Campaign for Philippine Independence

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The Philippine Legislature created the Commission of Independence in November 1918 “for the purpose of studying all matters related to the negotiation and organization of Philippine Independence.” This Commission was composed of eleven senators, and forty congressmen, majority coming from the Nacionalista Party.

One of the most important undertaking of the Commission was the dispatch of the Independence Missions to the United States and alongside this, conducted a publicity campaign through the Philippine Press Bureau.

Creation of these Independence Missions was just a first step. These Independence Missions was sent to the United States to appeal to the U.S Congressmen for a law enacted to give the Philippines its independence. Then, they would bring the law to the Philippines for its ratification by the Philippine Congress.

The Independence Missions were sent largely through the initiative of the Nacionalista leaders with occasional Democrata participation to give a sense of national unity. Those who were prominently involved were: Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Manue A. Roxas, Jose Abad Santos, Benigno Aquino Sr., Camilo Osias, Elpidio Quirino, All Nacionalistas, and Claro M. Recto, Emilio Tria Tirona, Juan Sumulong, Pedro Gil, Ruperto Montinola and all Democratas.

The first Independence Mission was sent to the United States in 1919, which was the only one during the Democratic Administration of Woodrow Wilson. This was led by Senate President Quezon and Senator Rafel Palma and consisted of some forty Filipinos representing both the Nacionalista and Democrata parties. But the Mission came at a bad time. For the United States are suffering the time of the Great Depression after the first World War therefore, the mission’s petition for independence was the farthest from their mind. They were received by Secretary Newton D. Baker, Secretary of war and assured them that President Wilson was in support of their petition. But...
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