By: Marc Immanuel

Originally published on: 13 June 2017
Last updated on: 18 May 2018


The name “Philippine Islands (Philippines)”  is a European colonialist (Spanish colonialist and subsequently US colonialist) naming.

The specific island group in the “Southeast Asia” region had been named “Las Islas Filipinas” (literally, “Phillip’s Islands”) by the occupying Spanish Empire, in honor of King Phillip II of Spain. The subsequent occupying US Empire transliterated the Spanish name into English as the “Philippine Islands (Philippines)”. (“Philippines”, Wikipedia, section, “Etymology”).

Note: To avoid using the imposed European colonialist naming, in this report that specific island group is referred to as the ‘Southeast Islands” (short form: the ”Islands”).

.                                                                          THE UNITED STATES INVADES THE SOUTHEAST ISLANDS


On 12 June 1898 — toward the end of the Philippine Revolution (19 August 1896 – 13 August 1898) — the main revolutionary forces of the Indigenous Peoples of the Northern Southeast Islands (“Northern Phillipines”) [the so-called ”Filipino People” (Spanish colonialist exonym)], led by General Emilio Aguinaldo, issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence.

The Philippine Declaration of Independence declared the independence of the collective People of the Southeast Islands (‘Philippines”) from the Spanish Empire (which had occupied the Islands for over 300 years).

Within two months of the Philippine Declaration of Independence, the Philippine Revolutionary Army had liberated the Southeast Islands from Spanish colonialist domination.

During that time, the US Government was simultaneously waging an imperialist war against the Spanish Empire [known as the US-Spanish War (21 April 1898 – 13 August 1898)]. Pretending to be in support of the independence of the Peoples of the Southeast Islands, the US Government began its invasion of the Islands. On 1 May 1898, the US Navy attacked and annihilated the Spanish Pacific fleet in the waters of the Northern Islands (“Northern Philippines”) at the Battle of Manila (1898).  

Once the Spanish colonialist occupation was ousted, the US Government refused to recognize the independence of the People of the Southeast Islands, intending instead to make the island group a US colony and to subject all the Peoples of the Southeast Islands to US colonialist rule.

On 4 February 1899, the US Government initiated a war of aggression against the newly-independent Philippine Republic — for the US conquest of the Northern Southeast Islands (“Northern Philippines”). That US war of aggression has become known as the US-Philippines War [1899 – officially ended in 1903 but the Northern Islands People’s (”Filipino” People’s) militant resistance to US occupation continued for several more years].

In 1899, the US Military also invaded the Southern Southeast Islands (“Southern  Philippines”), initiating a war of aggression against the “Bangsamoro” Peoples. [The Southern Islands contain the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan island group (abbreviation: Minsupala), the ancestral homeland of the Bangsamoro. (source)]

The Bangsamoro militant resistance to US colonialist occupation lasted for more than a decade. It may be termed, the Bangsamoro Resistance to US Occupation [a.k.a. “Moro Rebellion”] (1899-1913).

[The Bangsamoro Peoples — who were referred to by the European Peoples as the “Moros” (Spanish colonialist exonym) — are indigenous peoples of the Southern Southeast Islands (”Southern Philippines”). They, in general, have never identified as “Filipinos” and have been traditionally of Muslim religion since before European colonialist invaders ever arrived to the Southeast Islands and began to impose institutional Christianity.]


During the 14-year period of the US war of conquest in the Northern and Southern Southeast Islands (”Philippines”’) (1899-1913) — especially during the initial 4-year period (1899-1903) — US invasion and occupation forces perpetrated the following crimes (amounting, under contemporary  UN/ICC definitions,  to genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression, and war crimes):

