The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2)
Dean C. Worcester
Part 7 out of 10
of the members are Filipinos and five are Americans. 
The Philippine Assembly is composed of eighty-one elected members,
all of whom are Filipinos. They represent thirty-four of the
thirty-nine provinces into which the archipelago is divided. The two
houses of the legislature have equal powers. Neither has any special
privilege in the matter of initiating legislation, and affirmative
action by both is required in order to pass it. The Moro Province,
the Mountain Province and the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Agusan
are not represented in the assembly, nor are they subject to the
jurisdiction of the Philippine Legislature. The Philippine Commission
alone has legislative jurisdiction over them, their population being
largely composed of Moros, or members of other non-Christian tribes.
The provinces may be divided into regularly organized provinces
governed under the provincial government act, and specially organized
provinces, which include the Moro Province, the Mountain Province
and the provinces of Mindoro, Palawan, Agusan and Nueva Vizcaya, of
which the first is governed under a special law and the remaining four
are governed under a different one known as "The Special Provincial
Regularly organized provinces have a governor and a treasurer. The
governor is elected, and the treasurer is appointed by the
governor-general with the approval of the commission. These two
officials, with another known as the third member, constitute
a provincial board. The third member is elected. As the Filipinos
usually elect to office men from among their own people, practically
all of the elective provincial officers are Filipinos, as are ten
of the appointive officers, it having been the policy to appoint
Filipinos whenever possible.
Regularly organized provinces are divided into municipalities
which elect their own officers and control their own affairs for
the most part. Provincial treasurers have intervention in municipal
expenditures, which are approved in advance for each fiscal year,
and municipal officers may be removed for misconduct by the
All officers of the six special government provinces are appointed
by the governor-general with the approval of the commission.
There are four regularly organized municipalities in these provinces,
but the remainder of their territory is divided into townships,
which elect their own officers, except their secretary-treasurers,
who are appointed by the provincial governor; and into _rancherias_ or
settlements, with all of their officials appointed by the provincial
governor. This latter form of local government is confined to the
more primitive wild people.
The judiciary is independent. The details of its organization will
be found in Chapter XV.
Three of the seven justices of the supreme court, including the chief
justice, are Filipinos, as are approximately half of the judges of
the courts of first instance and practically all justices of the peace.
At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913, 71 per cent
of the employees in the classified civil service of the islands were
Filipinos painstakingly trained for the positions to which they had
Prior to the American occupation, the Filipinos had practically no
intervention in the government of their country.
The changes introduced in the twelve years since the establishment
of civil government began are of a sweeping and radical nature. For
reasons hereinafter fully set forth, I believe they have been somewhat
too sweeping, and too radical. At all events, it is now certainly the
part of wisdom carefully to analyze their results before going further.
I deem the subject of the establishment of civil governmental control
over the non-Christian tribes of the Philippines worthy of special
The Philippine Civil Service
Before the Philippine Commission left Washington, a clear understanding
was reached with the President and secretary of war to the effect that
no political appointee whatsoever should under any circumstances be
forced upon us. After arrival at Manila early attention was given to
the drafting of a civil service act by Mr. Taft, who was fortunate in
having the assistance of Mr. Frank M. Kiggins, chief of the examining
division of the United States Civil Service Commission. The passage
of this act and its strict enforcement led to very favourable comment
in the United States. In his first annual message President Roosevelt
"It is important to have this system obtain at home, but it is
even more important to have it rigidly applied in our insular
"The merit system is simply one method of securing honest and
efficient administration of the government, and in the long run the
sole justification of any type of government lies in its proving
itself both honest and efficient."
Secretary Root also gave us his fullest support, calling attention to
the fact that the law which we had passed was of a very advanced type,
and that under such circumstances as confronted us, the securing of
the best men available should outweigh, and indeed practically exclude,
all other considerations.
Our action met with the unqualified approval of organizations
which especially interest themselves in the maintenance of clean
and efficient public service, such as the Cambridge (Massachusetts)
Civil Service Reform Association  and the National Civil Service
Reform League, whose committee on civil service in dependencies spoke
in very high terms of existing conditions in the Philippines. 
In its first annual report the Civil Service Board called attention
to some of the more important provisions of the Act in the following
"Competitive examinations must, whenever practicable, be held for
original entrance to the service, and promotions of employees
must also be based upon competitive examinations, in which the
previous experience and efficiency of employees shall be given due
consideration. The examinations for entrance to the service must be
held in the United States and in the Philippine Islands, and applicants
are required to be tested in both English and Spanish.
"Disloyalty to the United States of America as the supreme authority
in the Islands is made a complete disqualification for holding office,
and every applicant for admission to the service must, before being
admitted to examination, take the oath of loyalty. By an amendment
to the Civil Service Act on January 26, 1901, it is further declared
that all persons in arms against the authority of the United States
in the Philippine Islands, and all persons aiding or abetting them,
on the first day of April, 1901, shall be ineligible to hold office.
"A minimum age limit of eighteen years and a maximum age limit of
forty years are fixed for those who enter the lowest grades in the
service. This avoids the difficulty and embarrassment that would result
from the admission of men advanced in years to positions where the
duties can be better performed by younger and more energetic persons.
"The Board is given authority to investigate matters relative to the
enforcement of the act and the rules, and is empowered to administer
oaths, to summon witnesses, and to require the production of office
books and records in making such investigations. Without such a
provision it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to conduct
satisfactory investigations, but with the authority conferred by the
act, the Board can make a rigid inquiry into the facts of every case
arising under the act and the rules.
"The act provides for the ultimate classification of all positions
in the service, from laborers to heads of bureaus and offices, and
the Board may, in its discretion, determine the efficiency of those
now in the service as well as those who may enter hereafter through
its examinations. This authority will enable the Board to ascertain
the fitness of all employees so that only the most competent will be
retained in the service.
"As a check upon the illegal payment of salaries the act provides that
whenever the Board finds that a person has been appointed in violation
of its provisions or of the rules of the Board, and so certifies to
the disbursing and auditing officers, such payments shall be illegal,
and if payment is continued the disbursing officer shall not receive
credit for the same and the auditing officer who authorizes the payment
shall be liable on his official bond for the loss to the government."
In its third annual report the Civil Service Board mentioned the
following among its distinctive duties:--
"All appointments to classified positions are required to be made on a
form prescribed by the Board, and the Board's attestation is required
in each case before the Civil Governor or Secretary of Department
will approve the appointment and before the disbursing officer will
pay any salary.
"The papers in all cases of reduction, removal and enforced resignation
are required to be submitted to the Board for recommendation before
transmission to the Civil Governor or Secretary of Department for
"The Board is required to keep a record of all unclassified as well
as classified employees in the Philippine civil service, showing
among other things date of appointment, original position and salary,
place of employment, all changes in status and grade, and all accrued
and sick leave granted.
"From its service records the Board is required to compile annually,
for publication on January 1, a roster of the officers and employees
under the Philippine Government.
"Applications from employees, classified and unclassified, for accrued
and sick leave for more than two days must be made on a form prescribed
by the Board and forwarded to it for verification of service record
and previous leave granted and for recommendation before final action
is taken by the Civil Governor or Secretary of Department."
These extracts from official reports clearly show that the act was
indeed of a very advanced type, and if honestly enforced would of
necessity lead to the establishment and maintenance of "an efficient
and honest civil service," for which purpose it was enacted.
In 1905 the insular government dispensed with boards as administrative
agencies, and in accordance with this general policy, a bureau of
civil service with a director at its head was substituted for the
Civil Service Board, thus securing greater administrative efficiency
and increased economy.
At first the Civil Service Act applied to comparatively few positions,
as only a few bureaus and offices had been created, but as the
government was organized and grew, the different bureaus and offices
were placed in the classified service, the acts organizing them leaving
in the unclassified service positions to which in the judgment of
the commission the examination requirements of the act should not
apply. Ultimately these requirements were made applicable to the
treasurers of all municipalities and to all positions, including
teachers, in the executive and judicial branches of the central
government, the provincial governments, and the governments of the
cities of Manila and Baguio, except a few specifically excepted by
law, which for the most part are unclassified or exempt in almost
all governments, national, state and municipal, having civil service
laws. None of the states of the Union has such a widely extended
classification of its civil service.
With the exception of the positions specifically placed in
the unclassified service by law and of appointments made by the
Philippine Commission, all positions in the Philippine civil service
are classified and must be filled by appointees who have passed civil
service examinations. Neither the governor-general nor the Bureau of
Civil Service can, by the promulgation of civil service rules, or in
any other manner whatever, transfer any position from the classified
to the unclassified service or except from examination any position
in the classified service. Under most of the civil service laws of
the United States the President or the governor of the state has
authority to transfer positions from the non-classified or exempted
class to the competitive classified civil service or _vice versa_,
these powers sometimes leading to manipulation of the civil service
rules for political purposes.
In the Philippines, where emergencies, such as cholera epidemics,
sometimes lead to the employment of large bodies of temporary
employees without examination, when the emergency has passed the
temporary employees have always been discharged; and no employee
has ever received classification without examination on account of
temporary service. This is in marked contrast to the practice in the
United States, where large bodies of employees taken on for temporary
service due to emergencies, such as the war with Spain, are not
infrequently blanketed into the classified service without examination.
In its last annual report the board recommended that a number of
official positions in the unclassified service be placed in the
classified service, and gave as a reason therefor that such action
would "add to the attractiveness of the classified service by
increasing the opportunities therein for promotion to responsible
positions." This recommendation was adopted by providing that all
vacancies in the positions of heads and assistant heads of bureaus or
offices and of superintendents shall be filled by promotion, with or
without examination, in the discretion of the civil governor or proper
head of a department, of persons in the classified civil service,
if competent persons are found therein.
This provision is an important and distinguishing feature of the
Philippine Civil Service Act. The federal civil service has none
comparable with it. It is of special value in that it induces young
men of exceptional ability and training to enter the lower grades,
for they have the certainty that faithful and efficient work will in
the end earn for them the highest positions.
On February 25, 1909, the director of civil service made the following
statement with respect to the observance of the law:--
"A careful study of Act 5 and all acts amendatory thereof will
show that there has been no change in the policy adopted by the
Commission at the outset to extend the classified service as widely
as possible and to fill by promotion all the higher positions so far
as practicable. The provision requiring the higher positions to be
filled by promotion so far as practicable has always been regarded by
the Philippine Commission, by this Bureau, and by others interested in
obtaining the best possible government service in the Philippines as
one of the most important provisions of the Civil Service Act. It has
been faithfully observed by all Governors-General....With the exception
of the positions of Governor-General and Secretaries of Departments,
the Philippine Civil Service Act requires the highest positions in
the executive civil service, namely, chiefs and assistant chiefs of
Bureaus and Offices, to be filled by promotion from the entire service
in all cases except when in the opinion of the appointing power there
is no person competent and available who possesses the qualifications
required, and this provision has been faithfully observed heretofore."
The enforcement of the law by the commission has received the
following commendation from the executive committee of the National
Civil Service Reform League:--
"We have further to note with satisfaction the course of the Philippine
Commission, by which, if it be persevered in, the merit system will be
established in the Islands of that archipelago at least as thoroughly
and consistently as in any department of government, Federal, State,
or Municipal, in the Union. This must be, in any case, regarded as
a gratifying recognition of sound principles of administration on
the part of the Commission, and justifies the hope that, within the
limits of their jurisdiction at least, no repetition of the scandals
of post-bellum days will be tolerated."
Up to the time of the appointment of Governor-General Harrison the
provisions of the Civil Service Act and rules were firmly supported
by all of the governors-general and secretaries of departments,
and the annual reports of the governor-general uniformly expressed
satisfaction with their practical operation. Mr. Taft was always an
enthusiastic supporter of the merit system.
Governor-General Forbes in his inaugural address made the following
"It is necessary that the civil service should be rigidly maintained
and its rules carefully observed. One very distinguished Filipino
has recently been appointed to administrative control of one of the
most important departments of the Government, equal in rank to any
executive position in the Islands with the exception of the Executive
head. In the executive branch of the Government, the Filipinization
of the service must steadily continue. As vacancies occur Filipinos
will be gradually substituted for Americans as rapidly as can be
done without positive detriment to the service. At the same time,
care will be taken to provide a suitable career for honest and capable
Americans who have come out here in good faith. They should know that
during good behavior and efficient performance of their duty they
are secure in their positions, and that when they desire to return to
the United States an effort will be made to place them in the civil
service at home.
"I want no better men than the present officers and employees of
the Government, Americans and Filipinos. They compare favorably with
any set of men I have ever seen both as regards ability and fidelity
Under the operation of the Civil Service Act the proportion of
Filipinos employed has increased from 49 per cent, in 1903, to 71
per cent in 1913, as is shown by the following table:--
Comparison of Percentages of Americans and
Filipinos in the Service
| NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
| Americans | Filipinos
1903 ......... | 51% | 49%
1904 ......... | 49 | 51
1905 ......... | 45 | 55
1906  ... | - | -
1907 ......... | 40 | 60
1908 ......... | 38 | 62
1909 ......... | 38 | 62
1910 ......... | 36 | 64
1911 ......... | 35 | 65
1912 ......... | 31 | 69
1913 ......... | 29 | 71
For the first few years after the establishment of the government
large numbers of Americans were appointed, as there were
comparatively few Filipino candidates with the necessary educational
qualifications. During the last two years, 89 per cent of the persons
appointed in the islands have been Filipinos.
There has been a great increase in the number of Filipinos entering
the civil service examinations in English. Ten years ago 97 per cent
of those examined took their examinations in Spanish, while during
last year 89 per cent of those examined took examinations in English,
the total number so examined being 7755. Almost all appointees
for ordinary clerical work are now Filipinos, but the supply of
bookkeepers, stenographers, civil engineers, physicians, veterinarians,
surveyors, chemists, bacteriologists, agriculturists, horticulturists,
constabulary officers, nurses, electricians, mechanical engineers,
and other scientific employees is still insufficient to meet the
demands of the service. Only one Filipino has passed the stenographer
examination in English since the organization of the government, and it
is necessary each year to bring many American stenographers from the
United States. A few Filipinos pass each year the junior stenographer
examination  and are able to fill some of the positions which
would formerly have required the appointment of Americans.
The salaries paid to executive officials, chiefs of bureaus and
offices, chief clerks, and chiefs of divisions equal in many instances
those paid to officials occupying similar positions in the service
of the United States government.
In the legislative branch the speaker receives $8000 per annum. Members
of the Philippine Commission without portfolios receive $7500 per
annum. Members of the Philippine Assembly receive $15 a day for each
day in which the assembly is in session.
In the executive branch secretaries of departments receive $15,500
per annum each, including $5000 received by them as members of the
Philippine Commission. The executive secretary receives $9000 per
annum. The salaries of other bureau chiefs range from $2500 per annum
The justices of the Philippine Supreme Court receive $10,000 per
annum. Judges of courts of first instance receive from $4500 to $5500.
The following extracts from an article by the chairman of the
Philippine Civil Service Board give information with respect to
salaries in the Philippine Islands, as compared with salaries paid
in surrounding British and Dutch colonies:--
"The salaries paid officials in all branches of the service of
the Straits Settlements are generally lower than those paid in the
Philippine civil service. In this connection, however, it is only
just to state that the population and extent of the territory under
British control, and the expenses of living, are less than in the
Philippines, while the difficulty of the problems to be solved is
not so great. The salaries paid to natives who fill the lower grade
positions in the civil service of the Philippine Islands are three
and four times as great as the salaries paid to natives in similar
classes of work in the civil service of the British Malay colonies.
"A study of the colonial civil service of the Dutch in the islands
of Java and Madura gives us somewhat different results....
