"The truth of the matter is that most of the people, outside of the Filipinos, who favor this bill are fundamentally opposed to Philippine Independence. Many of them have told me so. Their whole philosophy is to keep the Philippines economically even though we lose them politically." - U.S. Senator Millard Tydings, U.S. Congressional Record on Public Hearing of the Bell Trade Act, March 1946
In November 1898, Rudyard Kipling, British author and racist, sent his poem "The White Man's Burden" to his friend Theodore Roosevelt, who had just been elected Governor of New York. Kipling's aim was to encourage the American government to take over the Philippines, one of the territorial prizes of the Spanish-American War.
"A White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands"
"Take up the White Man's Burden
Send forth the best ye breed......
your new caught, sullen peoples,
half-devil and half-child......."
(read: go civilize these subhumans = rationalizations of old British imperialism, incorporated by 20th century America through its "Manifest Destiny" based on Social Darwinism; coupled with seeking new markets abroad under the protection of its new naval power)
A second version of the bill was filed by Rep. Jones in 1914, this time it did not set a definite date for the granting of independence. Several amendments were introduced to the bill, as the Republicans tried to defeat it. It was only passed after the preamble was revised to: "that it is the purpose of the people of the United States to withdraw their sovereignty over the Philippine Islands and to recognize their independence as soon as a stable government can be established therein".
[ The Jones Law ]
The Philippine Organic Law
Act of Congress of August 29, 1916
First Session, 1916
|EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Philippine Organic Law (Act of Congress of August 29, 1916 ), commonly known as the "Jones Law" or Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, formally declares the intention of the United States to withdraw their sovereignty over the Philippines after the establishment of a stable government in the islands. It provides for a framework for the creation of an autonomous government, whereby Filipinos can exercise a large amount of control over their domestic affairs, in preparation for the complete grant of independence by the United States Government.|
It creates a bicameral Philippine Legislature composed of a Senate (upper house) and a House of Representatives (lower house), which is vested with general legislative powers that includes exclusive legislative jurisdiction and authority exercised by the Philippine Commission. Upon the organization of the legislative body and every three (3) years thereafter, the members shall choose two (2) Resident Commissioners to the United States to represent the Philippines in the U.S. Congress.
The Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, Vice Governor, Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the Insular Auditor and Deputy Auditor are appointed by the U.S. President. This act also contains a bill of rights, provisions on citizenship and naturalization, qualifications of voters, and the power of the government to grant franchises.
|NOTES: The original text of the "Jones Bill" by Representative William A. Jones -- chairman of the Committee on Insular Affairs of the US House of Representatives -- provided for a provisional government with an assurance of full independence for the Philippines on 4 July 1921. The bill passed the House of Representatives on 14 October 1914 with minimal changes.|
The Clarke Amendment, proposed by Senator Clarke of Arkansas, provided complete and unqualified independence for the Philippines in not less than two (2) years and not more than four (4) years from the date of approval of the act. However, on 2 May 1916 , the Clarke Amendment was defeated and struck from the bill in the House of Representatives.
The final version of the Jones Bill removed the fixing of a date for the grant of independence, but contained a promise of independence as soon as "a stable government is established." It was approved by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on 29 August 1916 .
[Public, No. 240]
(d) Imprisonment for debt.―That no person shall be imprisoned for debt.
(e) Suspension of habeas corpus.―That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion, insurrection, or invasion the public safety may require it, in either of which event the same may be suspended by the President, or by the Governor-General, wherever during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.
(f) Ex post facto laws, primogeniture, titles of nobility.―That no ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted nor shall the law of primogeniture ever be in force in the Philippines.
Provided, That upon the approval of such an act by the Governor-General, it shall be by him forthwith transmitted to the President of the United States, and he shall approve or disapprove the same within six months from and after its enactment and submission for his approval, and if not disapproved within such time it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved:
Provided, further, That where lands in the Philippine Islands have been or may be reserved for any public purpose of the United States, and, being no longer required for the purpose for which reserved, have been or may be, by order of the President, placed under the control of the government of said Islands to be administered for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof, the order of the President shall be regarded as effectual to give the government of said Islands full control and power to administer and dispose of such lands for the benefit of the inhabitants of said Islands.
Provided, That tariff acts or acts amendatory to the tariff of the Philippine Islands shall not become law until they shall receive the approval of the President of the United States, nor shall any act of the Philippine Legislature affecting immigration or the currency or coinage laws of the Philippines become a law until it has been approved by the President of the United States:
Provided, further, That the President shall approve or disapprove any act mentioned in the foregoing proviso within six months from and after its enactment and submission for his approval, and if not disapproved within such time it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved.
Provided, however, That the entire indebtedness of the Philippine Government created by the authority conferred therein shall not exceed at any one time the sum of $15,000,000, exclusive of those obligations known as friar land bonds, nor that of any province or municipality a sum in excess of seven per centum of the aggregate tax valuation of its property at any one time.1
Provided, That until the Philippine Legislature as herein provided shall have been organized the existing Philippine Legislature shall have all legislative authority herein granted to the Government of the Philippine Islands, except such as may now be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Philippine Commission, which is so continued until the organization of the Legislature herein provided for the Philippines. When the Philippine Legislature shall have been organized, the exclusive legislative jurisdiction and authority exercised by the Philippine Commission shall thereafter be exercised by the Philippine Legislature.
No person shall be an elective member of the Senate of the Philippines who is not a qualified elector and over thirty years of age, and who is not able to read and write either the Spanish or English language, and who has not been a resident of the Philippines for at least two consecutive years and an actual resident of the senatorial district from which chosen for a period of at least one year immediately prior to his election.
