s decision to divide “the newly discovered lands of the non-christian world” between the two competing empires. This was the reason why Ferdinand Magellan supposedly discovered this archipelago
and claimed it for the Spanish king Philip. It was not because of a navigational mistake nor was it the culmination of a search for spices as has been often told. The second treaty lumps Lupah Sug (Sulu) with the rest of the Philippine archipelago. It was known as the Treaty of Paris2, signed between US and Spain on December 10, 1898. This treaty was short of a deed of sale. For a meager amount of $20,000,000, retreating Spain still managed to sell the entire Philippines to the Americans. Another unfortunate incident brought by this treaty was the fate of Lupah Sug. This unconquered sultanate was purportedly included in the list of sold territories despite the Peace Treaty of 18783 allowing Spaniards to use only a small ‘walled city4’ in the port of Jolo for a sum of money. The Americans later proved this discrepancy when they landed in Lupah Sug. This made them enter into another treaty with the Tausugs eight months after the Treaty of Paris was signed. Money was also involved in this transaction. General Erwell Otis, the Commander of US forces during Philippine-American War had this instruction to Gen. Bates: "The United States will accept the obligations of Spain under the agreement of 1878 in the matter of money annuities and in proof of sincerity you will offer as a present (?) to the Sultan and datos $10,000, Mexican, with which you will be supplied before leaving for Jolo-the same to be handed over to them respectively in amounts agreeing with the ratio of payments made to them by the Spanish government for their declared services. From the first of September next and thereafter, the United States will pay to them regularly the sums promised by Spain in its agreement of 1878, and in any subsequent promises of which proof can be furnished * * * and will declare all trade of the Sultan and his people with any portion of the Philippine islands, conducted under the American flag, free, unlimited and undutiable."5 Thus, after months of negotiation, the third and last treaty was signed between the Suluk Sultanate and the US government represented by Governor-General John C. Bates on August 20, 1899. It is known as The Bates Treaty. It declared “the Archipelago of Jolo as a territory separate from the Philippine Islands. It recognized the quasi-government status of the Sultanate.”6 President McKinley ratified this treaty on October 27, 18997, but President Roosevelt unilaterally abrogated it on March 2, 19048. There were contentions about the versions of the treaty but the most important aspect of it is the American policy of non-interference with the religious affairs of Sulu, its recognition of the sultanate’s sovereignty and its status as a Protectorate, not a subject, of the United States. During this time, the Suluk Sultanate was already experiencing a decline. The Americans had found a Sultanate weakened by brewing rivalries between Tausugs themselves. Following the death of Sultan Badaruddin II on February 22, 1884, internal divisions among aspirants to the throne led to a Spanish-instigated Civil war 9. Sultan Jamalul Kiram II had hardly recovered from this civil war when the US landed in Lupah Sug. Although these weaknesses and rivalries fell easily into American hands, they also became a tool in the sultanate’s internal politics. The Americans had emboldened some Tausug leaders in their rebellion against the reigning Sultan. It is commonly known that “The sultan resisted Bates’s offer for several months, but he could not get unanimous support from his Ruma Bichara (ruling council)”.10
Despite all stories behind the Bates Treaty, however, it was accomplished primarily because of assurances that the Americans did not come to Christianize and enslave the people. The United States started a relationship with the Suluk Sultanate in a friendly and honorable manner in the form of a Treaty. It must also be taken into account that the Americans did not fire a single hostile shot when they first landed in Lupah Sug. Because of this, some Tausug leaders felt that Jihad against the Americans was not justified. According to Sixto Orosa, “The people did not wish to come under American sovereignty, but Hadji Butu11 recognizing the folly of armed resistance, exerted all his influence to prevent another useless and bloody war.”12 Of course, no Tausug knew then about the American Indians’ warning of “a white men with a forked tongue.” After victoriously resisting Spanish rule, the Tausug people were well on the road to embracing the 20th century with their own sultanate. Internal dissensions may have only led the Tausugs to craft another form of government without external interference. But the Americans, with their same obsession to export democratic ideals came into the scene and introduced an