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the constabulary was premature, and that after the war proper ended,
the last smouldering embers of armed and organized insurrection should
have been stamped out, and the brigandage which had existed in the
Philippines for centuries should have been dealt with, by the United
States army rather than by the constabulary.

Even if it were true that the army could have rendered more effective
service to this end than could have been expected at the outset from
a newly organized body of Filipino soldiers, the argument against the
organization and use of the constabulary would in my opinion have
been by no means conclusive. It is our declared policy to prepare
the Filipinos to establish and maintain a stable government of their
own. The proper exercise of police powers is obviously necessary to
such an end.

From the outset we have sacrificed efficiency in order that our wards
might gain practical experience, and might demonstrate their ability,
or lack of ability, to perform necessary governmental functions. Does
any one cognizant of the situation doubt for a moment that provincial
and municipal affairs in the Philippine Islands would to-day be more
efficiently administered if provincial and municipal officers were
appointed instead of being elected? Is any one so foolish as to imagine
that the sanitary regeneration of the islands would not have progressed
much more rapidly had highly trained American health officers been used
in place of many of the badly educated and comparatively inexperienced
Filipino physicians whose services have been utilized?

Nevertheless, in the concrete case under discussion I dissent from
the claim that more satisfactory results could have been obtained by
the use of American troops.

The army had long been supreme in the Philippines. Every function of
government had been performed by its officers and men, if performed at
all. Our troops had been combating an elusive and cruel enemy. If they
were human it is to be presumed that they still harbored animosities,
born of these conditions, toward the people with whom they had
so recently been fighting. Had the work of pacification been then
turned over to them it would have meant that often in the localities
in which they had been fighting, and in dealing with the men to whom
they had very recently been actively opposed in armed conflict, they
would have been called upon to perform tasks and to entertain feelings
radically different from those of the preceding two or three years.

A detachment, marching through Leyte, found an American who had
disappeared a short time before crucified, head down. His abdominal
wall had been carefully opened so that his intestines might hang down
in his face.

Another American prisoner, found on the same trip, had been buried in
the ground with only his head projecting. His mouth had been propped
open with a stick, a trail of sugar laid to it through the forest,
and a handful thrown into it.

Millions of ants had done the rest.

Officers and men who saw such things were thereby fitted for war,
rather than for ordinary police duty.

The truth is that they had seen so many of them that they continued to
see them in imagination when they no longer existed. I well remember
when a general officer, directed by his superior to attend a banquet
at Manila in which Americans and Filipinos joined, came to it wearing
a big revolver!

Long after Manila was quiet I was obliged to get out of my carriage
in the rain and darkness half a dozen times while driving the length
of Calle Real, and "approach to be recognized" by raw "rookies,"
each of whom pointed a loaded rifle at me while I did it. I know
that this did not tend to make me feel peaceable or happy. In my
opinion it was wholly unnecessary, and yet I did not blame the army
for thinking otherwise.

After the war was over, when my private secretary, Mr. James H. LeRoy,
was one day approaching Malolos, he was sternly commanded by a sentry
to halt, the command being emphasized as usual by presenting to his
attention a most unattractive view down the muzzle of a Krag. He was
next ordered to "salute the flag," which he finally discovered with
difficulty in the distance, after being told where to look. The army
way is right and necessary in war, but it makes a lot of bother in
time of peace!

This was not the only reason for failing to make more extensive use
of American soldiers in police duty. A veteran colonel of United
States cavalry who had just read Judge Blount's book was asked what
he thought of the claim therein made that the army should have done
the police and pacification work of the Philippines. His reply was: -

"How long would it take a regiment of Filipinos to catch an
American outlaw in the United States? Impossible!"

Another army officer said: -

"Catching Filipino outlaws with the Army is like catching a
flea in a twenty-acre field with a traction engine."

There is perhaps nothing so demoralizing to regular troops as
employment on police duty which requires them to work singly or in
small squads. Discipline speedily goes to the dogs and instruction
becomes impossible.

Successful prosecution of the work of chasing _ladrones_ in the
Philippines requires a thorough knowledge of local topography and
of local native dialects. Spanish is of use, but only in dealing
with educated Filipinos. A knowledge of the Filipino himself; of his
habits of thought; of his attitude toward the white man; and toward
the _illustrado_, or educated man, of his own race; ability to enter a
town and speedily to determine the relative importance of its leading
citizens, finally centring on the one man, always to be found, who
runs it, whether he holds political office or not, and also to enlist
the sympathy and coöperation of its people; all of these things are
essential to the successful handling of brigandage in the Philippines,
whether such brigandage has, or lacks, political significance.

The following parallel will make clear some of the reasons why it was
determined to use constabulary instead of American soldiers in policing
the Philippines from the time the insurrection officially ended: -

United States Army Philippine Constabulary

Soldier costs per annum $1400. Soldier costs per annum $363.50.
(Authority: Adjutant General
Heistand in 1910.)

