Philippines

The 13th August arrived, on which day I noticed a general advance of the American land and sea forces towards Manila, the former being under command of General Anderson at Paranaque.

Our troops saw the American forces landing on the sea shore near the Luneta and Paseo de Santa Lucia, calling the attention of everybody to the fact that the Spanish soldiers in the city forts were not firing on them (the Americans), a mystery that was cleared up at sunset when details of the capitulation of Manila, by General Jaudenes in accordance with terms of an agreement with General Merritt, became public property - a capitulation which the American Generals reserved for their own benefit and credit in contravention of the agreement arrived at with Admiral Dewey in the arrangement of

Vain indeed became these hope when news arrived that Admiral Dewey had acted and was continuing to act against the Revolutionary Government by order of His Excellency Mr. McKinley, who, prompted by the "Imperialist" party, had decided to annex the Philippines, granting, in all probability, concessions to adventurers to exploit the immense natural wealth lying concealed under our virgin soil.

With such prudent as well as well founded reflections, I succeeded in calming my companions shortly before the official news arrived reporting that the Washington Government, acting on Admiral Dewey's suggestion, had intimated its intention to despatch a Civil Commission to Manila which would treat with the Filipinos with a view to arriving at a definite understanding respecting the government of the Islands.

Spain maintained control of the Philippine Islands for more than three centuries and a half, during which period the tyranny, misconduct and abuses of the Friars and the Civil and Military Administration exhausted the patience of the natives and caused them to make a desperate effort to shake off the unbearable galling yoke on the 26th and 31st August, 1896, then commencing the revolution in the provinces of Manila and Cavite.

At such a critical juncture as this, and before the anxiously-awaited Civil Commission arrived, it occurred to General Otis, Commandant of the American forces, to commit two more impolitic acts. One of them was the order to search our telegraph offices in Sagunro Street, in Tondo, where the searching party seized the apparatus and detained the officer in charge, Sr. Reyna, in the Fuerza Santiago [6] under the pretext that he was conspiring against the Americans.

Don Pedro Alejandro Paterno (who was appointed by the Spanish Governor-General sole mediator in the discussion of the terms of peace) visited Biak-na-bato several times to negotiate terms of the Treaty, which, after negotiations extending over five months, and careful consideration had been given to each clause, was finally completed and signed on the 14th December, 1897, the following being the principal conditions: -

Conferences of the Mixed Commission, Americans and Filipinos, were held in Manila from the 11th to the 31st of the said month of January, the Filipino Commissioners clearly expressing the wish of our people for recognition as an independent nation.

But I and my companions were not to be kept long in our distress, grieving over the bad faith of the Spaniards, for in the month of March of the year referred to (1898) some people came to me and in the name of the Commander of the U.S.S. Petrel asked for a conference in compliance with the wishes of Admiral Dewey.

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