Site Meter

Friday, August 20, 2010

Aftermath of the Filipino-American war

In 1904, while Macario Sakay, Felizardo, Montalan and several other "ladrones" (the label used by the Americans on remnants of Filipino revolutionary forces) were still actively roaming the Philippine countrysides, and, once in while, conducting raids on isolated American garrisons, the conditions in the Philippines were described as one of desolation wrought by war.

Photo source: University of Michigan digital library

U.S. Major General Nelson A. Miles - highly decorated civil war hero, famous Indian war conciliator, bloodless taker of Puerto Rico- visited the islands in 1903 and wrote this observation in his report to the Secretary of War:
“In going from Calamba to Batangas … I noticed that the country appeared to have been devastated, large sections lying waste, and in the thirty-eight miles ride I did not notice any of the large fields under cultivation. Small patches of ground were being cultivated, but I should not think enough to supply food for the people that I saw along the road. It was all open country, and easy of observation. The people appeared to be more depressed than in any other section of the archipelago. There were but very few men along the road. (Miles, 6)
General Miles regretted he came in too late in Philippine affairs as it was no longer possible for him to do something to prevent the conflict with the Filipinos. After his retirement, General Miles became an active member of the American Anti-Imperialist League.

Another visitor to the islands made this remark:
“I drove through Albay Province, and I found 300,000 people reconcentrated, hemp rotting in the fields, homes empty, and not a human being outside the lines - all-punished because some 300 men are in the mountains as ladrones or insurrectos. I submit that this was not justice - that it was not even a justifiable war measure. (Doherty[2],16)
A more in-depth analysis was rendered by Prof. H. Parker Willis, of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va., and published in the New York Evening Post of October 28, 1904, which was made an appendix to the speech of Senator H.E. Carmack of Tennessee in the Senate of the United States, December 10, 1904 (Carmack, 1).  Willis' report attributed the appalling conditons to economic prostration, depressed agriculture, reconcentration, severe penal and judicial practices, exesses of the native constabulary, control of the press by intimidation, and the maintenance of the most expensive administration the islands have ever known.

Here is the report of Prof. Willis referred above:


PHILIPPINE CONDITIONS
The prominence given by Secretary Taft to the Philippine question, and his assurance that satisfactory progress toward better things is being made in the Islands may lead persons who have not closely examined this subject to believe that Insular conditions are all that they should, or at least all that they can be. A recent visit to the islands, extended through some four months and covering a wide field of observation, has not only led to a conviction on my part that this opinion is unfounded, but, further, I am satisfied that it is in all essential respects at variance with the facts. They are otherwise than as Secretary Taft represents them to be - quite otherwise.

This statement is not intended to reflect on Mr. Taft's sincerity, but is made in the belief that the principles on which the Philippine Commission is organized necessarily prohibit its members, and particularly its head, from either coming into close touch with the natives or fully realizing the nature of conditions for which they themselves are responsible.

There can he no doubt that the general public of the United States is under grave misapprehension concerning the situation in the Philippines. Erroneous statements as to what has actually been done in the archipelago have been constantly put before them from many sources. They may well be described as "given to strong delusion, wholly believing a lie." If they could realize the state of affairs in those Islands now prevailing, they would be terrified at the desolation wrought by war and disgusted at the failure of our "civil government" to lay even the foundation for improvement.
Photo source: University of Michigan digital library


