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“Don EMILIO AGUINALDO Y FAMY,
“President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government and
Commander-in-Chief of its Army, “This government, desirous of demonstrating to the Philippine people that one of its objects is to abolish with a firm hand the inveterate vices of Spanish administration, substituting a more simple and expeditious system of public administration for that superfluity of civil service and ponderous, tardy and ostentatious official routine, I hereby declare as follows, viz :
Of the RevoLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT. “ Article 1. The Dictatorial government shall be henceforth called the Revolutionary government, whose object is to struggle for the independence of the Philippines until all nations, including Spain, shall expressly recognize it, and to prepare the country for the establishment of a real republic. The dictator shall be henceforth styled the President of the Revolutionary government.
“Article 2. Four government Secretaryships are created: (1) of Foreign Affairs, Navy and Trade; (2) of War and Public Works; (3) of Police, Public Order, Justice, Public Education and Health; (4) of Finance, Agriculture and Manufactures. The government has power to increase the number of secretaryships when experience has shown that the above distribution of public offices is insufficient to meet public requirements.
“Article 3. Each Secretary shall assist the President in the administration of affairs concerning his particular branch. The Secretary at the head of each respective department shall not be responsible for the Presidential decrees, but shall sign the same to give them authenticity. But if it should appear that the decree has been issued on the proposal of the Secretary of the corresponding branch, then the Secretary shall be jointly responsible with the President.
“Article 4. The Secretaryship of Foreign Affairs shall be divided into three centers, one of Diplomacy, one of Navy, and another of Trade. The first center shall study and execute all affairs which concern the direction of diplomatic negotiations with other powers and the correspondence of this government connected therewith. The second shall study all that relates to the formation and organizatiou of our navy, and the fitting out of whatever expeditions the circumstances of the revolution may require; and the third shall attend to all matters concerning home and foreign trade and the preliminary work in connection with the treaties of coinmerce to be made with other nations.
“Article 5. The Secretaryship of Warshall be divided into two centers, the one exclusively of War and the other exclusively of Public Works. The first center shall be divided into four sections, one of Campaign, one of Military Justice, one of Military Administration, and the other of Military Health.
The Campaign section shall draw up and attend to all matters concerning the service and enlistment of the Revolutionary militia, the direction of campaigns, the making of plans, fortifications, and the editing of the announcement of battles, the study of military tactics, for the Army, and organization of the respective staffs, artillery, and cavalry corps, and all other matters concerning campaigns and military operations.
The section of Military Justice shall attend to all matters concerning court-martials and military sentences, the appointment of judges and assistant judges in all military-judicial affairs The Military Administrator shall take charge of the commissariat department and all Army equipment, and the Military Health department shall take charge of all matters concerning the health and salubrity of the militia.
“Article 6. The other Secretaryships shall be divided into so many centers corresponding to their functions, and each center shall be sub-divided into sections as the nature and importance of the work requires.
" Article 7. The Secretary of each department shall inspect and watch over the work therein and be responsible to the President of the government. At the head of each section there shall be a director, and in each section there shall be an official in charge assisted by the necessary staff.
“Article 8. The President shall have the sole right to appoint the Secretaries, and in agreement with them he shall appoint all the staff subordinate to the respective departments. Nevertheless, in the election of individuals, favoritism must be avoided on the understanding that the good name of the Fatherland and the triumph of the revolution need the services of the most really capable persons.
“ Article 9. The Secretaries can take part in the sessions of the Revolutionary Congress, whenever they have a motion to present in the name of the President, or on the interpellation of any deputy, but when the question under debate, or the motion on which they have been summoned is put to the vote, they shall retire and not take part in that voting.
“Article 10. The President of the government is the personification of the Philippine people, and as such he cannot be held responsible for any act whilst he holds that position. His position is irrevocable until the revolution shall triumph, unless extraordinary circumstances should compel him to tender his resignation to Congress, in which case only Congress shall elect whomsoever is esteemed most fit.
OF THE REVOLUTIONARY CONGRESS. “ Article 11. The Revolutionary Congress is the assembly of those deputies from the Philippine provinces, elected in due form, as prescribed in the decree of the 18th inst Nevertheless, if any province could not elect deputies because the majority of its towns had not yet been able to free themselves from Spanish dominion, the government can nominate provisional deputies chosen from the persons of highest consideration by reason of their educa, tion and social position up to the number fixed by the said decree, always provided that such persons shall have been born or have resided for a long time in the provinces to be represented.
“Article 12. When the deputies shall have met in the town and in the building to be provided by the Revolutionary government, the preliminary act shall be the election by majority of votes of a commission of five persons who shall examine the documents accrediting the personality of each person, and another commission of three persons who shall examine the documents exhibited by the first commission of five.
