The Proclamations of General Aguinaldo.
June 16th, 1898, Establishing Dictatorial
Government--June 20th, 1898, Instructions
for Elections--June 23d, 1898, Establishing
Revolutionary Government--June 23d, 1898,
Message to Foreign Powers--June 27th, 1898,
Instructions Concerning Details--July 23d,
3898, Letter From Senor Aguinaldo to General Anderson--August
1st, 1898, Resolutions of Revolutionary Chiefs Asking
for Recognition--August 6th, 1898, Message
to Foreign Powers Asking Recognition.
One of the most critical questions
in the situation of the Philippines is the precise
position of the leader of the insurgents, General
Aguinaldo. His utterances in his official character
of leader of the natives who for years have been in
rebellion against Spain, have been but fragmentary,
as they have come before the people. We give
for the public information the consecutive series of
To the Philippine Public:
Circumstances have providentially
placed me in a position for which I can not fail to
recognize that I am not properly qualified, but since
I can not violate the laws of Providence nor decline
the obligations which honor and patriotism impose
upon me, I now salute you, Oh, My Beloved People!
I have proclaimed in the face of the
whole world that the aspiration of my whole life,
the final object of all my efforts and strength is
nothing else but your independence, for I am firmly
convinced that that constitutes your constant desire
and that independence signifies for us redemption
from slavery and tyranny, regaining our liberty and
entrance into the concert of civilized nations.
I understand on the other hand that
the first duty of every government is to interpret
faithfully popular aspirations. With this motive,
although the abnormal circumstances of the war have
compelled me to institute this Dictatorial Government
which assumes full powers, both civil and military,
my constant desire is to surround myself with the
most distinguished persons of each Province, those
who by their conduct, deserve the confidence of their
province to the end that the true necessities of each
being known by them, measures may be adopted to meet
these necessities and apply the remedies in accordance
with the desires of all.
I understand moreover the urgent necessity
of establishing in each town a solid and robust organization,
the strongest bulwark of public security and the sole
means of securing that union and discipline which
are indispensable for the establishment of the Republic,
that is Government of the people for the people, and
warding off the international conflicts which may
Following out the foregoing considerations
I decree as follows:
Article I. The inhabitants of every
town where the forces of the Spanish government still
remain, will decide upon the most efficacious measures
to combat and destroy them, according to the resources
and means at their disposal, according to prisoners
of war the treatment most conformable to humanitarian
sentiments and to the customs observed by civilized
Article II. As soon as the town
is freed from Spanish domination, the inhabitants
most distinguished for high character, social position
and honorable conduct both in the center of the community
and in the suburbs, will come together in a large
meeting in which they will proceed to elect by a majority
of votes, the chief of the town and a head man for
each suburb, considering as suburbs not only those
hitherto known as such, but also the center of the
All those inhabitants who fulfill
the conditions above named, will have the right to
take part in this meeting and to be elected, provided
always that they are friendly to Philippine independence
and are twenty years of age.
Article III. In this meeting
shall also be elected by a majority of votes, three
Delegates; one of police and internal order, another
of justice and civil registry and another of taxes
The delegate of police and internal
order will assist the Chief in the organization of
the armed force, which for its own security each town
must maintain, according to the measure of its resources
and in the preservation of order, government and hygiene
of its population.
The delegate of justice and civil
registry will aid the Chief in the formation of courts
and in keeping books of registry of births, deaths
and marriage contracts, and of the census.
The delegate of taxes and property
will aid the chief in the collection of taxes, the
administration of public funds, the opening of books
of registry of cattle and real property, and in all
work relating to encouragement of every class of industry.
Article IV. The Chief, as President,
with the head men and the above mentioned delegates,
will constitute the popular assemblies who will supervise
the exact fulfillment of the laws in force and the
particular interests of each town.
The head man of the center of the
community will be the Vice President of the assembly,
and the delegate of justice its secretary.
The head men will be delegates of
the Chief within their respective boundaries.