ECONOMIC PROSTRATION
The Philippine Islands are to-day absolutely prostrated economically and politically. Hardly any undertaking is being successfully conducted. According to unpublished figures furnished by the internal revenue office of Manila, about 5,000 licences to do business have been issued to American individuals and firms during the period of our occupation. Of these firms and individuals all except some 800 have failed or withdrawn from business, or about 84 per cent of the total. The survivors include chiefly the very smallest establishments, such as boarding houses, saloons, etc. It appears that hardly more than half a dozen American firms of recognized capital are at this time actually doing business in Manila. The population of the city, formerly same 266,000 persons, has fallen (census 1904) to 219,900, owing largely to depressed business. Simultaneously with this decline a heavy decrease in the American population has occured (from 6,462 in 1901 to 4,389 in 1904). During this past summer at least three of the chief American business enterprises either failed or withdrew from the field. A steady and positive decline in all branches of trade with the United States is now in progress, as partially illustrated by the fact that for the seven months ending July, 1904, the shipments of domestic merchandise from the United States to the Philippines were $2,530,899, as against $2,593,924 for the correspdoning months a year earlier, while the shipments merchandises from the Philippines to the United States were $5,978,148 for these same seven months, as against $7,337,532 a year earlier. Relations between the United States and the Philippines under the tariff act passed by Congress in 1902 are so diftiult that there is no reason to anticipate the building up of any satisfactory trade between the islands and the United States either now or in the future. Recent shipping legislation has depressed the interisland trade still further, both actively and by anticipation. To-day a large fleet of Philippine steam vessels is anchored off Cavite with absolutely no occupation. The fleet is daily growing in size.

While the conditions in trade with our own country are thus discouraging, there is not warrant for the belief that the general outlook is more favorable. Much have been said by American administrators of a recent growth in exports and imports as indicating increased prosperity, but there is certainly no such inference to be drawn from the figures. Bewteen 1899 and 1903 gross improts of merchandise increased about two and one-half times, but imports of food and animals quadrupled, the growth in this item being due to rice purchases for the support of the starving peasants and draft animals designed to replace those destroyed by war and rinderpest. Manufactured goods imported fell off largely between 1901 adn 1903, showing a decline in productive business and articles of luxury, etc., more than doubled between 1899 and 1903, showing nothing more than a demand for such goods made by government employees of the islands. The growth in exports (chiefly hemp) is due simply to a partial restoration of peace and consequent resumption of regular dealings.

The trade conditions observable at Manila and other ports are merely a reflection ofr what may be witnessed in the interior. A journey through the provinces can not help giving a most discouraging impression. Many towns, formerly well built, and destroyed during the war by some of the various armies, have been only partially, and even then hardly, rebuilt. Churches are in ruins; whole villages here and there lie waste. In many part of Luzon the roads and trails, nearly impassable, are daily falling into worse condition. Barring one initial appropriation of about $1,000,000 and some recent appropriations from the Congressional relief fund, nothing has been done by the central government in road making except to sink some $800,000 in attempting what seems to be an impossible road to the summer resort at Benguet. The bridges blown up or otherwise destroyed have in few instances been replaced. It is the common opinion that land travel is more difficult and slower than ever before.

CONDITION OF AGRICULTURE

The increasingly depressed state of agriculture in these rice growing islands can be realized by a review of the importations of rice during the past four years. These have been as follows (Report 1904, p. 48)
1901 ...........................................................$3,113,423
1901 ............................................................5,400,958
1902 ............................................................6,578,481
1903 ...........................................................10,061,323

This growth in the imports of rice is attributed by Philippine farmers not to changes in agriculture, initiated by Governor Taft, but to three causes: (1) The almost total loss of their farm animals (estimated officially at 90 per cent due to war and rinderpest; (2) injury done to irrigation systems during the war; (3) the scarcity of adult male labor as a result of the war. The "disproportionate number of women and children" consequent upon the war is still noticeable. Most of these farmers are now drawing on their savings or are borrowing at rate averaging at least 20 per cent in order to get subsistence and pay their taxes. The imposition of heavy land taxes in the provinces by the Commission has led to a general expropriation in some quarters. In others the suffering has been so intense that the Commission has had to suspend the tax in default of putting up for sale the bulk of the landed property of the province. In somes provinces hundreds of pieces of property, many of them not exceeding 2 acres each, have been scheduled for sale. No machinery for providing loanable capital has been introduced by the Commission, and the requirement that land shall be registered at a heavy fee in order to prove titles is working great immediate hardship.

The depression in rice culture is paralleled for a different reason in the growth of sugar. Sugar could be raised with much less reliance on animal labor than could rice; but the American tariff situation absolutely forbids the possibility of making a profit on it. Planters state that under present tariff duties they can barely cover the cost of production. Tobacco is in a suffering condition, owing to new tariff duties in several eastern countries. Hemp is the only article in which prosperous conditions of production now exist; but its cultivation must always be narrowly limited to certain soils and localities. Parallel with the bad trade and agricultural outlook has come a great increase in cost of living, which is now fully double its former amount in come places. So hard has it been to get even a bare subsistence that the population has become greatly reduced in vitality and has fallen an easy prey to the series of terrible epidemics of the past three years. The Philippine tariff on imported commodities is so arranged as practically forbid imports of agricultural machinery, and the Commission professes to be unable to change it without Congressional consent.

SUFFERING AND DISSATISFACTION
Partly owing to the bad industrial prospect, to actual suffering, and to intense and permanent dissatisfaction with existing political arrangements the unrest of the country continue to increase. When President McKinley sent the Philippine Commission to the islands he furnished a certain clear-cut instructions as to the line of conduct it should pursue.

"The Commission," he wrote (April 7, 1900), "should bear in mind *** that there are certain great principles of government which have been made the basis of our governmental system, which we deem essential to the rule of law and the maintenance of individual freedom; *** that there are also certain practical rules of government which we have found to be essential to the preservation of these great principles of liberty and law, and that these principles and these rules of government must be established and maintained in the islands. *** Upon every division and branch of the government of the Philippines, therefore, must be imposed these inviolable rules;

"That no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation; that in all criminal prosecution the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistnace of counsel for his defence; that excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted; that no person shall be put twice in jeopardy for the same offense or be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; *** that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or of the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and petition free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed."

Have these instructions been fufilled? Although the islands have now for about three years been under the full control of what is technically known as a "civil government" there are certain facts which indicate that the term "civil" is a misnomer. It is further true that this term is becoming progressively less and less applicable to the administration of the Philippines. Notwithstanding that in the beginning many of the provinces were organized as civil governments, it has been thought necessary now and again to substitute a politico-military government, and to-day at least six of the provinces are still organized on that basis. Extreme military methods for controlling the population are provided for by law and their application in certain cases authorized. Of these the most marked is what is known as " reconcentration."
Photo source: University of Michigan digital library


RECONCENTRATION
The use of this plan for reducing a population to submission is authorized by section 6 of the Commission's act No. 781, further organizing the constabulary, in the following words:

"In provinces which are infested to such an extent with ladrones or outlaws that the lives and property of residents in the outlying barrios are rendered wholly insecure by continued predatory raids, and such outlying barrios thus furnish to the ladrones or outlaws their source of food supply * * * it shall be within the power of the civil governor, upon resolution of the Commission, to authorize the provincial governor to order that the residents of such outlying barrios be temporarily brought within stated proximity to the poblacion or larger barrios."

It is a fact that no recent year has passed without the application of this policy on a large scale. In 1902 it was undertaken in the region about Lake Taal, comprising parts of Laguna and Batangas provinces. It then affected not less that 100,000 people, according to the report of Colonel Wagner, who inspected the camps (S. Doc. 331, 37th Cong. 1st Sess. pt. 3 p. 2873), each of which included from 8,000 to 14,000 persons. During 1903 the same plan was pursued in Albay, where very large areas were entirely deprived of population, the inhabitants being herded in camps like those of Batangas. During the current year reconcentration has been ordered for Samar (executive order of August 15) throughout a region including about 20,000 inhabitants.

Besides the official application of the policy on a large scale, other instances have occurred. Several camps now exist in Cavite, and, not long since, reconcentration was tried in Tayabas, without official authority, according to Ex-Governor Taft. It is beyond the question, from the testimony of both natives and Americans who are conversant with the workings of reconcentration, that its effects are most disatrous, causing widespread suffering. In the camps food is distributed only when extreme want requires it, work on the roads being sparingly furnished to those who are able thus to supply themselves with rations. The lack of house accomodations and the scarcity of food, as well as the overcrowding of the inmates of the camp, have invariably caused marked increase in mortality. At the same time there has been a tremendous loss of crops and houses throughout the districts in which reconcentration has taken place. The hemp losses chargeable to reconcentration in Albay are estimated by Mr. Taft at from 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 pesos, or $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 United States (Report, 1901, p. 32), an enormous loss when the limited character of native resources is considered.

Even this estimate is certainly too low, and would have to be largely increased if other commodities besides hemp should be considered. A vastly larger loss was unquestionably inflicted upon the province of Batangas, which has the appearance of being wholly ruined, owing to the destruction of coconut and other trees. The authorities speak of the treatment accorded to this province as a "severe lesson," and there is in the Philippines none of the familiar pretense that reconcentration operations can be carried on without hardship of the most terrible character.

Total losses of crops left without tendance in the reconcentrated districts, of houses burned by the careless or malicious soldiery, and general ruin to fixed capital, necessarily result in most serious suffering when the inmates of the camps are released and find themselves deprived even of the scanty support furnised them while in confinement. The natives had become so accustomed to the use of reconcentration by the Spaniards that they regarded it as a matter of course in time of war. They resent very bitterly, however, the pretense that civil government exist when such methods are employed; and this is the first complaint usually made by intelligent Filipinos, when questioned concerning reconcentration. They feel that Mr. McKinley's "rules" ordering that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation," have been violated.
Photo source: University of  Michigan digital library


SEVERE LEGISLATION
The readiness of the Commission to make the whole population suffer for the acts of a small body of insurgents or ladrones is further shown in the operations under act No. 378 and its subsequent modifications. The act imposes the penalty of death, or at least twenty years' imprisonment, for membership in a ladrone band, providing that "to prove the crime *** it shall not be necessary to adduce evidence that any member of the band has in fact committed robbery or theft. A further provision (Sec. 4) specifies taht "Every person knowingly aiding or abetting such a band of brigands *** by giving them information *** or by securing supplies of food, clothing, arms orammunition *** shall *** be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten years." This legislation has been carried further by Act No. 1121, which enlarges the number of commodities, theft of which constitute "highway robbery," and gives a broader scope to the kinds of assistance that may be rendered to such a band. It is not now safe to give even the traditional cup of cold water to a suspected ladrone. The object of this whole series of acts, like the use of the reconcentration policy, has been to bring into subjection an unsympathetic population, and to render peaceful people responsible for the acts of a less submissive element. It is the testimony of capable American lawyers in Manila that under existing law it is entirely possible to convict any human being in the archipelago of "bandolerismo" (the local name for membership in or assistance to organized bands of insurrectionists), without regard to guilt. That such conviction can be secured is, in fact, the open boast of some constabulary officials. Filipinos believe that these statutes are inharmonious with the "great principles of government *** which we deem essential to the rule and the maintenance of individual freedom."

How effective this legislation has been may be seen from the situation in the Bilibid prison. From September 1, 1902 to September 1, 1903, there was a growth of nearly 100 per cent in the population of this institution, the number confined on the latter date being 3,184. On a recent date (May 23, 1904) this number had risen to 4,420, a growth in less than nine months of 1,236 persons, or about 40 per cent. The net inward movement was then estimated by the authorities at 8 to 10 persons per day, which would mean a gross annual increase of 2,800 to 3,500. The total number of persons confined August 31, 1903, on charges of "aiding insurrection, brigandage, conspiracy, highway robbery, illegal custody of arms, rebellion, sedition, violation of oath of allegiance, violation of laws of war, violation of articles of war, and treason," was 1,093. These offenses do not include such crimes as murder, homicide, or theft, but represent the number of men confined for what we consider strictly political offenses. In other words, about one-third of all these prisoners were confined becuase of their connection with revolutionary movements. Supposing that the rate of increase in this class of prisoners had been the same as the ratio of growth in the total prison population, and eliminating 414 petty police-court offenders, it appears that fully 50 per cent of all long-time convicts now in Bilibid are confined for such political offenses. On a recent date the number of men confined in Bilibid who had been sentenced and were awaiting capital punishment was 100.
Photo source: University of Michigan digital library


STATE OF JUDICIARY
In bringing about these convictions, and in harshly enforcing the harsh legislation already referred to, responsiblity must be divided between the judiciary and the constabulary. The judges have for the most part been under the thumb of the Commission, or incompetent and disposed to convict without sufficient evidence.