● destroying of cities and burning of whole villages (sources: 23)
● mass extermination of men, women, and children 
(sources: 23)
● imprisoning whole populations in concentration camps under overcrowded and unsanitary conditions (where mass starvation and disease epidemics caused mortality rates of up to 20%) (sources: 23)
● massacres of prisoners and civilians (sources: 23)
● interrogations involving torture, beatings, and killings of civilians (sources: 23)
● a total death toll of more than 1 million men, women, and children throughout the Islands as a result of the US war and physical genocide (sources: 23)
● cultural genocide policies during US colonialist occupation (1899-1946), involving, among others, the “destruction of the specific character of a persecuted group by forced transfer of children, forced exile, prohibition of the use of the national language, (and) destruction of books, documents, monuments, and objects of historical, artistic, or religious value.” [sources: 2 (section, “Civilizing Holocaust”), 3 (section, “The Process of Americanization of the Philippines”)]

Below video (approx. 5 minutes), published by Compact Jam on 17 Nov. 2012:
Describes the US genocide in the Southeast Islands (“Philippines”)

[Correction at 0:12 (beginning) of video: A caption incorrectly displays the year of the initial US invasion as 1889. The year of the initial US invasion was 1898. US war against the Peoples of the Southeast Islands began on 4 February 1899.]


[The US president who ordered the US conquest of the Southeast Islands (”Philippines”)
describes how he “prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance”
and was one night inspired — apparently by “Almighty God” — to see the answer]

“…I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way — I don’t know how it was, but it came: … that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all (the Philippine Islands), and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly. And the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department (our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office). And there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!”

— 25th US President (1897-1901) William McKinley
(Full text of interview)
[Source: General James Rusling, “Interview with President William McKinley,” The Christian Advocate, 22 January 1903, 17. Reprinted in Daniel Schirmer and Stephen Rosskamm Shalom, eds., The Philippines Reader (Boston: South End Press, 1987), 22–23.]

US soldiers posing with the bodies of massacred Tausug men, women, and children in the Bud Dahu volcanic crater, Jolo Island. Hundreds of villagers (various estimates ranging between 600 and 1,600) who had taken refuge there were mass murdered by the US Army in a four-day assault culminating on 7-8 March 1906. (source)

[an act of physical genocide (one of many US acts of genocide in the “Philippines”]

During 5-7 March 1906, about 750 US Army and Marine soldiers under the command of US Army Colonel J. W. Duncan, and under orders by US Army Major General and Governor of Moro Province, Leonard Wood, assaulted the volcanic crater (of an extinct volcano) of Bud Dahu (also transliterated as Bud Daju), a mountain on the island of Jolo, Southern Southeast Islands (“Southern Philippines”). Between 600 and 1,600 villagers (according to various estimates) of the Tausug subgroup of the Bangsamoro (a.k.a. “Moro”) ethnic group (traditionally of Muslim religion), including hundreds of women and children, were taking refuge inside the crater.

The US Military force, using artillery, machine gun, and rifle fire, massacred all the villagers inside the crater, including all the women and children. Very few of the Tausug villagers survived the massacre. (Estimates of the Tausug death toll have ranged from lowest estimates of about 600 to highest estimates of about 1,600.)

Eyewitnesses reported that corpses were piled five feet (1.5 meters) deep, and many of the bodies were wounded multiple times (many with as many as 50 wounds). About 20 US soldiers died and between about 50 to 75 soldiers were wounded during the assault.

The US military authorities censored the telegrams from Jolo describing the casualties.

The use of overwhelming firepower to commit a genocidal massacre of hundreds of men, women, and children who had been taking refuge inside a crater and whose defenders were armed mostly with swords, knives, clubs, and spears was called a “battle” by the US political and military authorities.

In a 10 March 1906 telegram, 26th US President (1901-1909) Theodore Roosevelt congratulated the soldiers who committed the Bud Dahu Massacre for “upholding the honor of the American [US] flag”.

Washington, March 10.

Wood, Manila: —
I congratulate you and the officers and men of your command upon the brilliant feat of arms wherein you and they so well upheld the honor of the American flag.

Theodore Roosevelt

US Army Major General Leonard Wood was later promoted by the US Government to the office of Chief of Staff of the US Army (1910-1914) and to the office of Governor-General of the Philippines (1921-1927). Wood campaigned for the US Republican Party presidential candidacy for the 1920 US presidential elections, but lost the candidacy to Warren G. Harding [who thereafter was elected to the US presidency and held office as the 29th US president (1921-1923)].