Article V. The Chiefs of each town
after consulting the opinion of their respective assemblies,
will meet and elect by majority of votes the Chief
of the Province and three councilors for the three
branches above mentioned.
The Chief of the Province as President,
the Chief of the town which is the capital of the
Province, as Vice President, and the above named councilors
will constitute the Provincial Council, which will
supervise the carrying out of the instructions of this
government in the territory of the Province, and for
the general interest of the Province, and will propose
to this government the measures which should be adopted
for the general welfare.
Article VI. The above named chiefs
will also elect by majority of votes three representatives
for each one of the Provinces of Manila and Cavite,
two for each one of the Provinces classified as terminal
in Spanish legislation, and one for each one of the
other Provinces and Politico-Military commands of
the Philippine Archipelago.
The above named representatives will
guard the general interests of the Archipelago and
the particular interests of their respective Provinces,
and will constitute the Revolutionary Congress, which
will propose to this government the measures concerning
the preservation of internal order, and external security
of these islands, and will be heard by this government
on all questions of grave importance. The decision
of which will admit of delay or adjournment.
Article VII. Persons elected
to any office whatsoever in the form prescribed in
the preceding article can not perform the functions
of the same without the previous confirmation by this
government, which will give it in accordance with
the certificates of election.
Representatives will establish their
identity by exhibiting the above named certificates.
Article VIII. The Military Chiefs
named by this government in each Province will not
intervene in the government and administration of
the Province, but will confine themselves to requesting
of the Chiefs of Provinces and towns the aid which
may be necessary both in men and resources, which
are not to be refused in case of actual necessity.
Nevertheless, when the Province is
threatened or occupied by the enemy in whole or in
part, the military chief of highest rank therein may
assume powers of the Chief of the Province, until the
danger has disappeared.
Article IX. The government will
name for each Province a commissioner, specially charged
with establishing therein the organization prescribed
in this decree, in accordance with instructions which
this government will communicate to him. Those
military chiefs who liberate the towns from the Spanish
domination are commissioners by virtue of their office.
The above named commissioners will
preside over the first meetings held in each town
and in each Province.
Article X. As soon as the organization
provided in the decree has been established all previous
appointments to any civil office, whatsoever, no matter
what their origin or source, shall be null and void,
and all instructions in conflict with the foregoing
are hereby annulled.
Given at Cavite, the 18th of June, 1898.
For the execution and proper carrying
out of what is prescribed in the decree of this government
concerning the management of the Provinces and towns
of the Philippine Archipelago, I decree as follows:
Concerning the Management of the Provinces and towns.
(Then follow 45 rules concerning the
elections, formation of the police, the courts and
the levying and collection of taxes.)
Given at Cavite, 20th of June, 1898.
Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy,
President of the Revolutionary Government of the Philippines,
General in Chief of Its Army.
This government desiring to demonstrate
to the Philippine people that one of its ends is to
combat with a firm hand the inveterate vices of the
Spanish administration, substituting for personal luxury
and that pompous ostentation which have made it a mere
matter of routine, cumbrous and slow in its movements,
another administration more modest, simple and prompt
in performing the public service: I decree as
Of the Revolutionary Government.
Article I. The dictatorial government
will be entitled hereafter the revolutionary government,
whose object is to struggle for the independence of
the Philippines until all nations, including the Spanish,
shall expressly recognize it, and to prepare the country
so that a true republic may be established.
The dictator will be entitled hereafter President
of the Revolutionary
Article II. Four secretaryships
of government are created; one of foreign affairs,
navy and commerce; another of war and public works;
another of police and internal order, justice, education
and hygiene; and another of finance, agriculture,
and manufacturing industry.
The government may increase this number
of secretaryships, when it shall find in practice
that this distribution is not sufficient for the multiplied
and complicated necessities of the public service.
Article III. Each secretaryship
shall aid the President in the administration of questions
concerning the different branches which it comprises.
At the head of each one shall be a
secretary who shall not be responsible for the decrees
of the Presidency, but shall sign them with the President,
to give them authority.
But if it shall appear that the decree
has been promulgated on the proposition of the secretary
of the department, the latter shall be responsible
conjointly with the President.
Article IV. The secretaryship
of foreign affairs will be divided into three bureaus,
one of diplomacy, another of navy and another of commerce.
The first bureau will study and dispose
of all questions pertaining to the management of diplomatic
negotiations with other powers and the correspondence
of this government with them. The second will
study all questions relating to the formation and
organization of our navy and the fitting out of such
expeditions as the necessities of the revolution may
require; and the third will have charge of everything
relating to internal and external commerce, and the
preliminary work which may be necessary for making
treaties of commerce with other nations.
Article V. The secretaryship of war
will be divided into two bureaus; one of war, properly
speaking, and the other of public works.
The first bureau will be subdivided
into four sections: One of campaigns, another
of military justice, another of military administration,
and another of military health.
The section of campaigns will have
charge of the appointment and formation of the certificates
of enlistment and service of all who serve in the
revolutionary militia; of the direction of campaigns;
the preparation of plans, works of fortification, and
preparing reports of battles; of the study of military
tactics for the army and the organization of the general
staff, artillery and cavalry; and finally, of the
determination of all other questions concerning the
business of campaigns and military operations.
The section of military justice will
have charge of everything relating to courts of war
and military tribunals; the appointment of judges and
counsel and the determination of all questions of military
justice; the section of military administration will
he charged with the furnishing of food and other supplies
necessary for the use of the army; and the section
of military health will have charge of everything relating
to the hygiene and healthfulness of the militia.
Article VI. The other secretaryships
will he divided into such bureaus as their branches
may require and each bureau will be subdivided into
sections according to the nature and importance of
the work it has to do.
Article VII. The secretary will
inspect and supervise all the work of his secretaryship
and will determine all questions with the President
of the government.
At the head of each bureau will be
a director and in each section an officer provided
with such number of assistants as may be specified.
Article VIII. The President will
appoint the secretaries of his own free choice and
in concert with them will appoint all the subordinate
officials of each secretaryship.
In order that in the choice of persons
it may be possible to avoid favoritism, it must be
fully understood that the good name of the country
and the triumph of the revolution require the services
of persons truly capable.
Article IX. The secretaries may
be present at the revolutionary congress in order
that they may make any motion in the name of the President
or may be interpolated publicly by any one of the
representatives; but when the question which is the
object of the motion shall be put to vote or after
the interpolation is ended they shall leave and shall
not take part in the vote.
Article X. The President of the government
is the personification of the Philippine people, and
in accordance with this idea it shall not he possible
to hold him responsible while he fills the office.
His term of office shall last until
the revolution triumphs, unless, under extraordinary
circumstances, he shall feel obliged to offer his
resignation to congress, in which case congress will
elect whomsoever it considers most fit.
Of the Revolutionary Congress.
Article XI. The Revolutionary
Congress is the body of representatives of the Provinces
of the Philippine Archipelago elected in the manner
prescribed in the decrees of the 18th, present month.
Nevertheless, if any Province shall
not be able as yet to elect representatives because
the greater part of its towns shall have not yet succeeded
in liberating themselves from Spanish domination, the
government shall have power to appoint as provisional
representatives for this Province those persons who
are most distinguished for high character and social
position, in such numbers as are prescribed by the
above named decree, provided always that they are natives
of the Province which they represent or have resided
therein for a long time.
Article XII. The representatives
having met in the town which is the seat of the revolutionary
government, and in the building which may be designated,
will proceed to its preliminary labors, designating
by plurality of votes a commission composed of five
individuals charged with examining documents accrediting
each representative, and another commission, composed
of three individuals, who will examine the documents
which the five of the former commission exhibit.
Article XIII. On the following
day the above named representatives will meet again
and the two commissions will read their respective
reports concerning the legality of the said documents,
deciding by an absolute majority of votes on the character
of those which appear doubtful.
