Tax Resistance in the Philippine Revolution

A dispatch from Manila on concerned tax resistance in the Philippines:

Aguinaldo’s Troubles.

Natives Will Refuse to Pay a Tax to Support the Government

The Filipino congress is engaged in the consideration of the question of raising funds to defray the heavy expenses of the maintenance of the army, pending a decision by the Paris conference. Hitherto the army of the Filipinos has been chiefly supported by public subscription, but now the native government contemplates the imposition of various taxes. The inhabitants of the northern provinces, however, especially of Pampanga and Llocos, flatly refuse to pay land or poll taxes because it was the popular impression that the revolutionists would abolish taxation entirely.

The natives of Pampanga and Pangasinan, the two richest agricultural provinces of the island, and those of Llocos and Zambelas, who are the sturdiest mountaineers, distrust the Pagais, and insist upon the establishment of an American protectorate.

Saturday the assembly discussed a land tax. The majority were opposed to the maintenance of a burden unequally distributed and demanded that a statement of expenditures be submitted. The statement was not forthcoming and the question was shelved.

This apparently comes from a stage in the Philippine Revolution in which the revolutionaries still hoped that independence had been won. Instead, the United States decided to take over, and a second war began a few months later between independence-minded revolutionaries and the U.S. occupation forces.

Folks hunting for parallels between the U.S. war in the Philippines and its wars in the Middle East a century later don’t have to hunt long to find many. The Philippines were where Americans first began to torture their prisoners by waterboarding, for instance.