Today in Philippine History, May 16, 1899, La Democracia started publication

   Trinidad Pardo de Tavera
   Trinidad Pardo de Tavera (Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons).
On May 16, 1899, La Democracia, the first Filipino newspaper to recognize the sovereignty of the United States in the country, started publication. It urged the Filipino people to accept the new government and to help heal the wounds of war.

La Democracia or "La Democracia: diario Filipino independiente", was edited by Trinidad Pardo de Tavera.

In its editorial announcement under the heading "Our Purposes", it declared:

"We want peace. We are Filipinos, we deplore and consider useless the shedding of more blood of our brothers. No more human lives should be sacrificed. There is no necessity to resort to violence to secure our liberties. We believe in the noble purposes of the American people and in conformity with the proclamation of the commission and we propose through La Democracia to lend them our cooperation for the benefit of the just aspirations of our own people."

While it proclaimed itself to be independent, it became the organ of the Federal party (Partido Federalista), which supported the American government. The Federal party is the first political party organized on December 23, 1900 by 125 Filipino illustrados.

The Federal party gradually lost prestige due to internal dissention, lack of proper practical support from the Americans, the development of opposition parties, etc. and La Democracia ceased publication in 1908.

References:
Philippines News Agency archves
History of Philippine press, Carson Taylor, Manila, 1927

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