Home » Articles » Quezon-Palma Rift Widens During Week, February 18, 1933

Quezon-Palma Rift Widens During Week, February 18, 1933


February 18, 1933

Quezon-Palma Rift Widens During Week

WITH the passage of another week it became more evident than ever that Rafael Palma, former political mogul and president of the University of the Philippines, will side with his old ally, Sen. Sergio Osmeña, in case of a split over the Hawes-Cutting-Hare independence bill. Fortnight ago President Palma categorically declared, “The time has come for the country to change its leadership. We need new direction and new guidance.” U.P. faculty members promptly approved a vote of confidence in their president.

Feeling that the vote of confidence was wholly uncalled for, Senate President Quezon wrote President Palma as follows:

“I have declared in no unmistakable terms, when my attention was called to the report of your resignation, that in my opinion there was no occasion for your leaving the University because of our diverse views on the Hawes-Cutting-Hare law. I said at the time that this agreement has nothing to do with your duties as President of the University of the Philippines, and that despite the disagreement, I have never lost confidence in you.”

To which the university president replied:

“I think that in this crucial point of our history, when the ultimate freedom of our people is at stake, it is not only the privilege but the duty of every citizen to come out and express his opinion on such a momentous question. I have no regret nor apologies to offer for what I have said in the newspapers against those who believe that independence, as provided in the act, should be rejected. I think such an attitude would be a blunder in our history, and I do not want to take any responsibility for such action before the future generations.”

Most bitter shot of the exchange between Senate President Quezon and University President Palma was the following statement issued by Palma, after Quezon had urged the sending of a representative mission to the United States:

“We are rehearsing the same policy which brought us nothing but failures and disappointments this time in connection with independence. We begin by saying that Congress, by certain riders, grants us in the new law independence that does not mean anything. We argue that the National City bank of New York let loose a flood of gold to secure that law’s approval and say that many of the provisions hide many nefarious motives. And after announcing this to the public amidst applause, we promise to go to Washington, not to beg but to dictate to Congress the provisions that should go into the new law. But once in Washington, the situation changes. We begin to request and beg from one side to another, give a banquet to this and offer a drink to that person to interest him in our cause. For this the Americans have often charged us Filipinos with asking for independence but not really wanting it. Well, then, if the people want this to continue, they may continue paying for it.”

Promptly replying, Senate President Quezon declared:

“It would seem that my proposal that a national delegation composed of the representatives of all shades of opinion in our country shall go to the United States—a proposal which has been favorably received by all elements—is, however, strongly opposed  by President Palma. He says that we already have  a law, and he asks: Why try to secure another one? My answer is: Because even the advocates of the said law admit that it is very defective. This being the case, is it not our duty to strive to get one without such defects?”


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