The Philippines Genocide 3 million Filipinos Killed

The Philippines Genocide is the genocide history forgot, you will find in history books the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902 but they fail to mention the genocide carried out by the United States of America on the people of the Philippines.

I first came across references to the Philippines Genocide in 2009 and since then have spent a lot of time researching it. I have discussed it with many people, it seems people in the Philippines are not taught about the genocide and very few have even heard of the Philippines genocide.

The fact that it is not taught and so few know about it did make me question if it really happened. So I dug much deeper and have come to the conclusion it did happen, but as the victors write the history books they tried to cover it up because it  was so horrific.

Figures do not add up

What brought me to the conclusion that the Philippines genocide did happen is the figures in the history books which simply do not add up. The History books that were written by the victors claim somewhere between 200,000 to 300,000 died in that period, which is still a large number considering the population of the Philippines at the time was no more than 9 million.

200,000 to 300,000 dead just can not be correct. A People’s History of the United States (1980) cites 300,000 Filipinos killed in Batangas alone, that alone proves the figures wrong, William Pomeroy’s American Neocolonialism (1970) cites 600,000 Filipinos dead in Luzon alone by 1902. This is backed up by General Bell himself, who said “we estimated that we killed one-sixth of the population of the main island of Luzon—some 600,000 people.”

E. Ahmed’s wrote “The Theory and Fallacies of Counter-Insurgency,” The Nation, August 2, 1971.“the bloodiest colonial war (in proportion to population) ever fought by a white power in Asia; it cost the lives of 3,000,000 Filipinos.”

Filipina historian the late Luzviminda Francisco carried out a thorough investigation of the Philippines Genocide and documented it, she arrived at the figure of 1.4 million Filipinos dead. The End of An Illusion (London, 1973). However, this only covered the period from 1899 to 1905 it does not cover the first 2 decades of U.S. colonial rule a time when the killing might have slowed but was still happening to keep the people in order, it also does not include the thousands of Filipino Muslims (Moros) that were brutally killed.

Census figures and the Philippines Genocide

People will often ask why do Census figures not show a drop in population for that period?

There could be a few reasons for this, firstly I doubt even today population figures for the Philippines are correct as so many people live of the radar, imagine how difficult it would have been to calculate the population in the late 1890s and the early 1900s.

The methodologies used by the Spanish and the Americans were also very different. The Spaniards generally left Igorots, Aetas, Lumads, and Moro peoples alone, so it is unlikely they were included in the census.

You also have to ask if the U.S census figures showed a drop of 1.4 million or more would they publish this for the world to see?

I suspect however the U.S figures were no more than a guess based on the Spanish figures, as it was at a time of war and would have been almost impossible to collect the numbers. Or maybe the U.S did give the task of collecting the numbers but rather than going out into hostile communities that would put them in danger they made them up using the Spanish census as a guide.

The slaughter

In an article published in The Philadelphia Ledger November 1901 their Manila correspondent wrote “The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; 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…

Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to make them talk, and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later, without an atom of evidence to show that they were even insurrectos, stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses.”

Major Littletown Waller a U.S. Marine that was accused of shooting 11 unarmed Filipinos on Samar. Another Marine officer described his testimony.

The major said that General Smith instructed him to kill and burn, and said that the more he killed and burned the better pleased he would be; that it was no time to take prisoners, and that he was to make Samar a howling wilderness. Major Waller asked General Smith to define the age limit for killing, and he replied “everyone over ten.”

Filipino did not stand a chance against the superior and overwhelming firepower of the American troops. In the first battle Admiral Dewey was firing 500 pound shells as he steamed along the River Pasig. The bodies of dead Filipinos was so high U.S. troops used them for a defensive wall.

Writer Mark Twain best known for his book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” wrote

“…I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the philippines. we have gone to conquer, not to redeem… and so i am an anti-imperialist. i am opposed to having the [american] eagle put its talons on any other land.”

On 15th of October 1900 Twain wrote the New York Times.