American soldiers come from Constabulary soldiers are
America. enlisted in the province
where they are to serve.

Few American soldiers speak All constabulary soldiers
the local dialects. speak local dialects.

Few American soldiers speak All educated constabulary
any Spanish. soldiers speak Spanish.

American soldiers usually have Constabulary soldiers, native to
but a slight knowledge of local the country, know the geography
geography and topography. and topography of their respective

Few American soldiers have had The Filipino soldier certainly
enough contact with Filipinos knows his own kind better than
to understand them. the American does.

The American soldier uses a The constabulary soldier is
ration of certain fixed components rationed in cash and buys the
imported over sea. (A ration is food of the country where he
the day's allowance of food for happens to be.
one soldier.)

The American ration costs The constabulary cash ration is
24.3 cents United States currency 10.5 cents United States currency.
(exclusive of cost of (No freight or handling charges.)
transportation and handling). The constabulary soldier knows not
Fresh meat requiring ice to keep ice. His food grows in the islands.
it is a principal part of the He buys it on the ground and needs
American ration. To supply it no transportation to bring it to him.
requires a regular system of
transport from the United States
to Manila and from thence to local
ports, and wagon transportation
from ports to inland stations.

The American soldier is at no The idea of enlisting the sympathy
pains to enlist the sympathy and and coöperation of the local
coöperation of the people; and population is the strongest tenet
his methods of discipline habits in the constabulary creed.
of life, etc., make it practically
impossible for him to gain them.

Before preparing the foregoing statement relative to the reasons for
using Philippine constabulary soldiers instead of soldiers of the
United States army for police work during the period in question, I
asked Colonel J. G. Harbord, assistant director of the constabulary,
who has served with that body nine years, has been its acting director
and is an officer of the United States army, to give me a memorandum
on the subject. It is only fair to him to say that I have not only
followed very closely the line of argument embodied in the memorandum
which he was good enough to prepare for me, but have in many instances
used his very words. The parallel columns are his.

The constabulary soldier, thoroughly familiar with the topography
of the country in which he operates; speaking the local dialect and
acquainted with the persons most likely to be able and willing to
furnish accurate information; familiar with the characteristics of
his own people; able to live off the country and keep well, is under
all ordinary circumstances a more efficient and vastly less expensive
police officer than the American soldier, no matter how brave and
energetic the latter may be. Furthermore, his activities are much
less likely to arouse animosity.

Incidentally, the army is pretty consistently unwilling to take the
field unless the constitutional guarantees are temporarily suspended,
and it particularly objects to writs of habeas corpus. The suspension
of such guarantees is obviously undesirable unless really very

Let us now consider some of the specific instances of alleged
inefficiency of the constabulary in suppressing public disorder,
cited by Blount.

On page 403 of his book he says, speaking of Governor Taft and disorder
in the province of Albay which arose in 1902-1903: -

"He did not want to order out the military again if he could
help it, and this relegated him to his native municipal police
and constabulary, experimental outfits of doubtful loyalty,
and, at best, wholly inadequate, as it afterwards turned out,
for the maintenance of public order and for affording to
the peaceably inclined people that sort of security for life
and property, and that protection against semi-political as
well as unmitigated brigandage, which would comport with the
dignity of this nation."

The facts as to these disorders are briefly as follows: -

In 1902 an outlaw in Tayabas Province who made his living by
organizing political conspiracies and collecting contributions in
the name of patriotism, who was known as José Roldan when operating
in adjoining provinces, but had an alias in Tayabas, found his life
made so uncomfortable by the constabulary of that province that he
transferred his operations to Albay. There he affiliated himself
with a few ex-Insurgent officers who had turned outlaws instead
of surrendering, and with oath violators, and began the same kind
of political operations which he had carried out in Tayabas, the
principal feature of his work being the collection of "contributions."

The troubles in Albay were encouraged by wealthy Filipinos who saw in
them a probable opportunity to acquire valuable hemp lands at bottom
prices, for people dependent on their hemp fields, if prevented from
working them, might in the end be forced to sell them. Roldan soon
lost standing with his new organization because it was found that he
was using for his personal benefit the money which he collected.

About this time one Simeon Ola joined his organization. Ola was
a native of Albay, where he had been an Insurgent major under the
command of the Tagálog general, Belarmino. His temporary rank had
gone to his head, and he is reported to have shown considerable
severity and hauteur in his treatment of his former neighbours
in Guinobatan, to which place he had returned at the close of the
insurrection. Meanwhile, a wealthy Chinese _mestizo_ named Don Circilio
Jaucian, on whom Ola, during his brief career as an Insurgent officer,
had laid a heavy hand, had become _presidente_ of the town.

