Commentary

July 4, not June 12

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July 4 is the true Independence Day, not June 12. This can be gleaned from the history book titled “Philippine History and Government, Through the Years,” authored by Francisco M. Zulueta, and Abriel M. Nebres. Let me cite this book as reference in this piece.

The independence that the Philippines celebrates on June 12 is not a true independence. It is only a proclamation made by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite, on June 12, 1898, which was unsuccessful and became invalid because on Dec. 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was ratified. Under this treaty, Spain ceded to America the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico, for which America paid Spain $20 million.

Aguinaldo and the revolutionaries failed to stop the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. The Philippines never achieved independence from Spain, and America owned the Philippines (pages 120 and 330). The Malolos Republic at Barasoain Church was also invalid, because it was established on Jan. 28, 1899, when the Philippines was under American occupation (page 123).

The Tydings-McDuffie Law, an act sponsored by Sen. Millard E. Tydings and Rep. John McDuffie, was passed by the US Congress to grant independence to the Philippines after a 10-year transition period in the government established for Filipinos under the American Commonwealth (pages 171-173). Exactly on July 4, 1946, the Philippines was granted independence, as proclaimed to the world by US President Harry S. Truman (pages 172, 211 and 338).

Thereafter, the Philippines celebrated Independence Day on July 4 every year for 15 years, until it was moved to June 12 by President Diosdado Macapagal. According to Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno, chair of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, President Macapagal issued Proclamation 28 in 1962, which affirmed the proclaimed independence by Aguinaldo in Cavite on June 12, 1898.

But Macapagal’s Proclamation 28 was a grave mistake. He should have known that the proclaimed independence by Aguinaldo became invalid under the Treaty of Paris. He also forgot that he became president under the independence achieved by the Philippines from America, on July 4, 1946. This error must be rectified, to stop Filipinos from celebrating a fake Independence Day on June 12.

The new Congress must be told of this grave mistake so that it can pass a law to bring back our observation and celebration of the Philippines’ true Independence Day to July 4. If Congress fails to do so, Filipinos will continue to celebrate an independence that never took place, and to believe a twisted history of the Philippines.

A law must also be passed to prescribe to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and to the Department of Education that Philippine history, must be included in the elementary and high school curriculum as a compulsory subject. The truth commission ordered in our Constitution must also be upheld to preclude Filipinos from being fooled.

On June 12, the mass media will remind Filipinos that the Philippines is celebrating its 115th year of independence. This is a lie. The true Philippine independence is only 67 years old.

Felizardo M. Pagsanhan, 81, says he witnessed the inauguration of the Philippines’ independence on July 4, 1946. He is now retired. The last job he held was as senior purchasing officer and material control man.

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  • Toby Maguire

    I think the true test would be when was the time the nation felt independent.

  • AlzheimersC

    Yes we are independent but as they say, a damage nationhood…

    Aguinaldo didn’t even totally defeated the Spaniards, with its naval power totally unscathed or untouchable at the Manila bay, even if they overran the walled city of Intramuros(which is a tall order) they can’t probably stop reinforcements coming from Mexico or even from Spain itself bringing more modern weaponry? And since when did Filipinos began manufacturing our own wares, especially at pace with the fast evolving battlefield?

  • JustWords811

    independence from Spain? independence from USA? independence from Japan? independence from what? strictly speaking, we have never been truly independent. so away with any discussion on this and let’s just settle on June 12 adopting the most appropriate term for celebrating the birth of our nation as simply- Philippine Day or Araw ng Pilipinas.

  • MnlaBoy

    Transferring to June 12 is a statement – a statement that our independence wasn’t simply “granted”. It was fought for.

    • Freemasons

      The Philippines was sold for a bargain price. SALE DAY.

      • MnlaBoy

        Not by the revolutionary heroes.

  • badler

    A little review of US history. (As stated by Wikipedia)
    During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.[4][5] After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

    The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.[6]

    Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.[7]

    Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

    And the war started on April 19, 1775 and concluded on September 3, 1783.

    Applying your argument , then when should the Americans celebrate it?
    Besides, June 12 as Independence Day is just a political statement.

    • Freemasons

      are you Tito Sotto?

      • badler

        does it matter if i were?

    • AlzheimersC

      The difference is the Americans won their independence from Great Britain while ours was concocted to suit the whims of losers/traitors for their groups own glory…

      • badler

        still if we apply the argument of the author, USA’s celebration of independence is also wrong

      • AlzheimersC

        But ours is intentional…that made it hard to accept except if you don’t care anymore to correct our history…much more to give credit to those who legitimately and selflessly sacrifice themselves for the sake of our country and not for their personal aggrandizement.

        We made to believe lies and half-truths, don’t you think?

  • Freemasons

    June 12 “The day we were sold to America”

    • MnlaBoy

      So July 4 is the expiration of contract day?

      • Apex Illuminati

        They Masacred 50,000 Filipinos in Samar Leyte in between, I hope you read that.

  • Apex Illuminati

    Bring back the 3 Balangiga Bells.

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