"The matter of salaries is peculiarly interesting. The comparison made
above of the compensations received by the high officials in the civil
service of the English colonies and by those in the Philippines does
not hold good when applied to the Dutch in Java. In fact, the salary
of the Governor-General of Java is somewhat remarkable in contrast
with that of the Civil Governor of the Philippines. As is well known,
the latter receives $20,000, while the salary of the Governor-General
of Java amounts to 132,000 gulden or something over $53,000. The
American official is given, in addition, free transportation on all
official investigations and free use of the governor's palace, but
not the cost of maintenance. On the other hand, the Dutch governor
is granted 51,000 gulden (about $21,500) as personal and household
expenses and travel pay.
"The general secretary of the government receives 24,000 gulden
($9648), as compared with the executive secretary of the Philippine
government, whose salary is $7500.  The seven heads of departments
in the Javanese service each receive a like compensation of 24000
gulden. The Raad, or Council, of the Dutch colonial government
is composed of a vice-president and four members--the former
receiving about $14,500, the latter slightly over $11,500 each. In
the Philippine government the executive functions of heads of
departments are exercised by four members of the legislative body,
each of whom receives $10,500 for his executive services and $5000
for his legislative duties. Without going further into detail, the
conclusion is evident that all officials of high rank are much better
paid in the Dutch service. When a comparison is made between the chief
clerks and other office employees of middle grades--not natives--the
salaries are seen to be about the same in the two countries.
"All natives in positions of lower grades, however, in the Philippine
Islands fare better than their Malay brethren, either in the Straits
Settlements or in the East Indies."--(Second Annual Report of the
Philippine Civil Service Board, pp. 60, 61.)
"Difference in salaries for subordinate positions in the British and
Dutch colonial services and the Philippine service are distinctly
in favour of subordinate employees in the Philippine service; only
the higher officials, after long experience, in the British colonial
service receive larger salaries than corresponding officials in the
Philippine service; the leave of absence and other privileges for
the Philippine service are not less liberal than for other colonial
services."--(Report of the Philippine Commission for 1905, p. 74.)
The entrance salaries of Americans brought to the islands are
considerably in excess of the entrance salaries received on appointment
to the civil service in the United States.
The following table shows the minimum entrance salaries given to
Americans appointed in the United States to the United States civil
service, as shown by the manual of examinations of the United States
Civil Service Commission for the fall of 1913, and to Americans
appointed in the United States to the Philippine Civil Service:--
| Philippines | United States
Aid (Surveyor) | $1400 | $ 900
Civil Engineer | 1400 | 1200
Forester, assistant | 1400 | 1200
Scientific Assistant, | |
(Agricultural Inspector) | 1400 | 600
Physician | 1600 | 1320
Printer | 2000 | .50 per hour
Stenographer | 1200 | 700
Trained Nurse | 600 Board, | 600 and laundry
| quarters and laundry |
Teacher | 1000 | 540
Veterinarian | 1600 | 1200
The following cases taken from the official rosters show some
promotions to the higher positions in the service of employees who
entered the lower ranks of the classified service:--
A clerk who entered the service in 1899 at $1800 per annum was
appointed in 1903 an assistant chief of bureau at $3000 per annum and
in 1908 executive secretary at $9000 per annum. A teacher appointed in
1899 at $720 per annum was appointed a chief of an office at $4000 per
annum and in 1912 a judge at $4500 per annum. A teacher who entered
the service in 1901 at $1200 per annum was in 1909 appointed a chief
of a bureau at $6000 per annum. A teacher who entered the service in
1904 at $1000 per annum was appointed in 1911 an assistant chief of
a bureau at $6000 per annum. A clerk who entered the service in 1901
at $1200 per annum was appointed in 1909 an assistant chief of the
executive bureau at $3750 per annum and in 1912 a chief of a bureau
at $6000 per annum. A stenographer who entered the service in 1902
at $1400 per annum was in 1908 appointed an assistant chief of a
bureau at $5000 per annum. A transitman who entered the service in
1905 at $1400 per annum was in 1913 appointed an assistant chief of a
bureau at $4500 per annum. An accountant who entered the service in
1901 at $1800 per annum was in 1907 appointed an assistant chief of
a bureau at $3750 per annum and in 1909 a chief of a bureau at $6000
per annum. A law clerk who entered the service in 1904 at $1800 per
annum was in 1913 appointed judge at $4500 per annum. In no service
anywhere has promotion depended more directly on demonstrated ability,
and in many instances it has been rapid.
Young men living two in a room may obtain room and board in boarding
houses in Manila at a rate as low as $35 per month each. In the Young
Men's Christian Association building, a large reenforced concrete
structure with reading room, gymnasium, and a good restaurant, the
charge for two in a room is $10.25 each. Board costs $27.50, a total of
$37.75. The expenses for clothing in Manila are less than in the United
States, as white clothing is worn the whole year and white duck suits
may be obtained for about $3 each. The expenses for laundry amount
to about $5 a month. The necessity of employing a _muchacho_  is
_nil_, in the case of an unmarried employee who boards. Servants are
far cheaper and better in the Philippines than in the United States.
In a discussion of the salaries paid in the Philippine civil service
the question of the leave allowed should be considered. Classified
employees who receive an annual salary of $1000 or more per annum may
be granted twenty-eight days' leave per annum to cover absences from
duty due to illness or other causes. If not taken during the calendar
year in which it is earned or in January or February of the succeeding
year, it is forfeited. Employees taking vacation leave during the
months of December, January, February and March may take fifty-six
days, corresponding to two years of service, at one time, and may thus
get time to visit Australia, Japan, China, and neighbouring countries.
In addition to vacation leave an employee whose salary is $1000 or
more but less than $1800 per annum is entitled to thirty days' accrued
leave per annum, and an employee whose salary is $1800 per annum or
more is entitled to thirty-five days' accrued leave per annum. Accrued
leave may accumulate for not more than five years of service.
All classified employees are entitled to visit the United States or
foreign countries once in every three years, receiving in addition to
their accrued leave, one year's vacation leave, allowance of actual
travel time at half pay not to exceed sixty days, and return travel
expenses from place of residence in the United States, or from port
of embarkation in a foreign country to Manila, on the completion of
two years of service after date of return. An employee entitled to
thirty-five days' accrued leave per annum who visits the United States
after having rendered three years of service receives a total of two
hundred thirteen days' accrued leave, vacation leave, and half-pay
travel time. If he postpones his visit till he has completed five
years of service, he receives a total of two hundred ninety-one days'
accrued leave, vacation leave and travel time. An employee entitled to
thirty days' accrued leave per annum who visits the United States after
three years of service receives a total of one hundred ninety-four
days' leave and half-pay travel time, and if he postpones his visit
until he has rendered five years of service, he receives a total of
two hundred fifty-nine days' leave and travel time.
It will be seen that these are very liberal allowances. An employee
receiving $1200 at the end of two years of service may spend eight
weeks of vacation leave visiting Japan or other surrounding countries,
and at the end of an additional year's service he may visit his home
in the United States with six and a third months' absence on full and
half pay and with his expenses from his home to Manila payable two
years after his return, and during every three years of his service
he may have the same privileges.
The law also provides that if an employee is wounded or injured in
the performance of duty, he may have a total of six months' leave on
full pay in addition to any accrued leave to his credit.
Employees who have rendered satisfactory service and resign after
three or more years receive in a lump sum all accrued leave due and
thirty days' half salary. For example, an employee who has received
$1800 per annum and has served five years without taking any leave
in excess of the four weeks' vacation leave allowable annually would
draw $1025 were he to resign.
The school sessions amount to forty weeks per annum and the school
vacations to twelve weeks per annum.  Teachers receive an annual
salary and draw full pay during vacations as well as during school
sessions. Every third year they are allowed to visit the United States
or foreign countries with an allowance of sixty days' half-pay travel
time in addition to the ten weeks' long vacation, and on completing
two years of service after return to the islands they are entitled to
their travelling expenses from place of residence in the United States
to Manila or from port of embarkation in a foreign country to Manila.
It is interesting to compare these provisions with the regulations
governing leave of absence in the British colonial service:--
(1) There is no distinction between sick leave and ordinary leave,
the leave of absence on account of sickness being charged against
the ordinary leave allowable.
