Exhibit 1198.

[Original in Spanish. D.S. P.I.R., 705.3. ]

DEC. 5, 1898.

To the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic, Sr. EMILIO AGUINALDO Y FAMY.

HONORABLE SIR: The undersigned members of the former Central Revolutionary Committee of Visayas and Mindanao, at present constituted in a provisional Government, only for the purpose of providing for the most urgent requirements of the war and the organization of the towns have the honor to state respectfully to you: That after the organization of the Revolutionary Committee in the town of Molo in the month of August of the present year, it set out to secure funds for the purchase of arms and ammunition. This resulted in the sending, in September last, of a committee to the Island of Luzon with various sums, the exact amounts of which we cannot state at the present time for the purchase of arms and ammunition for the purpose of beginning the war. In the meantime and for many months before, the most active propaganda was being conducted in all the towns of the Visayas in order to inculcate in the hearts of the popular masses, ideas of liberty, hate for the Spaniards and our adhesion to our brothers in the Island of Luzon. The propaganda was a dangerous one, because notwithstanding the greatest precautions to conceal it, it aroused the suspicion of the Spaniards who in their turn organized the so-called secret police which during the tour of duty of the Count de Villamar Governor of Iloilo and Military Commander of the Islands of Negros and Panay, was responsible for many executions by shooting without trial. But as the idea of independence was accepted enthusiastically by the popular masses and by the immense majority of the prominent people of Iloilo and Negros, the Spanish Government suspended the executions, fearing to precipitate the course of the revolution, without as yet having sufficient forces at its command to drown it in blood as they would have wished and as is their custom. This inactivity on the part of the Spanish Government, being construed as weakness and compulsory tolerance, made the propaganda easier and less dangerous, and increased the enthusiasm of those who had enlisted as future leaders of the revolution, and even made the masses impatient to conquer their liberty, with the legitimate aspiration of becoming men worthy of being brothers of those of Luzon.

The members of the Committee worked hard to contain the outburst of the popular masses, promising that very soon assistance would come from Luzon in the shape of arms and ammunition. Popular outbursts of this character were not unknown to the so-called Governor of the Philippines, General Rios, but the expeditions of Antique, Cebu, Capiz and Concepcion, reduced the number of the Spanish forces considerably and General Rios could not develop here his hyeanish instincts, and against his own will pretending to have received full powers, which he did not have, from the Government at Madrid, he ordered the assembly of a Council to consider reforms which in no manner affected the aspirations of the country which had lost all faith in the Spaniards and the so-called Governor of the Philippines, General Rios.

It was now difficult and almost impossible to contain the outburst of the masses; the members of the Committee permitted the military commanders of the revolution to take to the field, and in less than five days all the towns of Iloilo were occupied by the forces of the Army of Liberation, the occupation being almost simultaneous of the Island of Negros, Occidental and Oriental, and of the province of Antique.

The Central Revolutionary Committee and its Headquarters being constituted in the town of Santa Barbara, about 18 kilometers from Iloilo, our army was anxious to take by force the towns of Jaro, Molo and Iloilo where Rios had concentrated all his forces; but as the chiefs of the revolution, civil as well as military, had their families in Jaro and Molo, adjoining Iloilo, which could not be taken without first attacking the two towns first named, where General Rios had his advance guard, which also threatened to set fire to said towns of Jaro and Molo if the Revolutionary forces should attempt to enter either of said towns, the matter was considered at length. During the deliberations on the matter, the purpose of which was to cause as little damage as possible in Jaro and Molo, emissaries from the Spanish General appeared, making many offers if we would change our attitude; but the Committee rejected absolutely the propositions of Rios, and the latter renewed his requests almost daily, the Committee continuing to observe its inflexible conduct of not making any concessions whatever to Rios.

In order that the Commission might have a certain representation in diplomatic negotiations of this character with the Spanish General, and the work of the Committee becoming daily more complicated, it was decided to establish, provisionally only, a Central Government of the Visayas and Mindanao, the act of the Constitution of which we have the honor to enclose herewith for your approval or amendment as you and the Government of the Philippine Republic may see fit to decide. We have said that our constitution was a provisional one, without claims of any kind and with the sole purpose in view of securing a certain juridical personality to direct the movement of the masses, provide means to secure funds for the army, to administer such funds with a certain system and to answer the propositions of General Rios and of the American squadron in a proper case.

We wish it known also that there are in this Region of the Visayas and Mindanao perhaps persons better qualified than we are to govern the country; but as they did not go into the field nor join the movement, nor permit themselves to be carried along with it, remaining within the Spanish lines, we thought it wise to constitute our provisional government of the elements which made up the former Revolutionary Committee, without prejudice to Our resigning when we take possession of Iloilo, in order that the towns may then elect their new representatives in accordance with the Constitution of our Philippine Republic.

On the 21st of November last, the Spanish General, in accordance with an agreement made with us, evacuated the city of Jaro and thereupon we entered the same with a large portion of our army, and we were received with the greatest enthusiasm by the people, the August Flag of the Philippine Republic being raised over the former town hall.

At the present time purely diplomatic negotiations are being conducted for the delivery to us by the Spanish General of the towns of Iloilo and Molo, which are the only towns which remain to him. Notwithstanding this, during our advance on Arevalo and Manduriao, towns which adjoin Molo, there were many engagements between our forces and the Spaniards, in which the latter always came off second best notwithstanding the fact that they made use of their cannon, as our bolomen almost always did much damage to the infantry of Rios.

During our stay in this city, many soldiers belonging to the native troops which served in the Spanish ranks came over to us, but of this large number of soldiers only one brought his rifle and ammunition; this man performed a heroic act, as he deserted in the daytime, in the presence of the officers commanding the Spanish line of Iloilo, and took advantage of an opportunity when he took a message, because on other occasions it was not possible for him to go armed. The Spanish commanders disarmed all the native troops. This soldier was rewarded with a hundred pesos and promoted to a second lieutenancy in our army.

Many, Honorable Sir, are the episodes of this almost bloodless campaign, the details of which we will send you later, without prejudice to the enclosed report on the course of the campaign and the copy also enclosed, of the proposition of General Rios for reforms signed by his councillors only, acting for the Spanish General, and not signed by any of us who did not wish to enter into any engagement as to our political future, which is entirely joined to that of Luzon, without ascertaining your wishes as the Supreme Commander of the Philippines Nation.

In the present state of the Revolution in Visayas, we pledge to you and our Philippine Republic our unconditional support, Our purpose being to secure Philippine union, for which we are endeavoring to secure our liberty under your auspices, endeavoring to dislodge the Spaniards from the small section they still hold by all the means, within our power.

As a pledge of our union and for the purpose of presenting to you and to the Government of the Philippine Republic our respects On behalf of the Regions of the Visayas and Mindanao and of our provisional government, we would like to send a representative to greet you in person as well as your Government, and at the same time secure instructions regarding our organization,and the political and military attitude we are to adopt if the Americans arrive, but we do not trust the Spanish General who still occupies the port of Iloilo, who is capable of making our envoy a prisoner. For which reason we content ourselves with transmitting to you and to the Republican Government this respectful document as a sincere expression of our decided wishes.

God preserve you many years, for the sake of our Independence and Liberty.

JARO, December 5, 1898.

(Signatures of) R. LOPEZ, President.

Vice Pres. and Councillor of Gov't.

Act. Councillor of Grace and Justice.

Councillor of Finance.

Councillor of State.

Councillor of War.

Secretary General.

*must be Vicente Franco, not Vicente Zamo