American torture in the Philippines. IX

To get at the truth as to the state of civilization of the Filipinos
at the time of the Spanish conquest one must carefully weigh the
evidences of an accumulation of mainly useless and unreliable
documents, and the history of the Philippines has yet to be written in
the modern spirit; but it is sufficient for this discussion to say
that there is no place for the notion that the Filipinos are savages
held in check by religious awe and superstition. Here, as throughout
the discussion, no reference is had to the Moros, the Indonesian hill
tribes of Mindanao, or the mountain wild people of Luzón and a few
other islands. The Negritos remaining are a negligible quantity. There
are cruelty and indifference to suffering, often to a shocking degree.
These are due to an ever present fatalism, which the little real
religious teaching the people have received has built upon rather than
sought to eliminate, and to the absolute lack of an appeal to, or of
an attempt to educate, higher feelings. If it is to be assumed at the
outset that these people are forever incapable of such higher
feelings, then it ought also to have been assumed that they were
incapable of Christianity. Water torture, which has in some cases been
resorted to on our side, is one of the forms of torture to which these
people are accustomed. The list of victims buried alive by order of
guerrilla chiefs, the maiming, mutilations, and secret assassinations
certainly make up an appalling and shocking chapter. War stirs up the
darkest passions among the most advanced peoples, however, and it was
in a degree to be expected that a people untrained in modern
international usages, and never in the past treated as though they
belonged to the brotherhood of man, or were responsible to humanity
for humaneness, would not exhibit an entirely refined code of slaying.
The "ethics of warfare," - after all, is that not a rather paradoxical
phrase? That instances of real brutality on the part of our troops
have been the exception has been stated to be the opinion of the
writer. On the confession of the officer who conducted it, the
campaign in the island of Samar from October to March last must be
excepted from this general statement. He has met the charge of
violating the rules of civilized warfare with the counter-charge that
the people of Samar are savages, and that it was necessary to suspend
many of these rules in order to restore peace and quiet to that part
of the archipelago. By inference, it then became a war of
extermination till one side or the other should cry quits.

Title: Race prejudice in the Philippines.
Author: LeRoy, James A. (James Alfred), 1875-1909.