This business completed, it will proceed
to designate, also by absolute majority, a President,
a Vice President, and two secretaries, who shall be
chosen from among the representatives, whereupon the
congress shall be considered organized, and shall
notify the government of the result of the election.
Article XIV. The place where
congress deliberates is sacred and inviolable, and
no armed force shall enter therein unless the President
thereof shall ask therefor in order to establish internal
order disturbed by those who can neither honor themselves
nor its august functions.
Article XV. The powers of congress
are: To watch over the general interest of the
Philippine people, and the carrying out of the revolutionary
laws; to discuss and vote upon said laws; to discuss
and approve prior to their ratification treaties and
loans; to examine and approve the accounts presented
annually by the secretary of finance, as well as extraordinary
and other taxes which may hereafter be imposed.
Article XVI. Congress shall also
be consulted in all grave and important questions,
the determination of which admits of delay or adjournment;
but the President of the government shall have power
to decide questions of urgent character, but in that
case he shall give account by message to said body
of the decision which he has adopted.
Article XVII. Every representative
shall have power to present to congress any project
of a law, and every secretary on the order of the
President of the government shall have similar power.
Article XVIII. The sessions of
congress shall be public, and only in cases which
require reserve shall it have power to hold a secret
Article XIX. In the order of
its deliberations, as well as in the internal government
of the body the instructions which shall be formulated
by the congress itself shall be observed. The
President shall direct the deliberations and shall
not vote except in case of a tie, when he shall have
the casting vote.
Article XX. The President of
the government shall not have power to interrupt in
any manner the meeting of congress, nor embarrass
Article XXI. The congress shall
designate a permanent commission of justice which
shall be presided over by the auxilliary vice president
or each of the secretaries, and shall be composed of
those persons and seven members elected by plurality
of votes from among the representatives.
This commission shall judge on appeal
the criminal cases tried by the Provincial courts;
and shall take cognizance of and have original jurisdiction
in all cases against the secretaries of the government,
the chiefs of Provinces and towns, and the Provincial
Article XXII. In the office of
the secretary of congress shall be kept a book of
honor, wherein shall be recorded special services rendered
to the country, and considered as such by said body.
Every Filipino, whether in the military or civil service,
may petition congress for notation in said book, presenting
duly accredited documents describing the service rendered
by him on behalf of the country, since the beginning
of the present revolution. For extraordinary services,
which may be rendered hereafter, the government will
propose said notation accompanying the proposal with
the necessary documents justifying it.
Article XXIII. The congress will
also grant, on the proposal of the government rewards
in money, which can be given only once to the families
of those who were victims of their duty and patriotism,
as a result of extraordinary acts of heroism.
Article XXIV. The acts of congress
shall not take effect until the President of the government
orders their fulfillment and execution. Whenever
the said President shall be of the opinion that any
act is unsuitable or against public policy, or pernicious,
he shall explain to congress the reasons against its
execution, and if the latter shall insist on its passage
the President shall have power to oppose his veto
under his most rigid responsibility.
Of Military Courts and Justice.
Article XXV. When the chiefs
of military detachments have notice that any soldier
has committed or has perpetrated any act of those commonly
considered as military crimes, he shall bring it to
the knowledge of the commandant of the Zone, who shall
appoint a judge and a secretary, who shall begin suit
in the form prescribed in the instructions dated the
20th of the present month. If the accused shall
be of the grade of lieutenant or higher, the said
commandant shall himself be the judge, and if the
latter shall be the accused, the senior commandant
of the Province shall name as judge an officer who
holds a higher grade, unless the same senior commandant
shall himself have brought the suit. The judge
shall always belong to the class of chiefs.