“ Article 13. The next day the said deputies shall again meet and the two commissions shall read their respective reports on the validity of the said documents, all doubts on the same to be resolved by an absolute majority of votes, They shall then at once proceed to the election, by absolute majority, of a President, a Vice-President, and two Secretaries, to he chosen from among the same deputies, after which the Congress shall be held to be constituted, and notice of the same shall be given to the government.
“Article 14. The meeting place of Congress is sacred and inviolable, and no armed force can enter therein except on the summons of the President of the Congress for the purpose of restoring order, should the same have been disturbed by those who know not how to honor themselves and their solemn functions.
“Article 15. The powers of Congress are: To look after the general interests of the Philippine people and the fulfillment of the Revolutionary laws; to discuss and vote laws; to discuss and approve before ratification, all treaties and loans; to examine and approve the accounts of the general expenses which shall be presented annually by the Finance Secretary and to fix the extraordinary taxes, and others which, in future, may be imposed.
“ Article 16. The voice of Congress shall also be heard in all matters of grave importance the resolution of which will adinit of delay, but the President of the government can resolve questions of an urgent character, rendering an account of his acts to Congress by means of a message.
“Article 17. Any deputy can present a bill in Congress and any Secretary can do so by order of the President of the government.
"Article 18. The sessions of Congress shall be public, and only in cases where reserve is necessary shall secret sessions be held.
“Article 19. The order of debate and parliamentary usages shall be determined by instructions to be formulated by Congress. The President shall lead the debate, but shall not vote unless there fail to be a majority, in which case he shall give his casting vote.
“Article 20. The President of the government cannot, in any manner, impede the meeting of Congress nor interfere with the sessions of the same.
"Article 21. Congress shall appoint a permanent judicial commission, to be presided over by the Vice-President, assisted by one of the Secretaries, and composed of these persons and seven assessors elected by a majority of votes from among the deputies. This commission shall revise the sentences given in criminal cases by the provincial councils, and shall judge and sentence, without right of further appeal, cases brought against the Government Secretaries, Provincial Chiefs and Provincial Councilors.
"Article 22. In the office of the Secretary to Congress there shall be a book of honor, in which shall be noted the great services rendered to the Fatherland and esteemed as such by Congress. Any Filipino, military or civil, can solicit of Congress inscription in the said book on producing the documents which prove the praiseworthy acts performed by him for the good of the Fatherland since the present revolution began. For extraordinary services which may in future be rendered, the government will propose the inscription, the proposal being accompanied by the necessary justification.
“Article 23. Congress shall determine, on the proposal of the government, the money rewards to be paid, once for all, to the families of those who were victims to duty and patriotism in the execution of heroic acts.
"Article 21. The resolutions of Congress shall not be binding until they have received the sanction of the President of the government. When the said President shall consider any resolution undesirable, or impracticable, or pernicious, he shall state his reasons to Congress for opposing its execution, and if Congress still insists on the resolution the said President can outvote it on his own responsibility.
OF MILITARY Justice. “ Article 25. When any commandant of a detachment shall receive notice of an individual in the service having committed a fault or having performed any act reputed to be a military misdemeanor, he shall inform the commandant of the district of the same, and this officer shall appoint a judge and secretary to constitute a Court of Inquiry in the form prescribed in the instructions dated 20th instant. If the accused held the rank of lieutenant, or a higher one, the same commandant shall be the judge, and if the commandant himself were the accused, the Superior Commandant of the province shall appoint as judge an officer of a higher rank, and if there were none such the same commandant of the province shall open the inquiry. The judge shall always hold the rank of chief.
“ Article 2o. When the Court of Inquiry las finished its labors, the Superior Commandant shall appoint three assistant judges of equal or superior rank to the judge, and a court-martial shall be composed of the three assistant judges, the judge the assessor, and the president. The commandant of the district shall be the judge if the accused held the rank of sergeant, or a lower one, and the Superior Commandant shall be judge if the accused held the rank of lieutenant, or a higher one. This court shall pass seitence in the same form as the Provincial Courts, but the sentence can be appealed against before the Superior Council of War.
* Article 27. The Superior Council of War shall be composed of six assistant judges, who shall hold the minimum rank of Brigadier-General, and the War Office Adviser. If the number of generals residing in the capital of the Revolutionary government are insufficient, the number shall be made up by deputies to be appointed on commission by Congress. The president of this council shall be the general of the highest rank among them, and if there is more than one of the same rank, one shall be elected by themselves by majority of votes.
"Article 28. The Superior Council shall judge and sentence, without right of further appeal, Superior Commandants, Commandants of Districts, and all officers who hold rank of Commandant, or a higher one.
“ Article 29. Military misdemeanors are the following:
(1) Violation of the immunity due to foreigners, both as to their persons and their goods, and violation of the privileges appertaining to sanitary establishments and ambulances, as well as the persons and effects in, or belonging to, one or the other, and persons employed in the service of the same so long as they commit no hostile act. (2) Want of respect for the lives, money, and jewelry of the enemy who surrenders his arms, and for prisoners of war. (3) The entry of Filipinos into the service of the enemy as spies, or to discover war secrets, make plans of the revolutionists' positions and fortifications, or present themselves to parley without proving their mission or their individuality. (4) Violation of the immunity due to those who come with this mission, duly accredited, in the form prescribed by international law.
