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Filipinos Object to "Reconcentration"

During its invasion of the Philippines, the United States ordered Filipinos to be concentrated or restricted in "protected" villages. Anyone not in a village would be considered an enemy insurgent. Although the war was officially declared over in 1902, resistance to the U.S. occupation continued for another decade. During periods of insurgent violence, the U.S. occupying forces reinstituted the policy of restricting Philippine residents to specified areas.

We have insisted on calling the attention of the government to the alleged cruel proceedings as they took place. At the end of last May, in consequence of the reconcentration which the Philippine commission authorized the constabulary to establish, or which it took leave to enforce, not only in Cavite, but also in the other provinces, we gave the matter a thorough examination. The civil commission has just approved a law giving the governor-general power to order reconcentration in the barrios of Cavite and wherever else it should be necessary. Our arguments against this stringent measure have had no influence with the government, and did not produce any amelioration of the conditions.

It seems that the magnanimous spirit which in the American Congress cried out so indignantly against the Weylerian proceedings in Cuba is unconcerned about conditions in the Philippines. The ordinance of the civil commission has fallen like a pestilence on the unfortunate people of Cavite. It is only natural that the present state of affairs should fill us with the gravest apprehension. We say frankly and with deep sorrow that this measure which causes so much suffering is not justified by the good at which it claims to aim. There are created by it feelings of animosity and rancor that will not be forgotten for many years,-- perhaps never. This same view of the situation was taken by a famous American, the son of Gen. Grant.

Does America desire to establish herself in the hearts of the Filipinos? Does she not at least desire to refrain from creating resentment in their minds? Then let her rectify these deeds! "Whoever sows hatred will reap wrath and hatred twofold." We are not ignorant of the object of this rigorous campaign to suppress the outlaws, but the people, especially the lower classes, do not reason, they can only feel, and what affects them are ruin, hunger and nakedness. We can only trust that the authority put into the hands of the governor-general may lie dormant, and especially that he will never employ it to distress the unfortunate townspeople of Cavite..

Source | "Filipino Opinion of Reconstruction," El Renacimiento, 30 June 1905.
Creator | El Renacimiento
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | El Renacimiento, “Filipinos Object to "Reconcentration",” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed May 20, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/907.

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