RIEGO TO TORRES, MAR 3 1900
Exhibits 1173 to 1180.
HONG KONG JUNTA, NOVEMBER 13, 1899, TO
JULY 4, 1902.
[Original in Spanish. L.S. P.I.R., 530.7.]
HONG KONG, March 3, 1900.
General ISIDORO TORRES, of the Filipino Army.
My DISTINGUISHED COMPATRIOT AND DEAR COMPANION: In view of
the uncertainty and insecurity of communication with our illustrious Captain-General, in order that you may know all that is taking place in political
matters affecting our country's most sacred interests, I deemed it
advisable to establish this means of communication in order that our actions
here and over there may be common and in accord, and also in order
that by our interchange of impressions, we may be aware of what is
occurring in the field of your jurisdiction.
In the first place, I must inform you that in spite of most of our
towns having fallen into the hands of the enemy, yet due to the guerrilla
system of warfare adopted by you, we know that the spirit of the people
is firm, and that in all parts a quiet but ceaseless fight is being kept up
against the[m] by all hated enemy. The guerrilla system is producing very
good results, causing daily great loss to the enemy and resultIng in little
loss on our part and the gain of much ammunition and money. Those
in the towns, are assisting those in the field with money, and the latter
are rivalling each other in heroic acts and in endeavors to kill and make
prisoners of the enemy. In the beginning the triumphal entries of the
latter, telegraphed to their government by their worthy Otis, did not appear to create a very favorable atmosphere for our cause, as the General
represented us as defeated and our arms crushed; but now the entire world
knows that these entries are nothing but comedy and their triumphs
nothing but lies. Even in the United States they are convinced that everything
is fictitious, that the facts, the reality, are very unfavorable to
them and that at the present time, they are the worst sufferers. And
the weight which oppressed the hearts of those who sympathize with
our independence and who work and struggle to obtain it, has been lifted.
They again undertake the campaign, more ardently and more certain, if
this were possible, of being victorious. We are satisfied. But we do not
sleep for this mason, on the contrary we redouble our activity and sharpen
our wits. It is a pity that the means at our command are not sufficient
for everything! But we are seeking and will continue to seek all the
means within our power to provide you there with everything, and to secure
the realization of our ideal as soon as possible. Our representatives
are doing all they can and using all the means at their disposal. In the
United States the struggle between the partisans of our independence
and those who are desirous of shackling us, is very bitter. I enclose a clipping
from a newspaper containing the speech of an imperialistic Senator,
in which he very clearly defines the policy of his party. This is it:
"Everything American and everything backed by bayonets." We simple
pariahs and slaves, this will be convincing to the luke-warm, and I do not
say to others and still less to yourself, because you are already convinced
of the fact, that it is necessary to continue the struggle without being
dismayed and without hesitation, as I told some of our other Generals, to
whom I wrote the other day. Slaves, colonists again! Is it for this that
we have shed so much blood? No, no, death first. Death or independence!
In this lies our salvation. The entire country, but especially we who belong
to the army, representing the valor and energy of the country, in
whose hands our country has placed its honor and future, its future also,
because we are the principal lever in this struggle: your abandon and
bravery, and your indomitable tenacity, from the most weighty arguments
and must decide the triumph. Politics and diplomacy are simple aids;
the arms constitute everything. Fight therefore, fight day and night.
And to conclude I will transcribe what I have written to some of our
other companions: "Attack with vigorous decision, defend yourselves with
heroism; ambush constantly those damned invaders; do not permit them
to have an instant of truce or rest. War without showing quarter. Do
not permit hardships and obstacles to dismay you; on the contrary you
must renew your efforts; of such stuff are heroes made. Encourage
the weak, give an example to the nations not only of bravery but also
of self denial; and do not mind that we stand alone and that no nation
comes to our help. Better thus. Nations move only when they smell a
good mouthful. As at the present time they extend us their sympathy
only, we are beyond their grasp. Thus when the day of victory comes,
it will be purer and greater. Do not become discouraged for a moment.
Our cause is a holy one and with constancy and faith sooner or
later, we must triumph. Who knows, perhaps the hour is not far distant.
Let us all in the meantime, be worthy sons of our country. Do not
let us imitate the sad example of some who, in a cowardly manner,
withdrew when they had advanced half way, or who treasonably sought
refuge behind the nefarious Yankee shield. Do not let us be like them,
the dishonor or our race, let us never think of increasing without our
names that ignominious list which sullies our history. Let us place the
honor of our nation very high especially we military men, who taking
her flag in our hands swear to defend it to death."
This is all that I can tell you for the present, and it only remains
for me to applaud you and yours from this point for your judgment
constancy and envy you because you can fight the enemy at closer range.
Affectionate and enthusiastic greetings from all the members of
this Committee and a hearty embrace from your friend and comrade.
(Signed) E. RIEGO.
P. S.-I would thank you very much if you would send us news
and all that you may know regarding our situation.
Our representatives and all those working for our cause recommend
without cessation: "Resistance; resistance; only in that manner will
we be able to be victorious."
[Stamp:] Central Filipino Committee, Hongkong.