(By: dinggol araneta divinagracia - INM Global Network - July 13, 2007)
On December 27, 1898 - A few days after Spain's formal surrender and the Federal Republic of the Visayas based in Iloilo became independent; thus, achieved the status as a sovereign Nation --a 3,000-strong American military force led by Gen. Marcus Miller arrived in four US warships (USS: Baltimore, Boston, Concord and Petrel) to Iloilo harbor in Fort San Pedro to demand the surrender of the City.
Several negotiations were made but the Ilonggos vehemently refused to surrender their battle scarred freedom and legitimate independence and stood their ground. On February 14, 1899 - After about a week of continued naval bombardment, American troops led by Gen. Robert Hughes landed at Fort San Pedro in Iloilo and took the City by storm. Thus; began another ilonggo war, this time against American invaders.
(Excerpted from: The Philippine-American War as Race War; by Paul A. Kramer)
"...This point was also made at Senate hearings in 1902, when General Hughes described the burning of entire towns by advancing U.S. troops as a means of "punishment, " ---U.S Senator Rawlins inquired: "But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare?" General Hughes replied succinctly: "These people are not civilized."Gen. Robert Hughes admitted he ordered the burning of villages and murder of women and children but he reasoned out that his victims were "not civilized." Describing the Filipinos in racist terms as "Chinese half-breeds" ..."
Sa Ciudad sang Iloilo, may ara kita dira subong isa ka Barangay and a main Street very near Plaza Libertad going to Fort San Pedro, named in honor of this American Military Officer; the Barangay Gen. Robert Hughes and the Gen. Robert Hughes Street. While most Ilonggo leaders of our very own freedom fighters, who offered their lives for future generations are forgotten and do not have up to this day even just a small alley named in their honor...
Hamak Mo Ran Banwa!!!
(N.B. -Gen. Robert Hughes is not the eccentric American Charles Hodges who settled in Iloilo City and operated a big time lending business decades ago.)