An article written by Luis G. Dato while he was still at the University of the Philippines, College of Law. A news archive from The Tribune dated February 4, 1934, months before the presidential elections of 1935.

Tribune (Philippines : 1932 – 1945), Sunday 4 February 1934, page 24

College of Law U.P. — Mr. Quezon has received a resounding wack on the stomach, if we are to interpret to its every implication the recent news dispatches from Washington, so that if at all a time could be conceived opportune for friends and well-wishers to rally to the Filipino political veteran of the guard, that time might be the present.

Fortunately for all, Mr. Quezon’s reputation as a statesman is not at stake, because it is impossible to conceive of any time when Mr. Quezon was not a patriot or any generation of Filipinos were divided on their stand on the national ideals.

It is Mr. Quezon, the businessman and large-scale business commissioner and trade consul, that is before the bar. He has elected to make a brief for sugar, and this is not bad in itself, although we would have liked it better if he had left it to more technical, more anonymous minds, and had continued merely and brilliantly to confine the uses of his genius to the general political doctrine of liberty, and its concordance with the patent possibility of war and the evidences of necessity for immediate preparatory measures for the national defense.

We are living in moments of passion: and we fail to see issues plainly; yet they are clear to the naked eye. Those who think that the people next June will vote pro or anti, are deluding themselves. The issue before the people is not the issue of independence. I believe that even between the two peoples it could never be seriously possible that there is any issue on independence. We are free, America wants us to be free already, so that it would be a waste of time and a want of faith in American commitments, should we understake to record an independence vote, and attempt to demonstrate the truth of innegable axioms.

The issue before the people will be as it has been last 1931, as it has always been since the beginning of paid government. Who should be in the service? Who should run the government? Should new men be installed in place of those now in power and position or not? We are not referring to Messrs. Quezon, we are referring to the present personnel of the entire insular government service, and the provincial governments. We are not referring to Messrs. Osmeña, and Roxas. There are men among us whom it would profit us to hold in the service to the natural length of their lives. But we refer to the salaries and budgets that go with office, and determine who will carry the blessings and enjoy the life of privilege and power, and dictate In what form the life both of the future and the present is to take.

The idea is nothing; it is free; the law is nothing; it can be changed; what is important is the possession and ownership of control over the things and comforts without which life is a double exile. Who should get the money, the Quezon or the Osmena-Roxas men? That, to me, is the only question intelligible to the people.

—Luis Dato, ( BYM ).

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