Smarting under the indignities which he had suffered, Jaucian made it
very uncomfortable for the former major, and in ways well understood
in Malay countries brought it home to the latter that their positions
had been reversed. Ola's house was mysteriously burned, and his life
in Guinobatan was made so unbearable that he took to the hills.

Ola had held higher military rank than had any of his outlaw
associates, and he became their dominating spirit. He had no grievance
against the Americans, but took every opportunity to avenge himself
on the _caciques_ of Guinobatan, his native town.

Three assistant chiefs of constabulary, Garwood, Baker and Bandholtz,
were successively sent to Albay to deal with this situation. Baker
and Bandholtz were regular army officers. The latter ended the
disturbances, employing first and last some twelve companies of
Philippine scouts, armed, officered, paid, equipped and disciplined
as are the regular soldiers of the United States army, and a similar
number of constabulary soldiers. Eleven stations in the restricted
field of operations of this outlaw were occupied by scouts. There were
few armed conflicts in force between Ola's men and these troops. In
fact, it was only with the greatest difficulty that this band, which
from time to time dissolved into the population only to reappear
again, could be located even by the native soldiers. It would have
been impracticable successfully to use American troops for such work.

Referring to the statement made by Blount [492] that Vice-Governor
Wright made a visit to Albay in 1903 in the interest "of the
peace-at-any-price policy that the Manila Government was bent on,"
and the implication that he went there to conduct peace negotiations,
General Bandholtz, who suppressed outlawry in Albay, has said that
Vice-Governor Wright and Commissioner Pardo de Tavera came there
at his request to look into conditions with reference to certain
allegations which had been made.

Colonel Bandholtz and the then chief of constabulary, General Allen,
were supported by the civil governor and the commission in their
recommendations that no terms should be made with the outlaws. The
following statement occurs in a letter from General Bandholtz dated
September 21, 1903: -

"No one is more anxious to terminate this business than I am,
nevertheless I think it would be a mistake to offer any such
inducements, and that more lasting benefits would result by
hammering away as we have been doing."

And General Allen said in an indorsement to the Philippine
Commission: -

"... in my opinion the judgment of Colonel Bandholtz in
matters connected with the pacification of Albay should
receive favourable consideration. Halfway measures are always
misinterpreted and used to the detriment of the Government
among the ignorant followers of the outlaws."

These views prevailed.

Blount has claimed that the death rate in the Albay jail at this
time was very excessive, and cites it as an instance of the result
of American maladministration.

Assuming that his tabulation [493] of the dead who died in the Albay
jail between May 30 and September, 1903, amounting to 120, is correct,
the following statements should be made: -

Only recently has it been demonstrated that beri-beri is due to the
use of polished rice, which was up to the time of this discovery
regarded as far superior to unpolished rice as an article of food,
and is still much better liked by the Filipinos than is the unpolished
article. Many of these deaths were from beri-beri, and were due to
a misguided effort to give the prisoners the best possible food.

Cholera was raging in the province of Albay throughout the period
in question, and the people outside of the jail suffered no less
than did those within it. The same is true of malarial infection. In
other words, conditions inside the jail were quite similar to those
then prevailing outside, except that the prisoners got polished rice
which was given them with the best intentions in the world, and was
by them considered a superior article of food.

With the present knowledge of the methods of dissemination of
Asiatic cholera gained as a result of the American occupation of
the Philippines, we should probably be able to exclude it from a
jail under such circumstances, as the part played by "germ carriers"
who show no outward manifestations of infection is now understood,
but it was not then dreamed of. One of the greatest reforms effected
by Americans in the Philippines is the sanitation of the jails and
penitentiaries, and we cannot be fairly blamed for not knowing in
1903 what nobody then knew.

The troubles in Albay ended with the surrender of Ola on September
25, 1903. Blount gives the impression that he had a knowledge of them
which was gained by personal observation. He arrived in the province
in the middle of November, seven weeks after normal conditions had
been reëstablished.

On October 5, 1903, General Bandholtz telegraphed with reference to
the final surrender of Ola's band: -

"The towns are splitting themselves wide open celebrating
pacification and Ramon Santos (later elected governor) is
going to give a record-breaking fiesta at Ligao. Everybody
invited. Scouts and Constabulary have done superb work."

Blount makes much of disorders in Samar and Leyte. Let us consider
the facts.

In all countries feuds between highlanders and lowlanders have been
common. Although the inhabitants of the hills and those of the lowlands
in the two islands under discussion are probably of identical blood
and origin, they long since became separated in thought and feeling,
and grew to be mutually antagonistic. The ignorant people of the
interior have always been oppressed by their supposedly more highly
civilized brethren living on or near the coast.

The killing of Otoy by the constabulary in 1911 marked the passing
of the last of a series of mountain chiefs who had exercised a very
powerful influence over the hill people and had claimed for themselves
supernatural powers.

