July 29, 1931, General Aguinaldo claimed the Philippines is ready for independence.
On July 29, 1931, General Aguinaldo states that the Philippines is ready to assume the responsibilities of an independent nation. Although the country is not ready from a military point of view, no nation, the General thinks, “will dare to use force on another in this age of growing harmony, peace, and international brotherhood”.
Aguinaldo was speaking in response to the address of US Senator Hawes before the joint session of the Philippine Legislature the day before. In his address Hawes stated that independence “would carry with it heavy responsibilities, possibly increase in taxes, and some loss of trade”. Postponing independence 15, 20, or 30 years, he said, is not a plan, but a subterfuge. Senator Sergio Osmeña, in commenting on the Hawes address, said that it was “a splendid exposition of the views of the US Senator on the Philippine problem”.
In a letter written in answer to a questionaire from Senator Hawes, General Aguinaldo stated that “the demand for independence will be more and more pressing as the years go by” and that “delay is aggravating the political and economic situation of the country.” He claimed that “in the strict sense we are not being prepared for independence in any way under the aegis of the United States”.
Aguinaldo broke his silence on political matters for the first time since his capture in 1901, on June 17, 1926, when he cabled US President Hoover protesting against the Bacon Bill. The General stated in his cable that the bill is a blow to national integrity and petitioned for the rejection of the measure as a matter of justice. The Bacon bill was a measure that would separate Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines.