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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Philippines as "Abandoned Territory"
Created by John Eipper on 04/25/13 7:26 AM

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Philippines as "Abandoned Territory" (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 04/25/13 7:26 am)

In response to Francisco Ramírez (24 April), to this day, Puerto Rico and Guam remain US territories with delegates to the Congress. The Philippines were abandoned in 1935 after the first attempt in 1932 was vetoed by then Pres. Hoover, a Republican. Democrats have always been sympathetic to the oligarchs of the Philippines, even to this day.

The Commonwealth Act was to give the Philippines ten years of preparation for self-rule. But WWII broke out, and it should then have reverted back to being a US territory, or at least the ten-year period should have been extended. Again the oligarchs led by Manuel A. Roxas instead ordered a draft of a general amnesty, even as the list of suspected traitors and collaborators was being drawn up. As I have previously mentioned, Roxas was not included in the list of suspected traitors and therefore was not pardoned when he himself signed the amnesty on January 28, 1948.

The 1946 Republic of the Philippines was a stillborn republic. It was dead at birth.

JE comments: Is granting self-rule the same thing as supporting the "[local] oligarchs"? Bienvenido Macario's interpretation is unorthodox, but it could be seen this way. This narrative was repeated in perhaps the majority of post-colonial societies, in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere.



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  • Philippines as "Abandoned Territory" (Francisco Ramirez, USA 04/25/13 1:01 PM)
    In response to Bienvenido Macario (25 April), one could indeed argue that the ten-year period after the end of the Commonwealth could have been extended. But there is no evidence that the majority of the Filipino people favored the extension. A similar argument could be made as regards other colonies that became independent after WW II. But again there is no evidence that the colonizing powers ignored the will of the people or their elected representatives in giving up their colonies. There were nationalist movements in these colonies. These movements sought national independence. Just because Bienvenido wishes the Philippines were still a US territory is insufficient warrant for the term "abandonment."

    I agree with him that oligarchs have ruled the Philippines since its birth. This is a serious problem. I also agree with him that in general the Church has played a negative role, despite a positive role in legitimating the anti-Marcos "People Power" Movement. Neither of these facts remotely justifies putting the Philippines in the same category as North Korea. That is sheer hyperbole.



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    • Philippines as "Abandoned Territory" in the 1930s (Bienvenido Macario, USA 04/30/13 4:45 AM)
      Francisco Ramírez wrote on 25 April:

      "There is no evidence that the [US] ignored the will of the [Filipino] people or their elected representatives in giving up their colonies. There were nationalist movements in these colonies.


      "These movements sought national independence. Just because Bienvenido wishes the Philippines were still a US territory is insufficient warrant for the term 'abandonment.'"


      I'd like to begin with an excerpt from Chapter 35, "Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Shadow of War, 1933-1941," from the AP US History textbook:


      "The American people were not so much giving freedom to the Philippines as they were freeing themselves from the Philippines--they proposed to leave the Philippines to their fate."


      This is a realistic and honest assessment of what Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 was all about--the official abandonment of the Philippine territory.


      The Philippine Independence Act of 1934, the official name of Tydings-McDuffie Act, was another step toward isolationism sweeping America as the threat of war in Europe was growing.


      From the paranoid and unrealistic protectionist foreign policy of 1920s, the US started to clamp down on immigration when over 530,000 immigrants came to the US from Southern and Eastern Europe. These European and other immigrants probably knew the Treaty of Versailles would give Europe 20 years of peace before another war would break out. In the usual knee-jerk reaction still seen today, Congress enacted the Emergency Quota Act of 1921. This quota-based restriction was further reduced from 3% to 2% when the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed to replace the Quota Act of 1921.


      Exempt were the Canadians and even Latin Americans. The Filipinos were not affected by immigration laws, since the Philippines was not yet abandoned.


      While raising tariffs on European goods, the US demanded payment of the $10 billion from its allies who in turn passed it on the vanquished Germans, forcing the inflation of the Deutsche Mark.


      If there is any early indication that America's degenerative foreign policy from protectionism to isolationism would later lead to the abandonment of the Philippines, it was the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 in which Britain, Japan and the US were prohibited from the construction of any fortifications or new naval bases in the Pacific.


      The crash of 1929 and succeeding the bank run of 1930 pushed the American economy to the Great Depression, which in turn further strengthen and justified isolationism.


      As 60,000 Filipinos relocated to the mainland in 1931, the idea of giving independence and freedom to the Filipinos was revived. Sen. Huey Long of Louisiana, a Democrat and staunch FDR supporter, made absurd and exaggerated claims that some Americans were starving and were resorting to cannibalism while "Wall St. Imperialists as gods of greed continue to cling onto the (Philippine) islands."


      When American adventurism at the turn of the century vaulted the country into a world power, they did not have any idea of the responsibilities and implied duties a world power or lone superpower entails.


      It seems US foreign policy reflects the immaturity and impulsive of American leadership when it comes to foreign relations, as shown by the Cold War, Korean War and Vietnam War.


      With American foreign policy, one thing remained constant. Adventurism in the White House would take the country to exotic places and situations around the world, and when the going got tough, the ball along with our allies got dropped. Such was the case of Vietnam, when Nixon signed the 1973 Paris Peace Treaty ending America's direct involvement in Vietnam and called it "Peace with honor."


      On April 30, 1975 South Vietnam fell. The American image overseas suffered terribly. One Pakistani diplomat was quoted as saying: "It's bad to be on America's side. Often is good to be neutral and sometimes it's good to be against America."


      JE comments: One man's self-determination is another man's abandonment, but Sen. Long's hyperbolic rhetoric seemed to be representative of the times. After 1918, and especially post-1945, traditional empires were no longer acceptable.


      Is Bienvenido Macario condemning US overseas adventurism per se, or this country's tendency to "cut and run" (Vietnam, Iraq [?], Afghanistan [?]) when the adventures prove too costly?


      A final question: were Filipinos granted full immigration rights to the US prior to 1946?

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