The defective character of the judiciary of the islands has been fully recognized by authoritative writers. Mr. Colquhoun, the English author of a recent book, Greater America, speaks of it (p. 343) as a well-known fact, and other foreigners fully agree with him. We, in fact, took to the islands a body of judges for the lower courts, many of whom knew little American, and no Spanish, law; who were ignorant of the Spanish language, and who had never heard the native dialects. The evil features of the present situation seem to be as follows:

(1) The judiciary act (No. 136) contains no provision for the length of tenure of judges in courts of first instance, and no process by which they may be publicly impeached and removed from office. They hold their places subject to the will of the Commission.

(2) Few of them speak and understand Spanish, and they are consequently able to follow the testimony in the courts only with great difficulty. This is a notorious fact.

(3) A system of venal or incompetent interpreters has been developed, through whose errors or corruption many innocent men are brought into jeopardy. Numerous cases of the sort can be cited.
(4) The Commission has assumed the privilege in some cases of suggesting to the judge in advance the direction to be taken by his verdict. Cases of this kind are vouched for by two high officers of the Philippine government, by one ex-judge, by prominent lawyers in Manila, and by intelligent natives.

(5) No legislation or precedent exists whereby judges are distributed according to a known system, so that it is customary to bring a judge of well known ultra administration sympathies to try a case where a certain kind of verdict is wanted. Some judges have been permanently transferred to another district as a kind of penalty for anti-administration verdicts. Some have been asked to resign; others have been ostracized, and thereby forced to resign and leave the islands. A review of the names of the judges appointed during the last three years and their later history fully illustrates this statement. It should be added that in revising the Spanish substantive law we have eliminated most of its characteristics features and have left it a medly of heterogeneous provisions drawn from American State systems, and roughly put together for a bench most of whose members knew no Spanish law. In Americanizing the law of the islands we have, however, omitted the principles of trial by jury, and other protections to individual rights. The present confusion is keenly felt by the best Spanish and Filipino lawyers and by the most informed of our judges. No more drastic criticism on the work of our legal revisionists could be penned that the "Notes to the Spanish Civil Code," lately published by Judge Willard, formerly of the Philippine bench. The bad judicial and legal situation was fully presented to Mr. Taft before he left the islands by eminent members of Manila bar, but he failed to take action, suggesting political motives for the criticisms.
Photo source: University of Michigan digital library


CONSTABULARY SITUATION
In close connection with the status of the judiciary should be considered some of the recent developments in the organization of the native constabulary. In organizing this force (Act No. 175) it was provided that its members should be drawn from the province where stationed, thus giving it the character of local police. This policy is highly praised by Governor Wright in his most recent report as secretary of commerce and police. The plan has, however, been entirely vitiated by the act of congress passed January 30, 1903, whereby the use of the Philippine Scouts under command of the chief constabulary, was ordered. These scouts are chiefly Macabebes and Ilocanos, and they have uniformly been stationed in provinces toward which they feel strong racial antipathy. Moreover, the rule that the constabulary should be recruited in the provinces where they were to serve seems to have been frequently violated. As time has gone on, too, the constabulary has approximated much more closely to the military type, and has lost its original character as a police force. Its members have ceased to live among the people or in their own homes, have been gathered into barracks, placed upon a basis of military pay and rations, and are now substantially a military force like the scouts. They are described as "peace officers," but are authorized to arrest men "without warrant." Constabulary officers are to two classes – old soldiers elevated from the ranks of the regulars, and young, inexperienced men brough from the United States. Under the first class of officers serious abuses and hardships have been inflicted upon the population. Under the second class evils of disorganization and laxity have become prevalent.

