The treaty of paris signed on december 10, 1898 was an agreement between the american and spanish governments that resulted in the spanish empire’s surrendering control of cuba and ceding puerto rico, parts of the spanish west indies, the island of guam and palau, and the philippines to the united states.
The agreement was only between two powerful nations without any representation, participation, nor knowledgeable involvement of the people of the islands concerned, being the subject of contention of the said agreement, more particularly the people of manila.
The cession agreement involved a payment of $20 million from the united states to the spanish empire that ended the war between them.
Practically and actually, the spanish crown sold these pacific islands that were not theirs in the first place, to the americans.
Their treaty came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the documents of ratification were exchanged, thus, the beginning of the age of the united states as a world power having the stronghold in the pacific waters.
On august 26, 1896 before that treaty, the revolution of the katipunan against the spanish domination was formalized by Andrés Bonifacio based on magdiwang principles of the original katagalugan republic that was basically luzon and numerous smaller and scattered islands.
However, the magdalo faction of emilio aguinaldo y famy killed andres bonifacio thru political maneuvering, treachery and deception on May 10, 1897 that started the abrupt disintegration of the success of the katipunan movement .
Aguinaldo appointed himself as president and went to exile in HongKong at the same time negotiating with the spanish government while continuing an inutile campaign for support from abroad.
Meanwhile, the loyalty of magdiwang generals macario sakay, glicerio geronimo and mariano alvarez to the murdered Bonifacio gained grounds and persistently continued through guerilla warfare.
One famous incident was the sharpshooting by magdiwang geronimo of american general lawton on his horse that ended his historic saga of defeating the native american geronimo as his credential.
The spanish government began losing control of luzon so the negotiating powers conceived the mocked battle of manila where the spanish solders would appear to be defeated by the americans in the guise invasion of manila without any opposition from the spaniards.
The magdiwang of the katipunan, even after the staged incidence of a battle in connivance with the Magdalo of Aguinaldo, relentleslly continued its guerilla war in the mountains and hills of the sierra madre for the purpose of genuine liberty
The spanish-american treaty of paris was still besieged by the Magdiwang katipunan, so that the u.s. military resorted to falsifying reports in the philippines in order to maintain public support for u.s. involvement in philippine affair.
The campaign also promoted the principles of manifest destiny and expansionism, proclaiming that it was america’s fate and its duty to take charge in these overseas nations.
Article V of a peace protocol entered into between united states and spain on August 12, 1898, read as follows:
“The united states and spain will each appoint not more than five commissioners to treat of peace, and the commissioners so appointed shall meet at paris not later than Oct. 1, 1898, and proceed to the negotiation and conclusion of a treaty of peace, which treaty shall be subject to ratification according to the respective constitutional forms of the two countries.”
Felipe Agoncillo, a lawyer representing the first philippine republic, was denied representation and participation in the negotiation. He was summarily ignored by the empires.
Spanish negotiators were determined to cede only mindanao with the sulu islands all together. On the american side, acquiring only a naval base in manila as a “hitching post” or just retaining only the island of luzon became merely a recommendation.
However, the u.s. commission concluded that if spain would retain even a part of the philippines, the small part acquisition would be sold by spain to another european power and that this would likely be troublesome for america. So, the US president demanded the entire archipelago and the surrounding islands afterwards.
“To accept only luzon, leaving the rest of the islands to the spaniards will be the subject of future contention, therefore, it cannot be justified on political, commercial, or humanitarian grounds. The cessation must be the whole archipelago or none”.
Spain responded according with the following reply:
“The government of her majesty, moved by lofty reasons of patriotism and humanity, will not assume the responsibility of again bringing upon spain all the horrors of war. In order to avoid them, it resigns itself to the painful task of submitting to the law of the victor, however harsh it may be, and as spain lacks the material means to defend the rights she believes hers, having recorded them, she accepts the only terms the united states offers her for the concluding of the treaty of peace.”
The treaty also assured that spain would cede to the united states the island of puerto rico and other islands then under spanish sovereignty in the west indies, as well as the island of palau and of guam in the marianas islands that were within the territory of the katagalugan in luzon.
The treaty specified that spain would cede to the united states the whole of the philippine archipelago, comprehending the specified territorial lines of the islands.
Specifics of the cession of the Philippines were later clarified by the 1900 treaty of washington but lacking the more comprehensive understanding about the inherent ownership and patrimony of the native inhabitants of luzon.
The boundary line between the philippines and north borneo was further clarified by the convention between the united states and great britain only.
Revolts against the U.S. occupation and involvement in the philippines initiated on February 4, 1889 by the magdiwang faction of the katipunan, quickly surpassed the fighting and rampaging against the Spanish.
In 1899, a filipino writer said: “Now here is a unique spectacle – the Filipinos fighting for liberty, the American people fighting to give them liberty” … yet, the americans are owning the filipinos.
“When cuba shall become a part of the american union and the isthmian canal shall be completed, which is now assured, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hawaii and the Philippines will be outposts of the great republic, standing guard over american interests in the track of the world’s commerce in its triumphant march around the globe.”
Overall, these occupations greatly contributed to the growing economic gains of the U.S. at the expense of a genuine sovereignty of the islands concerned.
The chinese at the sideline knew of these actual historical developments, and so for them, chinese incursions in the western seas of manila could be justified and legitimized and via actual occupation of islands, as can be seen in the present time.
Woe! it’s us! shame and scandal in our islands!