Article XXVI. On the conclusion
of the preliminary hearing, the senior commandant
shall designate three officers of equal or higher rank
to the judge and the military court shall consist
of the said officers, the judge, the councilor and
the President. The latter shall be the commandant
of the Zone, if the accused be of the grade of sergeant
or less, and the senior commandant if he be of the
grade of lieutenant or higher. This court shall
conduct the trial in the form customary in the Provincial
courts, but the judgment shall be appealable to the
higher courts of war.
Article XXVII. The superior court
shall be composed of six members, who shall hold rank
not less than brigadier generals, and the judge advocate.
If the number of generals present in the capitol of
the revolutionary government shall not be sufficient
the deficiency shall be supplied by representatives
designated and commissioned by congress. The
president of the court shall be the general having
the highest rank of all, and should there be more
than one having equal rank, the president shall be
elected from among them by absolute majority of votes.
Article XXVIII. The superior
court shall have jurisdiction in all cases affecting
the higher commandants, the commandants of Zones and
all officers of the rank of major or higher.
Article XXIX. Commit Military
Crimes: 1st. Those who fail to grant the
necessary protection to foreigners, both in their persons
and property, and those who similarly fail to afford
protection to hospitals and ambulances, including
persons and effects which may be found in possession
of one or the other, and those engaged in the service
of the same, provided always they commit no hostile
acd. Those who fail in the respect due to
the lives, money and jewels of enemies who lay down
their arms, and of prisoners of wad. Filipinos
who place themselves in the service of the enemy acting
as spies or disclosing to them secrets of war and
the plans of revolutionary positions and fortifications,
and those who present themselves under a flag of truce
without justifying properly their office and their
personality; and 4th, those who fail to recognize
a flag of truce duly accredited in the forms, prescribed
by international law.
Will Commit also Military Crimes:
1st. Those who conspire against the unity of
the revolutionists, provoking rivalry between chiefs
and forming divisions and armed bandd. Those
who solicit contributions without authority of the
government and misappropriate the public fundd.
Those who desert to the enemy, or are guilty of cowardice
in the presence of the enemy, being armed; and, 4th,
those who seize the property of any person who has
done no wrong to the revolution, violate women and
assassinate or inflict serious wounds on unarmed persons
and commit robberies or arson.
Article XXX. Those who commit
the crimes enumerated will be considered as declared
enemies of the revolution, and will incur the penalties
prescribed in the Spanish penal code, and in the highest
If the crime shall not be found in
the said code, the offender shall be imprisoned until
the revolution triumphs unless the result of this
shall be an irreparable damage, which in the judgment
of the tribunal shall be a sufficient cause for imposing
the penalty of death.
The government will establish abroad
a revolutionary committee, composed of a number not
yet determined of persons most competent in the Philippine
Archipelago. This committee will be divided into
three delegations; one of diplomacy, another of the
navy and another of the army.
The delegation of diplomacy will manage
and conduct negotiations with foreign cabinets with
a view to the recognition of the belligerency and
independence of the Philippines.
The delegation of the navy will be
charged with studying and organizing the Philippine
navy and preparing the expenditures which the necessities
of the revolution may require.
The delegation of the army will study
military tactics and the best form of organization
for the general staff, artillery and engineers and
whatever else may be necessary in order to fit out
the Philippine Army under the conditions required
by modern progress.
Article XXXII. The government
will issue the necessary instructions for the proper
execution of the present decree.
Article XXXIII. All decrees of
the dictatorial government in conflict with the foregoing
are hereby annulled.
Given at Cavite, the 23d of June, 1898.
Desiring to bring about a proper execution
of the decree dated the 23d of the present month,
and to provide that the administrative measures shall
not result hereafter in the paralysis of public business,
but that, on the contrary, it shall constitute the
best guarantee of the regularity, promptitude and
fitness in the transaction of public business, I give
the following instructions and decree:
(Then follow ten rules concerning
the details of installing the government.)
Cavite, the 27th of June, 1898.
Message of the President of the Philippine Revolution.