[More information about Leonard Wood: “Leonard Wood”, Abagond (blog)]

Acts of genocide (both of physical and of cultural genocide) against the Indigenous Peoples of the Southern Southeast Islands (”Southern Philippines”) were perpetrated throughout most of the 20th century — first by US occupation forces, then by corrupt Northern Islander (”Filipino”) puppet government forces and militia with US Government support.

In 2006, 100 years following the Bud Dahu Massacre, Dr. Gerald Schenk, a US citizen and professor of history, climbed Bud Dahu, participating in a historic collective act commemorating the massacre. He said: “The Bangsamoro is completely absent from American [US] history books.” (source 6)

Sources (for Bud Dahu Massacre):
BudDahu1, BudDahu2BudDahu3, BudDahu4, BudDahu5



During World War II, the US Empire and the Empire of Japan waged one of the most catastrophic wars in human history [the Asia-Pacific War (1941-1945)] for the control of the Asia-Pacific region, including the Southeast Islands (”Philippines Islands”).

The US Military had first invaded and occupied the Southeast Islands beginning in 1898, seizing the Islands from the Spanish Empire and thereafter suppressing the Island Peoples’ independence struggles through war of aggression, war crimes, and genocide (1899-1913).

On 8 December 1941, ten hours after the attack on Pear Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Military invaded the Southeast Islands and thereafter seized the Islands from the United States. The Japanese occupation of the Philippines lasted for three years (1942-1945).

Both the Japanese Imperial Military and the US Military committed great war crimes against the Southeast Island Peoples during their catastrophic competition for control of the Islands.

In its effort to regain control of the Southeast Islands, the US Government under 32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt committed one of the greatest war crimes in human history — the 1945 US mass bombardment and complete destruction of Manila (the capital city of the Islands during the whole period of Spanish and US colonialist rule). [The US Military campaign to regain control of Manila is known as the Battle of Manila (1945).]

The US Air Force bombed Manila with about 100 bombs every day for about one month (February 1945), without regard for the about one million civilian inhabitants trapped inside the city.  According to various estimates, between 100,000 and 240,000 civilians died inside the city (mostly as a result of US aerial and artillery bombardments). After the battle, the US Military reportedly bulldozed almost whatever was left of Manila. (Manila3)

For the sake of the dominance of US imperialism in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States wiped out the pre-WWII city of Manila off the face the Planet, as it did with the pre-WWII cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the same year.

Sources (for 1945 US Destruction of Manila):
Manila1, ABC-CBS News; Manila2, Rappler; Manila3, Hecho Ayer; source4, Wikipedia

Below video (approx. 6 minutes), published by on 22 May 2012:
US Army propaganda video report, by Army Pictoral Service (a division of the US Army); shows scenes from the US Military’s invasion and bombardment of Manila in 1945


In 1946 — after nearly half a century of US military occupation (briefly interrupted by three years of Imperial Japanese military occupation during World War II) — a false independence was “granted” by the US Government to the Southeast Islands (”Philippines”) .

The democracy was a sham. A great dependency had been skillfully arranged, and the US Government retained political, economic, and military control over the Southeast Islands via oppressive puppet governments.

To the present day as of 2018, the United States retains a military presence in the Islands. In recent years as of 2018, the US Military has been involved in military operations against the Bangsamoro ethnic group of the Southern Southeast Islands (“Southern Philippines”). (source 7).

The Bangsamoro have been living under foreign domination, and have been resisting foreign domination, continuously for over 400 years. The continuing injustice against the traditionally Muslim Indigenous Peoples of the Southern Southeast Islands and the recently increasing  US military presence and activity in the region has, in recent years as of 2018, been empowering Islamic extremism in the region.

