June 8, 1935
Aguinaldo opens campaign
Announces extensive platform during meeting at Cavite—plans campaign throughout provinces
Pledging “the early restoration of our glorious Republic” and the fulfillment of his 44-plank platform before a relic of the revolution, a banner tattered “not by age but by the bullets of enemies,” General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed his candidacy for the commonwealth presidency Sunday. The aged warrior’s acceptance speech was made before a small crowd liberally estimated at 5,000, in Cavite, Cavite, at the Paseo del Reparo.
Besides Catilinarian attacks on the present leadership, Don Emilio presented a 43-plank platform, later to be reinforced by a 44th, advocating among other things a shorter transition period before independence, reforms in the government structure and improved relations between labor and capital with a view to reducing expenditures and taxation.
Party leaders mum
“I do not have any political party behind me,” cried the Veteranos’ candidate, “my party is composed of the humble sons of the people, flattered before elections and forgotten after triumph. What more could I ask for?”
Majority as well as minority leaders in the legislature declined to comment on the general’s attacks on the coalition an his virulent accusations of official corruption. Of the kilometric platform proposed, Rep. Francisco Varona declared: “There is nothing in the platform that is not included in the platforms of the present political parties.”
General Aguinaldo is leaving next Sunday.
Among these were Sixto Lopez, grand old man of Batangas, Judge Anastacio Teodoro, Judge Justo Lukban, Emiliano Tria Tirona, Narciso Lapuz, Vicente Sotto, several generals of the revolution, and Miguel Cornejo, former presidential cock of the Fascist party, who retired in favor of General Aguinaldo.
The president of the short-lived Philippine Republic promises in his Declaration of Purposes:
The shortening of the transition period to three or five years;
The revision of the constitutional provision for compulsory arbitration so that the freedom of contract may not be impaired;
An effective reorganization of the government branches to secure efficiency and simplification;
A policy of strict economy, with its consequent reduction of expenditures and salaries. The salary of the president is to be slashed 50 percent;
Revision of the present taxation system, and introduction of land taxation based on the land’s productivity and not on its value;
A national lottery under government auspices;
Increased concessions to labor, in the form of living quarters, opportunity for advancement, and low rents;
Reformation of the present educational system with a view to making it vocational and nationalistic;
The establishment of a system of national defense;
The protection of basic agricultural products from adverse trade movements here and abroad.
It is generally granted that the old-timer’s chances are slim. Handicapped by lack of organization ad financial support, Aguinaldo’s only chance seems to lie in the unification of the different discontented elements of the country.
But Don Emilio seems to be ready to undergo “great sacrifices and privations” and in his speech called on his followers to be “inspired by the example of those heroes of ’96 who, with the ground for bed and the sky for roof and fruits for food, did not hesitate to fight for the cause of liberty.”
That the coming battle of ballots is another such struggle for liberty was made clear by the general when he climaxed a powerful attack on present conditions with the dramatic cry: “Farewell independence, goodbye democracy!”
Meanwhile, the majority and the minority parties have been reorganizing themselves. Conventions for the members of both have been called to discuss the proposed coalition.
It looks like the fight is on.