If it is true, as it is true, that
political revolutions properly understood, are the
violent means which people employ to recover the sovereignty
which naturally belongs to them, usurped and trampled
upon by a tyrannical and arbitrary government, no revolution
can be more righteous than that of the Philippines,
because the people have had recourse to it after having
exhausted all the pacific means which reason and experience
The ancient Kings of Castile felt
obliged to consider the Philippines as a brother people,
united to the Spanish in a perfect participation of
aims and interests, so much so that when the Constitution
of 1812 was promulgated, at Cadiz, on account of the
War of Spanish Independence, these islands were represented
in the Spanish Cortez; but the interests of the Monastic
corporations which have always found unconditional
support in the Spanish Government, overcame this sacred
duty and the Philippines remained excluded from the
Spanish Constitution, and the people at the mercy
of the discretionary or arbitrary powers of the Governor-General.
In this condition the people claimed
justice, begged of the metropolis the recognition
and restitution of their secular rights by means of
reforms which should assimilate in a gradual and progressive
manner, the Philippines to the Spaniards; but their
voice was quickly throttled and their sons received
as the reward of their self-denial, deportation, martyrdom
and death. The religious corporations with whose
interests, always opposed to those of the Philippine
people, the Spanish Government has been identified,
scoffed at these pretensions and answered with the
knowledge of that Government that Spanish liberties
have cost blood.
What other recourse then remained
to the people for insisting as in duty bound on regaining
its former rights? No alternative remained except
force and, convinced of that, it has had recourse to
And now it is not limited to asking
assimilation to the Spanish Political Constitution,
but it asks a definite separation from it; it struggles
for its independence in the firm belief that the time
has arrived in which it can and ought to govern itself.
There has been established a Revolutionary
Government, under wise and just laws, suited to the
abnormal circumstances through which it is passing,
and which, in proper time, will prepare it for a true
Republic. Thus taking as a sole model for its
acts, reason, for its sole end, justice, and, for
its sole means, honorable labor, it calls all Filipinos
its sons without distinction of class, and invites
them to unite firmly with the object of forming a
noble society, not based upon blood nor pompous titles,
but upon the work and personal merit of each one;
a free society, where exist neither egotism nor personal
politics which annihilate and crush, neither envy nor
favoritism which debase, neither fanfaronade nor charlatanism
which are ridiculous.
And it could not be otherwise.
A people which has given proofs of suffering and valor
in tribulation and in danger, and of hard work and
study in peace, is not destined to slavery; this people
is called to be great, to be one of the strongest
arms of Providence in ruling the destinies of mankind;
this people has resources and energy sufficient to
liberate itself from the ruin and extinction into which
the Spanish Government has plunged it, and to claim
a modest but worthy place in the concert of free nations.
Given at Cavite the 23d of June, 1898.
To Foreign Governments.
The Revolutionary Government of the
Philippines, on its establishment, explained, through
the message dated the 23d of June last, the true causes
of the Philippine Revolution, showing, according to
the evidence, that this popular movement is the result
of the laws which regulate the life of a people which
aspires to progress and to perfection by the sole
road of liberty.
The said Revolution now rules in the
Provinces of Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro, Tayabas, Laguna,
Morong, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Neuva-Ecija, Tarlac,
Pangasinán, Union, Infanta, and Zambales,
and it holds besieged the capital of Manila.
In these Provinces complete order
and perfect tranquility reign, administered by the
authorities elected by the Provinces in accordance
with the organic decrees dated the 18th and 23d of
The Revolution holds, moreover, about
9,000 prisoners of war, who are treated in accordance
with the customs of war between civilized nations
and humane sentiments, and at the end of the war it
has more than 30,000 combatants organized in the form
of a regular army.
In this situation the chiefs of the
towns comprised in the above mentioned Provinces,
interpreting the sentiments which animate those who
have elected them, have proclaimed the Independence
of the Philippines, petitioning the Revolutionary
Government that will entreat and obtain from foreign
Governments recognition of its belligerency and its
independence, in the firm belief that the Philippine
people have already arrived at that state in which
they can and ought to govern themselves.