No person shall be an elective member of the House of Representatives who is not a qualified elector and over twenty-five years of age, and who is not able to read and write either the Spanish or English language, and who has not been an actual resident of the district from which elected for at least one year immediately prior to his election:
Provided, That the members of the present Assembly elected on the first Tuesday in June, nineteen hundred and sixteen, shall be the members of the House of Representatives from their respective districts for the term expiring in nineteen hundred and nineteen.
(a) Those who under existing law are legal voters and have exercised the right of suffrage.
(b) Those who own real property to the value of 500 pesos, or who annually pay 30 pesos or more of the established taxes.
(c) Those who are able to read and write either Spanish, English, or a native language.
First district: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.
Second district: La Union, Pangasinan, and Zambales.
Third district: Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Bulacan.
Fourth district: Bataan, Rizal, Manila, and Laguna.
Fifth district: Batangas, Mindoro, Tayabas, and Cavite.
Sixth district: Sorsogon, Albay, and Ambos Camarines.
Seventh district: Iloilo and Capiz.
Eight district: Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Antique, and Palawan.
Ninth district: Leyte and Samar.
Tenth district: Cebu.
Eleventh district: Surigao, Misamis, and Bohol.
Twelfth district: The Mountain Province, Baguio, Nueva Vizcaya, and the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.
Provided, That the Governor-General's proclamation shall be published at least thirty days prior to the date fixed for the election, and there shall be chosen at such election one senator from each senate district for a term of three years and one for six years. Thereafter one senator from each district shall be elected from each senate district for a term of six years:
Provided, That the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands shall appoint, without the consent of the Senate and without restriction as to residence, senators and representatives who will, in his opinion, best represent the senate district and those representative districts which may be included in the territory not now represented in the Philippine Assembly:
Provided further, That thereafter elections shall be held only on such days and under such regulations as to ballots, voting, and qualifications of electors as may be prescribed by the Philippine Legislature, to which is hereby given authority to redistrict the Philippine Islands and modify, amend, or repeal any provision of this section, except such as refer to appointive senators and representatives.
The Legislature shall hold annual sessions, commencing on the sixteenth day of October, or, if the sixteenth day of October be a legal holiday, then on the first day following which is not a legal holiday, in each year.
The Legislature may be called in special session at any time by the Governor-General for general legislation, or for action on such specific subjects as he may designate. No special session shall continue longer than thirty days, and no regular shall continue longer than one hundred days, exclusive of Sundays.
If he approve the same, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that house in which it shall have originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the same, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to that house it shall be sent to the Governor-General, who, in case he shall then not approve, shall transmit the same to the President of the United States.
The vote of each house shall be by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against shall be entered on the journal. If the President of the United States approve the same, he shall sign it and it shall become a law. If he shall not approve the same, he shall return it to the Governor-General, so stating, and it shall not become a law:
Provided, That if any bill or joint resolution shall not be returned by the Governor-General as herein provided within twenty days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature by adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless vetoed by the Governor-General within thirty days after adjournment:
Provided, further, That the President of the United States shall approve or disapprove an act submitted to him under the provisions of this section within six months from and after its enactment and submission for its approval; and if not approved within such time, it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved.
The Governor-General shall reside in the Philippine Islands during his official incumbency, and maintain his office at the seat of Government.
He shall have general supervision and control of all of the departments and bureaus of the Government in the Philippine Islands as far as is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, and shall be commander in chief of all locally created armed forces and militia. He is hereby vested with the exclusive power to grant pardons and reprieves and remit fines and forfeitures, and may veto any legislation enacted as herein provided.
He shall submit within ten days of the opening of each regular session of the Philippine Legislature a budget of receipts and expenditures, which shall be the basis of the annual appropriation bill. He shall commission all officers that he may be authorized to appoint.
He shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws of the Philippine Islands of the United States operative within the Philippine Islands, and whenever it becomes necessary he may call upon the commanders of the military and naval forces of the United States in the Islands, or summon the posse comitatus, or call out the militia or other locally created armed forces, to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion; and he may, in case of rebellion or invasion, or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, suspend the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the Islands, or any part thereof, under martial law:
Provided, That whenever the Governor-General shall exercise his authority, he shall at once notify the President of the United States thereof, together with the attending facts and circumstances and the President shall have power to modify or vacate the act of the Governor-General.
The municipal courts of said Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as now provided by law, subject in all matters to such alteration and amendment as may be hereafter enacted by law; and the chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court shall hereafter be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States. The judges of the court of first instance shall be appointed by the Governor-General, by and with the advice and consent of the Philippine Senate:
Provided, That the admiralty jurisdiction of the supreme court and courts of first instance shall not be changed except by act of Congress. That in all cases pending under the operation of existing laws, both criminal and civil, the jurisdiction shall continue until final judgment and determination.
Provided, That no private property shall be damaged or taken for any purpose under this section without just compensation, and that such authority to take and occupy land shall not authorize the taking, use, or occupation of any land except such as is required for the actual necessary purposes for which the franchise is granted, and that no franchise or right shall be granted to any individual, firm, or corporation except under the conditions that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress of the United States, and that lands or right of use and occupation of lands thus granted shall revert to the governments by which they were respectively granted upon the termination of the franchises and rights under which they were granted or upon the revocation or repeal.
Provided, further, That it shall be unlawful for any corporation organized under this Act, or for any person, company, or corporation receiving any grant, franchise, or concession from the Government of said Islands, to use, employ, or contract for the labor of persons held in involuntary servitude; and any person, company, or corporation so violating the provisions of this Act shall forfeit all charters, grants, or franchises for doing business in said Islands, in an action or proceeding brought for that purpose in any court of competent jurisdiction by any officer of the Philippine Government, or on the complaint of any citizen of the Philippines, under such regulations and rules as the Philippine Legislature shall prescribe, and in addition shall be deemed guilty of an offense, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.
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