Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The American Mandate

The Americans claimed they had a mandate in their coming to Mindanao and Sulu. But who gave this mandate to come to the Philippines, fight the Spaniards, rob the Filipinos of their right to selfrule and the Moros of their homeland. From God, from the American people, from the American politician-capitalists, from the American capitalists or from the naked greed and avarice of Pres. William McKinley. 
Pres. William McKinley, after contemplating what to do with the Philippines, told a group of Protestant clergymen at the White House in November 1899:
I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not shamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way I don't know how it was but it came: ... That we could not give them back to Spain-that would be cowardly and dishonourable ....  
Was this the mandate   and was it from God? Why did President McKinley "kneel" before his god only after the destruction of the Spanish armada in Manila and not before he gave the order to Admiral Dewey to attack Manila? 
In the early years of his life, President McKinley had attended seminary in a small town in his native Ohio and this might explain his "pietism" and afterward his "pious imperialism." It is a strange coincidence, however, that all colonizing powers rationalized their expansionist policies by calling to the "gods" or by citing "ethnocentric missions." France was also fulfilling her mission civilisatricewhen she laid siege on her Indochinese colonies.  
In his policy speech to the U.S. Congress in 1899, Pres. William McKinley succinctly expressed:
The Philippines are not ours to exploit, but to develop, to civilize, to educate to train in the science of self-government. This is the path we must follow or be recreant to a mighty trust committed to us.  
Again, the cloak of "benevolence" and the "White man's burden" were central to this policy. But for twenty years or so, even after the grant of independence, the Americans still enjoyed the economic parity rights under the Laurel-Langley Agreement, which was only terminated on July 4, 1974. 
Let us go back to what   had transpired before the final decision to acquire the Philippines as a colony was made. For a full six months, debates on what to do with the Philippines had been going on in Washington. The choice was whether to grant it immediate self-rule or to make it a colony. In the end, a compromise was sealed. The imperialist Republicans and the so-called anti-imperialist Democrats met halfway, and the result, to colonize the Philippines but grant her self-rule at the "earliest feasible time," which took the United States forty eight years to fulfill, or on July 4, 1946 when the Philippine independence was granted.  
If there was indeed a mandate - from the god of President McKinley and from the politician-capitalists- this would have applied only to the Filipinas, then comprising only Luzon and the Visayas. The territory of the Moros or ''Moroland'' should have been excluded. As the facts of history showed, Mindanao and Sulu had always been a foreign territory for Spain had never really acquired these islands either by conquest, purchase or any other means. Her sovereignty was never enforced, except inside the confines of her garrisons and fortifications. How on earth could a nation sell a territory she never owned or conquered? One renowned writer, Dr. Onofre Corpuz, had this to say on this point:
By the time the treaty negotiators were parleying in Paris there was no longer any vestige Of Spanish control, possession, or government in Filipinas (that is to say, the Christian part of the archipelago). And Spain never had control, government, nor possession of the Moro territory. It did not have any "suspended sovereignty" because its sovereignty had been terminated.'  

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