This is set forth in the accompanying
documents, subscribed by the above named chiefs.
Wherefore, the undersigned, by virtue
of the powers which belong to him as President of
the Revolutionary Government of the Philippines and
in the name and representation of the Philippine people,
asks the support of all the powers of the civilized
world, and earnestly entreats them to proceed to the
formal recognition of the belligerency of the Revolution
and the Independence of the Philippines; since they
are the means designated by Providence to maintain
the equilibrium between peoples, sustaining the weak
and restraining the strong, to the end that by these
means shall shine forth and be realized the most complete
justice in the indefinite progress of humanity.
Given at Bacoor, in the Province of
Cavite, the 6th day of August, 1898. The President
of the Revolutionary Government, Emilio Aguinaldo.
The undersigned chiefs of towns comprising
the Provinces hereinafter named, elected as such in
the manner prescribed by the decree of the 18th and
the instructions dated the 20th of June last, after
having been confirmed in their respective offices
by the President of the Government and having taken
the prescribed oath before him, have met in full assembly
previously called for that purpose for the purpose
of discussing the solemn proclamation of Philippine
The discussion took place with the
prudence and at the length which so important a question
demands and, after suitable deliberation, the following
declarations were unanimously adopted:
The Philippine Revolution records
on the one hand brilliant feats of arms, realized
with singular courage by an improvised army almost
without arms, and on the other the no less notable
fact that the people, after the combat, have not entered
upon great excesses nor pursued the enemy further;
but have treated him, on the contrary, with generosity
and humanity, returning at once to their ordinary
and tranquil life.
Such deeds demonstrate, in an indisputable
manner, that the Philippine people was not created,
as all believed, for the sole purpose of dragging
the chains of servitude, but that it has a perfect
idea of order and justice, shuns a savage life, and
loves a civilized life.
But what is most surprising in this
people is that it goes on giving proofs that it knows
how to frame laws, commensurate with the progress
of the age, to respect them and obey them, demonstrating
that its national customs are not repugnant to this
progress; that it is not ambitious for power nor honors
nor riches aside from the rational and just aspirations
for a free and independent life, and inspired by the
most lofty idea of patriotism and national honor; and
that in the service of this idea and for the realization
of that aspiration it has not hesitated in the sacrifice
of life and fortune.
These admirable and more
than admirable, these wonderful deeds necessarily
engender the most firm and ineradicable convictions
of the necessity of leaving the Philippines free and
independent, not only because they deserve it, but
because they are prepared to defend, to the death,
their future and their history.
Filipinos are fully convinced that
if individuals have need of material, moral and intellectual
perfection in order to contribute to the welfare of
their fellows peoples require to have fullness of
life; they need liberty and independence in order to
contribute to the indefinite progress of mankind.
It has struggled and will struggle, with decision
and constancy, without ever turning back or retrograding
before the obstacles which may arise in its path, and
with unshakable faith that it will obtain justice
and fulfill the laws of Providence.
And neither will it be turned aside
from the course it has hitherto followed by the unjustifiable
imprisonment, tortures, assassinations, and the other
vandal acts committed by the Spaniards against the
persons of peaceful and defenseless Filipinos.
The Spaniards believe themselves released from every
legal obligation toward the Filipinos for the sole
reason that the belligerency of the Revolution has
not been recognized, taking no account of the fact
that over and above every law, whether written or
prescriptive, are placed with imprescriptible characters,
culture, national honor and humanity. No; the
Filipinos have no need ever to make use of reprisals
because they seek independence with culture, liberty
with unconditional respect for the law, as the organ
of justice, and a name purified in the crucible of
In virtue of the foregoing considerations
the undersigned, giving voice to the unanimous aspiration
of the people whom they represent, and performing
the offices received from them and the duties pertaining
to the powers with which they are invested,
Proclaim solemnly in the face of the
whole world the Independence of the Philippines;
Recognize and respect Senor Don Emilio
Aguinaldo y Famy as President of the Revolutionary
Government, organized in the manner prescribed by
decree of the 23d and instructions of the 27th of June
last, and beg the said President that he will ask
and obtain from foreign Governments the recognition
of its belligerency and independence, not only because
this act constitutes a duty of justice, but also because
to no one is it permitted to contravene natural laws
nor stifle the legitimate aspiration of a people for
its amelioration and dignification.
