ESTADO FEDERAL DE BISAYAS
ROQUE LOPEZ LETTER, DECEMBER 25, 1898
[Original in Spanish. Copy. P.I.R., Books A.6.]
FEDERAL STATE OF VISAYAS, ILOILO,
Dec. 25, 1898.
To the PROVINCIAL PRESIDENTE OR TO THE MILITARY CHIEF OF DUMAGUETE,
Philippine Republic. Federal State of Visayas, Iloilo. To the Provincial
Presidente or to the Military Chief of Dumaguete, Oriental Negros.
There is a heading which says: Office of the President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government; and a stamp which says: Revolutionary
Government of the Philippines, Office of the President.
Instructions transmitted by the President of the Philippine Revolutionary
Government to the Revolutionary Committee of Iloilo.
1st. Not to recognize the sovereignty of the American Government,
and the Commissioners on landing shall prepare with the committee other
committees inside and outside of Iloilo, the latter shall prepare forces in
order to attack the Spaniards hours before the delivery of the garrison
to the Americans. Within the garrison some of our soldiers shall attack,
while others will go to the depots of arms and quarters in order to extract
all the arms and ammunition whigh they can. The attack 'Of those within
will be in combination with those outside, and those who have no rifles
and only bolo arms, tell them to be brave and determined, because the
Americans fear the bolo more than the rifle itself. Select uneducated persons
to take charge of the attack with bolo arms as the educated ones
usually become discouraged at the sight of a larger force of the antagonists.
Here we have attacked a hundred against thousands, and bolos
against rifles, but we have availed ourselves of uneducated persons, brave
and determined, promising them commissions of General, etc. etc., and thus
we have succeeded in winning.
2nd. It may happen that at the moment of attack the Spaniards may
ask the Americans for a parley, and may make promises. In such a case
neither believe nor accede anything, but continue the operations of attack
until the enemy is made to surrender.
3rd. The two preceding paragraphs shall apply in case that the garrison
has not yet been delivered by the Spaniards to the Americans, but
in case that the attack has not been effected for any reason whatsoever,
then our forces shall continue to enter towards the garrison, gaining
ground and well prepared, but without firing until the Americans begin.
When the Americans attack respond immediately provided they are within
reach of our rifles, with certainty of doing harm; for if this certainty
should not exist, our forces should not fire but lie down and await the
firing of the Americans to cease. Then aiming well, and always advancing,
boldly attack them with almost a certainty of victory, above all
showing them the bolo, for here in Manila it has been seen more than
fifty times that the American at the beginning shows himself firm and
stubborn but at the sigh of the determination of our soldiers and the
brilliancy of the bolos, they have yielded. These are practical cases which
the seņores commissioners can confirm to the committee, a recent case of
four Americans having died through fear having presented itself. If the
Americans should offer to let our forces enter without attacking, one of
our emmisaries to parley should at once be sent to the American General,
in order to state that we, Filipinos, do not want them not anyone else
as sovereigns and that they will only be received if they will sign a
document that they are our friends and promised to leave at once. This
document [is] to be signed by the American General and communicated to
all the foreign consuls and residents in the city. At the same time there
shall be circulated proclamations ordering all Filipinos, under penalty of
death, to respect the persons and property of all foreigners, as well as
the lives and honor of all the Spaniards or Americans, prisoners, who
shall be humanely treated.
4th. In case that our forces should have taken the garrison of Iloilo
before the Americans, and the latter should attempt to land by force, our
soldiers shall conceal themselves well in order to deceive them, and allow
them to land up to triple or quadruple the number of ours and when they
are within our rifle shot, taking care to give them a volley in order to
diminish them one·half or as much as possible. If they should reply by
rapid firing our soldiers shall cease firing and will lie down, unless the
enemy should continue to advance, for in the latter case, our soldiers shall
fire at their own discretion, that is, one by one and they shall also fire
one or two volleys in sucession until they are able to make the enemy
fall back, halt or surrender. The object of the strategy of presenting a
lesser number against quadruple the number of the enemy, is not only to
secure always losses to the enemy but also to secure in case of victory
double the number of ammunition used and also to secure a considerable
number of rifles from the enemy's dead. In order to better deceive the
Americans in case that they shall attempt to land by force our forces
shall build supposed trenches, and holes. Our soldiers shall place themselves
in these holes in order to fire on the enemy, in which place they
will be safe, while the enemy will fire at the supposed trenches without
causing any damage whatever. Before landing, the Americans will surely
bombard: no reply will be made to this bombardment and no force shall
be presented to the view of the Americans in order that the latter being
deceived will proceed to disembark, our commanders in such a case shall
act in accordance with the instructions above given and which will be
observed in any point of our territory.
5th. In case that launches with landing parties should enter our rivers
they should be allowed to enter in numbers compatible to our forces and
when they are within our rifle shot our soldiers will be ordered to fire,
taking care to have four good marksmen aim their shots at the helmsman
and the captain of the launches, endeavoring not to do any harm to the
hulls in order to utilize said launches after the victory.
6th. In case that gunboats should enter, they should be permitted to
approach as far as our cannon and then taking good aim fire the shots
at the hulls of the gunboats, in order that the latter shall soon sink in
the water, thus preventing that their guns shall do much damage. At the
same time orders should be given for a rifle voHey at the soldiers who may
be on the gunboats.
You are hereby authorized to issue these instructions to all the
military chiefs of our territory of Visayas and Mindanao. MALOLOS,
December 25, 1898. E. AGUINALDO.
(Signed) R. LOPEZ,
To the SEŅORES OF THE ILOILO COMMITTEE.
[NOTE BY COMPILER. The copy from which the foregoing translation
was made bears the following certificate.]
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Iloilo, P. I., May 23rd, 1902.
A true copy of a true copy recorded in Volume 25, pages No. 4251 to
4254, of the insurgent records on file in this office. The original has
been forwarded to Headquarters Division of the Philippines.
(Signed) ROBERT H. NOBLE,
Captain 3rd C. S. Infantry, Adjutant General