(2) There are two classes of leave: vacation leave on full pay and
(3) The vacation leave amounts to three months every two years,
and must be taken during the two years, as it does not accumulate.
(4) The half-pay leave amounts to two months for each year of service,
but cannot be taken until after a period of six years' resident service
in the Colony, except in cases of serious indisposition supported by
medical certificate, or of "urgent private affairs," the nature of
which must be stated to the governor. In either case, the governor
and council must be satisfied that the indulgence is indispensable.
Half pay in African and Asiatic colonies may accumulate for twelve
years' service--_i.e._ twenty-four months' half-pay leave.
(5) After the exhaustion of all vacation leave and half-pay leave,
an advance of six months' half-pay leave may be made on special
grounds ("urgent private affairs" or illness supported by a medical
certificate), the advance being charged against leave accruing
(6) For the purpose of visiting home, an officer may be granted
the vacation leave due him (which is never more than three months)
on full pay, and his accumulated half-pay leave, to commence at the
expiration of his vacation leave.
(7) Judicial and education officers do not receive the vacation leave
described in paragraph 3 above, the vacation of courts and schools
being considered equal to this, but they do receive the half-pay leave
described in paragraph 4, and may, when visiting home on half-pay
leave, receive full pay during any ordinary vacation of the court
It will be noted that although officers in the British colonial service
are allowed much longer periods of absence, the greater part of their
absence is on half pay and the total money value of the leave allowable
in the British colonial service and in the Philippine civil service
is about the same. As officers naturally prefer to be on full pay
instead of half pay while on leave, the provision of the Philippine
law is in their interest; it is also in the interest of the service,
as the periods of the absence from duty are not so prolonged.
The Philippine Civil Service Law is now about to be put to its
first really severe test as a result of the change in the national
administration. Heretofore those whose duty and privilege it has been
to enforce it have been in the most full and hearty sympathy with its
purposes. President McKinley was from the outset definitely committed
to the widest application of the merit system to appointments in the
Philippines. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Taft firmly supported that system,
as has each succeeding governor-general up to, but not including,
Mr. Harrison, who is as yet an unknown quantity.
It is interesting, however, to note that on the day following his
arrival there was a demand for the instant resignation of Mr. Thomas
Cary Welch, a faithful and efficient employee of the government,
who had been for nearly ten years in the service, whose position
was desired for, and immediately given to, Mr. Stephen Bonsal. That
gentleman had been appointed at Washington a member of the Municipal
Board of Manila immediately after Mr. Harrison's confirmation as
governor-general. It is not recorded that Mr. Bonsal rendered any
valuable service to the city on the voyage, or during the twenty-four
hours of his occupancy of his municipal post subsequent to his
arrival! Nor does it appear that he passed any examination before
his early promotion.
Following closely upon the removal of Mr. Welch came a demand for
the resignation of Captain Charles H. Sleeper, Director of Lands,
who was unquestionably one of the ablest and most efficient of the
He had earned the ill-will of the _politicos_ by insisting that persons
authorized to make public land surveys, or other surveys on which
claims of title as against the government were to be based, should
know enough about surveying to make one correct survey when given
an opportunity practically to demonstrate their abilities under very
favourable conditions. He had also incurred the dislike of influential
_caciques_ by defending the occupants of small holdings on friar
estates from the rapacity of their rich neighbours, and by protecting
free-patent applicants and homesteaders when large landowners opposed
their applications in order to prevent their securing land, so that
they might the more easily be held as peon labourers.
He had started in his bureau a practical school for Filipino surveyors
which was training really well-qualified candidates for positions
desired by the politicians for themselves or their incompetent friends.
Last, but not least, he had helped to upset the plans of the men
primarily responsible for the so-called "friar lands investigation"
conducted by the House Committee on Insular Affairs, which cost
the United States government a very large sum, and resulted in
demonstrating his uprightness and the efficiency of his administration.
Mr. John R. Wilson, the assistant director of lands, was absent at the
moment, but his resignation was demanded on the day of his return. He
too was an active, efficient, upright man.
Both of these removals were political acts, pure and simple. Sr. Manuel
Tinio was appointed Director of Lands. He is a bright young Ilocano
of good character, who had become a "general" in the Insurgent army
at twenty-one years of age. He is unfit to hold the place, because,
as he has himself frankly said, he knows nothing about the work. He
is charged with the duty of administering $7,000,000 worth of friar
lands, and the whole public domain of the Philippine Islands, and with
such minor duties as the checkmating of the machinations of numerous
wealthy Filipinos who seek fraudulently to acquire great tracts through
fraudulent claims to unperfected titles and by other improper means.
While in Honolulu, _en route_ to Manila, Mr. Harrison gave out an
interview, which I am credibly informed he has since confirmed in
substance. It contained the following statement:--
"For years I have been of the minority in Congress and have seen
the Democrats kicked about, trampled upon, and otherwise manhandled
by Republicans, so that I must confess it now gives me a saturnine
pleasure to see the Democrats in a position to do the same thing to
His early official acts after arrival at Manila confirmed the belief
that this was indeed the spirit in which he was facing the grave
responsibilities which there confronted him.
It is beyond doubt or cavil that high ideals heretofore have prevailed
in the Philippine Civil Service. Are they now to be substituted by
the methods of the ward politician?
In its report for 1901 the Philippine Commission said:--
"The civil service law has been in operation since our last report,
and we see no reason to change our conclusion as to the absolute
necessity for its existence, and strict enforcement. Without this law
American government in these Islands is, in our opinion, foredoomed
to humiliating failure."
I signed that report. I have not since seen any reason to change
The Philippine Constabulary and Public Order
During the last thirty years of Spanish rule in the Philippines
evil-doers were pursued and apprehended and public order was maintained
chiefly by the _guardia civil_. At the time of its organization in
1868 this body had a single division. By 1880 the number had been
increased to three, two for Luzon and one for the Visayan Islands.
The _guardia civil_ was organized upon a military basis, its officers
and soldiers being drawn from the regular army of Spain by selection
or upon recommendation. Detachments were distributed throughout the
provinces and were commanded according to their size by commissioned
or non-commissioned officers. Central offices were located in district
capitals; company headquarters were stationed in provincial capitals,
and detachments were sent to places where they were deemed to be
Under ordinary conditions they rendered service as patrols of two men
each, but for the purpose of attacking large bands of outlaws one or
several companies were employed as occasion required.
The _guardia civil_ had jurisdiction over all sorts of violations of
laws and municipal ordinances. They made reports upon which were based
the appointments of municipal officers, the granting of licenses to
carry firearms, and the determination of the loyalty or the disloyalty
They were vested with extraordinary powers. Offences against them
were tried by courts-martial, and were construed as offences against
sentinels on duty. Penalties were therefore extremely severe.
Officers of the _guardia civil_ on leave could by their own initiative
assume a status of duty with the full powers and responsibilities
that go with command. This is contrary to American practice, under
which only dire emergency justifies an officer in assuming an official
status unless he is duly assigned thereto by competent authority.
The _guardia civil_ could arrest on suspicion, and while the Spanish
Government did not directly authorize or sanction the use of force to
extort confessions, it was not scrupulous in the matter of accepting
confessions so obtained as evidence of crime, nor was it quick to
punish members of the _guardia civil_ charged with mistreatment
Reports made by the _guardia civil_ were not questioned, but were
accepted without support even in cases of the killing of prisoners
alleged to have attempted to escape, or of men evading arrest.
This method of eliminating without trial citizens deemed to be
undesirable was applied with especial frequency in the suppression
of active brigandage, and latterly during the revolution against
Spain. Prisoners in charge of the _guardia civil_ were always tied
elbow to elbow. They knew full well that resistance or flight was
an invitation to their guards to kill them, and that this invitation
was likely to be promptly accepted.
In the investigation of crime the members of this organization arrested
persons on suspicion and compelled them to make revelations, true or
false. Eye-witnesses to the commission of crime were not needed in
the Spanish courts of that day. The confession of an accused person
secured his conviction, even though not made in the presence of a
judge. Indirect and hearsay evidence were accepted, and such things
as writs of habeas corpus and the plea of double jeopardy were unknown
in Spanish procedure.