Given in the Province of Cavite the
1st day of August, of the year of our Lord 1898, and
the first year of Philippine independence.
Follow the signatures of the local
Presidents of the Provinces of Cavite and many others.
The undersigned, Secretary of the
Interior, certifies, That the present document is
a literal copy of the original, which is deposited
in the Secretaryship under his charge; in proof of
which he signs it, with the approval of the President
of the Revolutionary Government in Bacoor, the 6th
day of August, 1898.
El Présidente del G. R.,
El Secretano del Interior,
Letter from Senor Aguinaldo to General Anderson.
July 23d, 1898.
To Brigadier-General T. M. Anderson, U. S. A., etc.,
In answer to the letter of your Excellency
dated the 22nd of the present month, I have the honor
to manifest to you the following:
That even supposing that the effects
existing in the storehouse of Don Antonio Osorio were
subject to capture, when I established myself in the
plaza (town) of Cavite, Admiral Dewey authorized me
to dispose of everything that I might find in the same,
including the arms which the Spanish left in the arsenal.
But as he was aware that said effects belonged to
the personal property (ownership) of a Filipino, who
traded with them by virtue of a contribution to the
Spanish Government, I would not have touched them had
not the owner placed them at my disposition for the
purposes of the war.
I came from Hong Kong to prevent my
countrymen from making common cause with the Spanish
against the North Americans, pledging, before, my
word to Admiral Dewey to not give place to (to allow)
any internal discord because (being) a judge of their
desires I had the strong conviction that I would succeed
in both objects; establishing a government according
to their desires.
Thus it is that at the beginning I
proclaimed the dictatorship, and afterwards, when
some of the Provinces had already liberated themselves
from Spanish domination, I established a revolutionary
government that to-day exists, giving it a democratic
and popular character, as far as the abnormal circumstances
of war permitted, in order that they (the Provinces)
might be justly represented and administered to their
It is true that my government has
not been acknowledged by any of the foreign powers;
but we expect that the great North American nation,
which struggled first for its independence and afterwards
for the abolition of slavery, and is now actually struggling
for the independence of Cuba, would look upon it with
greater benevolence than any other nation. Because
of this we have always acknowledged the right of preference
as to our gratitude.
Debtor to the generosity of the North
Americans, and to the favors which we have received
through Admiral Dewey, and being more desirous than
any other of preventing any conflict which would have
as a result foreign intervention which must be extremely
prejudicial not alone to my nation, but also to that
of Your Excellency, I consider it my duty to advise
you of the undesirability of disembarking North American
troops in the places conquered by the Filipinos from
the Spanish, without previous notice to this government,
because as no formal agreement yet exists between
the two nations, the Philippine people might consider
the occupation of its territories by North American
troops as a violation of its rights.
I comprehend that without the destruction
of the Spanish squadron the Philippine revolution
would not have advanced so rapidly; because of this
I take the liberty of indicating to Your Excellency
the necessities that before disembarking troops you
should communicate in writing to this government the
places that are to be occupied, and also the object
of the occupation, that the people may be advised
in due form and (thus) prevent the commission of any
transgression against friendship. I can answer
for my people, because they have given me evident
proofs of their absolute confidence in my government,
but I cannot answer for that which another nation,
whose friendship is not well guaranteed, might inspire
in it (the people); and it is certain that I do this
not as a menace, but as a further proof of the true
and sincere friendship which I have always professed
to the North American people in the complete security
that it will find itself completely identified with
our cause of liberty.
I am, with respect,
Your obedient servant,