At various points the constabulary or scouts have inflicted torture, as in Cavite; done violence to women, as in Isabela Province, and committed cold-blooded murder, as also in Isabela; arrested men without warrant and instituted unreasonable searches and seizures, as in Cavite; have stolen personal property, or taken it wihtout payment, as in Masbate and elsewhere, or have grossly violated public order, as in Cebu. The foregoing practices are mentioned because the abuses in each and every case there referred to can be established by the testimony of reliable eyewitnesses. Trustworthy Philippine lawyers affirm that there are hundreds of men all over the islands who are confined by the constables without any warrant of law. It is certain that the irritation aroused among the people by constabulary outrages is nearly universal. In fact, the uniform reply to questions concerning the constabulary situation is that the force is "as bad as the Guardia Civil" of Spanish time – a verdict than which none more severe could be imagined. It deserves to be added that the hardships inflicted by the constabulary have not been directed against the ladrones, but against the peaceful inhabitants. Ladronism still continues in different regions, apparently in some cases through the connivance of the constabulary. The constables have been vastly move active in campaigning against insurrectos that against those ladrones whose only motive was robbery. In the former case, they have when able to surround a small band, often butchered them without quarter, as in the case of the force of General San Miguel, which was literally cut to pieces toward the end of 1903. General Allen, chief of the constabulary, states, in conversation, that the records of this bureau are "filled with complaints against the force," but he never finds that the charges have any foundation. This is attributable to the fact that constabulary abuses are always investigated and reported upon by constabulary officers, usually belonging to the very locality where the abuses complained of have been committed. It is only by outside investigators that the facts can be established. This makes it the more to be regretted that the Commission has almost uniformly refused to investigate charges of this sort directly.

CONTROL OF PUBLIC OPINION
The great difficulty encountered in correcting abuses prevalent in the Philippines to-day probably lies in the absence of freedom of speech or of the press. Act No. 292, known as the 'sedition act," provides that "if two or more persons conspire to overthrow, put down, or destroy by force the Government of the United States in the Philippine Islands *** such persons shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 and by imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for a period not more than six years." Under this act, and by the use of the constabulary spies, it has become unsafe for private persons to attend social gatherings, or express political opinions in their homes. Expressions by letter are usually dangerous owing to the searching of the mail – a process which, it is thought by Senior del Pan, of Manila bar, in his argument on the recent Lukban case, has been carried vastly further, and has been more arbitrarily used, than under the Spanish administration. While prosecutions under the sedition act are chiefly directed against natives, restraint of the Americans is mainly carried under Act No. 227, known as the "criminal libel act." This law defines a libel as a "malicious defamation," and specifies that the truth of the libel shall not constitute a defense unless it shall be shown that publication was made "with good motives and for justifiable ends," a point not easily to be established before Philipine courts. The provision of this act, taken in connection with those of the sedition act, are such as to make it practically impossible to express an opinion adverse to the administration or any member of it without becoming liable to prosecution.

In cases where a critic is too influential, or where his criticisms and charges are too carefully phrased to admit of prosecuting him, a process of ostracism takes place which is usually very effective, as Manila society consists chiefly of officeholders who take their bias directly from those in authority. An American bishop stationed in Manila expresses in conversation the opinion that the "impatience of criticism shown by the Commission" is one of the most disastrous features of the present Philippine situation. The hostility of the higher authorities, he asserts, is visited upon preachers who venture to criticize a member of the Commission or any of its policies. In the recently concluded "O'brien libel case" the two defendants, who conducted a newspaper in Manila, were sent to prison on the ground that they had published a report of some court proceedings containing statements unfavorable to the defendant, who happened to be a member of the Commission. It was admitted that the report was correct; but the technical point was made that the headlines did not accurately describe the substance of the article.

In recent decisions handed down by courts of first instance in Manila, heavy penalties, including both fine and imprisonment, have been awarded not only to the author and producer, but even to the actors in the play, "Hindi Aco Patay," a dramatic production of an allegorical character, in which Philippine independence was hinted at.