The _guardia civil_ could rearrest individuals and again charge them
with crimes of which they had already been acquitted. I have been
assured by reliable Filipino witnesses that it was common during the
latter days of Spanish sovereignty for persons who had made themselves
obnoxious to the government to be invited by non-commissioned
officers to take a walk, which was followed either by their complete
disappearance or by the subsequent discovery of their dead bodies.
It naturally resulted that the members of the _guardia civil_ were
regarded with detestation and terror by the people, but their power
was so absolute that protest rarely became public. The one notable
exception was furnished by Dr. Rizal's book entitled "Noli Me Tangere,"
which voiced the complaints of the Filipinos against them. There is
not a vestige of doubt that hatred of them was one of the principal
causes of the insurrection against Spain.
In 1901 the American government organized a rural police force in
the Philippines. It was called the Philippine constabulary. The
insurrection was then drawing to a close, but there were left in the
field many guerilla bands armed and uniformed. Their members sought to
excuse their lawless acts under the plea of patriotism and opposition
to the forces of the United States. In many provinces they combined
with professional bandits or with religious fanatics. Various "popes"
arose, like Papa Isio in Negros. The Filipinos had become accustomed
to a state of war which had continued for nearly six years. Habits
of peace had been abandoned. The once prosperous haciendas were in
ruins. War and pestilence had destroyed many of the work animals,
and those which remained continued to perish from disease. Asiatic
cholera was sweeping through the archipelago, and consternation and
disorder followed in its wake.
Under such circumstances the organization of a rural police force was
imperatively necessary. Unfortunately the most critical situation which
it was to be called upon to meet had to be faced at the very outset,
when both officers and men were inexperienced and before adequate
discipline could be established.
The law providing for its establishment was drawn by the Honourable
Luke E. Wright, at that time secretary of commerce and police and
later destined to become governor-general of the Philippines and
secretary of war of the United States.
It was intended that the constabulary should accomplish its ends by
force when necessary but by sympathetic supervision when possible,
suppressing brigandage and turning the people towards habits of
peace. The fact was clearly borne in mind that the abuses of the
_guardia civil_ had not been forgotten and the new force was designed
to meet existing conditions, to allay as rapidly as possible the
existing just rancour against the similar organization established
under the Spanish regime, and to avoid the evils which had contributed
so much toward causing the downfall of Spanish sovereignty. The law
was admirably framed to achieve these ends.
The officers of the constabulary were selected chiefly from American
volunteers recently mustered out and from honourably discharged
soldiers of the United States army. Some few Filipinos, whose loyalty
was above suspicion, were appointed to the lower grades. This number
has since been materially augumented, and some of the original Filipino
appointees have risen to the rank of captain.
It was inevitable that at the outset there should be abuses. The
organization was necessarily born at work; there was no time to
instruct, to formulate regulations, to wait until a satisfactory
state of discipline had been brought about. There were not barracks
for housing the soldiers; there were neither uniforms, nor arms,
nor ammunition. There was no system for rationing the men. All of
these things had to be provided, and they were provided through a
natural evolution of practical processes, crystallizing into form,
tested by the duties of the day. The organization which grew up was a
true survival of the fittest, both in personnel and in methods. The
wonder is not that some abuses occurred, but that they were so few;
not that there were occasional evidences of lack of efficiency,
but that efficiency was on the whole so high from the beginning.
The several provinces were made administrative units, the commanding
officer in each being designated as "senior inspector." The men who
were to serve in a given province were by preference recruited there,
and a departure was thus made from the usual foreign colonial practice.
In 1905 the total force was fixed at one hundred companies with a
nominal strength of two officers and fifty men each. Under special
conditions this rule may be departed from, and the size of the
companies or the number of officers increased.
Each province is divided by the senior inspector into sections, and the
responsibility for patrol work and general policing rests on the senior
company officer in each station. The provinces are grouped into five
districts, each commanded by an assistant chief who exercises therein
the authority, and performs the duties appropriate to the chief for
the entire Philippines. The higher administrative positions have always
been filled by detailing regular officers of the United States army.
The constabulary soldiers are now neatly uniformed, armed with Krag
carbines and well disciplined. They show the effect of good and regular
food and of systematic exercise, their physical condition being vastly
superior to that of the average Filipino. They are given regular
instruction in their military duties. It is conducted in English.
The Philippine constabulary may be defined as a body of armed men
with a military organization, recruited from among the people of the
islands, officered in part by Americans and in part by Filipinos, and
employed primarily for police duty in connection with the establishment
and maintenance of public order.
Blount's chapters on the administrations of Taft, Wright and Smith
embody one prolonged plaint to the effect that the organization of
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
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 cooeperation 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.
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 cooeperation of the local
cooeperation 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 Jose 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 Tagalog 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  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
"... 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
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  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
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
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_  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 _pulajanism_
which began in the year 1904.
The term _pulajan_ 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 _pulajan_
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 cooeperation 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
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 cooeperation 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
disagreements and harmonize their differences whenever possible. He
is taught a native dialect.
The constabulary have to a high degree merited and secured
the confidence and good-will of the people, whose rights they
respect. There is a complete absence of the old arbitrary procedure
followed by the _guardia civil_ and as a result there are frequent
requests from Filipino officials for additional detachments, while
the removal of a company from a given community is almost invariably
followed by vigorous protests. The power of human sympathy is very
great, and as the attitude of constabulary officers and men is usually
one of sympathy, conciliation and affection, that body has earned
and deserved popularity.
The success of the constabulary in apprehending criminals has been
both praiseworthy and noteworthy. The courage and efficiency which
have often been displayed by its officers and men in hard-fought
engagements with Moro outlaws or with organized bands of thieves
and brigands have been beyond praise. Many of its officers have
rendered invaluable service in bringing the people of the more
unruly non-Christian tribes under governmental control, not only
bravely and efficiently performing their duty as police officers,
but assisting in trail construction or discharging, in effect, the
duties of lieutenant-governors in very remote places which could be
visited by the actual lieutenant-governors only infrequently. I later
take occasion to mention the valuable work done by Lieutenant Case
in the early days of Ifugao, and to dwell at length on the splendid
service rendered there by Lieutenant Jeff D. Gallman, who was for
many years lieutenant-governor of the subprovince while continuing
to serve as a constabulary officer. Lieutenant Maimban at Quiangan,
and Lieutenant Dosser at Mayoyao, have been and are most useful,
though they do not hold official positions under the Mountain Province
or receive any additional compensation for the special services which
they render. Captain Guy O. Fort served most acceptably as governor of
the province of Agusan during the interim between the resignation of
Governor Lewis and the appointment of Governor Bryant and Lieutenants
Atkins and Zapanta have also rendered valuable service as assistants to
the provincial governor. Lieutenant Turnbull is now assistant to the
governor of Nueva Vizcaya for work among the Ilongots on the Pacific
coast of northern Luzon. Other constabulary officers, who have not
been called upon for special service of this kind, have performed
their ordinary duties in such a way as to demonstrate that they were
actuated by the spirit of cooeperation and have been of great help.
But the work of the constabulary has not been confined to police
duty. They have been of the greatest assistance to the Director of
Health in effectively maintaining quarantine, and making possible the
isolation of victims of dangerous communicable diseases like cholera
and smallpox, when inefficient municipal policemen have utterly failed
to do their duty. They have given similar assistance to the Director
of Agriculture in the maintenance of quarantine in connection with
efforts to combat diseases of domestic animals. In great emergencies
such as those presented by the recent eruption of Taal volcano, and
the devastation caused by great typhoons, they have been quick to
respond to the call of duty and have rendered efficient and heroic
service. They assist internal revenue officers. Except in a few of
the largest cities they are the firemen of the islands and by their
effective work have repeatedly checked conflagrations, which are of
frequent occurrence and tend to be very destructive in this country,
where most of the houses are built of bamboo and nipa palm, and
where roofs become dry as tinder during the long period when there
is little or no rain. They have aided in combating pests of locusts,
and, in short, have been ready to meet almost any kind of an emergency
which has arisen.
The importance of having such a body of alert, industrious,
disciplined, efficient men inspired by a high sense of duty, and
physically so well developed that they can continue to perform
that duty in the face of long-continued privations and hardships,
is beyond dispute. The results which have been obtained by the
Philippine constabulary have abundantly justified the policy which
led to its organization.
Its task has been no sinecure. Eleven officers and one hundred
ninety-seven enlisted men have been killed in action. Forty-eight
officers and nine hundred ninety-one men have died of
disease. Forty-six officers have been wounded in action. Seven hundred
sixty-eight men have been discharged for disability. Seven thousand
four hundred twenty-four firearms and 45,018 rounds of ammunition have
been captured by, or surrendered to, the constabulary. Four thousand
eight hundred sixty-two outlaws have been killed and 11,977 taken
prisoners. Twelve thousand two hundred sixty-two stolen animals have
There are many things which are not brought home to the reader
by such statistics. The weary days and nights on tropical trails;
the weakness and pain of dysentery; the freezing and the burning of
pernicious malaria; the heavy weight of responsibility when one must
act, in matters of life and death, with no superior to consult; the
disappointment when carefully laid plans go wrong; the discouragement
caused by indifference; the danger of infection with loathsome
diseases; ingratitude; deadly peril; aching wounds; sudden death,
and, worse yet, death after suffering long drawn out, when one meets
one's end knowing that it is coming and that one's family will be
left without means or resources,--these are some of the things that
the officers and men of this gallant corps have faced unflinchingly.
The work of the constabulary and of the Philippine scouts has
conclusively demonstrated the courage and efficiency of the Filipino
as a soldier when well disciplined and well led.
The establishment and maintenance of order in the Philippines have
afforded opportunity for some of the bravest deeds in the annals of
any race, and the opportunity has been nobly met. The head-hunters
of the Mountain Province, the Mohammedan Moros of Mindanao, Jolo
and Palawan, the bloody _pulajanes_ of Samar and Leyte, the wily
_tulisanes_ of Luzon, all unrestrained by any regard for the rules
of civilized warfare, have for twelve years matched their fanatical
bravery against the gallantry of the khaki-clad Filipino soldiers. Time
and again a single officer and a handful of men have taken chances
that in almost any other land would have won them the Victoria cross,
the legion of honor, or some similar decoration. Here their only
reward has been the sense of duty well done.
The force known as the Philippine constabulary was organized for the
purpose of establishing and maintaining order. It has established
and is maintaining a condition of order never before equalled or
approached in the history of the islands. The policy which led to
its organization has been a thousand times justified.
The Administration of Justice
In no branch of the public administration have there been more
numerous or more beneficial reforms than in the administration of
justice. They have resulted in simplifying organization, in decreasing
the possibility of corruption and partiality, and in diminishing the
cost of litigation and the time which it requires.
For the benefit of those especially interested I give in the appendix
the past and present organization of the courts.  The subject
is too technical to interest the average layman.
The slender salaries paid to judges, the fact that in the majority
of cases their appointment and promotion were due to influence and
suggestion, their liability to be transferred from one court to another
or from the Philippines to the Antilles, as frequently happened, and
the further fact that the subordinate personnel of the courts was not
a salaried one, caused the administration of justice in the Philippine
Islands to be looked upon askance. There was a general belief, well
founded in many instances, that lawsuits were won through influence
or bribery. Clerks and the subordinate personnel of the courts were
readily bribed. Indeed, they frequently demanded bribes from litigants,
or from defendants in criminal cases, under promise to expedite the
trials if paid to do so, or under threat to commit some injustice
if payment was not forthcoming. For many years after the American
occupation justices of the peace received no salaries and had to look
to fees for their compensation. This system worked wretchedly. The
positions were only too often filled by very incompetent and unworthy
men, who stimulated litigation in order to make more money. Now all
justices of the peace receive reasonable salaries.
The paying of regular salaries and the furnishing of necessary
offices and supplies have done much to improve the work of justice
of the peace courts, which are now presided over by men who average
far better than even their immediate predecessors.
Until they were put on a salary basis the work of the Filipino
justices of the peace left much more to be desired than is lacking
at present. In many instances they allowed gross brutalities,
perpetrated by the rich on the poor, or by the strong on the weak,
to go unpunished. The following case furnished me by an American
teacher is typical of what has occurred only too often:--
"On another occasion, I met the brother of my house _muchacha_, 
a boy about eight. He had a sort of protuberance on one side caused by
broken ribs which had not been set. I questioned my _muchacha_. She
said her step-father had kicked the child across the room some weeks
before and broken his ribs. The next day, I took the child together
with Senora Bayot, the wife of the Governor's secretary, before the
local Justice of the Peace. Senora Bayot translated and the child told
the same story as had his sister. The Justice of the Peace issued an
order for the step-father to report to him on the next day. That night
my _muchacha_ told me that her step-father had threatened to kill the
child if he did not tell the Justice that he got the hurt by falling
out of an orange tree. The child did as ordered, and the step-father
was dismissed. When I questioned the Justice of the Peace as to why
he credited the second tale, he said the child was under oath then,
and was not under oath in the first statements."
It was not deemed wise at the outset to appoint a Filipino judge for
the city of Manila, as it was feared that there would be a lack of
confidence in a Filipino who had occasion to decide cases involving
large sums of money in which Americans or foreigners on the one hand
and Filipinos on the other were interested; but a few years after
the establishment of the new judicial system Filipino judges had won
such a reputation for justice and fairness as to gain the confidence
of Americans and foreigners and the appointment of a Filipino judge
for the court of the city of Manila did not arouse any opposition.
Filipino judges of courts of first instance seem usually to have
been actuated by a desire to do full justice. The instances in which
complaints have been made against them because of partiality to party
or to race are few. Some of them have been justly criticised for
tardiness in cleaning up their dockets, and it is undoubtedly true
that their capacity for turning out work is on the average below that
of their Americans associates.
The fact must not be forgotten that Americans are in the majority
in the Supreme Court, which reviews the decisions of courts of first
instance, and this undoubtedly exercises a restraining influence. It
is not possible accurately to judge what would be the actions of a
body of men now subject to such control if it did not exist. It is
furthermore true that the Filipinos are more inclined to be suspicious
of their own countrymen than of Americans, and there have been from
time to time specific requests from them that judges in certain
provinces be Americans.
Under the Spanish regime the fees paid by litigants were excessive
and the use of stamped paper was compulsory. Its value ranged from
twenty-five centavos to two pesos for a folio of two sheets according
to the amount involved in the suit. Now there are fixed fees of $8
in civil suits, except in probate matters, where the fee is $12.
It was in the power of an unscrupulous litigant to make a lawsuit
almost eternal. In matters involving an amount exceeding $250 it was
lawful to institute proceedings in the action whereby the decision of
the main issue was suspended pending decision of the proceedings, and
as a decision was appealable to the _audiencia_, this was often done
by attorneys who had an interest in delaying the suit. By instituting
one proceeding after another a suit could be indefinitely prolonged.
Another method of securing delay was to object to the judge. In
case the judge denied the ground of the objection, a proceeding was
instituted against him and the trial of the main issue was turned over
to another judge; although the proceeding arising out of the objection
did not suspend the trial of the main issue, when the time came to
decide the latter the decision was withheld until the proceeding
arising out of the objection was settled, and as this latter was one
in connection with which other proceedings could be instituted which
might delay the decision and consequently the decision of the main
issue, there was no end to the matter.
To-day all this has been stopped by the procedure in court. The
challenging of judges is not allowed, although they must refrain
from the trial of any matter when they are disqualified in any way
as regards it. Proceedings which suspend the trial of the main issue
cannot be instituted. The procedure itself is more expeditious,
the time allowances and formalities have been reduced, and all the
long Spanish civil procedure regarding the presentation of evidence
has been shortened. Suits are settled with a speediness previously
unknown. In order to avoid delay on the part of judges in rendering
decisions, an act has been passed prohibiting the payment of their
salaries without a certificate that they have no matter which has
been awaiting decision for more than three months.