Manila hemp is the principal product upon which these mountaineers
depend in bartering for cloth and other supplies. The cleaning of
hemp involves very severe exertion, and when it is cleaned it must
usually, in Samar, be carried to the seashore on the backs of the
men who raise it. Under the most favourable circumstances, it may be
transported thither in small _bancas_ [494] down the streams.

The lowland people of Samar and Leyte had long been holding up the
hill people when they brought in their hemp for sale in precisely the
way that Filipinos in other islands are accustomed to hold up members
of the non-Christian tribes. They played the part of middlemen,
purchasing the hemp of the ignorant hill people at low prices and
often reselling it, without giving it even a day's storage, at a very
much higher figure. This system was carried so far that conditions
became unbearable and finally resulted in so-called _pulájanism_
which began in the year 1904.

The term _pulájan_ is derived from a native word meaning "red" and
was given to the mountain people because in their attacks upon the
lowlanders they wore, as a distinguishing mark, red trousers or a
dash of red colour elsewhere about their sparse clothing. They raided
coast towns and did immense damage before they were finally brought
under control. It should be remembered that these conditions were
allowed to arise by a Filipino provincial governor, and by Filipino
municipal officials. It is altogether probable that a good American
governor would have prevented them, but as it was, neither their cause
nor their importance were understood at the outset. The _pulájan_
movement was directed primarily against Filipinos.

The first outbreak occurred on July 10, 1904, in the Gandara River
valley where a settlement of the lowlanders was burned and some of its
inhabitants were killed. Eventually disorder spread to many places on
the coast, and one scout garrison of a single company was surprised
and overwhelmed by superior numbers. Officers and men were massacred
and their rifles taken.

In point of area Samar is the third island in the Philippines. In
its interior are many rugged peaks and heavily forested mountains. It
was here that a detachment of United States marines under the command
of Major Waller, while attempting to cross the island, were lost for
nearly two weeks, going without food for days and enduring terrible

At the time in question there were not five miles of road on the
island passable for a vehicle, nor were there trails through the
mountains over which horses could be ridden. The only interior lines
of communication were a few footpaths over which the natives were
accustomed to make their way from the mountains to the coast.

Troops have perhaps never attempted a campaign in a country more
difficult than the interior of Samar. The traditional needle in the
haystack would be easy to find compared with an outlaw, or band of
outlaws, in such a rugged wilderness.

Upon the outbreak of trouble troops were hurried to Samar, and by
December, 1904, according to Blount himself, there were some 1800
native soldiers on the island who were left free for active operations
in the field by the garrisoning of various coast towns with sixteen
companies of United States infantry.

If the nature of the feuds between the Samar lowlanders and highlanders
had then been better understood, the ensuing troubles, which were
more or less continuous for nearly two years, might perhaps have
been avoided. As soon as it became evident that the situation was
such as to demand the use of the army it was employed to supplement
the operations of the constabulary.

About the time that trouble ended in Samar it began in Leyte. There
was no real connection between the disorders in the two islands. No
leader on either island is known to have communicated with any leader
on the other; no fanatical follower ever left Samar for Leyte or
Leyte for Samar so far as we are informed.

For convenience of administration the two islands were grouped in a
single command after the army was requested to take over the handling
of the disturbances there, in coöperation with the constabulary. The
trouble ended in 1907 and both islands have remained quiet ever
since. The same causes would again produce the same results now or
at any time in the future, and they would be then, as in the past,
the outcome of the oppression of the weak by the strong and without
other political significance. Under a good government they should
never recur.

Many circumstances which did not exist in 1902 and 1904 made it
feasible to use the army in Samar and Leyte during 1905 and 1906. The
high officers who had exercised such sweeping powers during the
insurrection had meanwhile given way to other commanders. Indeed,
a practically new Philippine army had come into existence. The
policy of the insular government as to the treatment of individual
Filipinos had been recognized and indorsed by Americans generally,
but many of the objections to the use of the troops, including the
heavy expense involved, still existed and I affirm without fear of
successful contradiction that had it been possible to place in Samar
and Leyte a number of constabulary soldiers equal to that of the
scouts and American troops actually employed, disorder would have
been terminated much more quickly and at very greatly less cost.

With the final breaking up of organized brigandage in 1905 law and
order may be said to have been established throughout the islands. It
has since been the business of the constabulary to maintain it. The
value of the coöperation of the law-abiding portion of the population
has been fully recognized. The newly appointed constabulary officer
has impressed upon him the necessity of manifesting an interest in the
people with whom he comes in contact; of cultivating the acquaintance
of Filipinos of all social grades, and of assisting to settle their

Online LibraryDean C. WorcesterThe Philippines: Past and Present (Volume 1 of 2) → online text (page 30 of 43)