Exhibit 1255.

[Original in Spanish. L.S. P.I.R., 117.2.]

(Stamp) Republican Government - Headquarters the general commanding in the Visayas.

ANTIQUE, May 31, 1899.

To the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic and Captain General of the armies of the Nation, Sr. Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy.

Greeting and independence.

After sending my greeting to you and to all the brothers who are fighting in that Island for the sacred cause of independence and after wishing the success of our arms in the war we are at present waging, I have the high honor of making a report to you of the operations had in this Island of Panay by the expeditionary army the command of which you conferred upon me with a confidence which I did not deserve.

In regard to the bombardment by the Americans of the city of Iloilo. of which you are aware, both the expeditionary and the regional forces retreated. I cannot judge whether said retreat was justified or not, since it was made by order of General Pablo Araneta, because, as you know, after our army had taken possession of the town of Iloilo, I proceeded to that capital to report in person the success of our campaign against the Spaniards. That retreat has probably already been considered by your honorable government; and as you may not have heard everything, I fulfill my duty in informing you that there have been many complaints on account of the populace and the soldiers resorting to looting. The expeditionary army of that province was then on account of my absence, under the command of Sr. Angel Salazar, under the immediate orders of General Pablo Araneta, it occupied the outskirts of the city in the Cotta on the beach and very near and in front of the enemy, was the force which suffered from the first cannonades, and would not have withdrawn from there had it not been seen that retreat was being cut off through the fire which broke out in their rear immediately after the enemy had first opened fire. Nevertheless, the positions were held for some time, until by orders of the General, Sr. Pablo Araneta, who had already withdrawn with his forces abandoning ours, nothing was left to do but retreat also. And to prove that my forces were the last to abandon their positions, I can submit the depositions of soldiers as also of many residents, who when they left saw nothing but fire in all parts of the city, which produced great confusion; it would have been impossible to retreat in an orderly manner as the troops were demoralized, especially mine, and it is fortunate that Sr. Salazar had the spirit to dominate the situation and reorganize the army. When I returned and reassumed the command of the forces, I ordered that some of them should remain in Iloilo to continue the operations and the rest should remain in this Province of Antique to garrison it. That is the status of the campaign which said army is conducting with success, as is shown by the several battles with the enemy.

On the 16th of March, I had the honor to be present at a battle fought in Balantang, where Sr. Salazar is stationed with a portion of the forces of the Army of my command. This battle was one of real importance, not only as to the duration of the fire but also as to the hard character of the fighting; the number of our troops was very small compared with that of the enemy, as those under my orders consisted of a hundred soldiers, most of them recruits, because the demoralization had made a change in the personnel necessary, and even reckoning the forces under the other commanders there were but few of us, while the number of the enemy amounted to seven hundred, were protected by the artillery of their vessels and their trenches. The action was begun on the said 16th at twelve o'clock with cannon firing upon all of our positions; it continued until half past one, when they attempted in advance towards our forces attacking them bravely, and the rifle fire continued until 4 in the afternoon, when our troops being without ammunition they retreated to the second line of trenches. In this situation, the enemy occupied the first lines which had been abandoned by us and from there they attacked our positions five times, but were always repulsed. In the evening our forces which had secured some, although little, ammunition, did not wish to wait and took the offensive, causing the enemy to retire with more than 100 dead and wounded, and permitting us to recover the positions we had originally abandoned. In this action we unfortunately suffered a loss of sixteen, and one officer killed, Sr. Manuel Rubio, a native of Dao, province of Capiz, who, when buried was given all military honors as an officer with the rank of first Lieutenant; the interment took place in Santa Barbara (Headquarters), and seven soldiers killed, who were natives of Sibalom, of this Province of Antique, were also interred with the honors due the martyrs of the country in the said town; the wounded Sergeant, Jose Acampado, a native of Bohol, and nine soldiers, received medical attendance in the military hospitals of the said town of Santa Barbara. These dead and wounded are all of the forces of my command without counting the losses suffered by the forces of Sres. Diocno, Martin Delgado and Pablo Araneta. Since that time we have had only a few partial engagements of little importance and skirmishes sometimes when our soldIers go out on a reconnaissance. This is the state of affairs with little more ammunition on our side, [we remain?] without leaving the trenches where all of our forces are stationed. They are more than ever determined to sustain our sacred cause with the hope of securing the attainment. of our ideals, even though it be with a scarcity of material means, especially those of communication with that Government. We do not even know here what is occurring in that Island but we always have faith that victory will always follow our arms.