Owing to the inquisitorial procedure which obtained under Spanish
rule, the disposition of criminal cases was even slower than that
of civil cases. The cause would be commenced, either _de officio_,
by the judge who had a knowledge of the crime, or by the prosecuting
attorney, or by virtue of private accusation on the part of the person
aggrieved. The case once started, the investigations made during the
period known as the _sumario_ were conducted in the absence of the
accused. The latter had no hand in the case, as it was thought that
the reserve and secrecy of the procedure ought not to be violated
to the end that the accused might not frustrate the evidence of
the prosecution by preparing his defence. Owing many times to the
inactivity of the judge or of the prosecuting attorney, to the great
amount of work which weighed down the courts--for actions were begun
when there was knowledge of the commission of the crime, although the
perpetrators were not known--and by the manipulations at other times
of the private accuser to whose interest it was to harm the accused
by delaying the _sumario_, this period was often made to extend over
years and years. Meanwhile the defendant was confined in prison,
as no bail was allowed in any case in which the penalty was that of
_presidio correccional_ (from six months and one day to six years'
imprisonment) or greater. In addition to this the circumstance that all
criminal causes in the islands had to be sent for review to the proper
_audiencia_, caused a large accumulation of old cases in these higher
courts, and this alone made their disposition a matter of some years.
To-day the procedure is rapid. Information having been brought against
the defendant, the trial is had in the same term or at most during
the next term of court. Sometimes the trial is suspended owing to the
non-appearance of witnesses, but it can be said that cases are rare
where causes are pending in the docket of the court for a longer period
than two terms. Causes appealed to the Supreme Court are disposed of
promptly, and as a general rule it does not take over six months to
get a decision.
Defendants in criminal cases have now been granted by the Philippine
Bill certain fundamentally important rights which they did not formerly
enjoy; namely, to appear and defend in person or by counsel at every
stage of the proceedings; to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation; to testify as witnesses in their own behalf; to be exempt
from testifying against themselves; to be confronted at the trial by,
and to cross-examine, the witnesses against them; to have compulsory
process issue for obtaining witnesses in their own favour; to have
speedy and public trials; to be admitted to bail with sufficient
sureties in all cases, except for capital offences. None of these
rights were enjoyed under the procedure in effect during the Spanish
regime. A man was prosecuted without being notified of the charges
against him, and he was only made aware of the case against him after
the _sumario_. When all of the evidence of the prosecution had been
taken the accused was heard in his own defence. He was compelled
to testify, and was subjected to a very inquisitorial examination,
including questions which incriminated him. Although he had the right
to compel witnesses for the prosecution to ratify over their signatures
the evidence against him given during the _sumario_, as the defence of
the majority of the accused was in the hands of attorneys _de officio_
they nearly always renounced this privilege of the defendant, and,
as has already been said, bail was not admitted in any grave offence
during the trial.
No sentence of acquittal in a criminal case can now be appealed from
by the government. Under the Spanish system sentences of acquittal of
courts of first instance had to be referred for review to the proper
_audiencia_ and the fiscal of the latter could appeal from a sentence
of acquittal by it.
The Philippine Bill grants to the inhabitants of the islands other
important individual rights which they did not formerly possess.
The Spanish constitution was not in force here, and although the
Penal Code contained provisions for punishing, in a way, officials who
violated certain rights granted by the Spanish constitution, citizens
had no expeditious method of securing their punishment. Now the Code of
Civil Procedure grants them certain special remedies by which their
rights can be made good. To illustrate: Under the Spanish regime
the only remedy for a man illegally detained was to bring a criminal
action against the person illegally detaining him. He did not have
the remedy of the writ of habeas corpus nor the writ of prohibition
against an official who attempted to make him the victim of some
unlawful act. His only remedy was to bring a criminal action against
such official, or to sue him for damages. He could not compel public
officials to perform their ministerial duties by mandamus proceedings.
The individual rights conferred by the Philippine Bill, and the
special remedies granted by the Code of Civil Procedure, assure to the
inhabitants of the islands liberties and privileges entirely unknown
to them during the days of Spanish sovereignty, and these liberties
and privileges are adequately safeguarded.
Two things still greatly complicate the administration of justice in
The first is the dense ignorance of the people of the working class
who for the most part have failed to learn of their new rights,
and even if they know them are afraid to attempt to assert them in
opposition to the will of the _caciques_, whose power for evil they
know only too well.
The other is the unreliability of many witnesses and their
shocking readiness to perjure themselves. It is always possible to
manufacture testimony at small expense. While the criminal libel
suit brought against certain members of the staff of the newspaper
_El Renacimiento_, which libelled me, was in progress the judge
showed me the opinion of the two Filipino assessors  in one
of the cases and told me that it was written by an attorney for the
defence. I could not believe this, but a few days later an assessor
in another of the cases called at my house, bringing a draft of the
opinion of himself and his associate which he sought to submit to
me for criticism or modification, saying that I knew much more about
the case than they did! He was nonplussed at my refusal to read the
document, and left saying "_acqui tiene V. nuevo servidor_." 
Had I redrafted the opinion, as I might have done, my "new servant"
would have called later for a _quid pro quo_.
Some of the Filipino judges of first instance have proved weak in
matters affecting the integrity of public domain and the protection
of the public forests, but on the whole these officers have done
rather surprisingly well. It must be remembered that the best men
in the islands have now been appointed, and that another generation
must come on before there will be available any considerable number
of new candidates who are up to the standard of the present appointees.
I had abundant opportunity to observe health conditions in the
Philippines during the Spanish regime and they were shocking in the
extreme. There were no provisions for the sanitary disposal of human
waste even in Manila. If one had occasion to be out on foot at night,
it was wise to keep in the middle of the street and still wiser to
carry a raised umbrella.
Immediately after the American occupation some five hundred barrels
of caked excrement were taken from a single tower in one of the old
Manila monasteries. The moat around the city wall, and the _esteros_,
or tidal creeks, reeked with filth, and the smells which assailed
one's nostrils, especially, at night, were disgusting.
Distilled water was not to be had for drinking purposes. The
city water supply came from the Mariquina River, and some fifteen
thousand Filipinos lived on or near the banks of that stream above the
intake. The water was often so thick with sediment that one could not
see through a glass of it, and it was out of the question to attempt
to get it boiled unless one had facilities of one's own.
Conditions in the provinces were proportionately worse. As a rule,
there was no evidence of any effort to put provincial towns into
decent sanitary conditions. I must, however, note one striking
exception. Brigadier General Juan Arolas, long the governor of Jolo,
had a thorough knowledge of modern sanitary methods and a keen
appreciation of the benefits derivable from their application. When
he was sent to Jolo, practically in banishment, the town was a plague
spot to which were assigned Spaniards whose early demise would have
been looked upon with favour by those in power. He converted it into
a healthy place the death rate of which compared favourably with that
of European cities, thereby demonstrating conclusively what could
be done even under very unfavourable conditions. No troops in the
islands were kept in anything like such physical condition as were
the regiments assigned to him, and he bore a lasting grudge against
any one inconsiderate enough to die in Jolo.
Everywhere I saw people dying of curable ailments. Malaria was
prevalent in many regions in which it was impossible to secure good
quinine. The stuff on sale usually consisted largely of cornstarch,
or plaster of Paris. Fortunately we had brought with us from the
United States a great quantity of quinine and we made friends with
the Filipinos in many a town by giving this drug gratis to their sick.
Smallpox was generally regarded as a necessary ailment of childhood. It
was a common thing to see children covered with the eruption of
this disease watching, or joining in, the play of groups of healthy
The clothing of people who had died of smallpox was handed on to other
members of the family, sometimes without even being washed. The victims
of the disease often immersed themselves in cold water when their fever
was high, and paid the penalty for their ignorance with their lives.
