BRAULIO CRUZ TO CITIZEN-GOVERNOR OF LEYTE, FEBRUARY 13, 1899
[Original in Spanish. D.S. P.I.R., 879.6.]
MAASIN, February 13th, 1899.
To the Citizen-Governor of the Province of Leyte:
The town of Maasin of this the Province of Leyte, represented by
the undersigned headmen and persons of standing of the same, feeling
that they have been injured in the dearest and most precious of their
rights, have recourse to your Excellency as representative of our Honorable
President in the towns of this Province and as the personification
of justice and the law of the nation, and humbly beg leave to state the
Article 2 of the Decree of June 18th, 1898, of his Excellency Emilio
Aguinaldo (whose precious life may God our Lord guard) in speaking
of the election of the Local Chiefs, says:
"As soon as the country is free from Spanish rule, the inhabitants
most distinguished for education, social position and honorable conduct...
shall come together in a great council and proceed to the election,
by a majority of votes, of the Chief of the town, etc." This Decree
was received with indescribable joy and feasting, and was interpreted
by the inhabitants to be one of the wisest rulings possible in
helping the country to make gigantic strides towards progress. This is
exactly what the Spanish Government, for its own avaricious ends, tried
not to do by placing every possible obstruction in our way. The Philippine
people looked on this Decree as a regenerating power since it
leaves it within the option and power of the people in most cases to
choose their Local Chiefs; and thus the Government of the country is
estabhshed by the people themselves. This was the opposite of the
system pursued by the Spanish Government, who selected the persons
that in their opinion would best serve as excellent instruments and
zealous agents in carrying out their abominable designs. They never
did anything towards the progress of the country, and the towns themselves,
and the thoroughfares, are monumental witnesses to this fact;
though three long centuries have gone by, the roads arc still impassable.
In the conviction that the Decree referred to should rule in the elections
that were to be held in all the various towns, we the undersigned,
representative citizens of the town of Maasin, as our social position and
reputation can testify, were very pleased; for through this system of
electing Local Chiefs we might look forward to seeing spread throughout
the land that contentment which We had so long looked for. But
what an awakening and what an illusion! And so much the more, the
greater our hope of civic regeneration which we considered well founded
in view of his Excellency's Decree already referred to. Were the elections
of Municipal Captains in Spanish times almost entirely arbitrary,
then that which has just taken place in Maasin was entirely so, as
you can see from the following statement of facts.
Shortly before the election of the Local Chief and other officials
commenced, Municipal Captain Flaviano Aguilar, desiring to get the
crowd out of the town-hall, called on the headmen to come down and
gather at the Boys Schoolhouse where they would await the General,
who, he believed, would take part in the elections. No sooner had the
headmen left the building than the Commissioner proceeded with the
election, naming off the persons who could vote and who had been previously
cited for that purpose. But these could not express the will
of the people for the very good reason that they were inexperienced
boys, without any property or social position, some of them being still
under the paternal power, and others being outsiders brought here by
Francisco Enage, and whom he had coached to vote for Felix Veyra as
Local President. The elections ended, and of course Veyra was successful.
This was a great surprise to the inhabitants for they had not
even thought of him as a candidate for the office as they do not care
for him, especially since they were excluded from the election when they
should have been the first to be consulted on the matter as they are
the representatives of the sovereign will of the people. I ask you, your
Excellency if such conduct be just or lawful? The town of Maasin
thinks it is not; in fact if it is anything it's a farce and a comedy. As
we were not sure that General Lukban, whom we, respect and obey, took
any part in these proceedings, we hesitated to make immediate complaint.
But the more we thought about it, the more we were convinced
that he would never think of infringing the Decree of our President,
whom he represents in this community. Hence we decided to present
to the General a complaint similar to this, setting forth the manner in
which said election was conducted in this town and giving him the plain
truth so that he might act upon it. But as such a letter might miscarry
through unforeseen circumstances, we decided it would be better
to draw it up anew and present it to the Governor as the immediate
Chief of the Province.
Therefore we, the undersigned, humbly request your Excellency to
take this matter up and use your influence to have the election referred
to declared null, and that a Commissioner be sent here to hold it anew
in accordance with the provisions of Article 2 of the Decree of June
18th, 1898; and that favoritism be avoided and discountenanced as it is
the source of much evil and a great impediment to the prosperity of
May God guard your Excellency many years.
(Signed) BRAULIO CRUZ,
and twenty-one other signatures.
MARGINAL NOTE.-San Isidro, May 4th, 1899. To the Secretary of
(Signed) E. AGUINALDO, The President.
[SEAL]: Philippine Republic, Office of the President.