FAITH
Ring-Leaders
by Rev. Fr. Roman C. Sagun, Jr.

The first American Bishop Frederick Z. Rooker, conse crated bishop of Jaro on June 14, 1903 further wrote in 1904:

Meanwhile, the real question was working out its development. The noise and the excitement created over the Friars were not without a purpose.

While attention was drawn to a false issue, the true one had time to make great headway. At the bottom, as I have said, lay and still lies race hatred.

These disturbers have conceived the idea that the Orient should be for orientals, that the brown race must be free and independent of all white domination. Their plan from the beginning was to get rid not only of Spanish civil rule, but of all white supremacy in matters either of politics or of religion.

Had they succeeded in setting up their autonomy, they would have driven every white person either civil or ecclesiastical out of the islands. That was unquestionable their intention, and is unquestionably their desire today.

When I say “their”, I beg to be understood as speaking only of the ring-leaders who in the past constituted the officers of state and army of the revolution, and who today make up the Federal party and hold the civil offices. Whether or not they were sincere and patriotic in their intentions or purely egoistic and anarchical need scarcely be discussed.

No one who has lived intimately with the people for any length of time is in doubt on the subject, and the best of natives, in great numbers, have told me personally that no one here believes in their sincerity.

The American government made it evident to them that they need not look for immediate autonomy nor the departure of white domination for the present, and appeased their discontent by giving them the next thing to it in the way of public office and power.

Then, with a cunning most characteristic of such people, they determined that they would get rid of such white rule as had not an army and riches behind it for its protection.

The “Katipunan” which had outlived its political usefulness and which, with a strong arm, the government suppressed as a political society, at once put on the soutane of the priest and became the “Independent Philippine church”.

The move was, as I say, a cunning one. As an independent church it made no profession of working against established authority for political freedom; and under the guarantee of liberty of worship was beyond the power of government interference.

The propagandists of race hatred could keep up their work and be absolutely secure, and so they are doing. No sensible man thinks there is a particle of religion in this new departure, and the very arguments they use to induce people to join it and become its “priests” are arguments of political scope and nature.


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