The average Spaniard was a firm believer in the noxiousness of night
air, which he said produced _paludismo_.  Most Filipinos were
afraid of an imaginary spirit, devil or mythical creature known as
_asuang_, and closed their windows and doors after dark as a protection
against it. Thus it came about that in a country where fresh air is
especially necessary at night no one got it.
Tuberculosis was dreadfully common, and its victims were conveying
it to others without let or hindrance.
A distressingly large percentage of native-born infants died before
reaching one year of age on account of infection at birth, insufficient
clothing, or improper food. I have many times seen a native mother
thrust boiled rice into the mouth of a child only a few days old,
and I have seen babies taught to smoke tobacco before they could walk.
Before our party left the islands in 1888, cholera had broken out
at a remote and isolated place. A little later it spead over a
considerable part of the archipelago. On my return in 1890 I heard
the most shocking stories of what had occurred. Victims of this
disease were regarded with such fear and horror by their friends
that they were not infrequently carried out while in a state of
coma, and buried alive. It became necessary to issue orders to have
shelters prepared in cemeteries under which bodies were required to
be deposited and left for a certain number of hours before burial,
in order to prevent this result.
In Siquijor an unfortunate, carried to the cemetery after he had
lost consciousness, came to himself, crawled out from under a mass
of corpses which had been piled on top of him, got up and walked
home. When he entered his house, his assembled friends and relatives
vacated it through the windows, believing him to be his own ghost. They
did not return until morning, when they found him dead on the floor.
I heard a well-authenticated story of a case in which all the members
of a family died except a creeping infant who subsisted for some time
by sucking a breeding sow which was being kept in the kitchen.
During the great cholera epidemic in 1882 it is said that the
approaches to the Manila cemeteries were blocked with vehicles of
every description loaded with corpses, and that the stench from
unburied bodies in the San Lazaro district was so dreadful that one
could hardly go through it.
Beri-beri was common among the occupants of jails, lighthouses and
other government institutions, as well as in certain garrisoned towns
In 1892 I found the wife of a very dear Spanish friend dying from
an ailment which in the United States could have been promptly and
certainly remedied by a surgical operation. I begged him to take her
to Manila, telling him of the ease with which any fairly good surgeon
would relieve her, and promising to interest myself in her case on
my arrival there. To my utter amazement I found that there was not a
surgeon in the Philippine Islands who would venture to open the human
abdomen. The one man who had sometimes done this in Spain stated that
it would be impossible for him to undertake it in Manila, on account
of the lack of a suitable operating room, of instruments and of the
necessary anaesthetist and other professional assistants. In fact, at
the time of the American occupation there was not a modern operating
room, much less a modern hospital, in the Philippines. Thousands upon
thousands of people were perishing needlessly every year for the lack
of surgical intervention. A common procedure in dealing with wounds
was to cover them with poultices of chewed tobacco, ashes, and leaves.
In many provinces the people were without medical assistance of
any sort, and fell into the hands of native quacks who were little,
if at all, better than witch doctors.
The most fantastic views were entertained relative to the causation
of disease. In some towns it was vigorously asserted that after a
peculiar looking black dog ran down the street cholera appeared. In
other places cholera was generally ascribed to the poisoning of wells
by Spaniards or foreigners.
Cemeteries were not infrequently situated in the very midst of towns,
or near the local supplies of drinking water. Conditions within
their walls were often shocking from an aesthetic view point. As the
area available for burials was limited, and the graves were usually
unmarked, parts of decomposed bodies were constantly being dug up. It
was the custom to throw such remains about the foot of the cross at
the centre of the cemetery.
Military sanitation was also very bad. I was at Zamboanga when
the wreck of General Weyler's expedition to Lake Lanoa began to
return. There had been no adequate provision for the medical care of
the force in the field, and the condition of many of the soldiers was
pitiable in the extreme. Disabled men were brought in by the shipload,
and the hospitals at Zamboanga, Isabela de Basilan and Jolo were soon
filled to overflowing.
The lack of adequate sanitary measures was equally in evidence in
dealing with cattle disease. Rinderpest, a highly contagious and
very destructive disease of horned cattle, was introduced in 1888 and
spread like fire in prairie grass. No real effort was made to check
it prior to the American occupation, and it caused enormous losses,
both directly by killing large numbers of beef cattle and indirectly
by depriving farmers of draft animals.
When I first visited the islands every member of our party fell
ill within a few weeks. All of us suffered intensely from tropical
ulcers. Two had malaria; one had dysentery; one, acute inflammation
of the liver, possibly of amoebic origin; and so on to the end of
the chapter. I myself got so loaded up with malaria in Mindoro that
it took me fifteen years to get rid of it.
Fortunately the American army of occupation brought with it numerous
competent physicians and surgeons, and abundant hospital equipment
and supplies, for the soldiers promptly contracted about all the
different ailments to be acquired in the islands.
When I arrived in Manila on the 5th of March, 1899, I found that a
great army hospital, called the "First Reserve," had been established
in the old rice market. There was another sizable one on the Bagumbayan
drive. A third occupied a large building belonging to French sisters
of charity which was ordinarily used for school purposes.
In immediate connection with the First Reserve Hospital was a tent
hospital where sick and wounded Insurgents were being given the best
Field hospitals were promptly established as the troops moved out
from Manila, and in connection with many of these Filipinos were given
much needed medical and surgical help. The recipients of such kindly
treatment were, however, prohibited by Insurgent officers from telling
others of their experiences lest the hatred of Americans diminish as
Smallpox had broken out among the Spanish soldiers in the walled
city and was spreading badly when my friend, Major Frank S. Bourns
of the army medical corps, was given the task of eradicating it,
which he promptly accomplished. A little later the use of the Santa
Ana church as a smallpox hospital was authorized, and sick Filipinos
were carefully tended there.
The army promptly set about cleaning up Manila and waging war
upon the more serious ailments which threatened the health of the
soldiers and that of the public. The work was at the outset put under
the direction of Major Edie, a very capable and efficient medical
officer. Subsequently it was turned over to Major Bourns, who, on
account of his intimate knowledge of Spanish, and his wide acquaintance
with the Filipinos, was able to carry out many much-needed reforms,
and in doing so aroused a minimum of public antagonism.
Upon the establishment of civil government Governor Taft was very
desirous of retaining Major Bourns's services, but this did not prove
practicable, as he desired to give up government work and engage in
There was promptly created an efficient board of health made up of men
of recognized ability and large practical experience. Its chairman was
Major Louis M. Maus, commissioner of public health. The other members
were Mr. H. D. Osgood, sanitary engineer; Dr. Franklin H. Meacham,
chief sanitary inspector; Dr. Paul C. Freer, superintendent of
government laboratories; and Dr. Manuel Gomez, secretary.
This board was promptly put upon its mettle. It had inherited from
the army an incipient epidemic of bubonic plague in Manila, and
the disease soon spread to Cavite and also to Cebu, then the second
port of the Philippines in commercial importance. It also appeared in
several provincial towns near Cavite. An effective campaign against it,
inaugurated at this time, was never abandoned until it was completely
eradicated in 1906,--a noteworthy result to achieve in a country like
On March 21, 1902, I was advised that two patients at San Juan de
Dios hospital were developing symptoms of Asiatic cholera, and on the
following day a positive laboratory diagnosis was made. Other cases
followed in quick succession, and we soon found ourselves facing a
virulent epidemic of this highly dangerous disease. At the outset
the mortality was practically 100 per cent. Unfortunately, there was
no one connected with the medical service of the islands who had had
practical experience in dealing with cholera, and we had to get this
as we went along.
At the time of the outbreak, Governor Taft was in the United States,
Acting Governor Wright was in Leyte, the secretary of finance and
justice was in Japan, and there were present in Manila only the
secretary of public instruction and the secretary of the interior. As
the executive head of the government was absent, and there was no
quorum of the legislative body, I of necessity arrogated to myself
powers which I did not lawfully possess, appointing employees and
incurring expenses without the usual formalities.
On the morning of March 22 I informed General Chaffee that four cases
Back to Full Books