During the Philippine-American War America lost 4,234 men and 2,818 wounded while the Filipinos lost 20,000 of its soldiers and approximately 200,000 to 500,000 civilians had died. The war was one of the worst devastating events in the Philippine history and the foundation of the Philippine and American relationship.
It is concluded by a great Filipino historian named Teodoro Agoncillo , that the Americans came to the Philippines not as a friend, but as an enemy masking as a friend. There was no notable agreement settled regarding the control of Philippines when the Americans met Pres. Aguinaldo in Hong Kong for cooperation in fighting the common enemy, Spain. When Spain surrendered the Philippines to the Americans it is clear who will take control of the tropical country. So war inevitable to happen.
So were there atrocities done by the Americans?
It is known and still noted that the number of Filipino soldiers killed is still being debated and the number of civilians killed is shockingly so high that many historians concluded that the cause of the deaths were contributed to cholera epidemic, which broke out during the war. But as many historians would agree that the Americans did so many atrocities.
When Filipinos attacked Americans in Guerrilla style warfare, the Americans will retaliate with a massive blow towards the civilians. Americans attack into the countryside frequently included scorched earth campaigns in which entire villages were burned and destroyed, the use of torture killing and the killing civilians aged 10 above. In November 1901, the Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger reported:" our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog.
Filipinos were no match to well-equipped Americans soldiers, so when a group of Filipino Soldiers successfully attacked or ambushed US soldiers and brutally slaughtered them with farming tools which the Filipinos used as their weapons, the US soldiers turned their vengeance to the civilians. When American reinforcements came and could not find any Filipino soldier the civilians will be lined up for a firing squad killing everyone including children.
Here are some notable atrocities by the Americans:
- The looting and burning of civilian villages
- Massacre of entire populations example the massacre of 17,000 people in Caloocan, village of Maypaja had 5,000
- Placing Filipinos into small concentration camps which led to disease and hunger causing the death of over 200,000 people or more.
- Massacre of the people of Samar ordered by Gen. Jake "Howling" Smith which was the killing of anyone capable of bearing arms. This meant all were killed from ages 10 years old and above
- Use of the water treatment as a means of torture
- American soldiers kill anyone in sight in the battleground.