LUKBAN TO LUNA, JULY 8, 1899
[Original in Spanish. Contemporary copy. P. I. R., 77.2. ]
CALBAYOG, July 8, 1899.
Seņor ANTONIO LUNA,
Secretary of War.
DEAR SIR AND RESPECTED GENERAL: I have to inform you that while
on my way to inspect the towns of this province of Samar, I received
in Taragnan the appointment and the written instructions of the Suprme
Council, appointing me, to date from the 27th of April last, Politico-Military
Governor of this province, and the attached instructions provide
that each Governor is the Military Commander of his respective jurisdiction;
so that I cease to be the Military Commander of the Province of
Leyte. Attached to the instructions was a letter from Sr. Mabini, informing
me on behalf of the President, that Sr. Viniegra had been appointed
Military Chief of Camarines, on account of said Supreme authority
appreciating the difficulty of communication. In said town of Taragnan,
I received a report from the Local Chief of the town of Granja, to the
effect that there was an American gun boat off the Island of Balicuatro,
which does nothing but fire at smaller vessels, while those which
carry women are not fired upon but captured and released after having
been held for twenty-four hours.
I arrived on this date in the town of Calbayog, where I also received
from the hands of the Governor of Leyte a communication from
you dated June 2nd, last, ordering me to turn over the Military command
to Sr. Mojica, the Politico-Military Governor of said province, and
that I should report in person to that Bureau or Department regarding
the matters connected with these provinces.
I send you herewith copies (1) of the proclamations of the celebrated
Provisor of Cebu and of a letter of a resident of Negros, in which he
relates what occurred on said Island and in Bohol, Surigao and its districts
during the month before last. I have already sent to the Supreme
authority the copies of the papers they sent me and of the accusations
made in said Islands.
I shall continue my trip to La Granja in order to proceed to Luzon;
but I see the impossibility of passing on account of the man-of-war off
the island of Bali-cuatro, which is watching the canal of Capul, and the
straits of San Bernardino. I believe, General, that I would not be
guilty of disobedience to your orders as you know that it is my desire
always to be close to you, although I have to pass through eight
provinces; I shall, therefore, send a communication to the Governor of
Leyte to confine his Military Command to said province leaving this
one of Samar as ordered in the creation of Politico-Military Governors
on April 27, as above stated, because I believe furthermore, that you
would never consent that a private be over a corporal; all of this is
due to our present critical condition.
Therefore, in the event that I should be unable to proceed to Luzon
for the reasons above stated, I inform you of the state of politics
in these Visayan islands, which I understand quite well.
The origin of all the disturbances here is due to those clerks, lawyers,
writers and pettifogers during Spanish domination, who appear
to be under the orders and thumb, as I understand it, of that traitor,
Luis Flores, the so-called Presidente of Cebu, who turned over the city
to the enemy without firing a shot. This gentleman was solicitor of
the Audiencia in the said Island of Cebu. The tendency of all these
men is to sow seeds of discord and friction between families; and to
this is due the division of parties; all of them, under the name or
pretext of Country. wish to feather their own nests. Evidence of this
is the fact that this Flores, during the months he was in Leyte, ordered
many Colonels and a so-called Brigadier General named Velozo, to recruit
men in Leyte; and having noticed this move by reason of its
tendency to federalism, I took all precautions and directed them that
in the future they should not recruit any men without authorization
from your Bureau or from the undersigned, and I believe that on this
account those barrators and potbellied pretended patriots are working to
have me removed from here, for they know that under Mojica they will
have their own way, and they are taking advantage of this leniency
or trust to carry out their wishes.
Most of the wealthy and middle class here sacrifice their patriotism
in favor of their personal interests and wish to eat when the table is
already set, that is to say, they expect us to restore them, but they
always offer lives and lands in words and not by acts.
In Cebu, Bohol, Surigao and its districts, especially in the first
named, shipments or expeditions must be sent, as arms are badly
wanting, as well as officers and soldiers from Luzon; I say this, because
in these three provinces civil war has already broken out, and
if arms were given them, they would wreak vengeance on each other
and perhaps matters would be worse, as they are already armed, especially
in Cebu, where it is necessary to fight two enemies, the Americans
and the column of Tulisanes, if the latter do not succumb to the
policy of attraction.
I applaud the creation of the Politico-Military Governors, and all
that is necessary is a Governor General, that is to say, a Politico-Military
Superior Commander, vested with the fullest powers, able to pass upon
and decide questions submitted by the Governors, and that said gentleman
should be a man who would not favor anyone, be very honest
and not listen to false reports from anyone; I say this, because I have
observed that the Vi sayans have a tendency to misrepresent things and
calumniate; and they consider trifles and not the main issue, which is
The Governor General or Politico-Military Superior should reside
in such town or proYince as policy may recommend, and this gentleman
should be the only one authorized to treat with that Bureau as
long as present conditions continue.
Now that I am no longer Military Commander of Leyte and Camarines,
I praise the Supreme Being for having lessened my burdens.
My arsenal, situated in the mountains of Catbalogan, is already
turning out cartridges of various calibers and my ordnance chemist,
Sr. Vito Borromeo, is studying how to increase the output of nitrate
of potash, without the necessity of ingredients; because I discovered
by the mixture of various substances secured in the woods chlorate is
made, according to the chemist's analysis.
The bullets used in the cartridges are made from the bells that
I ordered melted; of all of which, General, when the cartridge machines
are all working for which I also used worn out sewing machines, I
will make a report, as also of the number of thousand cartridges manufactured
The enemy is steadily besieging us, and today it is a week that
we have been eating sweet potatoes in the morning, "morisqueta" (boiled
rice) at noon, "lugao" (rice soup) in the afternoon, and once in a
while "palm flour" (harina de palmeras), as rice costs ten pesos a
cavan. It is fortunate that the steamer "Kondoy" arrived here to-day
with rice. But the price is the same.
CALBAYOG, July 8, 1899.
A true copy:
(Signed) V. LUKBAN.