JUNE 12 DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: IT IS 117TH FOR ANNIVERSARY BUT NOT FOR CELEBRATION OR COMMEMORATION

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JUNE 12 DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: IT IS 117TH FOR ANNIVERSARY BUT NOT FOR CELEBRATION OR COMMEMORATION

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sundry-thumbby Jes B. Tirol

Proem

There were many declarations of independence of the Philippines.  On April 12, 1895 Andres Bonifacio declared it at Pamitinan Cave in Montalban, Rizal.  He again proclaimed it at Balintawak, Caloocan on August 23, 1896.

On 31 October 1896, General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippines Independence in Kawit, Cavite.

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On 12 June 1898, by order of General Aguinaldo, Atty. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista proclaimed Philippines Independence at Cavite-Viejo (Kawit, Cavite).

On August 1, 1898, purportedly with the approval of General Aguinaldo, Secretary Apolinario Mabini proclaimed Philippines Independence at Bacoor, Cavite.

On 14 October 1943, the Japanese Imperial Army proclaimed Philippines Independence.

On July 4 1946, the United States of America proclaimed Philippines Independence at Luneta Park, Manila.

Independence Day Celebrations

On September 15, 1898 the Malolos Congress of the First Philippine Republic was convened.  On 29 September 1898 the Malolos Congress ratified the June 12, 1898 Declaration of Independence.

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So, during the existence of the First Philippines Republic until the capture of President Aguinaldo by the Americans at Palanan, Isabela, the Independence Day of the Philippines was June 12, 1898.

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During the American Colonial period from 1901 to 1946 there was no celebration of Philippines Independence.

On July 4, 1946 the United States of America proclaimed that the Philippines was already and independent nation.  From that time on until 1962 we celebrated July 4, 1946 as our Independence Day.

In 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal had a misunderstanding with the United States regarding economic matters.  In a moment of pique and to spite the Americans, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential Proclamation No. 28 changing the Independence Day of the Philippines, which coincided with the July 4 U.S. Independence Day, to June 12, 1898.

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Presidential Proclamation No. 28 was still controversial.  On August 4, 1964 the Republic Act No. 4166 was made into law providing that the Independence Day of the Philippines will be June 12, 1898 as proclaimed in Kawit, Cavite.

From the enactment of the law until the present we are celebrating June 12 every year as our Independence Day and it is an official holiday.

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Anniversary

Anniversary is the counting the number of years that elapsed from the event to the present.  From 1898 to 2015 the number of years that elapsed is 117.  So we have the 117th Anniversary since the proclamation of independence on June 12, 1898.

To celebrate is to make festive the occasion that we want to remember.  To commemorate is to signalize the memory of the occasion.  The June 12 Independence Day was celebrated or commemorated by the First Philippines Republic for three (3) years.  It was again celebrated or commemorated from 1962 to 2015 or 53 years or a total of fifty-six (56) years.

The July 4 Independence Day was celebrated or commemorated from 1946 to 1962 or an occurrence of 16 times.

June 12, 1898 Proclamation

If we compare the Philippines Proclamation of Independence to the American Declaration of Independence, the Philippines Proclamation is very far below in elegance of language and content.  The Philippines Proclamation has plenty of erroneous data and assumptions.

Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista was a lawyer.  Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the American Declaration, was also a lawyer.

We could not blame Atty. Bautista for a sloppy output.  He received the order by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on June 9, 1898 to prepare a Declaration of Independence to be proclaimed on June 12, 1898 or four (4) days later.  He had only three (3) days to do the job because the proclamation was done in the early morning of June 12.

Thomas Jefferson had many months to do the job with the help of other prominent delegates to the Continental Congress.

The declaration prepared by Atty. Bautista is like an affidavit written by a lawyer.  It started with “In the town of Cavite-Viejo, Province of Cavite, this 12th day of June 1898: BEFORE ME…”.

Compare it with Thomas Jefferson’s “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands…”

If you will carefully compare the two proclamations, you can surmise that Atty. Bautista had the American Declaration as reference.  There is parallelism in the reasoning and the concluding statements are similar.

However, Atty. Bautista had to reply only on his stock knowledge and wrote everything in three (3) days, whereas Thomas Jefferson had many months to write and re-write his words with plenty of help from his colleagues and his library.

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