alternative form of government. The Filipinos in the north too were well on the road to driving out the Spanish government completely but the Americans came and stole this victory from them. In fact, the Philippine revolution that was founded by Andres Bonifacio and the early Katipuneros had already “proclaimed independence from Spanish rule at the Pamitinan Cave in Montalban, Rizal, on April 12, 1895”13. And this was made three years before the Americans arrived. However, this momentous event was not given its due significance until this day. Internal division within the Sultanate in Sulu was duplicated by internal strife within the Katipuneros in Luzon. Internal politics within the Katipuneros led to a leadership crisis that culminated in the execution of Andres Bonifacio in the hands of his own people. Whereas internal rivalries within the Suluk Sultanate led to the downfall of the once glorious state. One year after his tragic death, Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed another Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. Incorporating the Suluk Sultanate into the newly-found Katipunan nation perhaps existed only in the minds of the early Filipino revolutionaries. In fact, Sulu was never in the flag they designed despite the role it played in successfully resisting the colonizers and keeping alive the torch of independence throughout this archipelago. It was a role which early Filipino heroes appreciated and recognized. “Aguinaldo, in fact, implicitly recognized that the Muslims had their own independent state when he proposed to the Malolos Congress in January 1899 that his government be empowered to negotiate with the Muslims for the purpose of forging a federation14”. General Aguinaldo subsequently wrote an invitation letter15 to Sultan Jamalul Kiram II asking him to join the new nation. But this request was not given due attention by the Sultan because the Bates Treaty by then was being negotiated with the United States government. Unknown to the Suluk Sultanate and the emerging Katipunan nation, they were fated to be merged into a new nation. Within the span of 48 years, the Americans were able to design a state bigger than what Filipinos and Tausugs ever conceived. They
abolished Spanish colonial rule and slavery, replaced the sultanate with democracy and finally granted independence to the new nation called the Republic of the Philippines on the Fourth of July 1946. This date was the celebrated Philippine Independence Day until May 12, 1962, when President Diosdado Macapagal, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation no. 28, reset the Independence Day from July 4, 1946 to June 12, 189816. This single stroke of a pen later proved to be catastrophic to the new republic. Since then, Filipinos observed this independence date throughout the country but not in Mindanao and Sulu. This resetting not only highlighted the bitter differences among Filipino revolutionaries before17; it also alienated other members of the new nation long dreamed by Aguinaldo to become part of the federation. Sulu in particular raised its flag of independence about the time this resetting was being contemplated. A Tausug warrior Representative in Congress at that time, Congressman Ombra Amilbangsa, filed House Bill No. 5682 seeking separation of Sulu from the Republic during the fourth session of the Fourth Congress of the Philippines in 1961. Thus, keeping the Tausug identity and independence spirit alive in the Philippine political arena. The text of the bill below is short, but forceful:
AN ACT GRANTING AND RECOGNIZING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE PROVINCE OF SULU House Bill No. 5682: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Section 1. The government of the Republic of the Philippines hereby grants and recognizes the full independence of the Province of Sulu as a separate and selfgoverning nation and acknowledges the authority and control over the same of the government instituted by the people thereof. Section 2. The Republic of the Philippines hereby withdraws and surrenders all rights of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control or sovereignty now existing and exercised by the Republic of the Philippines in and over the territory and people of the Province of Sulu. Section 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
The importance of this bill cannot be over-emphasized. It simply tells us even now that there was no Philippine Republic until 1946. It serves until this day as a legal reference for the Moros to separate their homeland from the 1898 Katipunan nation which they were never a part of. It also showed that the Muslims’ struggle for selfdetermination in the post-American Philippines was also made peacefully and legally. And this bill further highlighted the resistance of the Tausugs and all Moros in the Philippines in general, against any threat to their common identity and independence.