The following persons also commit military misdemeanors :
(1) Those who endeavor to break up the union of the revolutionists, fomenting rivalry between chiefs, and forming divisions and armed bands. (2) Those who collect taxes without being duly authorized by government, or misappropriate public funds. (3) Those who, being armed, surrender to the enemy or commit any act of cowardice before the same; and (4) Those who sequester any person who has done no harm to the revolution, or violate women, or assassinate, or seriously wound any undefended persons, or commit robbery or arson.
“Article 30. Those who commit any of the above-named misdemeanors shall be considered declared enemies of the revolution, and shall be punished in the highest scale of punishment provided for in the Spanish Penal Code. If the misdemeanor were not provided for in the said code, the culprit shall be confined until the revolution has triumphed, unless his crime shall have caused an irreparable injury, which, in the opinion of the court, would justify the imposition of capital punishment.
ADDITIONAL CLAUSES. " Article 31. The government shall establish abroad a Revolutionary committee, composed of an indefinite number of the most competent persons in the Philippine archipelago. This committee shall be divided into three sections, viz: Of diplomacy; of the navy and of the army. The diplomatic section shall negotiate with the foreign cabinets the recognition of belligerency and Philippine independence. The naval section shall be entrusted with the study and organization of Philippine navy and prepare the expeditions which the circumstances of the revolution may require. The army section shall study military tactics and the best form of organizing staff, artillery and engineer corps, and all that is necessary to put the Philippine army on a footing of modern advancement.
“Article 32. The government shall dictate the necessary instructions for the execution of the present decree.
“Article 33. All decrees of the Dictatorial government which may be in opposition to the present one are hereby rescinded. Given at Cavite, 23d of June, 1898.
A MESSAGE OF AGUINALDO TO HIS PEOPLE. One week before the arrival of the first American troops at Manila, Aguinaldo promulgated the following “message” to the people explanatory of the objects of the revolution:
“It is an established fact that a political revolution, judiciously carried out, is the violent means employed by nations to recover the sovereignty which naturally belongs to them, when the same has been usurped and trodden under foot by tyrannical and arbitrary government. Therefore, the Philippine revolution cannot be more justifiable than it is, because the country has only resorted to it after having exhausted all peaceful means which reason and experience dictated.
“The old Kings of Castile were obliged to regard the Philippines as a sister nation, united to Spain by a perfect similarity of aims and interests, so much so that in the constitution of 1812, promulgated at Cadiz, as a consequence of the Spanish War of Independence, these islands were represented in the Spanish Parliament. But the monastic communities, always unconditionally propped up by the Spanish government, stepped in to oppose the sacred obligation, and the Philippine Islands were excluded from the Spanish constitution, and the country placed at the mercy of the discretional or arbitrary powers of the Governor-General. “Under these circumstances the country clamored for justice, demanding of the metropolis the recognition and restitution of its secular rights through reforms which should gradually assimilate it to Spain. But its voice was soon stifled, and its children were rewarded for their abnegation by punishment, martyrdom and death. The religious corporations, whose interests were always at variance with those of the Filipinos and identified with the Spanish government, ridiculed these pretensions, calmly and persistently replying that liberty in Spain had only been gained by the sacrifice of blood.
“What other channel, then, was open to the country through which to insist upon the recovery of its lawful rights ? No other remedy remained but the application of force, and, convinced of this, it had recourse to revolution.
“Now its demands are no longer limited to assimilation with the Spanish constitution. It asks for a definite separation therefronı ; it struggles for its independence, with the certainty that the time has arrived when it is able and ought to rule itself.
“Hence, it has constituted a Revolutionary government, based on wise and just laws, suited to the abnormal circumstances it is passing through, preparatory to the founding of a real Republic. Accepting right as the only standard of its acts, justice as it sole aim, and honorable labor as its sole means, it calls upon all Filipinos, without distinction of birth, and invites them to solidly unite with the object of forming a noble society, not by bloodshed, nor by pompous titles, but by labor and the personal merit of each one ; a free society where no egoism shall exist, where no personal politics shall overthrow and crush, nor envy, nor partiality debase, nor vain boasting, nor charlatanry throw it into ridicule.
“Nothing else could be expected from a country which has proved by its long suffering and courage in tribulation and danger, and industry and studiousness in peace, that it is not made for slavery. That country is destined to become great ; to become one of the most solid instruments of Providence for ruling the destinies of humanity. That country has resources and energy sufficient to free itself from the ruin and abasement into which the Spanish government has drawn it, and to claim a modest, though worthy place in the concert of free nations. “Given at Cavite, 23d of June, 1898.