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Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare
Another of Mr. Root's Statements

Again, in the same speech, Mr. Root said that, within three months from the arrival of our army in the fall of 1899,

the insurgent army and the insurgent government ceased to exist, and we hold all the islands which were subject to Spanish rule without opposition, save from fugitive bands, half guerilla and half bandit, who are shooting our men from ambush, and blackmailing and pillaging and murdering their own countrymen.

Of the Philippine government he spoke thus:

The people of the Philippine Islands never consented to that government. It was a pure and simple military domination of Tagalogs. The Visayans distrusted and feared them. The people of the great island of Negros raised the American flag, repelled the Tagalog invasion, and are living today in contentment under our government. The tribes of Northern Luzon received us with open arms. The ablest and best of the Tagalogs, under the leadership of Arellano and Torres repudiated the government of Aguinaldo.... A noble tribute to the Declaration of Independence it would have been, indeed, to deliver the people of Negros and the commerce of Manila and the patient and unconsenting millions of all other tribes but the Tagalogs into the hands of the assassin Aguinaldo....

Mr. Root thus assured his countrymen that early in 1900 there was no opposition to the rule of the United States "save from fugitive bands, half guerilla and half bandit," and that our troops must remain there to protect "patient and unconsenting millions" of Filipinos, including the Visayans, from the outrages of these Tagalog bandits.

He also describes "blackmailing," "pillaging," and "murdering" as crimes, when committed by these bandits.

Believing these statements, as we must of course assume that he did, it was his duty as Secretary, while pursuing the bandits, to protect the "patient and unconsenting millions," not only against their own countrymen, but against our soldiers. It will hardly be contended that we had a right to pillage and murder them in order to anticipate like action by "the bandits."

Nay, more, in the same speech he insisted that the Filipinos were protected against such abuses by constitutional safeguards. He said:

Let me show you what kind of government exists today in the Philippine Islands. I read from the instructions of the President to the present commission, which entered upon legislative power in these islands on the 1st of September last [1900].

"The commission shall bear in mind that the government which they are establishing is designed not for our satisfaction or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands; and the measures adopted should be made to conform to their customs, their habits, and even their prejudices to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment of the indispensable requisites of just and effective government.

"Upon every division and branch of the government of the Philippines 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 excessive bail shall not be required,... nor cruel nor unusual punishment inflicted,... that the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated."

And he continued:

Is that imperialism? Will giving that kind of government to these poor people who have suffered so long under Spanish tyranny degrade the character of this republic?

There can be no question that Secretary Root has understood fully how his great powers should be used. It is proposed to show how he has, in fact, used them.


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