At the least of its importance, the bill filed by Honorable Congressman Ombra Amilbangsa may only be a form of assertion of Tausug independence and distinctive citizenship in the new republic. It was a stroke of a pen against a pen. The bill may have been a mere record only in the archive of Philippine Congress had the MNLF struggle on the ground failed to match it with action few years after it was filed. Somehow, the war that followed had broken the colonial relationship between Moros and Filipinos to a certain extent. Hopefully, the hard and bitter lessons we learned through the past decades will not be wasted. Nonetheless, Tausugs have their own historic identity distinct and old. They were not colonized nor entered the Philippine Republic in 1946 as a colony. After all, Tausugs were the only people in the whole archipelago who earned the respect of the Americans in both paper and warfare. Until now, the Bates Treaty is being invoked by moro leaders to assert our independence. Ironically, it is never invoked to assert our distinctive citizenship. It is often said that we were ‘annexed’ but it was never said that our homeland was expanded instead. Colonial times will soon be over, so do our colonial mentality. We, ordinary civilians, shall no longer be fooled. We have more reasons to be thankful today than to be regretful of the past. Muslims and Christians in this country are no longer enemies. We have become friends, relatives and partners in almost every aspect of our lives. Even if Lupah Sug will rise again to power in the nearest future, it could no longer afford to leave the rest of the country behind it under foreign rule. There will be no Spanish forts to attack, and there will be no spoils of war to bring home. But instead, there are neighbors to defend and die for. Many centuries ago, no Muslim in Mindanao and Sulu could have thought of practicing Islam outside their respective sultanates. But now Muslims have thousands of masajid everywhere in the Philippines. In addition to this, Muslims also have countless houses and numerous properties all over the country. As Muslims, we have never been less throughout these centuries. For one, Islam has always prevailed and has continuously been embraced by large number of people who were once ‘enemies.’ Muslims may have lost vast track of lands during colonial times, but today Muslims are also gaining huge number of brothers and sisters in Islam. We know that a single soul that has found Allah is more precious than the whole of Mindanao and Sulu combined. In fact, they are more worthy in the eyes of Allah than the whole creation. Similarly, Christians centuries ago could only dream of owning a house or having a place of worship in Sulu and other parts of Mindanao, but they now live side by side with the Muslims in the place once tagged “land of promise and no man’s land.” Christian churches also now stand tall not just in Mindanao but also in the heartland of the former Suluk Sultanate. Priests no longer have to join the Spanish army in order to advance the cause of Christianity. Instead, they could now concentrate on calling for peace, doing community services and protection of human rights. Mankind has never been less. When the Spaniards left, colonial curses on Moros and Filipinos could have gone with them. It could have been cured also during the times when the United States was preparing us to democratically govern ourselves as one people in one republic. But we have done the contrary. We continued to be divided. No words best describe the
divides in this country more than the two Spanish words moro and filipino. Whenever the word moro-moro is mentioned by Filipinos, the other meaning of filipino to Moros is also highlighted18. Moros are not supposed to feel proud in being called Filipinos in the same manner that Filipinos are not supposed to love Moros. Perhaps, this is the worst kind of colonial mentality that inflicted the citizens of this country ever since. Only when the whole country totally overcome all colonial complexes and all citizens truly embrace one another as one people and one nation, then and only then, we can truly call ourselves de-colonized, free and independent people. The words moro and filipino we all know have torn us apart since time immemorial. It has been effectively used for centuries to perpetuate colonialism. It is also a proven tool in political manipulation and in religious indoctrination by parties who only wanted to foster divisions for their selfish ends. There should be no reason to retain them if we really are an independent people. On the contrary, we have all the reasons to honor ourselves with a new name that symbolizes our independence, our unity and our diversity. It is so ironic how both Moros and Filipinos cling to their colonial names and even fight each other to preserve them. The real struggle for independence we have been facing until today is not against foreign rule but against our own selves. We are a proven slow-learners when it comes to governing ourselves. So far, we are still in the hell-phase of the self-rule correctly foreseen by the first president of this republic, Manuel L. Quezon 19. But they have done their part in bringing us out of foreign rule; the challenge has been upon us how to bring ourselves out of this “hell.” Their generation had passed but centuries-old problems like domination, discrimination, dynasty, monopoly, corruption, poverty and chaos still persist. Landlords and warlords still run the country like colonial masters. Tribal affiliation is still given preference even if it is against common interests, so similar to the old traits when Spaniards first found our forefathers. Nationhood is yet to be realized, despite the huge campaign for national identity in books, in schools, museums, arts and media for many years. As a result, rebellions keep on arising from different regions in the manner of people fighting colonialists, while soldiers respond repeatedly in the manner of invaders. There are rebels even from the military ranks and rebels within rebel groups themselves. Government institutions collect fees and taxes like tributes that they could corrupt at the end of the day. The nation’s debt is beyond payment, yet every administration cannot help but add more foreign loans. The wealth of the country is still being siphoned to foreign countries, but this time it is no longer done by colonizers.20 The Moros and the Filipinos are deeply hurt and alienated in their own country, and rightly so. The former lost their ancestral lands while the latter lost their spirit21. Their own leaders neglect them, their own military fights them, their own police could not protect them, their own businessmen exploit them and their own reformers fail them. Many have run away to foreign countries and changed citizenship, and many still are following. These common experiences perhaps have united the citizens of this country more than any other reasons in the past. The formation of the Philippine nation had been broken from the start. It is stained and haunted by the blood of Andres Bonifacio, the Father of Philippine Revolution. It
cannot also drag the weight of the former Suluk Sultanate behind its back when it became a republic. And it has been trampling upon the rights of the Moros and the entire Filipino people ever since its formation much like the former colonizers. This is not to mention that our democracy has been a government of the few people, by the few people and for the few people. This sixty-three (63) year old Republic that we have is still a body without a spirit; because we have yet to learn how to take care of it, how to guard it and how to live and let others live in it. A lot of our problems today came from the shadows of past centuries that we have never been able to cast away. And yet, it is largely due to our ignorance and stubbornness to learn about our past that caused them. Had we learned our history well, we wouldn’t be acting as if we were still slaves who may be excused for being corruptible or as if we were Spanish masters who still lord over the Filipino people or as if we were still slave-traders who dispossess the rights of others22. The direction of our country today is still largely decided by other people in far away lands or by few people behind closed doors without our knowledge or approval. This was how the Treaty of Versailles in 1494 affected us, how the Sabah Lease in 187823 ‘deprived’ us, how the 1898 Treaty of Paris ‘sold’ us, how the Bates Treaty of 1899 ‘neutralized’ us24, how the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 193425 joined us, how the 1968 Bangsamoro uprising26 divided us, how the 1972 Martial Law terrorized us, how the 1976 Tripoli Agreement bound us, how the 1996 Peace Agreement strangled us, how the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)27 hunted us, how the 2004 ‘Hello Garci’28-like incidents ‘cheated’ us, and how the 2009 Con-Ass29-like resolutions ‘railroaded’ us. In short, we are hardly a nation, and this country is hardly independent. Consequently, all our energy and enthusiastic efforts towards independence will only be used by others or be rendered useless in the end. For how could people who were never free give away freedom? How could independence be sought from people who never had one? And how could a state be separated from a nonexistent nation? All we had are only an appearance of a state. Deep within is a hollow ground that erupts from time to time. When it could no longer be contained, perchance the entire people of this country can truly have the independence day of their choice and the honorable name they should call themselves. Some of us may rightly yearn for the glorious sultanate while few may be satisfied with an autonomous government. Still some may entertain thoughts of working towards a new republic while others may have never surrendered the struggle for a separate state. Surely, we have different notions of what independence really means, but we definitely agree that we all have an inalienable right to be here. And that this country is all we have. Whatever political outlook we believe in, the quest for independence still goes on. I guess it is a continuing process. It was always like that in history. If it is measured by power and wealth, it may ultimately give rise also to an empire and will fall just the same as empires do. Perhaps, a hundred years is not enough to teach the children of Adam to find the meanings and wisdom why the Glorious Qur’an commanded us to:
“Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! You give sovereignty unto whom You will, and You withdraw sovereignty from whom You will. Thou exalt whom You will and You abase whom You will. In Thy Hand is the good. Lo! You are Able to do all things.”
The Glorious Qur’an 3:26
Amidst the noise of cries for freedom and independence, let us not forget that true freedom and independence are found only within our hearts. The worthy struggle in life is not really about defeating an army or having a kingdom or state attached to ourselves but in having a heart attached to God alone. This is the essence of knowledge handed to us by our forefathers. God honored them with a sultanate through it and God made them victorious against an empire for centuries with it. Without doubt, this same knowledge will make us succeed. Being neither a politician nor a member of any cause-oriented groups, all I can share are my thoughts and prayers. May our common march to freedom and respective love for independence unite us all.
Source:Davenport, Frances Gardiner, European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States to 1648, Washington, DC : The Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1917
The Philippine-American War (http://filipino.biz.ph/history/treaty.html) http://www.philippineupdate.com/Bates.htm
Jolo's walled city is the smallest in the world. Here are located the historic brick walls of Jolo that lay proof to its historic and continuous strife. At the entrance of the city are four gates that were used as watch towers and several mounds that were the burial grounds of Spanish and American soldiers who died in the hands of the Muslim warriors. (http://www.tourism.gov.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=famousefor&province=118)
‘The Great Republic by the Master Historians, The United States and the Philippine Islands’,by
Bancroft, Hubert H.
Bates Treaty or Senate Document No. 136, 56th Congress, lst Session, Serial 3851
Source of Treaty Texts: The Statutes At Large of the United States of America from March 1897 to March 1899 and Recent copy researched by Madge Kho of Somerville, MA
Treaties, Conventions, Executive Proclamations, and The Concurrent Resolutions of the Two Houses of Congress, Volume XXX, published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1899. Copy courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress, Asian Division. Document
http://filipino.biz.ph/history/philam-documents.html. http://www.msc.edu.ph/centennial/ba990820.html .
