Today in Philippine History, July 4, 1902, Roosevelt granted amnesty to Filipinos who revolted against Spain and continued it against the US

Friday December 21, 2012 ()

US President Theodore Roosevelt
(US President Theodore Roosevelt)

On July 4, 1902, US President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation granting amnesty to Filipinos who participated in the "insurrection" against Spain and continued it against the United States. Then acting Civil Governor for the Philippines Luke Wright issued the local proclamation disseminating the conditions for pardon and clemency to insurrectionists.

The proclamation to grant amnesty was in consideration of established peace in the country and the end of insurrection against the U.S. This does not include areas inhabited by Moro tribes.

Today in Philippine History,  July 4, 1902, Roosevelt granted amnesty to Filipinos who revolted against Spain and continued it against the US

Forty-four years later, on July 4, 1946, the United States recognized Philippine Independence. Since then, July 4 was celebrated by Filipinos as Philippine Independence day, until President Diosdado Macapagal decided to commemorate June 12, 1898 instead, the day Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain, in Kawit, Cavite. June 12 is celebrated today as "Araw ng Kalayaan" (Freedom Day).

President Ferdinand Marcos, Macapagal's successor, restored the importance of July 4 by declaring it Philippine-American Friendship Day.

By The President of The United States.

A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, Many of the inhabitants of the Philippine Archipelago were in insurrestion against the authority and sovereignty of the Kingdom of Spain at divers times from August, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, until the cession of the Archipelago by that Kingdom to the United States of America, and since such cession many of the persons so engaged in insurrection have until recently resisted the authority and sovereignty of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The insurrection against the authority and sovereignty of the United States is now at an end, and peace has been established in all parts of the Archipelago except in the country inhabited by the Moro tribes, to which this proclamation does not apply; and

WHEREAS, During the course of the insurrection against the Kingdom of Spain and against the Government of the United States, persons engaged therein, or those in sympathy with and abetting them, committed many acts in violation of the laws of civilized warfare, but it is believed that such acts were generally committed in ignorance of these laws, and under orders issued by the civil or insurrectionary leaders; and

WHEREAS, It is deemed to be wise and humane, in accordance with the beneficent purposes of the Government of the United States towards the Filipino people, and conducive to peace, order, and loyalty among them, that the doers of such acts who have not already suffered punishment shall not be held criminally responsible, but shall be relieved from punishment for participation in these insurrections and for unlawful acts committed during the course thereof by a general amnesty and pardon;

NOW, therefore, be it known that I, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby proclaim and declare without reservation or condition, except as hereinafter provided, a full and complete pardon and amnesty to all persons in the Philippine Archipelago who have participated in the insurrections aforesaid or who have given aid and comfort to persons participating in said insurrection for the offenses of treason or sedition and for all offenses political in their character committed in the course of such insurrections pursuant to orders issued by the civil or military insurrectionary authorities, or which grew out of internal political feuds or dissensions, between Filipinos and Spaniards, or the Spanish authorities, or which resulted from internal political feuds or dissensions among the Filipinos themselves duing either of said insurrections;

Provided, however, That the pardon and amnesty hereby granted shall not include such persons committing crimes since May first, nineteen hundred and two, in any province of the Archipelago in which at the time civil government was established, nor shall it include such persons as have been heretofore finally convicted of the crimes of murder, rape, arson or robbery, by any military or civil tribunal organized under the authority of Spain, or of the United States of America, but special application may be made to the proper authority for pardon by any person belonging to the exempted classes and such clemency as is consistent with humanity and justice will be liberally extended; and

Further provided, That this amnesty and pardon shall not effect the title or right of the Government of the United States, or that of the Philippine Islands to any property or property rights heretofore used or appropriated by the military or civil authorities of the Government of the United States, or that of the Philippine Islands, organized under authority of the United States by way of confiscation or otherwise; and

Provided further, That every person who shall seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take and subscribe the following oath before any authority in the Philippine Archipelago authorized to administer oaths, namely:

(I, — -,solemnly swear (or affirm) that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the United States of America in the Philippine Islands and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that I impose upon myself this obligation voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.)

"Given under my hand at the City of Washington this fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and two, and in the one hundred and twenty-seventh year of the Independence of the United States."

THEODORE ROOSEVELT

By the president: ELIHU ROOT, Secretary of War.

Sources:

  1. Philippine News Agency, July 4, 2010
  2. The Philippines and Filipinos; a treatise on the history, the civics, and the mathematical, physical and political geography of the Philippine archipelago, by O. W. Coursey, The Educator Supply Co., 1914
  3. Photo credit: http://www.biography.com/

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