GUEVARA TO PEOPLE OF SAMAR, FEBRUARY 25, 1902
[Original in Spanish. Contemporary copy. P.I.R., 843.2. ]
FEBRUARY 25th, 1902.
To the People of Samar.
DEAR COMPATRIOTS: It is with greatest sorrow that I have to inform
you of the great misfortune that has befallen our dear General,
Vicente Lukban. On the 19th inst., while he and his secretary, Lieutenant Ortiz,
both armed with guns, were in hiding, they, and the lieutenants
commanding in the neighboring hamlets, were surprised by the
enemy and taken prisoners.
I do not tell you this to discourage you, but rather to encourage
you and to let you know that our forces are still intact, and that although
we have lost our General, we have captured in battle an American
soldier with his arms and ammunition. Hence it is clear that Providence
is with us in this unequal struggle, for after a war to the knife
waged by the enemy for more than two years, our small force is not yet
conquered. On the other hand, the blows struck at Balangiga and elsewhere
have helped us to the extent of 250 rifles, 60,000 rounds of ammunition
and several small machine guns.
Now that our General has been captured, I have the honor to salute
you, oh my worthy comrades of Samar; for, as second in command under
General Lukban, I must now assume command and defend our country
from danger. And I accept the charge, though I fully know my incompetency
and unworthiness for so grave a trust; and I shan continue
to fill it until a Brigadier General shall have been appointed by an
assembly shortly to be called, which officer shall direct the operations
both in Samar and Leyte. Once the selection is made, it shall be submitted
to the Superior Headquarters in Luzon for approval, as per instructions
issued from the same.
Hence, as Politico-Military Chief of these two provinces, I order:
1. From the moment that our General, Vicente Lukban, fell into
the hands of the enemy, he is considered as out of the Filipino army,
and therefore has no power to give orders, and much less should he be
2. With a view to counteracting the enemy's blockade by sea and
land, the local presidentes will oblige all the heads of barrios, and
the inhabitants as a whole, to keep the ground in the interior, and the
mountain tops if possible, under cultivation, so that the efforts of the
invader to destroy our crops may prove futile.
3. For the purpose of protecting innocent parties from the reprisals
of the enemy, the local presidentes will oblige the heads of barrios to
triple the guards along all trails where families are in hid ng; and
they shall punish those who abandon their posts, and thus maintain discipline
throughout the country.
4. The local presidentes shall organize bodies of auxiliary cazadores
(huntsmen) armed with lancas and machetes, who will cooperate with
the guerrilla commanders if called upon by them, and if not they will
operate by themselves and endeavor to surprise the enemy whenever he
appears in the mountains. The cazadores can be very effective in the
mountains and where the enemy is far from camp, for at such distances
they are apt to be fatigued. By attacking them in such places the inĚ
habitants can avoid being exterminated by them; and this is what the
enemy has been seeking to do for months past.
The Chief who commands the corps of cazadores, should he capture
50 rifles and ammunition for the same from the enemy, shall be made a
captain of infantry on the active list; and the subchief shall be promoted
to a 1st lieutenancy of infantry on the active list, and his immediate
subordinate to a 2nd lieutenancy, and the sergeants and corporals
also shall be placed on the active list. In case 100 rifles should be
captured, the Chief shall be made a major of infantry, and all others
raised one grade.
5. The local presidentes shall provide for the safety and security
of life and property of neutral foreigners conducting business throughout
the different towns, and also for that of peaceful natives.
6. The local presidentes shall relentless pursue all persons guilty
of ladronism, robbery, assassination and rape, especially those who at
the present time are committing these crimes under the name of
Revolutionists or Defenders of the Country; and when captured they
shall be sent before the Military Chief of the Zone to be tried by
summary court martial, in accordance with the provisions of a proclamation
and of general instructions from Headquarters of Luzon.
7. The cazador who kills an enemy after he has surrendered shall
be sent before the aforesaid Military Chief of the Zone, and shall be
punished with death. The present war is not being waged for the sake
of taking life, but to gain our longed-for independence; let us keep this
in mind and thus gain the good will of civilized nations, and of the
enemy himself even though he pursue the methods of Herod before the
civilized peoples of the world, notwithstanding that civilization has carried
us past the age when such conduct would be tolerated.
8. The local presidentes shall severely punish polygamists.
9. Any one failing through laziness to comply with the provisions
of the second article of this proclamation will be severely punished.
Given in Camp Buan (Samar) on the 25th of February, 1902.
The Superior Politico-Military Chief.
A true copy:
[NOTE BY COMPILER. This proclamation is not signed, but must
have been written by Claro Guevara.]