Front Page Titles (by Subject) Filipino Resistance to U.S. Imperialism - Literature of Liberty, Autumn 1980, vol. 3, No. 3
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Filipino Resistance to U.S. Imperialism - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Autumn 1980, vol. 3, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Filipino Resistance to U.S. Imperialism
“Filipino Resistance to American Occupation; Batangas, 1899–1902. Pacific Historical Review 48(November 1979):531–556.
The author discusses Filipino reaction to the Philippine-American war in 1899–1902, specifically in the province of Batangas. The Batanguenos had just become free from alien rule by defeating the Spanish in mid-1898 when war broke out between America and Aguinaldo's (president of the Philippine Republic) forces. The Batanguenos were led by Michael Malvar, a wealthy landowner, businessman, and government official. Most of Malvar's support came from the elite, who were educated abroad in Spanish schools and thus imbibed European liberal nationalist Lockean/Rousseauian ideas. The masses were less enthusiastic, as most were drafted into Malvar's army, and generally gave less zealous support to the cause.
For the first year of the war, fighting took place in provinces outside of Batanga. However, in January of 1900, the Americans invaded and conquered the municipalities, and Malvar's forces headed for the mountains and the outlying areas. From then on, Malvar's forces engaged in guerrilla warfare against overwhelming odds.
To be successful, Malvar needed noncombatant support. In the first year, covert resistance to American rule was widespread, particularly among the elite, and instances of collaboration with the Americans were rare. Most civilians, however, just tried to survive as best they could. By 1901, however, the enthusiasm of Malvar's forces began to wane, collaboration with the enemy increased, and President Aguinaldo was captured. Still, Malvar kept the resistance alive (partly by threatening the people in the areas he controlled).
However, the American army ultimately prevailed. Though the invaders originally employed nonmilitary methods (e.g., setting up schools and municipal governments), the policy changed to one of severe military tactics as it became clear that nonmilitary methods weren't working. Americans found it difficult to distinguish noncombatants from guerrillas and came to despise all Filipinos, civilians, and guerrillas. American forces tortured suspected supporters of Malvar and burned the barriers from which attacks on the Americans emanated. Later in the war, when Brigadier General Bell (a veteran of the Indian wars) took over, American methods became even harsher. Bell established his “concentration” policy designed to insulate the guerrillas from the non-combatants and deprive the former of food. In each town in Batanga, Americans established “zones” in which residents were guaranteed “protection” against attacks by Malvar's forces. Outside of these zones, property was destroyed or confiscated, travel was forbidden except by those with special passes, and those who refused to enter the zones were tortured. In addition, Bell ordered the arrest of all known supporters of Malvar and punished all those who refused to cooperate. Bell's policies led to widespread suffering: food was scarce in the zone, thousands died of disease or starvation, and many areas outside the zones were reduced to rubble, but the methods helped to win the war for America.
Though scattered opposition to American rule continued through 1910, most Batanguenos accommodated themselves to the Americans. This was due, says the author, to these factors: first, they had little choice since ousting the Americans by force seemed hopeless; second, American schools provided more opportunities for some Filipinos; third, Americans provided benefits such as sanitation, roads, food relief, etc.; fourth, by permitting suffrage only to Filipinos with wealth, education, and previous governmental experience, the Americans kept the elite dominant in the new Philippines.
The author concluded by noting that the Batanguenos' response differed from that discussed by Teodoro Agoncillo in his study of resistance in Manila and Cavite. Agoncillo saw the elite collaborating, and the masses resisting, while in Batangas such a rigid opposition did not exist and the elites tended to be more hostile to American rule. Nor does the Batanguenos' resistance fit the pattern in Pampanga, as described by John Larkin. There the populace tried to maintain good relations with both the Americans and the guerrillas, and accepted American rule after Aguinaldo was captured. In Batanga, the resistance was stronger and lasted until the very end. Batanguenos' opposition was stronger because they were preparing for the invasion up until 1900. Malvar was a competent military leader, the people were the same ethnic composition as the Filipino republic leaders, and the elite's contribution helped promote tenacious resistance.