Address of His Excellency Franklin D. Roosevelt to the People of the Philippines on Post-War Independence, August 12, 1943
To the people of the Philippines:
On December 28, 1941, three weeks after the armies of the Japanese launched their attack on Philippine soil, I sent a proclamation to you, the gallant people of the Philippines. I said then:
“I give to the people of the Philippines my solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their independence established and protected. The entire resources, in men and in material, of the United States stand behind that pledge.”
We shall keep this promise, just as we have kept every promise which America has made to the Filipino people.
The story of the fighting on Bataan and Corregidor—and, indeed, everywhere in the Philippines will be remembered so long as men continue to respect bravery, and devotion, and determination. When the Filipino people resisted the Japanese invaders with their very lives, they gave final proof that here was a Nation fit to be respected as the equal to any on earth, not in size or wealth, but in the stout heart and national dignity which are the true measures of a people.
That is why the United States, in practice, regards your lawful Government as having the same status as the Governments of other independent Nations. That is why I have looked upon President Quezon and Vice President Osmeña, not only as old friends, but also as trusted collaborators in our united task of destroying our common enemies in the East as well as in the West.
The Philippine Government is a signatory of the Declaration by the United Nations, along with 31 other Nations. President Quezon and Vice President Osmeña attend the meetings of the Pacific War Council, where the war in the Pacific is charted and planned. Your Government has participated fully and equally in the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture, and a Philippine representative is a member of the Interim Commission created by that Conference. And, of course, the Philippine Government will have its rightful place in the conferences which will follow the defeat of Japan.
These are the attributes of complete and respected nationhood for the Philippines, not a promise but a fact.
As President Quezon himself has told you, “The only thing lacking is the formal establishment of the Philippine Republic.” These words of your President were uttered to you with my prior knowledge and approval. I now repeat them to you myself. I give the Filipino people my word that the Republic of the Philippines will be established the moment the power of our Japanese enemies is destroyed. The Congress of the United States has acted to set up the independence of the Philippines. The time will come quickly when that goes into full effect. You will soon be redeemed from the Japanese yoke and you will be assisted in the full repair of the ravages caused by the war.
We shall fight with ever-increasing strength and vigor until that end is achieved. Already Japan is tasting defeat in the islands of the Southwest Pacific. But that is only the beginning.
I call upon you, the heroic people of the Philippines to stand firm in your faith to stand firm against the false promises of the Japanese, just as your fighting men and our fighting men stood firm together against their barbaric attacks.
The great day of your liberation will come, as surely as there is a God in Heaven.
The United States and the Philippines have learned the principles of honest cooperation, of mutual respect, in peace and in war.
For those principles we have fought—and by those principles we shall live.
Citation: Franklin D. Roosevelt:”Address to the People of the Philippines on Post-War Independence.,” August 12, 1943. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
Source: The American Presidency Project