A process of buying the good will of publications through the award of Government advertising and other favors has been used to supplement the methods of intimidation already suggested. The expression of opinion through the agency of political parties has also been placed under severe restrictions. The Nationalist party, which attained a considerable degree of strength about two years ago, was destroyed by prosecutions directed against important men in the organization. Under purely technical attacks in the form of its constitution, a workingmen's union was recently driven out of existence because of the belief that its purpose "was primarily political." These statements are vouched for by the prosecuting officers of our Government in Manila, who freely admit the ulterior purpose of the prosecutions in question. During the past summer efforts were made to recast the platform of the Federal party in such wise as to demand independence. The revised draft was shown to members of the Commission as a precaution, and these gentlement requested its suppression on the ground that "it would embarass Mr. Taft just at this time." The platform never appeared in print.

Do these conditions agree with President McKinley's "rule" that "no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or of the rights of the people peaceably *** to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?"

Photo source: University of Michigan digital library


COST OF ADMINISTRATION
The system of government just described has not been the merit of economy. It is by far the most expensive government the island has ever known. The Schurman Commission (Report, vol. 1, p. 80) gave the annual receipts of the Spanish Government in 1894-95 as $13,379,900 Mexican, of which sum about $9,000,000 was derived from internal taxes. The new internal revenue law of the Philippines just passed is estimated to produce from $10,000,000 to $11,000,000 and is apologized for by its authors as "no worse than the Spanish." The Schurman Commission quotes (page 79) expenditures of the Spanish Government in 1894-95 as $13,280,130, of which sum $4,045,061 was for war and $2,450,176 for navy, the balance – some $6,700,600 – being civil outlay. As against this sum it may be noted that our outlay for the year 1903 on strictly civil expenses was about $22,000,000 Mexican currency. To this should also be added probably $2,000,000 for the cost of provincial administration and a somewhat greater sum deducted for permanent improvements. Conversely, there should be large reductions in the "civil outlay" noted above for the Spanish Govenment, as that figure includes the cost of carrying on the church, some diplomatic expenses and other items. Withoug going into these changes in the accounts in detail, it may be stated that the cost of our civil administration is from three to five times as heavy as that of the Spaniards – yet the Schurman Commission complained of the Spanish administration on the ground of "costliness."

Nor can the indictment of the expense incident to Philippine administration stop with local conditions in the islands. The Philippines are tremendously expensive to the United States. According to Gen. George W. Davis (Report Div. of Phil., 1903, p. 50), the annual cost of the army and navy in the Philippines in actual cash is at least $21,000,000 gold. This estimate was based upon a force (scouts and Americans) of about 23,000 men. As the present force is probably 3,000 men smaller, a reduction of corresponding amount must be made. This, however, is far more than offset by the cost of the Philippine mail service,which falls largely on the United States; of the army transports, both trans-Pacific and interisland; by the facts that tropical service counts double time toward retirement for enlisted men; that claims for pensions are more numerous as a result of such service; that many army officers are now serving in the Philippine government at the cost of the United States; and that in a variety of ways, the islands are a continous draft on our Treasury. Conservative estimators place tha present annual money cost of the Philippines to the United States at not less than $25,000,000.

Nor does the money laid out for civil expenses "go largely to Filipinos." as often claimed. A review of the personnel of the government, during the past three years shows that the number of Americans holding civil offices in 1903 was 3,458, as against 2,777 in 1902, and 2,044 in 1901, while the number of Filipinos for these three years was 3,318, 2697 and 2562, respectively. In other words, there were employed in 1901 25 per cent more natives than American, while in 1902 the natives were about 3 per cent less numerous than the Americans and 4 per cent less numerous in 1903. In the latter year the 3,318 Filipino employees drew aggegate salaries of $1,497,610, while the 3,455 Americans drew $4,284,482.

GENERAL SUMMARY
As General Davis mildly states the situation (Report, 1903, p. 31): "Americans in the Philippnes have not so far been an unmixed blessing to the native inhabitants." We have, in fact, destroyed the public buildings of the country, inflicted continous crop losses, during a period of six years; ravaged and burned large sections of territory; produced conditions leading to the death of most of the farm animals and to serious human and animal epidemics; brought foreign trade to an unprofitable condition by our tariff legislation; inaugurated a tremendously expensive government for the benefit of foreign officeholders; established a partisan judiciary; crowded the prisons, and deported or sent to the gallows the best and most patriotic of the native leaders.

No comments: