Sunday, November 28, 2010

General Arthur MacArthur on Apolinario Mabini 1902

Excerpts from Gen. Arthur MacArthurs testimony before the 1902 Lodge Committee in regards to incidents in the Philippines. Jan 31, 1902 - June 28, 1902.

During his examination before the Senate Investigating Committee, Major-General MacArthur made the following statement' in answer to the questions of the Committee:
"Senator Rawlins. -- Tell us about Mabini.
"General MacArthur. -- Mabini is a highly educated young man who, unfortunately, is paralyzed. He has a classical education, a very flexible, imaginative mind, and Mabini's views were more comprehensive than any of the Filipinos that I have met. His idea was a dream of a Malay confederacy. Not the Luzon or the Philippine Archipelago, but I mean of that blood. He is a dreamy man, but a very firm character and of very high accomplishments. As I said, unfortunately, he is paralyzed. He is a young man, and would undoubtedly be of great use in the future of those islands if it were not for his affliction.
"The Chairman. -- Is he a full-blooded Filipino?
"General MacArthur. -- I should say that Mabini has quite a blend of the Chinese.
"The Chairman. -- I was told that he was a Chinese mestizo.
"Senator Patterson. -- Where is he?
"General MacArthur. -- In Guam.
"Senator Patterson. -- How did he come to be there?
"General MacArthur. -- I sent him there.
"Senator Patterson. -- Why?
"General MacArthur. -- Because of his disposition to agitate.
"Senator Patterson. -- For the independence of his country?
"General MacArthur. -- An agitator.
"Senator Patterson. -- What was he agitating for?
"General MacArthur. -- I will illustrate it--
"Senator Patterson. -- Can you not tell me what he was agitating for?
"General MacArthur. -- I will tell you in a minute.
"Senator Patterson. -- Yes.
"General MacArthur. -- He was a prisoner. We had a local prison there that was known as the Anda Street station. That was the Bastille of Manila. I released Mabini from that prison. I told him, 'Mabini, you are released without any restrictions whatever. I simply rely upon your sense of obligation as a gentleman to abstain from any overt acts against the United States.'
"Senator Patterson. -- Now, what did you mean by that, General?
"General MacArthur. -- Well, I will explain. An occupied town brings the population thereof under the control of the occupying force or army. People are obliged to recognize the law as announced by the commanding general of the forces. A man who commits an overt act commits 'war treason,' as we call it technically, or 'war rebellion'; that is to say, they are war traitors or they are war rebels. When Mabini accepted his liberty he made to me no pledge at all. I did not ask it; I simply made that remark incidentally. Therefore, he committed war treason.
"Senator Patterson. -- What did he do?
"General MacArthur. -- He did many things.
"Senator Patterson. -- Let us have it.
"General MacArthur. -- He was in constant correspondence with the leaders in the field, and he was instigating continued resistance. He was strengthening the weak and encouraging the hopeless.
"Senator Patterson. -- For what?
"General MacArthur. -- For the success of the insurrection.
"Senator Patterson. -- The independence of the Philippine Islands?
"General MacArthur. -- The success of the insurrection. Now, as long as Mabini was a prisoner, of course he was at liberty to practice any stratagem by which he could reach his fellow-countrymen for the purposes mentioned. The moment he accepted his freedom he was under the same conditions that all other inhabitants are in an occupied place. They are bound at their peril to make no overt act, either by help or assistance, to the enemy in the field. Mabini did that; he did it to a very great extent, and I told him when I sent him away, I said, 'Mabini, this is not a punishment; I simply have to segregate you for the time being, so that your usefulness as an adversary will be neutralized. You are too powerful a man here, unless you will submit to self-control and stop doing this.' He submitted very willingly, and I think he is enjoying himself in Guam as much as a man can who is not in his own home.
"Senator Patterson. -- As I understand it -- if I am wrong correct me -- Mabini has a very strong conviction that the Filipino people should be a free and independent people, has he not?
"General MacArthur. -- I had a conversation with Mabini one day that may illustrate, somewhat, that idea. It comes right to your point, Senator. Mabini was expatiating to me on the desire of himself for independence. He said independence was absolutely essential to good government. 'Now,' said I, 'Mabini, you have a confusion of ideas, I think. Tell me what government on earth you think is the worst.' Well, he mentioned a number, which I will not repeat. Said I, 'Mabini, they are all independent nations. A nation to be entirely bad has to be absolutely independent, and,' said I, 'your desire is for personal liberty such as is enjoyed under the American Constitution. The independence of a nation does not insure good government, because we have too many examples of independent government which are not good.' Said he, 'That is very true, that precise idea had never entered into my head.' 'Reflect on it,' said I. 'It is worth some reflection, because you might miss every object and every aspiration here if you were independent. You want personal liberty, security of life and property, the privilege of pursuing your own methods, and you might not attain any of those ends if you were independent. You can look around the world at present, and go back into the history of the past, and find how much independent nations have missed attaining those ends, and the possibility is that you might miss it in precisely the same way.' Said he, 'That is a new idea, and I will think it out.' What he accomplished in thinking it out I do not know, because I never had another conversation on the point with him.
"Senator Patterson. -- Still, you found that he was strongly imbued with the desire of the independence of his country, for personal liberty, for protection to person and protection to property under the government of the Filipinos themselves; that is what you found?
"General MacArthur. -- That was his desire and aspiration, and I pointed out to him how much he might miss his purpose if he could bring the islands into absolute independence by one stroke of the pen."

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