Sa araw na ito naganap ang isang makasaysayan at kauna-unahang matagumpay na enkwentro ng pakikidigmang guerilla ng mga Pilipino laban sa mananakop at sopistikadong armas pandigma ng mga mananakop na Amerikano. Ang nasabing inkwentro ay sa pagitan ng 9th US Infantry Regimen at ang revolutionary command officer na si Brig. General Vicente Lucban, itinalagang political at military Governor ni President Aguinaldo sa probinsya ng Samar.
May 48 na sundalong Amerikano ang napatay, 22 ang sugatan at ilang daang rebolusyunaryong mandirigmang Pilipino ang nagbuwis ng buhay sa labanan. Naganap ang makasaysayang inkwentro noong Setyembre 28, 1901 sa bayan ng Balangiga, Samar. (photo: http://www.bakbakan.com/images/slukban.gif)
Kaya lang, nakakalungkot isipin na ni-isa mang mataas na opisyal ng gubyerno ay tila nakalimot na sa nakaraan, wala mang nakaalala (government agencies), nagkaroon man lang ng isang parandam na aktibidad, naibroadcast man lang, kahit paano'y nai-lobby man lang at nai-follow-up man lang ni Ate Glo sa kaeskwelang si Presidentent Clinton o sa US Congress man lang sa kung paano makakatulong ito para maisayli ang tatlong Kampana ng Balangiga.
Sa katanungang marerecover pa ba ng Pilipinas ang tatlong mga ninakaw na KAMPANA sa Balangiga? Sa klase at katangiang BURIKAK ng mga umuukupa sa Malakanyang, umasa ka pa, malabo!
Sa totoo lang, kung usapin ng inspirasyon ng mga Pilipino sa kasaysayan, ito na ang tamang panahon, ang dapat ginugunita at pinaprioridad ng gubyerno, ang pagpapalaganap ng kagitingan at kabayanihan ng mga Pilipino at hindi ang karaniwang mga talunang labanan kontra dayuhan (Fall of Bataan, Fall of Tirad Pass at iba pa). Ang insidente ng Balangiga ay tanda lamang na likas na rebolusyunaryo ang ating mga ninuno, isa rin itong ambag sa estratehiya at taktika ng pakikidigma para sa kalayaan at soberanya ng mga Pilipino sa mundo, partikular na katangiang rebolusyunaryo ng mga Waray-Waray. "Dahil sa kaganapan ng Balangiga (pagsasauli ng 3 Kampana), ipinapalagay ng ilang mga makabayang Pilipino na ang digmaang sa pagitan ng Estados Unidos at Pilipinas ay sa totoo lang ay hindi pa ganap na natatapos." (photo: General Jake "Howling" Smith and his staff inspecting the ruins of Balangiga in October 1901, a few weeks after the retaliation by Captain Bookmiller and his troops.http://www.bibingka.com/phg/balangiga/default.htm)
Dahil sa tindi ng pagkatalo’t kahihiyan, ipinag-utus ni Gen. Jacob Smith na linisin ang probinsya ng Samar (sunugin ang Samar) sa mga "insurektos, terorista at sa mga bandido." Bilang ganting salakay, halos pinulbos ng mga sundalong Amerikano ang "bainte porsiento (20%) ng populasyon" ng Balangiga, karatig bayan at buong isla ng Samar. Bata, matanda at babae ang minasaker, ni-rape at sinusog, ginawang abo ang mga ari-arian ng ating mga kababayan at ang pinakamasaklap, bilang “war booty o trophy,” ninakaw ng mga tropang Amerikano ang tatlong Kampana at ilang cultural artifacts ng simbahan ng Balangiga.
Ang tatlong Kampana na may markings na 1853, 1889 at 1896 emblems ay pag-aari ng Franciscan Order. Ninakaw din ng mga Amerikano ang English made na cannon na may emblems na 1557. (photo:http://www.philnews.com/2005/da.html)
Hindi nalalayo sa kaso’t kinahinatnan ng Iraq at Vietnam ang ginawang kalupitan, pagnanakaw ng US sa Pilipinas.
(photo: A late 19th century photograph of Filipino rebels, known as the Katipuneros. upload.wikimedia.org/
Bahagi lamang ng isang malawakang pakikibaka, ng national liberation movement ng mga Pilipino laban sa mananakop at kalupitan ng Imperyalistang Estados Unidos ang insidente ng Balangiga. Ayon kay Prof. Roland Simbulan, the “U.S. government must officially apologize for atrocities in Philippine- American War.”
