On December 14 the Spanish authorities served upon me notice of the contemplated discharge of the native troops held in Manila as prisoners . Although it was known that a good many of the 3,000 of these prisoners had deserted to the insurgents , it was deemed important to weigh the probable results of this contemplated communicated action, and the following letters were prepared and delivered:

Captain-General Rizzo,
General of Division of the Spanish Army, Manila, P.I.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this morning, in which you inform me you are about to discharge from the Spanish service the Spanish native troops held as United States prisoners of war in this city .

I beg that you defer your contemplated action in this matter of discharge until I may be able to make inquiry as to the condition, intent, and former places of domicile of these troops, that I may act understandingly with regard to them. As prisoners of war, under the articles of capitulation, they should remain under guard within the city and under the immediate supervision of their officers until instructions as to their final disposition are received from Madrid and Washington.

You will therefore please suspend all action relating to their discharge until I may be able to communicate further with you.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major-General, U.S.V., United States Military Governor in the Philippines