Solons call for official commemoration of the Philippine-American War
On the 118th anniversary of the outbreak of the Philippine-American War, ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro called for the official commemoration of February 4 as “Philippine-American War Day” and demanded from the US government an apology for the atrocities it committed during the war and the American occupation.
Life magazine May 22, 1902 – US soldiers waterboarding a detainee in the Philippines, during the US- Philippine war, combating against the native insurgents defending againt USA occupation.
The solons also urged President Duterte to honor the sacrifices of the countless named and unrecognized heroes who fought for independence from the US by taking concrete steps towards a truly independent foreign policy, including the abrogation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US.
ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro filed House Bill 2092 or An Act Declaring February 4 of Every Year as “Philippine-American War Day” and House Resolution 448, entitled Resoultion Urging the Government of the United States of America to Issue an Apology for the Atrocities Committed by its Military Forces Against the Filipino People During the Philippine-American War of 1899-1901 and the Imposition of U.S. Colonial Rule, for which the lawmakers urged immediate passage in Congress.
A garrote is demonstrated in 1901 during the Philippine–American War. The United States condoned and participated in the torture and execution of insurgents during the war. (US National Archives)
“A commemoration of the Philippine-American War is a recognition of the heroic struggles of our fellow Filipinos who fought against the invasion, oppression, and intervention of a foreign power,” said Tinio. “It will remind Filipinos of the nationalist principles of those who fought in the war and prevent historical revisionism.”
Lasting from 1989 until the late 1910s, the Philippine-American War has been described as “one of the most heroic struggles ever waged in modern times; a struggle waged against implacable odds and at terrible cost,” with various resistance movements throughout the country such as those led by General Antonio Luna, Simeon Ola, Macario Sakay, and the Pulajanes. Conservative estimates are placed at over a million Filipino lives lost, including 200,000 civilians who died in the pacification campaigns that used hamletting, “scorched-earth” policy, and “cordon tactics” against entire villages, tortures such as the water cure, and other atrocities committed by the US armed forces.
A photograph of the water-cure mode of torture & interrogation used by U.S. soldiers during the Phil-American War. Jonathan Best Collection from the book The Blood of Government, by Paul Kramer.
“We demand that the US government acknowledge and take responsibility for the atrocities it committed against the Filipino people during the Philippine-American War such as the massacres at Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak which killed over a thousand Moros and Tausugs, and the Balangiga Massacre in which American forces, upon the order of General Jacob Smith, killed anyone over 10 years old capable of bearing arms and turned Samar into a ‘howling wilderness’,” said Tinio.
“An apology is urgent, necessary, and timely in light of the resounding sentiment of the Filipino people against the presence of US military forces and facilities on Philippine soil and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s public, even international, statements calling attention to the past and present atrocities of the US government and military in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao,” Castro added.
US army hangs a Filipino.
“We also call for President Duterte to honor the sacrifices and to emulate the nationalism of our Philippine-American war heroes by taking concrete steps towards a truly independent foreign policy. This includes abrogating unequal treaties and agreements with the US like EDCA and VFA.