Thursday, January 22, 2015

CPP/Ang Bayan: The US war of aggression in Mindanao (1899-1913)

Propaganda article from the English language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Jan 21): The US war of aggression in Mindanao (1899-1913)

[Ang Bayan is reprinting this article, which first appeared in its March 2002 issue. It is the fourth in a series of articles reminding readers of the heinous crimes perpetrated by US troops in the Philippines. The first three articles were about US crimes under the Military Bases Agreement and the Visiting Forces Agreement, and in Luzon and the Visayas during the US war of aggression.]

To be able to concentrate their forces on Luzon and the Visayas, the American colonialists deceived the Sultan of Sulu into signing the Bates Agreement of 1899 that declared US sovereignty over the island of Jolo. With the defeat of major sections of revolutionary resistance in Luzon, the US unilaterally scrapped the agreement in 1904 and declared total war on Mindanao.

Moro warriors and the people of Mindanao gallantly resisted the American troops. Because of their superiority in both the number and quality of their weaponry, the American soldiers were able to put down the resistance, but not before suffering major losses themselves. In retaliation, entire communities were massacred by US troops. Among the most infamous of these incidents are the following:

Bud Dajo Massacre. Up to 900 persons died in a three-day attack by the Americans on the entrance to Bud Dajo volcano in Jolo where Tausug resistance fighters had entrenched themselves from March 5-7, 1906. Most of the dead, including children and women, were riddled with bullets. According to someone who saw the bodies, many of them were hit more than 50 times. The Tausug, who were armed only with krises, spears and a few rifles, were no match to the US troops who were supported by cannons from their navy. Gen. Leonard Wood instructed the two battalions under his command to kill or capture the Tausug. (General Wood became governor-general of the Philippines from 1921-1927). The American troops were recorded to have suffered 21 dead and 75 wounded.

Bud Bagsak Massacre. Residents of Lati, Jolo entrenched themselves from January to June 1913 in formidable fortresses in the mountains of Jolo. US troops launched a series of attacks on the fortresses until they reached the entrenchment at Mt. Bagsak. On June 11, 1913, Gen. John Pershing ordered an attack on the fortress. Up to 2,000 persons died, including 196 women and 340 children. Although the incident was exposed in the media and assailed by the American people, Pershing was never punished.

Massacre in Talipao. Residents of Talipao, Jolo opposed paying taxes (such as the cedula tax and toll fees for the use of roads) to the US. They entrenched themselves at Mt. Talipao and on August 13, 1913, were attacked and defeated by American troops. This being the last major act of resistance by the Moro, the US declared an end to its war on Mindanao.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

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