Thursday, February 7, 2008

from Sir Don Brennock, KCR

What a wonderful article. Congratulations to Gemma Cruz Araneta. My only surprise is that I thought that the vast majority of Filipinos were actively aware of this horrific event and indeed the follow-on horrors that were perpetrated, not just on Filipino troops but on the civilian population as well, including the most appalling treatment of Filipino women on the public streets. We seem to think that 'waterboarding', as it is now so casually referred to by the USA in it's treatment of some of it's 'terrorist' prisoners, is a new phenomenon. Not so. The 'Water Torture' was quite commonly used by the American troops in the Philippines at that time. They even took photographs of themselves in action. Four or five troops forcibly held down an unfortunate Filipino, a funnel with a short pipe or hose attached was inserted in his mouth and water was poured in until he confessed to something or other, gave up his comrades, or DIED by drowning.
The only eye-witness account of the events around the 4th. Feb.(my Son's birthday, so I will never forget) 1899 by an independent outside witness, that I am aware of, is 'The Filipino Martyrs' by (would you believe it, ? an Irishman) Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who happened to be travelling in the Far East at the time, was on his way back from China and heard that a revolution was going on in the Philippines. So, in the style of Victorian gentlemen of the time, he went to have a look at what was happening. His book (originally produced in 1900) is one of the FILIPINIANA REPRINT SERIES, Book 22, by Renato Constantino. A forefather of Sheridan's, also Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was a very famous Irish Writer, Playwright and Parliamentarian.
We must never allow our children to forget the reality of their history. It is part of their heritage and they are entitled to know all the facts of who they are and where they came from.

Non Omnis Moriar.

Sir Don Brennock, KCR

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