We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner, the Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag. And so, by these providences of god — and the phrase is the government’s, not mine — we are a World Power.” Mark Twain

Mark Twain also spoke of the almost universal racism of the white American troops and politicians he called them shameless. He was deeply disturbed by the sadistic war crimes that were committed by the American troops. He suggested that the Stars and stripes on the American flag should be replaced by a skull and cross bone.

Was it American policy to kill as many Filipinos as possible? Brigadier General J. Franklin Bell wrote “With a very few exceptions, practically the entire population has been hostile to us at heart,” so there is no doubt the Americans saw every Filipino as the enemy.

The USA carried out a scorched earth campaign in burning and destroying villages, they also tuned villages into concentration camps where they burnt the land around them and built watch towers that looked over the free-fire zones, anyone trying to leave the village was shot. They called these concentration camps reconcentrados.

The reconcentrados (concentration camps) were full of disease which caused a very high death rate the death rate in some camps was as high as 20%. One camp was 2 miles long by 1 mile wide and was the prison for 8,000 filipinos. Men were often rounded up to be questioned using torture if they gave the Americans the information they wanted or not did not matter as they were still shot.

A soldier from New York wrote

The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger”

Corporal Sam Gillis wrote “We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now.”

A British eye witness in the Philippines said:

“This is not war; it is simply massacre and murderous butchery.”

Why the Philippines Genocide happened

It all happened because of a prayer to god.

President McKinley was in the Whitehouse praying when he claimed it came to him that he could not give the Philippines back to Spain as that would look cowardly.

McKinley said he did not want the Philippines. But then one night in the White House, when he was down on his knees praying to God, it came to him:

That we could not give them back to Spain – that would be cowardly.

He could not let France and Germany have the Philippines as that would be bad for business.

He could not let the Filipinos rule themselves as he considered them incapable.

So he decided America should take the whole Philippines rather than just Manila which is all they had at the time, educate the people and Christianise them, something the Spanish had already done to many of the people.

So in 1899 the U.S.A. declared war on the Philippines as a way to educate, Christianise and civilise the people and the Philippines Genocide began.


While we can not be sure of the figure of 3 million that some historians claim We can be pretty sure from research that the figure of 1.4 million killed in the Philippines Genocide between 1899 to 1905 is correct, it is unlikely the killings just suddenly stopped, the reports from the time show how racist towards the Filipinos many of the American troops had become, they also show that many of the troops had come to enjoy the killing. Could you get men that had become brutal killers to suddenly stop killing? It is very unlikely, you only have to look at wars today that are nowhere near as brutal and in an age where people are more educated to realise how war affects some people. We also know the fighting with the Moros carried on.

So did the numbers killed reach 3 million? We will never know but it probably did between 1899 to 1942 when the Japanese arrived.

View Comments (71)

  • Doesn't this important piece of history deserve better editing? I fear that the numerous typos will lead some readers to question its credibility.

    • The author of this article is dyslexic and is rather proud of the fact that someone with his condition has written an article that has been read by nearly a million people.
      It is a pity the grammar police do not stop and think before they comment that 1 in 5 people in this world are dyslexic. People that are dyslexic have skills what the grammar police will never have, yet we do not criticise you for the lack of them skills.
      An example of one of them skills is the author stored 8 years of research about the Philippines genocide in his head, never once needing to make notes.

  • In 1898, William Hearst's and Joseph Pulitzer's newspapers got Americans all riled up over the sinking of the USS Maine (caused by an internal explosion), which led to the "liberation" of the Philippine Islands.
    In 2003, CNN and Fox News got Americans all riled up over Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," which led to Iraq's "liberation."
    These are two examples of business plans gone right and making tons of money for the Freemasons who concocted them.

  • This is yet another sad historical fact of what greed and religious hypocrisy plays a role in criminal actions. i'm not surprised. What I would like to know is what party was in power at this time...... Whether it was the Far Right Democratic Party or the Republican Party which was more Left at one time. What I do know about politics is that both Parties are capable of being GREEDY and INHUMANE, when in power. Its the people in the leadership positions as usual. So, in prospective with the current mess we are in.......... Get out and Vote Do not stay home and hope this will all sort itself out! The Republican Party has become a White Aristocracy, that does not wnat the will of the people to prevail, they want the will of WASPS to prevail over everything, whether it is right or wrong They have lost their moral compass and Humanity for GREED and Power! VOTE VOTE VOTE!