In compliance with orders received from that Superior Government I presented my appointment as Commanding General of operations in these Visayan Islands, authorized by you, to the other Commanders of Iloilo and of all the expeditionary forces; in view thereof they have recognized me as such and Sr. Martin Delgado continuing as General-in-Chief of the regional forces of Iloilo. By virtue of this recognition of the authority that you have entrusted to me, I may later have the honor to communicate to you all the details of the campaign, when the respective Generals and Commanders transmit to me the data necessary to complete the journal of operations.

On the 27th of last month, there appeared in this town of Antique, an American steamer which delivered to me certain proclamations addressed to the Filipino people, which I also transmit to you herewith, by which American control is proposed or rather imposed. I replied to the Commissioners that I could not accept any condition of the American Government without previous orders from my superior Government at Malolos and without the previous recognition of our independence. The Commander of the vessel, through the commisioner, desired to invite me to a conference upon the steamer; but I replied that if the Americans needed anything they could come on land and hold here such conferences as they might desire; but they did not do so, and went to the neighboring town of San Jose, doing the same there; demanding furthermore, the surrender of the capital within a period of four hours. The local authorities of the capital informed me hereof and I at once proceeded to said point and gathered all the forces at my disposal, consisting of about 30 men armed with rifles and more than 1,500 of the territorial militia armed with bolos, lances, bows and arrows and other hand arms. At 6 o'clock exactly of the following day the barbarous Americans, without considering the defenceless condition of the town, began to bombard it keeping it up until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. More than 300 shells fell in the town, of various calibers, including a large number of incendiary shells, which set fire to the lorcha "Alicante" loaded with rice which I was going to send to Mindoro to assist our brothers in that province, and sunk the lorchas "Estella" and "'Recreo," and destroyed many houses in the town. Notwithstanding this rain of shells that was falling on the town, and especially on the trenches on the beach where the poor defenders were stationed, the latter never abandoned their positions, and although we had no other arms than those mentioned above, we were awaiting the landing of those malevolent men. They did not do so, but left towing the lorcha "Rosario" loaded with rice for the province of Iloilo and that was captured off the coast of Dao.

An American vessel is continually visiting us, the intentions of which we do not know, and yesterday, the first instant, one passed here which, after approaching the coast of this town and the capital San Jose, left in a northerly direction, probably for the capital. I have ordered that watch on the coast be redoubled, and it affords me great satisfaction to be able to inform you that all the inhabitants of this province military as well as civilian, are disposed to repulse the enemy and not permit that this portion of the Filipino territory be sullied by foreign footsteps, and we shall thus continue to work with all the faith we have in our sacred cause and with all the enthusiasm of every Filipino who loves the liberty and independence of his country.

Our material means are not great, although our will to sustain our· selves is great; I beg that you send us some ammunition and provisions, to the extent of your means.


I also have the high honor of informing you that our military operations in the province of Iloilo have been interferred with by divisions which have occurred between various commanders and forces of that province. The most important one was that which occurred between the expeditionary forces commanded by Sr. Diocno and the Generals of Iloilo. I do not know the real cause of that divergence of opinion, but what I can assure you is that evil passions and personal interests are placed before the most sacred interests of the country, and had it not been for my opportune interference as General in Chief of all, they would uselessly have lost their lives and made sacrifices upon the altar of an exaggerated self esteem. As you will be able to see from the communications exchanged between the Acting Military Commander of Sr. Diocno and the Commanding General of Iloilo, Sr. Martin Delgado, which I also transmit herewith, the question arose in connection with quarrels between the soldiers and the inhabitants of the towns of Iloilo, on account of the violation of women which it is alleged was attempted in a barrio of the the town of Cabatuan by some soldiers of the forces of Sr. Diocno. Said soldiers were killed by the inhabitants of the said barrio and in view thereof, the acting Commander of Sr. Diocno, made a report to me of the occurrences in his communication No. 301, dated April 9th, last; he further states in this communication that he had ordered the reconcentration of all of his forces to return to Capiz, consequently abandoning operations in Iloilo. General Martin Delgado also made a report on these events, as appears in his letter of April 10, 1899, addressed to these General Headquarters. I replied to them in two communications one addressed to the Acting Commander of Sr. Diocno and the other to Sr. Delgado, which letters I also transmit herewith, one under No. 22, dated April 13, and the other under No. 23, of the same date, and due to this intervention of my authority, the matter was temporarily arranged. But subsequently the Acting Military Commander of Sr. Diocno, addressed another communication to me, No. 323, dated April 20th, and these General Headquarters also addressed another communication No. 46, dated April 19, for the purpose of settling by all the means within my power the dissensions which had arisen in order that the Country should not suffer thereby.

May God preserve you many years for the good of our country and for the consummation of our independence.

ANTIQUE, May 31, 1899.

Commanding General of operations in the Visayas.

To the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic and Captain General of the Armies of the Nation, Sr. EMILIO AGUINALDO.