MABINI'S DECALOGUE FOR FILIPINOS
Apolinario Mabini, Martyr.
"Thou shalt love thy country after God and they honor and more than thyself: for she is the only Paradise which God has given thee in this life, the only inheritance of thy ancestors and the only hope of thy posterity."
PHILIPPINE PRESS BUREAU Washington, D. C.
Mabini was undoubtedly the most profound thinker and political philosopher that the Pilipino race ever produced. Some day, when his works are fully published, but not until then, Mabini will come into his own. A great name awaits him, not only in the Philippines, for he is already appreciated there, but in every land where the cause of liberty and human freedom is revered.
Mabini was born in Tanawan, province of Batangas, island of Luzon, P.I., of poor Filipino parents, in 1864. He received his education in the "Colegio de San Juan de Letran." Manila, and in the University of Santo Tomas. He supported himself while studying by his own efforts, and made a brilliant record in both institutions. Later he devoted his energies to the establishment of a private school in Manila and to legal work.
Mabini came to the front in 1898 during the Pilipino revolution against Spain. In the subsequent revolution against the United States he became known as "the brains of the revolution." He was so considered by the American army officers, who bent every energy to capture him.
He was the leading adviser of Aguinaldo, and was the author of the latter's many able decrees and proclamations. Mabini's official position was President of the Council of Secretaries, and he also held the post of Secretary of the Exterior.
One of Mabini's greatest works was his draft of a constitution for the Philippine Republic. It was accompanied by what he called "The True Decalogue," published in the pages following. Mabini's "ten commandments" are so framed as to meet the needs of Filipino patriotism for all time. He also drafted rules for the organization and government of municipalities and provinces, which were highly successful because of their adaptability to local conditions.
Mabini remained the head of Aguinaldo's cabinet until March, 1899, when he resigned. But he continued in hearty sympathy with the revolution, however, and his counsel was frequently sought.
Mabini was arrested by the American forces in September, 1899, and remained a prisoner until September 23, 1900. Following his release, he lived for a while in a suburb of Manila, in a poor nipa house, under the most adverse and trying circumstances. He was in abject poverty.
In spite of his terrible suffering from paralysis, Mabini continued writing. He severely criticised the government, voicing the sentiments of the Filipino people for freedom. He was ordered to desist, but to this, in one of his writings to the people, he replied: "To tell a man to be quiet when a necessity not fulfilled is shaking all the fibers of his being is tantamount to asking a hungry man to be filled before taking the food which he needs."
Mabini's logic was a real embarrassment to the American military forces, and in January, 1901, he was arrested a second time by the Americans. This time he was exiled to the island of Guam, where he remained until his return to Manila on February 26, 1903.
Mabini died in Manila, of cholera, May 13, 1903, at the age of 39 years. His funeral was the most largely attended of any ever held in Manila.
Although he died from natural causes, Mabini died a martyr to the cause of Philippine independence. Five years of persecution left his intense patriotism untouched, but it had made his physical self a ready victim for a premature death.
"THE TRUE DECALOGUE"
By APOLINARIO MABINI
First. Thou shalt love God and thy honor above all things: God as the fountain of all truth, of all justice and of all activity; and thy honor, the only power which will oblige thee to be faithful, just and industrious.
Second. Thou shalt worship God in the form which thy conscience may deem most righteous and worthy: for in thy conscience, which condemns thy evil deeds and praises thy good ones, speaks thy God.
Third. Thou shalt cultivate the special gifts which God has granted thee, working and studying according to thy ability, never leaving the path of righteousness and justice, in order to attain thy own perfection, by means whereof thou shalt contribute to the progress of humanity; thus; thou shalt fulfill the mission to which God has appointed thee in this life and by so doing, thou shalt be honored, and being honored, thou shalt glorify thy God.
Fourth. Thou shalt love thy country after God and thy honor and more than thyself: for she is the only Paradise which God has given thee in this life, the only patrimony of thy race, the only inheritance of thy ancestors and the only hope of thy posterity; because of her, thou hast life, love and interests, happiness, honor and God.
Fifth. Thou shalt strive for the happiness of thy country before thy own, making of her the kingdom of reason, of justice and of labor: for if she be happy, thou, together with thy family, shalt likewise be happy.
Sixth. Thou shalt strive for the independence of thy country: for only thou canst have any real interest in her advancement and exaltation, because her independence constitutes thy own liberty; her advancement, thy perfection; and her exaltation, thy own glory and immortality.
Seventh. Thou shalt not recognize in thy country the authority of any person who has not been elected by thee and thy countrymen; for authority emanates from God, and as God speaks in the conscience of every man, the person designated and proclaimed by the conscience of a whole people is the only one who can use true authority.
Eighth. Thou shalt strive for a Republic and never for a monarchy in thy country: for the latter exalts one or several families and founds a dynasty; the former makes a people noble and worthy through reason, great through liberty, and prosperous and brilliant through labor.
Ninth. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: for God has imposed upon him, as well as upon thee, the obligation to help thee and not to do unto thee what he would not have thee do unto him; but if thy neighbor, failing in this sacred duty, attempt against thy life, thy liberty and thy interests, then thou shalt destroy and annihilate him for the supreme law of self-preservation prevails.
Tenth. Thou shalt consider thy countryman more than thy neighbor; thou shalt see him thy friend, thy brother or at least thy comrade, with whom thou art bound by one fate, by the same joys and sorrows and by common aspirations and interests.
Therefore, as long as national frontiers subsist, raised and maintained by the selfishness of race and of family, with thy countryman alone shalt thou unite in a perfect solidarity of purpose and interest, in order to have force, not only to resist the common enemy but also to attain all the aims of human life.