Nathalie Dagmang 2010-24702 BS Community Nutrition

September 24, 2010 Prof Jely A. Galang

Reaction Paper: The Underside of the Malolos Republic For many years now, Filipinos have celebrated the Malolos Republic, looking at it as a symbol of the Philippine’s triumph over the Spaniards. Filipino children have been taught about the “heroic” Emilio Aguinaldo and his being the first president of the Republic of the Philippines and leader of the resistance to American colonizers. The Filipinos become too overwhelmed by the importance of Emilio Aguinaldo’s role in our history that they do not bother to examine his term as thoroughly as they have scrutinized other regimes. They have criticized Marcos’ inappropriate governing ways, Aquino’s competence and ’s faulty economic programs. What about Aguinaldo? Why did not the

Filipinos even think that there is any need to review his governance? Aguinaldo’s publicist has done a really good job on sugarcoating his image. Almost every Filipino considers him a hero. The courageous president of the first republic of the Philippines. The champion of the American-Filipino war. He was so significant to them that his image was printed on the green 5-peso bill which is now a metal coin. Even Aguinaldo himself was not so sure about his competence and credibility as a president. In fact, in December 1898, he had wished to be allowed by his people to resign from presidency because of the corruption and disorder that was happening during his time in power. He had mentioned the graft and corruption and the favoritism apparent in many


which had been one of the worst experiences of the Filipinos during the Spanish colonization. most of which were not even read by its officials. As a matter of fact. During Aguinaldo’s administration. except for himself. there were also a large number of Filipinos. who wrote letters and memos to the president requesting for justice and better governance. the people considered his reign worse than the Spaniards’. mostly from the lower classes. Aguinaldo rem ained indifferent and uninterested in the obvious need on improvement of his government. Milagros Guerrero’s description of the state of the Philippines during Aguinaldo’s reign in “The Underside of the Malolos Republic” may allow Filipinos to recall the present state of their country. 2 . or at least attention. there are also much complaints and memos sent by the citizens. Despite the growing number of memos and significant losses from the country’s treasury. One may see the striking similarities between the situation of the Filipinos at the time of both presidents’ terms. In Macapagal’s administration. Rolando Mendoza. Aside from Aguinaldo himself. Dr. The latest case about this that was known by many Filipinos was of the hostage-taker. But only a handful from these is given attention by the government. For one.government officials. was still recurring. there were a significant number of complaints sent to the government. Both presidents were indifferent and insensitive towards their people. in both regimes. and which he claimed were not due to the “revolutionary bureaucracy” but on the Spaniards who had tau ght the Filipinos these customs. response. The grabbing of poor peasants’ lands. the Filipinos’ complaints and appeals were not given any solutions.

And so. the practice of nepotism is quite common. the excessive budget allotted for military purposes is also one of the most talked about issues in the country because of its effect on the country’s budget for other operations and services like education and health. Aguinaldo tried to “adjust the conflicting interests” of the two nations . Furthermore. Aguinaldo had appointed his personal friends like his brother-in-law General J. In the time of the Malolos Republic.I. 3 . A significant percentage of the money was being skimmed by the government officials. Also. Worse. he limited the right to vote to the members of the upper class and allowed the land-grabbing of the illustrados (who Guerrero indicated as the “leading citizens who had “awakened” to the limitless economic opportunities presented by the withdrawal of the Spaniards from the countryside”). Another similarity is the presence of political dynasties. Today. the cause of the conflict within the Tejeros Convention. Paua and Daniel Tirona. most Filipinos recognize the political dynasties of the Marcoses. At present.Another similarity observed is the excessive budget allotted for military operations. who were both hated by the people that they had ruled over. and the Aquinos. the pro-american attitude of the Philippine government and its dependence and loyalty on the United States are noticeable in both administrations. he still had the same interests as theirs. Despite the fact that Aguinaldo came from the lower class of the country’s elites. the money supposedly for military operations has not completely served its purpose. Estradas. instead of preparing the country for war against Americans. In almost all administrations. In Aguinaldo’s time. Cayetano and Pimentel. an amount of 20 million Mexican pesos was to be raised through contributions around the country for this purpose.

” The United States’ intervention and control over the Philippine government can also be noticed after the US army had joined the Filipinos soldier’s war against the Abu Sayyaf. one may notice that Aguinaldo had started a trend among presidents and that his administration had depicted almost all those that followed his. GMAnews. Other sources: Inquirer. It can provide a new route for refueling and a location for the training. bribery. rest and recreation of American soldiers. and the most evident of all. is graft and corruption. graft and corruption. on the other 4 .Macapagal’s In both the Malolos constitution of 1898. “Kabihasnang Pilipino: Kasaysayan at Pamahalaan”. The VFA obviously has a lot of benefits for the Americans. treason. Lastly. betrayal of public trust) Given all these similarities. One critic even said that the US military was just getting around the Philippine constitution “under the pretext of conducting training exercises but are actually setting up a military position under long-term plans. had clearly shown its faithfulness and devotion to the United States when it gave permission for the proposed Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after the american soldiers have left their bases in the Philippines following the Mt. the Constitution of the Martial law period in 1973. the Commonwealth Constitution of 1935. there is a law about the “Accountability of Public Officers” which gives importance to the full accountability and integrity among public officials and employees who may be impeached/investigated for its violation (e. and the present 1987 consitution. Pinatubo eruption. the issue on the rape case of Daniel Smith who was still released in 2006 and the influence of the country on other laws and the dependence of our weak economy on US.

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