Thursday, May 18, 2006

CHA-CHA PROPOSALS ATTACK GENERAL WELFARE OF FILIPINOS

May 16. 2006


Contrary to what the Arroyo administration’s allies in the House are saying, the current charter change (Cha-cha) proposal will not make the 1987 Constitution more responsive to the people’s needs. In fact, it will even worsen their general welfare, according to independent think-tank IBON Foundation.

The Consultative Commission on Charter Change (Concom), which the Arroyo administration created, is not just proposing economic reforms but is recommending the removal of vital constitutional protections on the public good that may intensify Filipinos’ already dire situation.

For example, the Concom is proposing to remove Art. II, Sec. 9, which avers that the State “shall promote a just and a dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.”

The Concom also proposes to delete Art. XII, Sec. 1, which calls on the State to promote “industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform” while protecting Filipino enterprises against “unfair foreign competition and trade practices” and Art. II, Sec. 17 which says it shall give priority to “education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports.”

These provisions clearly identify the role of the State in ensuring that Filipinos live decently by promoting a self-reliant national economy. But in line with the thrust of economic globalization, the Concom wants to absolve the government of these responsibilities, and instead allow market forces to dictate incomes, employment, and social services.

Government has already failed to guarantee a just social order, freedom from poverty, full employment, full access to education and other basic social services, and a decent standard of living. These are shown by social indicators such as the 80%-90% of Filipino families who are poor; the 9.6 million Filipinos who are jobless or underemployed; and the nominal daily minimum wage in Metro Manila that only reaches 39% of the daily cost of living. Removing constitutional guarantees will further worsen the situation as Cha-cha institutionalizes neglect of government’s obligations to the people. (end)

www.ibon.org

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, May 1st mobilization in Chicago IL


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

URGENT ACTION * URGENT ACTION * URGENT

UA Date: 11 April 2006
UA Title: Peasant shot 47 times inside home in Agusan
del Sur, Philippines
UA Case: Summary Execution
Victim/s: Florencio Perez Cervantes 27 years old, married with three children
Male
Peasant
A resident of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario,

Agusan del Sur, Philippines
Barangay Council Member of Barangay Sta.
Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur, Philippines

Place of Incident: inside the home of the victim at
Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur,
Philippines

Date of Incident: 05 April at around 02:00 am

Allege Perpetrators: Military elements of the 36th
Infantry Battalion led by Captain Bungcarawan

Account of Incident -

On April 5, 2006 at around 2:00 am, the Cervantes
Family was awakened by a loud banging on their door.
Their home was apparently being broken into and when
Elsa stood up to check she was surprised to see an
armed man wearing a bonnet and carrying a rifle inside
their house.

The armed man immediately fired at Florencio. Elsa
tried to grab the rifle to prevent the gunman from
further firing at their children, who were lying
beside her husband at that time.

While Elsa was struggling with the gunman, Florencio
signaled her to escape together with their children,
which she did. But when she came to the living room,
she found five more armed men in plain clothes who
tried to block her way.

But Elsa resisted and managed to successfully escape
from them. While outside, Elsa heard more gunshots
from inside their home. She also saw several more
armed men in civilian clothes which surrounded their
house.

After a while, the armed left and drove off on board
two vans. At that time the couple's neighbors' were
now awake and surrounding their home.

When Elsa went back inside to check her husband, she
saw him bloodied and on the brink of death. Their
children were crying and trying to wake him up asking
him if they should bring him to the hospital, "Papa,
mapadala ka pa sa hospital?" they said.

Florencio suffered 47 gunshot wounds in different
parts of his body.

An hour later, two vans carrying armed men in complete
uniform arrived and asked about what happened.

They took pictures of the victim and his house, and
then left.

On April 7, 2006 SUNSTAR Davao, a tabloid publication
which is circulated within Mindanao came out with a
report of the killing of Barangay Councilman Felomino
Cervantes whose real name according to them was
Florencio Cervantes of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario,
Agusan del Sur. The news article alleged that
Florencio was allegedly caught in a crossfire during
an encounter of the New People's Army and military
operatives of the 36th Infantry Battalion led by
Captain Bungcarawan.

Family members of the victim were angry and condemned
the report as false. They insisted that Florencio Was
murdered and not killed in a cross fire between the
NPA rebels and government soldiers.

Florencio was an active Bayan Muna (People First)
supporter during the 2004 elections and was very vocal
about various peasant issues and demands in their
community. He was also a very religious man, who
actively served his church as a member of the lay
organization of their parish.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent
fact-finding and investigation team composed of
representatives from human rights groups, the Church,
local government, and the Commission on Human Rights
that will look into the summary execution of Florencio
Cervantes.

2. The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of
the crime/s of summary execution.

3. The immediate and proper indemnification of the
victims; and

4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is
a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and that it is also a party to all the major
Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe
all of its provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph


Hon. Rene V. Sarmiento
*Office of the Peace Process
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Mobile:
Fax:+63 (2) 635 9579

Hon. Avelino J. Cruz, Jr.
Secretary
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
osnd@philonline.com

Hon. Raul M. Gonzalez
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email sad@doj.gov.ph


Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov.ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the
said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People's
Rights)-National Office
34 Maamo St. Sikatuna Village, Quezon City 1100
PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Emails: /
karapatan@edsamail.com.ph / karapatan.pid@gmail.com

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reclaiming Mendiola,

Water Cannons and Truncheons Notwithstanding

April 6 is considered a victory for protesters as 3,000 demonstrators managed to reach Don Chino Roces bridge (near Malacañang Palace in Manila) after it has been declared as a “no-rally zone” as part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s calibrated preemptive response (CPR).

BY ZOFIA LEAL
Bulatlat

The mass action was against charter change that the Arroyo administration is pushing through a people’s initiative. The rallyists also called for the immediate ouster of the President. This was led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance), People’s Movement Against Charter Change (People’s March) and Gloria Step Down Movement (GSM).

The protesters gathered at around 10 a.m. at the Sto. Domingo church in Quezon City carrying with them banners and streamers opposing charter change and the Arroyo administration. Militant youth groups like Youth Against Charter Change of Trapos (Y-CHAT) and National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) came up with creative ways to get their message across. Following from the statement of President Arroyo that the ‘train has left the station’ regarding the Charter Change, some youth protesters dressed as traffic aides.

Before the march, brief speeches were made by Renato Reyes, secretary-general of Bayan and former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona Jr. Mother Mary John Manansan (Benedictine Sisters) led a prayer hoping that the people may be spared from another Martial Law. Reyes then challenged the people to march even if they have not secured a permit and to make their voices heard. For his part, Guingona explained how the administration’s camp uses deceit and bribery to push for charter change.

The march started at around 11 a.m. and protesters reached Mabuhay Rotonda. However, they got divided when the police ran to barricade the others while trying to cross the street.

A negotiation took place between the police and the protesters to let them pass. Both the police and the protesters stood firm. After a few minutes, a line of protesters stayed facing the police while the other rallyists were already walking towards the Sampaloc area. The protesters who were blocked managed to elude the police by pretending to disperse, marching first to E. Rodriguez Avenue and then turning right towards Sto. Tomas Street. They eventually converged as they marched towards Mendiola.

While marching, protesters felt the support of the masses as they were offered water to quench their thirst. The protesters rested for a while when they reached the Sto. Tomas Street.

The protesters marched though Fajardo Street, then passed Bustillos Street and eventually came out at Mendiola.



The police were unprepared to face the 3,000-strong protesters. The latter managed to remove the fence placed before them and came face to face with the police.

For about 15 minutes, the protesters held a program at the Don Chino Roces bridge (formerly Mendiola). A sense of victory can be seen in the faces of the rallyists as they ‘reclaimed’ Mendiola.

Negotiations between the protesters and the police were ongoing when the former were doused with water coming from a fire truck.

The protesters were forced to retreat to Recto Avenue as they got truncheoned by police officers. Meanwhile, a group was pushed and pinned against the fire truck.

Even if the protesters were already retreating, the police still aimed the water cannon towards them.

The protesters then proceeded to España Street and announced an organized dispersal. They remain undaunted and the water cannon did nothing but to strengthen their resolve. Bulatlat

update on abduction

Abducted Youth Leader under NOLCOM Custody

BY ABNER BOLOS
Gitnang Luson News Service
Posted 10:00 p.m., Apr. 9, 2006

TARLAC CITY — Ronald Intal, the youth leader in Hacienda Luisita who was abducted allegedly by government troops and has been missing since April 3 may be alive and in the custody of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM).

Gonzalo Intal, 79, father of the missing youth told GLNS that his family sought the assistance of Tarlac City vice mayor Teresita Cabal who informed them that his son was being held by NOLCOM personnel and may be released once Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan gives the go-signal.

"Ayaw pa siyang pakawalan ni Gen. Palparan dahil hindi pa daw tapos ang appointment niya (Gen. Palparan will not release him yet because his appointment is not yet over), the elder Intal quoted Cabal as saying.

Gonzalo and his wife Lourdes talked with Cabal last April 8 to seek help in finding his son who has been missing after he was allegedly abducted by soldiers in Barangay Balete at noon on April 3.

Witnesses said Intal was brought to the Aqua Farm, a former fish breeding station in Barangay Balete now being used as headquarters of soldiers belonging to the 70th IB, 7th ID headed by Major Gen. Jovito Palparan.

Intal, 24, a resident of Barangay Asturias, Tarlac City is a leader of the Samahan ng mga Kabataang Demokratiko sa Asyenda Luisita (SAKDAL or Association of Democratic Youth in Hacienda Luisita) and the Anak ng Bayan (Sons and Daughters of the People) party in the strife-torn sugar estate owned by the family of former president Corazon Cijuangco-Aquino.

Intal's relatives said soldiers at the Aqua Farm have denied taking him into custody and their attempts to locate him brought no results until they sought the assistance of the city vice mayor.

The elder Intal said Cabal will try to present witnesses to NOLCOM officials and persuade Gen. Palparan to release his son. GLNS/Bulatlat

Friday, April 07, 2006

Luisita Youth Leader Abducted, Missing

BY ABNER BOLOS
Gitnang Luson News Service
Posted by Bulatlat
Posted 3:16 p.m. April 4, 2006

Tarlac City—Ronald Intal, 24, a youth leader in Hacienda Luisita who was abducted by soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at noon yesterday remains missing.

United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) president Rene Galang said Intal, a leader of the Samahan ng mga Kabataang Demokratiko sa Asyenda Luisita (SAKDAL or Hacienda Luisita Democratic Youth Association) was making charcoal near a tricyle terminal in Barangay Balete shortly after 11 a.m. when he was accosted by government troops and taken to military headquarters.

Witnesses said Intal was brought to the Aqua Farm, a former fish breeding station in Barangay Balete now being used by soldiers as headquarters.

Relatives of the victim were told by soldiers in Aqua Farm that Intal was not in their custody, Galang said.

Last April 2, Marcial Pilar, 35 an Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) party member, was arrested at about 1 pm in a videoke joint also in Barangay Balate.

Pilar was taken to a military detachment inside the village where he was interrogated before he was released at 6 p.m. on the same day.

Both arrests were done without warrants, Galang said.

He said soldiers belonging to the 70th IB, under the 7th ID headed by Maj. Gen. Jovito
Palparan are stationed in Barangay Balete. Posted by Bulatlat

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

GABRIELA MEMBER SLAIN IN BOHOL

NEWS RELEASE
03 April 2006

For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Tels: 9316268, 9315001 loc7230; Jang Monte (Public Information
Officer) 0917-8226635

GABRIELA MEMBER SLAIN IN BOHOL
MAZA APPEALS: JUNK TERROR BILL, TERROR REGIME

GABRIELA Women's Party Representative Liza Largoza Maza condemned
today the brutal murder of a member of the women's partylist
organization in Bohol.

Inday Estorba, 31, GABRIELA Women's Party member and staff of the
Women's Development Center in Bohol was
shot dead at close range
today at 3:00AM at her home in Bgy. Panagtaran, Candijay, Bohol.
Her
husband, Gerry remains in critical condition at the Tagbilaran
Hospital. The assailant,
known to Inday's family and her neighbors as
Byron, is a known Philippine Army intelligence agent in the Barangay.

Inday has long been active in the women's organization in Bohol
and
is a mother to two children aged 6 and 9 years old.

"With Arroyo's butcher Palparan setting his target for the
elimination of insurgents to September, Inday Estorba's death marks
the intensification of attacks against women militants and
progressives irrationally pinpointed by the government as rebels and
insurgents. Mothers are not spared."

"Political persecution of progressive partylists and organizations as
well as the opposition undoubtedly includes the annihilation of its
members and leaders. Inday Estorba, for being an active Gabriela
member and an advocate of women's rights has been identified as a
target of Arroyo's military," said Maza.

The recent killing comes in the midst of deliberations on the
Anti-Terrorism Bill. The Congress leadership hopes to approve the
terror bill this week.

"The terror bill completes the legislative infrastructure for
Arroyo's martial rule. This all encompassing license for abuse and
authoritarian rule is meant to silence critics, militants and the
opposition, as well as keep Mrs. Arroyo in power."

"One more life has been added to the long list of Mrs. Arroyo's
terror victims. I am appealing to my colleagues; these lives give us
more than enough reason to junk not just the terror bill but the
terror government that rams it in our throats." #

Friday, March 24, 2006

YOUTH LEADER SLAIN IN BICOL, 36th Assasination this Year

BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Bulatlat
Posted 4:21 p.m. March 20, 2006
A national council member and Bicol regional coordinator of the militant League of Filipino Students (LFS) was shot dead last night in Bagumbayan village, Washington Drive, Legazpi City, Albay (550 kms. south of Manila).

Cris Hugo, 20, a fourth year journalism student from Bicol University (BU), was walking home with one of his teachers at 10:30 last night when he was shot by two unidentified assailants, local police Senior Insp. Rico Nocillado told media. The gunmen immediately fled the scene.



Hugo was rushed to the nearest hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The LFS national leadership has condemned the killing. “Whoever did this to Cris must be punished,” LFS national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said in a statement sent to media. “We believe that this killing is politically motivated and hold the Arroyo government accountable.”

Hugo is the 36th victim this year of what have been described as politically motivated killings, based on data from the human rights group Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights).

“We cannot allow Arroyo's minions to kill the students and the youth who are the future of this nation,” Crisostomo said.

Active in protests against tuition increases and other student campaigns, the LFS is among the progressive organizations tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as “enemies of the state.”

LFS members are set to hold a candle-lighting activity at 5:30 this afternoon to protest Hugo’s killing. Bulatlat

Monday, March 13, 2006

100 Years Ago

What happened at Bud Dajo

A forgotten massacre--and its lessons

On March 7, 1906, US troops under the command of Major General Leonard Wood massacred as many as 1,000 Filipino Muslims, known as Moros, who were taking refuge at Bud Dajo, a volcanic crater on the island of Jolo in the southern Philippines. Above, US soldiers pose for the camera in the aftermath of the massacre. (Photo from The National Archive)

By Andrew J. Bacevich
The Boston Globe
March 12, 2006


ONE HUNDRED YEARS ago this past week, on March 7, 1906, the American military's first sustained incursion into the Islamic world reached a climax of sorts. At Bud Dajo, on an island in the southern Philippines, US troops massacred as many as a thousand Filipino Muslims.

In the conventional narrative of America's rise to greatness, Bud Dajo hardly qualifies for a footnote. Yet the events that occurred there a century ago deserve their own chapter. For those hankering today to use American power to transform the world of Islam, Bud Dajo offers a cautionary tale.

The US troops had arrived on a mission of liberation, promising to uplift the oppressed. But the subjects of American beneficence, holding views of their own, proved recalcitrant. Doing good required first that the liberators pacify resistance and establish order. Before it was over, the Americans' honor had been lost, and uplift had given way to savagery.

Although it had seized the Philippines in 1898 during the course of its war with Spain, the United States made little immediate attempt to impose its authority over the Muslim minority – known as Moros – concentrated in the southern reaches of the archipelago. Under the terms of the 1899 Bates Agreement, American colonial administrators had promised the Moros autonomy in return for acknowledging nominal US sovereignty.

But after the US suppressed the so-called Philippine Insurrection of 1899-1902, during which US forces defeated Filipino nationalists led by Emilio Aguinaldo, authorities in Manila turned their attention to the Moros. In 1903, they abrogated the Bates Agreement and ordered Major General Leonard Wood to assert unambiguous jurisdiction over what the Americans were now calling the Moro Province.

The imperious Wood, President Theodore Roosevelt's favorite general, viewed his new charges as ''nothing more nor less than an unimportant collection of pirates and highwaymen." He did not bother to disguise his intentions: The Moros would either submit or suffer harsh consequences. As one of Wood's subordinates noted approvingly, ''We are going after Mr. Moro with a rough hand, we are holding him up to all the high ideals of civilization."

A rough hand it proved to be. Personally offended by the Moro propensity for blood feuds, polygamy, and human trafficking, Wood set out to render Moro culture compatible with prevailing Western values. Doing so meant first creating a new political order. Certain that a generous dose of American firepower would make the Moros amenable to his program of reform, he arrived at his new headquarters in Zamboanga hankering for a fight. As he assured the president, ''one clean-cut lesson will be quite sufficient for them."

Wood miscalculated. Neither one, nor a dozen, nor several dozen such lessons did the trick. His efforts to root out offending Moro customs – issuing edicts that declared ancient Moro practices illegal, demanding that Moro tribal chiefs profess their fealty to Washington, and visiting reprisals on those who refused-triggered a fierce backlash.

An ugly war ensued, pitting poorly armed Moro warriors against seasoned US Army regulars. The Moro weapon of choice was the kris, a short sword with a wavy blade; the Americans toted Springfield rifles and field guns. As in present-day Iraq, the Americans never lost an engagement. Yet even as they demolished one Moro stronghold after another and wracked up an impressive body count, the fighting persisted. The Moros remained incorrigible.

At Bud Dajo, a volcanic crater on the island of Jolo, things came to a head. In late 1905, hundreds of Moros – determined to avoid paying a US-imposed head tax, which they considered blasphemous – began taking refuge on the peak.

Refusing orders to disperse, they posed, at least in the eyes of nervous American officials, an intolerable threat. In ''open defiance of the American authority," the district governor on Jolo complained, the Moros of Bud Dajo were setting themselves up as ''patriots and semi-liberators." These would-be revolutionaries had to be crushed. So Wood dispatched several battalions of infantry to Bud Dajo with orders to ''clean it up."

On March 5, 1906, the reinforcements arrived and laid siege to the heights. The next day, they began shelling the crater with artillery. At daybreak on March 7, the final assault commenced, the Americans working deliberately along the rim of the crater and firing into the pit. Periodically, ''a rush of shrieking men and women would come cutting the air and dash amongst the soldiers like mad dogs," one eyewitness reported, but the results were foreordained. When the action finally ended some 24 hours later, the extermination of the Bud Dajo Moros had been accomplished. Among the dead lay several hundred women and children.

Differing in scope but not in character from countless prior ''battles," the incident at Bud Dajo would have gone entirely unnoticed had word of it not leaked to the press.

When reports of the slaughter reached Washington, a minor flap ensued. Indignant members of Congress-chiefly Democrats hoping to embarrass the Republican Roosevelt-demanded an explanation. Perhaps predictably, an official inquiry found the conduct of US troops beyond reproach. When the War Department cleared Wood of any wrongdoing, the scandal faded as quickly as it had begun. For his part, Wood remained chillingly unrepentant. ''Work of this kind," he wrote privately to Roosevelt, ''has its disagreeable side, which is the unavoidable killing of women and children; but it must be done." The president concurred.

And yet the bloodletting at Bud Dajo accomplished next to nothing. The nameless dead were soon forgotten. Wood moved onward and upward, soon thereafter becoming Army chief of staff and eventually returning to the Philippines as governor-general. The American self-image as upholder of civilization's high ideals emerged a bit the worse for wear, but still intact, at least as far as most Americans were concerned.

In the Moro Province, the US campaign of pacification ground on, lasting several more years. Other atrocities followed. In short order, the incident at Bud Dajo and soon thereafter the entire American encounter with the Moros slipped down the hole of vanished memories, eclipsed by other, bigger, less ambiguous wars.

With the United States engaged today in an ambitious effort to transform large swathes of the Muslim world, the campaign against the Moros warns against the dangers of misreading the subjects of one's kindly intentions. Viewing the Moros as weak and malleable, Wood underestimated their determination and capacity to resist. This history also reminds us of how easily righteousness can kindle contempt. Wood's soldiers saw themselves as bearers of civilization; but when their exertions met with hostility rather than gratitude, they came to see the Moros as beyond saving and hence as disposable.

Above all, however, the results of the campaign to pacify the Moros suggest that pacifying Afghans or Iraqis or others in the Muslim world today will require extraordinary persistence. The Moros never did submit. A full century after Leonard Wood confidently predicted that ''one clean-cut lesson" would bring the Moros to heel, their resistance to outside rule continues: The present-day Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), classified by the Bush administration as an al-Qaeda affiliate, carries on the fight for Moro independence.

For advocates of today's ''long war," eager to confer on Muslims everywhere the blessings of freedom and democracy, while preserving the honor of the US military, the sheer doggedness of Moro resistance ought to give pause.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of international relations at Boston University.

© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.


THE BUD DAJO CENTENNIAL

TELLTALE SIGNS
Rodel Rodis
Philippine News
March 6, 2006

Hanging on the mantle above the fireplace in the Berkeley home of Tom and Yolanda Stern is an oil painting of a battle between American soldiers and the Filipino Moros of Sulu in what was hailed then as a major US military victory. The battle was in Bud Dajo and it occurred 100 years ago this week.

The Moros of Sulu are called Tausug , people ("tau") of the current ("sug"), and for 300 years they had successfully resisted all attempts by Spain to conquer them and include them as part of its colonial empire in the Philippines. But could they resist the US?

In 1899, after the Filipino American War broke out, US troops were dispatched to Jolo to take over the Spanish fort there. According to the commanding general of the US forces in the Philippines, Gen. Elwell Otis, it would take only 600 US troops to take Jolo but 2,000 to take Zamboanga, which had been taken over by the Filipino revolutionary forces.

Upon arriving in Jolo, the commander of the US troops informed Jamalul Kiram II, the Sultan of Sulu, that the U.S. had assumed ownership over Spain's assets as a result of the Treaty of Paris and asked the Sultan to recognize the U.S. in the place of Spain. The Sultan refused to accept US sovereignty but was fearful of war with the US.

The Sultan negotiated with Gen. John Bates and signed what became known as the Bates Treaty in 1899. In the Tausug translation of the treaty, the US would provide aid and support to the Sultan of Sulu in the form of monthly payments. However, in the English version, the Sultan specifically recognized US "sovereignty" over the Sulu Sultanate.

With this treaty in place, the US did not need to worry about the Moros in Mindanao and could concentrate its troops in suppressing the revolutionary forces in Luzon and in the Visayas.

When the US completed its conquest of Luzon and Visayas, it unilaterally abrogated the Bates Treaty on March 2, 1904.

As Gen. Bates would later admit: "The Treaty was made at a time when nearly all the state volunteers had been sent home and other troops had not arrived to take their places. It was a critical time, as all the troops were needed in Luzon. The Government could not afford to stir up trouble with the Moros. The Treaty was made as a temporary expedient to avoid trouble. It has served its purpose for three years, and there is now no reason why the treaty which was but a temporary measure at a critical time, should not be changed in accordance with the conditions."

The US was now ready to concentrate its forces on the Moro Campaigns which would be led by General John "Black Jack" Pershing. A veteran of the Indian Wars, Pershing applied to his new task a variant of his anti-Indian slogan: "The only good Moro is a dead Moro!"

The US Governor in Jolo had ordered each Moro to pay 2 pesos a head as tax. The Tausug Moros resisted this order insisting that they were not under US sovereignty and that they were already paying taxes to the Sultan of Sulu. Many of those who resisted holed up in the crater of Mt. Bud Dajo, an extinct volcano located about 6 miles from Jolo. On March 5, 1906, the US sent its troops to hunt down the Tausugs who fled to Bud Dajo.

Vic Hurley, a US businessman who lived in Mindanao, interviewed Moros about Bud Dajo and wrote a book about Moros in 1936. In perhaps the definitive account of the battle that occurred 100 years ago, Hurley wrote:

"A large band of Moros fortified Bud Dajo and defied the authorities to subject them to any law. The American garrison at Jolo was reinforced by the addition of two battalions of infantry and preparations were made for a decisive assault on the Moros.

"The battle began on March 5. Mountain guns were hauled into position and forty rounds of shrapnel were fired into the crater to warn the Moros to remove their women and children.

"Three columns of American troops moved up Bud Dajo from different sides and encountered fierce resistance from barricades blocking the approach to the crater. When overwhelmed with heavy bombardment and sniper fire, the Moros 'sallied forth into the open with kris and spear.' On the second day, in the approach taken by a certain Major Bundy, '(t)wo hundred Mohammedans died here before the quick-firing guns and the rifles of the attackers.'

On the third day, after the heavy bombardment had accomplished its purpose, the American troops charged the crater with fixed bayonets. The few Moros left alive made hand grenades from sea shells filled with black powder and fought desperately to stem the charge.

"But the straggling krismen were no match for the tide of bayonets that overwhelmed them and hardly a man survived that last bloody assault.

"After the engagement, the crater was a shambles. Moros were piled five deep in the trenches where they had been mowed down by the artillery and rifle fire. The American attack had been supported by two quick firing guns from the gunboat Pampanga and examination of the dead showed that many of the Moros had as many as fifty wounds. Of the 1,000 Moros who opened the battle two days previously, only six men survived the carnage."

Hurley concluded: "By no stretch of the imagination could Bud Dajo be termed a 'battle.' Certainly the engaging of 1,000 Moros armed with krises, spears and a few rifles by a force of 800 Americans armed with every modern weapon was not a matter for publicity. The American troops stormed a high mountain peak crowned by fortifications to kill 1000 Moros with a loss to themselves of twenty one killed and seventy three wounded! The casualty reflects the unequal nature of the battle."

When news of the March 7, 1906 Bud Dajo Massacre reached the US, author Mark Twain surmised about President Teddy Roosevelt's reaction to the news: "He knew perfectly well that to pen nine hundred helpless and weaponless savages in a hole like rats in a trap and massacre them in detail from a safe position on the heights above, was no brilliant feat of arms - and would not have been a brilliant feat of arms even if Christian America, represented by its salaried soldiers, had shot them down with Bibles and the Golden Rule, instead of bullets. He knew perfectly well that our uniformed assassins had not upheld the honor of the American flag, they had dishonored it."

Moorfield Storey, the first president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), condemned the massacre and declared: "The spirit which slaughters brown men in Jolo is the spirit which lynches black men in the South."

Many people believed at the time that the Bud Dajo Massacre would never be forgotten. Apparently, they were wrong.

Only one event in the US is scheduled to mark the centennial of this event. It will be held at the Veterans War Memorial in San Francisco at 400 Van Ness Avenue on Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 3 PM, co-sponsored by Bataan Post of the American Legion and the Dewey Memorial Revision Plaque Committee. Ironically or fittingly, it will be held next door to the museum which houses the Gen. Pershing Exhibit featuring the guns, cannons, bayonets and swords used in the Moro Campaigns. The public is invited. #