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Aguinaldo was drawn up, subject to the approval of Commodore Dewey and subsequent confirmation from Washington. The essence of this provisional understanding was as follows, viz:
THE TERMS OF AN ALLEGED AGREEMENT.
1. Philippine independence to be proclaimed.
2. A Federal republic to be established by vote of the rebels; pending the taking of this vote Aguinaldo was to appoint the members of that government.
3. The Federal republic to recognize a temporary intervention of American and European Administrative Commissions to be appointed by Commodore Dewey.
4. The American Protectorate to be recognized on the same terms as those fixed for Cuba.
5. Philippine ports to be open to all the world.
9. Ample tolerance of all religions and sects, but abolition and expulsion of all monastic orders.
10. Measures to be adopted for working up the natural resources of the archipelago.
11. The wealth of the country to be developed by the construction of high roads and railways.
12. The obstacles operating against the development of enterprises and employment of foreign capital to be removed.
13. The new government to preserve public order and check all reprisals against the Spaniards.
14. Spanish officials to be transported to another safe and healthy island until there shall be an opportunity for their return to Spain. 15. This agreement is subject to ratification (by telegraph) by Commodore
Consul-General Pratt then sent Emilio Aguinaldo with his staff to Hongkong with instructions to Consul Wildman to put him
in communication with Commodore Dewey, which he did, and Commodore Dewey, before he left China for Manila, gave orders to Consul Wildman to see that Aguinaldo and his staff followed on in an American war-ship."
Whatever the actual facts attending this meeting, they have never been officially disclosed by the United States government. There can be no doubt that what Aguinaldo had in mind was the independence of the islands, with himself as the President or Sovereign. It would be very natural to suppose that with the Spanish fleet still safely at Manila, the fighting powers of Spain still undetermined, and no thought of the conquest of the Philippines in the mind of any American, our Consular and other officers might have assumed that the policy of the United States towards those islands would be precisely that solemnly announced with reference to Cuba—the independence of the islands under the friendly supervision, and possibly, the protectorate of the United States. That Consul-General Pratt made any promises is impossible, for he had no authority, and Aguinaldo knew that he had none. The summary as given by Mr. Foreman in fact expressly provides for the ratification of the agreement at Washington. It is very likely indeed, however, that both Consul-General Pratt and Commodore Dewey believed at the time that the agreement was desirable on the part of the United States, and would be ratified at Washington, It may be considered as certain that this was expected by Aguinaldo.
Neither President McKinley and his advisers, however, nor Congress were apparently prepared to say yes or no. They knew little of Aguinaldo and less of the Filipinos. They did know that hostilities in the Philippines had been conducted by the most brutal methods, and were probably not willing to become responsible before the world for a warfare conducted with savage barbarity, and certainly no conditions existed-nor did they exist before the ratification of the Treaty of Paris—which would warrant the President in acknowledging independence or even belligerency on the part of the Filipinos. Beyond this, the President himself had no authority except during war, as a military commander. He could not pledge the course of the United States except as to the conduct of military affairs during the existing war with Spain, and for whatever Aguinaldo and the Filipinos might do while serving under the direction of an American commander, the United States would be responsible, pecuniarily and otherwise to neutral nations, and morally to the Spanish government and the world, for the treatment of Spanish citizens.
What apparently happened was this: Admiral Dewey, and subsequently the commander of the army, were given, or assumed, the authority to make whatever use they deemed possible of the Filipinos against Spain, so long as it could be assured that the war would be conducted in accordance with the usages of
civilized nations. The proposals of Aguinaldo looking to the independence of the islands apparently received no definite answer until the signature of the Treaty of Paris. The result was that Aguinaldo, as previously arranged with Commodore Dewey, proceeded to Cavite, where he arrived on May 19, 1898, on the despatch boat McCulloch. The object of Aguinaldo was to work and fight for independ
On the part of the American authorities there was no policy as to this subject, and doubtless no direct reply made to Aguinaldo. The conditions of trouble existed, and in due time developed.
Previous to his arrival, Aguinaldo had prepared and sent forward the following proclamation which seems to have been distributed in the islands by the American generals:
PROCLAMATION OF THE PHILIPPINE JUNTA.
“Philippine Patriots. A nation which has nothing good can give nothing. It is evident we cannot depend on Spain to obtain the welfare we all desire. A country like Spain, where social evolution is at the mercy of monks and tyrants, can only communicate to us its own instincts of calumny, infamy, inquisitorial proceedings, avarice, secret police, false pretences, humiliation, deprivation of liberties, slavery and moral and material decay which characterize its history. Spain will need much time to shake off the parasites which have grown upon and cling to her; she has no self-dependence so long as her nationality is composed of inquisitorial monks, ambitious soldiers, demoralized civil servants, and a populace bred to support this state of things in silence. It is, therefore, useless to expect anything from Spain.