Kung may buto sa gulugud ang ating mga namumuno, maaring suportahan nito ang inisyatiba o pagkakaroon ng class suit (tulad ng milyong European JEWs na pinatay ng bansang Germany) laban sa bansang Amerika at pagbayaran ito ang DAMYOS pinsala sa mga Pilipino.
May mahigit 300,000 civilian mga Pilipino ang walang awang pinagpapatay ng mga tropang Amerikano sa kampanyang anti-insureksyon at terorismo laban sa bagong katatag na Republika ng Pilipinas. Ginamit ang mga sopistikado, hindi makatao at barbarong paraang mga torture (water cure) at interrogation, gayun din ang pamamaraang “search and destroy operation,” hamletting at brutal na reconcentration (taktikang militar na ginamit sa kampanyang paglipol sa American Indians) laban sa mga kababayang nating mga Pilipino.
Ang lahat ng mga pangyayari at kaganapan ng panloloob ng mga Amerika sa Pilipinas ay pawang nasa mga American libraries, dokumentado, at nasa mga History Books at ang malungkot, imbis na taguriang mga rebolusyunaryo at kabayanihan ng mga Pilipino, binansagang mga insurekstos at terorista ang mga ito. Lumalabas sa kasaysayan na ang ginamit na “Philippine Insureksyon” ng mga Amerikano ay malinaw na isang PAG-AALSA, isang makatwiran pakikibaka laban sa mga MANANAKOP na Amerikano, laban sa panloloob at pwersahang pag-ookupa ng isang makapangyarihang bansa sa isang bago at soberanyang bansa Pilipinas.
Ilan sa mga dokumento na maaring makatulong sa kung paano ilarawan ang panloloob at pananakop na tinaguriang “unang Vietnam” ng bansang tinatawag na nagpapalaganap raw ng “demokrasya sa Asia,” ang Imperyalistang Amerika. (wikang english nga lang)
Deaths and Atrocities
There are atrocities in any war. However, in the Philippine- American War, brutality reached a level unprecedented in American history. Americans fighting in the Philippines treated their enemy with none of the civility that generally characterized wars against European opponents. They viewed the Filipinos as savages. Most of the high command had spent their careers fighting “injuns” on the American frontier, and quickly adopted even harsher methods in the islands. As one Kansas veteran claimed, "the country won't be pacified until the niggers are killed off like the Indians." “Nigger” and “gugu” were common racial slurs applied to the Filipinos. As the war intensified, killing the wounded, mutilating the dead, torture, and execution spread through the islands.
(photo: Brigadier General Jacob Smith with Major General Adna Chaffee, Tacloban, Leyte, 1902 / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_H._Smith)
I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me...Kill everyone over the age of ten, and make the island "a howling wilderness." --General Jacob Smith, Samar Campaign
"I never saw such execution in my life, and hope never to see such sights as met me on all sides as our little corps passed over the field, dressing wounded. Legs and arms nearly demolished; total decapitation; horrible wounds in chests and abdomens, showing the determination of our soldiers to kill every native in sight. The Filipinos did stand their ground heroically, contesting every inch, but proved themselves unable to stand the deadly fire of our well-trained and eager boys in blue. I counted seventy-nine dead natives in one small field, and learn that on the other side of the river their bodies were stacked up for breastworks."
--F. A. Blake, of California, in charge of the Red Cross
Filipino soldiers were not the only ones to bear the brunt of American brutality. Approximately 300,000 Filipino civilians were also killed in the conflict; estimates range as high as several million. Many died from starvation and disease caused by the war, but in many cases American soldiers were more directly responsible. Rape, looting, and murder often followed the capture of towns.
"The soldiers made short work of the whole thing. They looted every house, and found almost everything, from a pair of wooden shoes up to a piano, and they carried everything off or destroyed it. Talk of the natives plundering the towns: I don't think they are in it with the Fiftieth Iowa." --Guy Williams of the Iowa Regiment
Filipino villages were usually the only available targets for frustrated American troops, and burning villages was commonplace, both as reprisal for attacks and to deprive guerrillas of supplies and shelter. American ingenuity was responsible for the creation of a new weapon for this purpose--a steam fire-fighting engine converted to spray highly flammable petroleum on the villages. When Americans fell into an ambush, nearby barrios were ordered burned. If an American was found murdered in one of the towns, that town was burned.
"When you can realize four hundred or five hundred persons living within the confines of five or six blocks, and then an order calling out all of the women and children, and then setting fire to houses and shooting down any niggers attempting to escape from the flames, you have an idea of Filipino warfare." --Sergeant Will A. Rule, Co. H, Colorado Volunteers
Especially in the later stages of the war, civilians were often massacred regardless of sex or age. Suspected Filipinos were often executed without trial or evidence--Funston once bragged to reporters that he had personally hanged 35 civilians presumed to be insurrectos. In the early stages of the war commanders tried to prevent this, but as the conflict dragged on and the Filipinos were viewed with increasing hatred, such acts became increasingly common. When General Adna Chaffee took command in July of 1901, he deemed such total warfare necessary. The “kill and burn” policy on the island of Samar was responsible for countless civilian deaths. In summer of 1901, junior officers’ reprisal acts enraged the “pacified” islands of Bohol, Cebu, and Marinduque and spurred them to new rebellion. The United States had seen war before, but it was this kind of cruelty that set the Philippines conflict apart. A nation based on the concepts of democracy and freedom soon fell into the same category with the Spanish in Cuba and the British in South Africa.
"I am not afraid, and am always ready to do my duty, but I would like some one to tell me what we are fighting for."
--Arthur H. Vickers, Sergeant in the First Nebraska Regiment
"Company I had taken a few prisoners, and stopped. The colonel ordered them up in to line time after time, and finally sent Captain Bishop back to start them. There occurred the hardest sight I ever saw. They had four prisoners, and didn't know what to do with them. They asked Captain Bishop what to do, and he said: 'You know the orders,' and four natives fell dead." --Charles Bremer, of Minneapolis, Kansas, describing the fight at Caloocan
When the war began and both sides were still fighting a conventional war, treatment of prisoners was fairly humane. However, as the war wore on and changed in character, Americans adopted crueler methods. Filipino prisoners became rarer and rarer. Filipinos who tried to surrender were often gunned down, just as if they had continued to fight.
"I don't know how many men, women, and children the Tennessee boys did kill. They would not take any prisoners. One company of the Tennessee boys was sent to headquarters with thirty prisoners, and got there with about a hundred chickens and no prisoners."
--Leonard F. Adams, of Ozark, in the Washington Regiment
Those captured were often no more fortunate. Prisoner of war status was often withheld from Filipinos because of General Order 100. This order was created during the Civil War and allowed for the execution of enemies employing guerrilla tactics, such as dressing as civilians and returning home between battles. Those who were taken lived in constant danger of execution; either on a whim, or as retaliation for an attack on Americans. One example was the execution of 24 Filipino P.O.W.’s by Colonel Funston, after American Lieutenant Kohler was led into a Filipino trap and hacked to death by bolomen.
In contrast, Filipinos kept American prisoners in relative comfort. They were fed well and often offered commissions into the Filipino army; three accepted. In 1899, Aguinaldo invited four independent journalists to inspect the prisoner’s accommodations. They found that the captives were “treated more like guests that prisoners." Aguinaldo released some prisoners in order to spread the word of their kind treatment under the Filipinos. After Aguinaldo was captured, the Filipinos rarely took prisoners; mostly because they never had the opportunity. However, Filipino treatment of prisoners became much harsher in the later stages of the war, especially in Batangas. Filipino General Malvar had to issue a proclamation providing for swift punishment of any Batangueño soldiers violating laws of warfare, in response to Filipinos shooting surrendering Americans and mistreating prisoners.
"We bombarded a place called Malabon, and then we went in and killed every native we met, men, women, and children. It was a dreadful sight the killing of those poor creatures. The natives captured some of the Americans and literally hacked them to pieces, so we got orders to spare no one."
--Anthony Michea, of the Third Artillery
Torture: Water Cure
"When I give a man to Sergeant Edwards, I want information. I do not know how he gets it; but he gets it anyway" --Lieutenant Arnold of the Fourth Cavalry
(Photo: Water torture in use in the Philipine-American War and Vietnam War / www.geocities.com/.../
Doy Cinco / IPD
September 28, 2007