The Filipinos Have Not Forgotten
For three centuries the people of the Philippine Islands suffered almost continuously under the church-state rule of a Catholic Spain. They were delivered from it by the United States in 1898 and were granted full freedom July 4, 1946. That the Filipinos might not forget their struggle against corrupt and intolerant churchstate rule the legislature on May 23 passed a bill (No. 1425) and the president, Ramon Magsaysay, signed it on June 16, 1956, making compulsory reading in all colleges and universities two of the novels written by the Philippine liberty lover Rizal. The tenor of the protest of these books can be seen by their titles, “Social Cancer” and “Reign of Greed.” While the Catholic Hierarchy in the Philippines strenuously opposed the passing of this bill, claiming that the books were heretical and impious, she dared not claim that they were not factual. The advocates of the bill argued that a study of these books would inculcate a love of freedom and a love of country. Incidentally, the original author of the bill is a Catholic, as also are some eighty percent of all Filipinos.