"During three and a half centuries Spain's policy has been a delusion. Is there a conflict between Spain and England or Holland ? Then the friars come and relate to us preposterous absurdities of the miracles of Saint Francis and of the Image of the Virgin of the Rosary, whilst Simon de Anda calls the Pampango natives his brothers so long as they fight to save the Spanish flag falling into the hands of English or Dutch savages! Is the foreign invasion ended ? Then the friars, through their salaried agents in the press, reward us with epithets such as monkey, buffalo, etc. Is there another conflict imminent between Germany and Spain? Then the friars call the natives Spaniards and the military officers own
as their sons, and they dub us brave soldiers. Is the conflict finished ? Then we are again overgrown boys, beings of inferior race and incapable of being civilized. Is there now to be a struggle with Americans? Then General Augustin, who is the living symbol of Spanish authority, who ought to be the most prudent of the prudent, the most cultivated of the cul
tivated, points at America as a nation composed of all social excrescences; the friars and their enslaved Spaniards want to again cajole and cheat us with offers of participation in public affairs, recognition of the military grades of ex-rebel chiefs, and other twaddle degrading
to those who would listen to it. In fact, they have called into their councils the sons of the country, whilst they exclusively carry out their own ideas, and reserve to themselves the right to set aside all the resolutions at a stroke. They offer to enroll in their ranks the insurgents of yesterday, so that they can have them all shot on the morrow of the present difficulty. What irrision? Do you want another trick exposed ? Now that Spain is in danger of losing the Philippines, the executioners of the other day—the everlasting tyrants—tell us that America will sell the islands to England. No, America has its past and its present. America will preserve a clear intelligence; she is not doininated by friars and tyrants like Spain; she is liberal; she has liberated her slaves against the will of the Spaniards who were, for the most part, their owners. A country is known by its national character,-review its past history and it is easy to understand the
Lillie Photo calumny launched against the Americans. But even though we
became English should we not gain by
it? The English have conceded self-government to many of their colonies and not of the frail delusive sort that Spain granted to Cuba. In the English colonies there are liberties which Spain never yielded to hers in America or Philippines.
“Our country is very rich, and as a last resource we can buy it from the Americans. Do not be deceived by the Spaniards! Help the Americans, who promise us our liberty. Do not fall into the error of taking Spain to be a civilized country. Europe and America consider her the most barbarous of the century. There the weakest is the most persecuted. In no country to-day but Spain is the inquisition tolerated. It is proved by the tortures imposed on the prisoners of Montjuich, of the Philippines, and of Cuba. Spain did not fulfill the agreement entered
into with Maximo Goriez at Zanjon, nor that made with Aguinaldo at Biac-nabato. Spain is a nation always more ready to promise than to perform. But ask for friars, soldiers and state dependents to come and devour our wealth and instantly
you will get them. Spain has nothing else to give, and God grant she will keep what she has. Spain will flatter you under the present circumstances,
but do not EFFECT OF SHELLS ON CONVENT AT Cavite. Darcey Photo. be deceived. Submit every fawning offer to your conscience. Remember the execution of the innocents, the tortures and atrocities which have been the means of covering with decorations the breasts of those who took the blood of your fathers, brothers, relations and friends. Providence will aid the Americans in their triumph, for the war is a just one for the nation elected to lead us to the goal of our liberty. Do not rail against the designs of Providence; it will be suicidal. Aid the Americans !"
At once upon the arrival of Aguinaldo, he was found at the head of 30,000 "insurrectos," and on such terms of amity with Admiral Dewey, that the latter furnished him, two cannon, 500 rifles, and 200,000 rounds of ammunition. Aguinaldo was found to have retained his oldtime prestige with his countrymen, and at once began an active campaign to cripple and harass the Spanish forces. There now followed a series of small engagements between the Spaniards and the insurgents, in which the Spaniards were driven into a small radius in and around Manila; and there was an effective blockade of that city from the interior. As the result of six days' campaign they captured 1500 prisoners, including Brigadier-General Garcia Pena of the Spanish forces, a colonel, and many staff officers, and 500 Filipino volunteers, as prisoners. General Monet, who was now operating north of Manila, against the "insurrectos," lost practically his whole command, and was fortunate to get into Manila himself, without his followers. Aguinaldo had been ordered not to attack the city of Manila.
During this period there was a comparative tranquillity in the outlying districts of Manila, and the country reclaimed by the rebels. Aguinaldo, at the time of his return from Hongkong, declared a dictatorship for the islands, and this government was in control in the territory mentioned. Within two months this jurisdiction had been so effective, that Aguinaldo convened a Provisional Congress, on June 23d, giving the government the name of "Revolutionary," instead of “ Dictatory," and proclaimed a constitution. The lines of the insurgent army were gradually drawn round the city of Manila, and in this condition affairs remained until the arrival of the advance of the American army.