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Scandals in History: Inputs for peace process (Part 13)- Conclusion

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After the creation of the Moro Province which in effect started the Filipinization of Mindanao and Sulu, several other administrative, legislative, and diplomatic acts  toward the  integration or incorporation of the Sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu into the Philippine Islands and finally into the independent Philippine Republic on July 4, 1946  under the Tydings-McDuffie Law, were initiated by the Americans. Most important was the Carpenter Memorandum forged on March 22, 1915 between the then governor of the Moro Province, Frank Carpenter, and Sultan Jamalul Kiram II in which the latter was divested of his temporal powers while retaining his ecclesiastical functions. This agreement again was forged under circumstances of coercion, force, and bad faith, elements that were universally prohibited in treaty-making, another scandal that has not been given any importance and serious attention by historians and even the previous and present Peace Panels. For me, this Carpenter Memorandum which was consummated on March 22, 1915 and the Bates Treaty of August 20, 1899 are the most authentic and incontrovertible diplomatic documents that shatter or debunk the following claims:

l. That Mindanao and Sulu were conquered by Spain;

2. That Mindanao and Sulu were territorial possessions of the Spanish Empire;

3. That Mindanao and Sulu  were sold and ceded to the United States by Spain under Article lll of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris;

4.That Mindanao and Sulu were components or integral parts of the First Philippine Republic under the Presidency of Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo; and
5. That Mindanao and Sulu were integral parts of the Philippine Islands, under the Spanish Colonial Government.

On the contrary, the Bates Treaty and the Carpenter Memorandum are internationally publicized official diplomatic documents which explicitly confirm the following:

l. That Mindanao and Sulu were not colonial possessions of Spain;

2. That the Americans or the United States stilled considered Sulu and Mindanao as territorial

domains of the Sultans of Sulu and Maguindanao even after the signing of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris;

3. That prior to arrival of the Americans in the Moroland the Sultanate of Sulu (including Mindanao) was an independent and sovereign state until the signing of the Carpenter Memorandum of March 22, 1915. This diplomatic admission that Sulu was still an independent and sovereign state until signing of the Carpenter Memorandum by Sultan Jamalul II on March 22, 1915, documentarily and diplomatically proves the following:

(a) That  the Sultanate of Sulu was not sold and ceded to the United States by Spain under Article III of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris;

(b) That the Sultanate of Sulu was an independent and sovereign state which was occupied by the American forces contrary to the 1787 Constitution of the United States, particularly that provision which prohibits a “war of conquest unless actually invaded.”

Since it was the Americans themselves who officially admitted first in several provisions of the Bates Treaty and repeated in the Carpenter Memorandum that the Sultanate of Sulu was still a sovereign and independent state many years after the signing of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris, it is logically correct to conclude that it was not ceded and sold under Article III of said treaty.

On the premise that Sulu and Mindanao  were not ceded and sold  by Spain to the United States in the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris, it is therefore, safe to argue that at present these two separate and distinct sultanates are still illegal components of the Republic of the Philippines. Why? Read the constitutional provision of the 1935 Philippine Constitution which was the original legal basis of the definition of its national territory. By the way, to culminate this treatise, may I remind everyone that this is not a legal opinion but merely a layman’s point of view?

By Clem M. Bascar




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