Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sakdalistas Up!

Governor General Frank Murphy lay ill at Wnite Sulphur Springs, W. Va. President Manuel Quezon of the Philippine Senate was in Manhattan. Acting Governor General Joseph R. Hayden was far north in the Igorot Country on an inspection tour. Major General Frank Parker, commanding the Philippine District, was vacationing in China. A better opportunity for an uprising could scarcely have presented itself to disadvantaged Filipino hotheads. Last week they took it, with the bloodiest consequences of any Philippine revolt in the past 15 years.

The party involved was the Sakdal (a Tagalog dialect word roughly translatable as "I accuse") with a membership estimated between 10,000 and 200,000 on the main island of Luzon. Four years ago Benigno Ramos began organizing the Sakdalistas after Manuel Quezon fired him from the job of clerk of the Philippine Senate. Ramos' platform was calculated to appeal to poor malcontents: abolition of poll and land taxes, better roads, more schools, shared wealth. Significance of the Sakdal party name was its bitter opposition to the "favoritism and corruption" of Boss Quezon's dominant Nationalist party. Evidently last week's uprising was chiefly calculated as a demonstration against the May 14 Constitution plebiscite. Sakdalistas believed that if that vote were favorable, the result would pave the way to Boss Quezon's election as President of the Philippine Commonwealth this autumn, keep his faction in power during the next ten years of Commonwealth status.

First thing Manila knew of the revolt was when communications to all other parts of Luzon were cut. At San Ildefonso, due north in Bulacan Province, the U.S. flag was hauled down, immediate Philippine "independence" declared, a short-lived socialistic government set up. Sporadic sniping at constabulary detachments popped throughout three provinces of central Luzon. And at Cabuyao, on the main south road between Manila and the great U.S.-owned Calamba sugar estates, actual battle was pitched. Under a woman named Salud Argrave, several hundred Cabuyao rebels took over the town, seized the weapons of six visiting U.S. sailors, fought off local police. Then 35 constabulary officers arrived and the one-sided slaughter began. Fifty-two insurgents lay dead by the time order was restored. Within 48 hr. peace again reigned in Luzon. The price: 61 dead, 54 wounded insurgents, ten wounded constabulary members.

On two sides of the world, a lot of talking followed a little shooting. "The leaders told us," babbled one Sakdalista whose leg had been shot off, "that Benigno Ramos was buying arms in Japan and would arrive by plane to aid us." A thrilled suspicion ran through the U.S. Press, ever conscious of the Yellow Peril, that the Japanese had engineered the whole thing as a preliminary to seizing the Philippines. Such an assumption appeared to be an extravagance. Benigno Ramos was indeed in Tokyo where he had been living under the protection of members of the potent Seiyukai party since September. To a reporter who interviewed him in the Seiyukai headquarters last week he obligingly handed a Sakdalista leaflet appealing to "the gallant Japanese people" for arms to overcome "American oppression." But Benigno Ramos was living in student quarters obviously out of funds, and official Tokyo convincingly disavowed any interest in the uprising or any other phase of Filipino politics.

Far from embarrassed by the revolt, Manuel Quezon blamed the whole thing on the Philippine depression which followed the bad trade bargain he had to make with the U.S. Congress in return for his country's freedom.

-from TIME magazine
  May 13, 1935

 by Cabuyao - Stories, Anecdotes and Remniscences on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 1:54pm

    • Mike L. Cariño I may be wrong, but I think the Cabuyao battle decribed above took place in our town plaza and that the Sakdalistas in Cabuyao were mostly from the "baybay" area. Again, I am not sure, so my apologies if I am off.
      October 14, 2010 at 1:26pm ·

    • Tiong Ben Bermudez
      ‎@Mike: you're correct taga baybay area sila. ang iba naman ay nadamay lang, out of curiousity napasama ang ilan usyoso nang niyakag ng mga sakdalista. si Tatay, the late Onciong Bermudez, was
      already a kartero by that time. siya lang ang t...anging empleyado ng municipio na pumasok ng araw na yon. sabi pa ng ilan rebelde, "Tata Onciong atin na ang pamahalaan". sagot naman niya, T... nyo paano kayo mananalo sa dala nyo salapang at itak? umuwi na kayo at dadating na si Cailles patay kayo".See More

      October 21, 2010 at 11:35pm ·

    • Cabuyao - Stories, Anecdotes and Remniscences ‎@ Tiong Ben Bermudez : We are glad to see you here! Welcome and hope to hear more from you soon.
      October 22, 2010 at 12:32am ·

    • Cabuyao - Stories, Anecdotes and Remniscences ‎@ Tiong Ben Bermudez : Terrific recollection about the Sakdal uprising! I hope there are more stories to come from your end...looking forward to them!
      October 22, 2010 at 12:34am ·

    • Tiong Ben Bermudez ‎@Author: thanks a lot for your appreciation.
      October 23, 2010 at 6:21am ·

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