Friday, July 4, 2014
The Fateful Years: Japan's Adventures in the Philippines
A. Americans put up distributing centers for Filipinos (food, canned goods, wearing apparels)
* “Nagkaluwagan sa piyer”.
* “Hanggang piyer lang kayo”.
No reliable statistics to show the number of casualties.
United States War Damage Commission made a study of the extent of the damage of done to property and industry estimated that domestic assets suffered by about $ 789,767,595, distributed as follows:
$ 195, 347,395 - public property
$ 464, 420,000 - private property
$ 125, 000,000 - Catholic property
The different industries suffered by about Php 582.5 million, distributed as follows:
Php 140,291,000 - rice industry
Php 121,210,000 - mining
Php 94,590,000 - sugar
Php 81,203,000 - livestock
Php 145,206,000 - coconut, abaca, tobacco, lumber and fishing industries
B. Truth came out that Japanese airplanes, particularly the Zero’s and heavy bombers, were making a shambles of American installations and air fields. Gen. Homma was surprised to find the USAFFE too weak in the area.
* MacArthur put into effect the War Plan Orange-3 into operation which was to retreat to Bataan.
* US Government has no intention to send aid to the Philippines.
C. Bataan was a good propaganda copy to bolster the morale of the Filipino and American soldiers. However. The conclusion of its fall that the USAFFE surrendered because of the numerical superiority of the enemy, was a lame excuse to explain away a humiliating defeat. (20,000 Japanese; 70 to 80,000 USAFFE men)
* Little coordination between the units
* Philippine defenses were weak and inadequate
* Military discipline was lax, true especially of those inexperienced trainees
D. Death March is not the fundamental reason for “sadism” on Bataan, but a rationalization of individual Japanese acts. The main explanation lies in Japanese psychology and training had made them indifferent. Moreover, it was the physical – perhaps the psychological – weakness of prisoners, coupled with the sadistic acts if individual Japanese soldiers, that was primarily responsible for the thousands of deaths registered during the march from Bataan to Pampanga.
* Tojo admitted that Japan had no intention of taking Philippines because it had no military significance; it was the Navy that insisted to insure the safety of Japanese lines of communications between the South Seas and Japan.
E. The political aspect of the occupation revolved around the Philippine Executive Commission which was created by Gen. Maeda Masami for the purpose of involving the popular Filipino leaders in the problem of collaboration with Japan. However, the ironic part was that these alleged collaborators were suspect in the eyes of Japanese administrators.
* Japan wanted to make it appear that the Phil. government was being run by the Filipinos and not to make any pressure; Japanese Army had no sufficient personnel and technical know-how to run the civil administration.
F. Agoncillo opposed the idea that Laurel, having been the attorney of the Japanese commercial firms before the war, was the most acceptable to the enemy, for to him, it was Pio Duran who wrote a book Philippine Independence and the Far Eastern Question (1935). Laurel’s Filipinistic posture strengthened by his Oriental spirit led the Japanese to believe in his capacity to head the Republic for Japan’s sake.
G. Ramos collaborated actively with Japanese and accepted the leadership of the Makapili. On the other hand, Artemio Ricarte was given asylum before by Japan but he also used his influence with the military officers to lighten the sentence of Filipino, to save the life of another or to prevent confiscation of the foods and goods. Ramos was with Laurel retreated to Baguio, later to Taiwan and Japan while Ricarte was reported to be dead.
H. Japan’s adventure in the Philippines was undoubtedly a complete failure. The Japanese in their flush of victory, did not treated the Filipinos, as fellow Oriental deserving of respect and understanding, but as a conquered people.
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