American Imperialism Period contributed by Christopher Jay de Belen http://www.geocities.com/mindanaoproblem/new_page_11.htm Historical Timeline of the Royal Sultanate of Sulu Including Related Events of Neighboring Peoples By Josiah C. Ang, PM
Hadji Butu Abdul Baqui (http://senate.gov.ph/senators/senlist.asp#fourth_leg)
Please visit this source: http://www.philippineupdate.com/Bates.htm
Hadji Butu Abdul Baqui was the Sultan’s Prime Minister (http://senate.gov.ph/senators/senlist.asp#fourth_leg)
The Sulu Archipelago and Its People, Sixto Orosa, p. 108-109 Please visit this source: http://www.philippineupdate.com/Bates.htm 13 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090612-210052/Filipinos-declared-independence-6x
Colonial Name, Colonial Mentality and Ethnocentrism By Nathan Gilbert Quimpo: http://cpcabrisbane.org/Kasama/2003/V17n3/ColonialName.htm)
“Emilio Aguinaldo, initiated correspondence with the Sultan of Sulu. In a letter dated January 18, 1899, Aguinaldo wrote to assure his, "great and powerful brother, the Sultan of Jolo," that the new Philippine Republic would "respect absolutely the beliefs and traditions of each island in order to establish on solid bases the bonds of fraternal unity demanded by our mutual interests."38 Aguinaldo concluded by guaranteeing the Sultan "the highest assurance of friendship, consideration, and esteem."39”, Mandate in Moroland, 26 by Peter Gowing
Macapagal, Diosdado. "June 12 as Independence Day" in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series; at http://www.bibingka.com/phg/documents/whyjun12.htm http://services.inquirer.net/print/print.php?article_id=142726
Three years before the Americans arrived, Andres Bonifacio and the early Katipuneros had already proclaimed independence from Spanish rule at the Pamitinan Cave in Montalban, Rizal, on April 12, 1895 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090612-210052/Filipinos-declaredindependence-6x). However, this momentous event was not given its due significance until this day. Politics within the Katipunan led to bitter rivalries that culminated in the execution of Andres Bonifacio in the hands of his own people. One year after his tragic death, Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed another Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
Both are colonial names. The word moro-moro signifies Spanish enemy to Filipinos while that word filipino signifies Spanish slaves to Moros. Moro-moro can still be heard or read up to this day.
“The Long View:Nationalism” First posted 01:59:37 (Mla time) August 19, 2004, Manuel L. Quezon III, Inquirer News Service
Filipinos’ funny way of loving the Philippines byOscar F. Santos
On being Filipino By Randy David,Philippine Daily Inquirer, 06/13/2009 (http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090613-210237/On-being-Filipino) See also ‘Being Filipino’ by Evan S. Chen, Philippine Daily Inquirer, First Posted 01:41:00 05/30/2009 http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090530-207899/Being-Filipino
‘Looking for Juan’ by Walter Ang (http://blogs.inquirer.net/beingfilipino/2009/05/21/looking-for-juan/) ‘What Does it Mean to be a Filipino” by Gigo Alampay (http://blogs.inquirer.net/beingfilipino/2009/06/12/who-does-itmean-to-be-filipino/) 22
“Puno: No reason to celebrate Independence Day” By Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net 06/12/2009 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090612-210109/Puno-No-reason-to-celebrateIndependence-Day)
SABAH IS AN ISSUE BETWEEN LESSOR LANDLORD (THE SULTAN OF SULU) AND ILLEGAL TENANT (MALAYSIA) http://www.royalsulu.com/issues.html
“The Moros on Mindanao and on the Sulu Archipelago, suspicious of both Christian Filipino insurrectionists and Americans, remained for the most part neutral. In August 1899, an agreement had been signed between General John C. Bates, representing the United States government, and the sultan of Sulu, Jamal-ul Kiram II, pledging a policy of noninterference on the part of the United States.” http://countrystudies.us/philippines/15.htm
Tydings-McDuffie Act,United States also called Philippine Commonwealth And Independence Act, (1934: ). The U.S. statute that provided for Philippine independence, to take effect on July 4, 1946, after a 10-year transitional period of Commonwealth government. The bill was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 24, 1934, and was sent to the Philippine Senate for approval. Although that body had previously rejected the similar Hare-HawesCutting Act, it approved the Tydings-McDuffie Act on May 1. (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/611449/Tydings-McDuffie-Act)
Jabidah Massacre in Corregidor, Bataan on March 18, 1968 sparked Bangsamoro rebellion
What's wrong with the Visiting Forces Agreement? By Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, Professor of Political Science, University of the Philippines.( http://www.philsol.nl/A99a/VFA-Nemenzo-1.htm)
A recorded conversation allegedly between Presidential candidate Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Garcia during the height of 2004 electiion.
House approves constituent assembly , By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, INQUIRER.net, 06/02/2009 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/topstories/topstories/view/20090602-208506/House-approves-constituent-assembly)
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