On 14 November 2017, former real estate tycoon and 45th US President (as of Jan. 2017) Donald J. Trump, speaking to the press, referred to the Southeast Islands as a “prime piece of real estate”. He said: “(The Philippines) is a strategic location — the most strategic location. And, if you look at it, it’s called the most prime piece of real estate from a military standpoint.” (source,, 14 Nov. 2017)

Quoting a 2018 news report by Monthly Review (MR) Online: “(In January 2018), the US Armed Forces finally admitted that a new mission was underway in the Southeast Islands. Dubbed ‘Operation Pacific Eagle – Philippines’, the operation allows for an unlimited budget to be set aside for the purpose of armed US operations in the Southeast Asian region. …Critics contend that the operation is aimed at strengthening Washington’s grip on the long-subjugated people of the Philippines, defeating a half-century leftist insurgency, and securing the country for the interests of US multinational corporations.”  (source 8)

To the present day as of 2018, rich Spanish heritage families in close cooperation with US corporations have ruled the Southeast Islands without much opposition. Southeast Island natural resources have been exploited by US corporations, enabled by unequal treaties. The riches of the region have flowed across the western ocean of the Western Hemisphere [the “Pacific Ocean” (European naming)] to the territory of the Western Hemisphere under occupation of the 50-state United States. Yet the vast majority of the population of the Southeast Islands have remained poor peasants. (source 4)

.                                                                                   COCA-COLA AND THE PHILIPPINES

One of the US corporations which has been involved in the US economic exploitation of the Southeast Islands (”Philippines”) is the corporation Coca-Cola — which, as of 2017, had a revenue of over $35 billion a year, making it the 84th largest economy in the world. (source)

Since the beginning of the US domination of the Southeast Islands, Coca-Cola corporation (which during the 20th century became one of the largest buyers of sugar in the world) has exploited the sugar cane resources in the Islands,  as well as the labor of the peasant majority  population of the Islands.

Child labor of children of poor peasant families has been used extensively in the Southeast Islands since the beginning of US domination to produce and export sugar, much of which has been going into Coca-Cola’s sugar-sweetened beverages (which by now have been marketed throughout the Planet).

Millions of children in the Southeast Islands and elsewhere during the last more than 100 years have worked in the sugar cane fields for long hours for very little pay, while the top shareholders and executives of Cola-Cola corporation have amassed huge sums of money by exploiting their lives and labor.

Sources (for Coca-Cola in the Philippines):
CCsource1, CNN; CCsource2, CounterPunch (section “Coke in the Philippines”); CCsource3

As of 2011, there were more than 2 million child laborers aged 5-17 years old in the Southeast Islands. About 95% of them were employed in hazardous work. (source, International Labor Organizaton)

Below video (approx. 2 minutes), published by Kenza B. Amor on 10 Mar. 2014:
A brief video report about children exploited in sugar cane plantations of the Southeast Islands in 2012


1. “US-Philippines War”, Wikipedia, volunteer-written encycl., article (historical)
2. “On Genocide: The US Record in the Philippines”, The Philippines Matrix Project,
by E. San Juan, Jr. (director of Philippines Cultural Studies Center), 31 July 2008
3. “Genocide and the Philippines-American War. President Rodrigo Duterte and Neocolonialism”,
GlobalResearch, by Timothy Alexander Guzman (independent researcher and author), 4 March 2017
4. “False Freedom and Insatiable Greed”,
the Pilgrim’s Inn, article (historical), by Father Sean Coyle, 25 June 2014
5. “Manifest Destiny, Continued: McKinley Defends U.S. Expansionism”,
History Matters (transcript of an interview with 25th US President William McKinley)
6. “Bud Dahu: Healing and Justice is Sought for a 100-Year Old Injustice”,
Initiatives for International Dialogue, article (news), 29 March 2006
7. “Deadly Drone Strike on Muslims in the Southern Philippines”,
article (news), by Akbar Ahmed and Frankie Martin, Brookings, 5 March 2012
8. “Operation Pacific Eagle in the Philippines: Washington’s New Colonial War”,
article (news), by Editors, MR Online, 18 February 2018


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