Mr. President
by Rev. Fr. Roman C. Sagun, Jr.

Here’s the conclusion of the 14-page letter of the first American Bishop of Jaro, Iloilo to the President of the United States on 9 May 1904:

You asked me, Mr. President, to suggest what ought to be done.

In general, my suggestion would be, first, the establishment here of a real, honest, strong American government, and the cleaning out of all the insurrectos who now, possessing the offices, hold the country by the throat, and who alone are prospering and growing fat.

Specifically, as regards ecclesiastical matters, let the American government keep its obligations, assumed in the treaty of Paris, and do simple justice – restore to the Catholic Church at once and by executive act every particle of property which has been taken from it, and prohibit effectively further theft of this kind.

We do not ask that you should “ram the Catholic religion down the throats of these people”, as you yourself expressed it; but we do ask that you should not aid in the process of taking it out of them with a stomach- pump which is now going on.

In conclusion of what be a wearisome communication, I venture to recommend to your notice a young man from Iloilo who is a member of the commission of Filipinos which has just been sent to visit the St. Louis fair. He is Mr. Wm. Gomez, and one of the brightest and best and most reliable man I have seen here.

I regret to say that by far the greatest number among those commissioners are a bad and disreputable lot of citizens. There are a few good ones, and Mr. Gomez is of the best. He will be able to give you a true idea of things here if you will get him to talk freely.

Another source of reliable and accurate information is Judge McDonougn, of Albany, who is just returning home. You know him well and I need not tell you what a magnificent man he is. He knows the situation here perfectly and you can rely on all he may say. I wish he were going to have an active and important part in the futurze development of these islands.

And now, with sentiments of highest esteem and profound respect, I have the honor to remain.

Most faithfully yours,
Frederick Z. Rooker,
Bishop of Jaro

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...