  • The USA is the renowned bully of the world having killed these millions and being the only country to have used nuclear bombs against humans (in Japan) and still acting as self-declared cop of the world dictating us who can develop nuclear weapons and who cannot. Shame on such an inhuman administration!

  • So the evidence for 1.4 million to 3 million killed in a genocide is a few obscure history books from the 1970's? Shouldn't there be be contemporaneous accounts of this genocide, especially if you're claiming an elimination of 1/3 of the Filipino population over a decade or less.

    Don't get me wrong, 300,000 is a horrible number, but if you're going to assert that the number was ten times that figure, you need to back it up with better evidence. Of the estimated 300,000, approximately 200,000 died in a cholera epidemic. This article makes it seem like the bulk of Filipino deaths were at the hands of American soldiers and their brutality, but doesn't mention famine and disease as two of the main factors in the population decline.

    US troop levels in The Philippines during this time were 125,000, and if you know anything about how an army works, a significant portion of those soldiers were non-combat, support personnel. The numbers just don't work out if you're claiming the bulk of Filipinos were killed directly by US military members.

    For perspective, more people were killed by The Spanish Influenza Epidemic (1818-1819), than in all of World War I.

    This article seems like it is pushing a political agenda more than trying to present a well researched academic argument.

    • You claim many died of cholera, which is true.
      History shows us that cholera often breaks out in concentration camps because of the poor hygiene. We do know for sure that the USA set up concentration camps. Just because people did not die by getting shot it does not mean they did not die as a result of war. You also mention they died from famine, again true a famine made worse by war. U.S. attacks into the Philippine countryside often included scorched-earth campaigns where entire villages were burned and destroyed, torture (water cure) and the concentration of civilians into "protected zones". Many of the civilian casualties resulted from disease and famine.

  • Let's not forget the Siege of Manila, with the USA trying to rout the Japanese. The USA troops had orders to shoot anything that moved, and the innocent Filipinos got trapped in the middle of the fighting. The figures for Filipinos killed is listed as 100,000+. The Americans had no respect for life.

  • Look at the cover of the story. It says Brits in the Philippines.
    It’s possible that it was an American news paper talking about the event?

  • What is said in this article is extremely important for the World to know.
    Unless we acknowledge the atrocities of the past, there will be no better future.
    Thank You!

  • No body asked the USA to make war. USA declared the war to Spain and to Filipino rebels to take profit and for their interest. USA made the genocide and killed 3 million filipinos to transfor Filipinas in a Colony. A territory of Spain for more than 400 centuries which now is one of the most poor in the world. On February 8, 1597, King Philip II, near the end of his 42-year reign, issued a Royal Cedula instructing Francisco de Tello de Guzmán, then Governor-General of the Philippines to fulfill the laws of tributes and to provide for restitution of ill-gotten taxes taken from the natives. The decree was published in Manila on August 5, 1598. King Philip died on 13 September, just forty days after the publication of the decree, but his death was not known in the Philippines until middle of 1599, by which time a referendum by which the natives would acknowledge Spanish rule was underway. With the completion of the Philippine referendum of 1599, Spain could be said to have established legitimate sovereignty over the Philippines. Villarroel, Fidel (2009), "Philip II and the "Philippine Referendum" of 1599", in Ramírez, Dámaso de Lario, Re-shaping the World: Philip II of Spain and His Time (illustrated ed.), Ateneo de Manila University Press, ISBN 978-971-550-556-7.

  • After the horrific and terrible pains they suffered at the hands of the Japanese soldiers, they have to welcome the americans who liberated them and removed them from hell. The genocide happened when the americans first arrived in the Philippines. Every war brings out the worst in people. It is human nature. I am not making justifications. I am merely stating that massacres and atrocities happen in every war since the beginning of time.

  • I did read that from the early 1900s until the 1940s there was a law that prohibited anyone talking badly about the Americans. I have always wondered how after just 45 years they welcomed the Americans back, I guess 40 years of people not talking about it is enough for most people not to know about the genocide.