OTIS ON SPANISH NATIVE SOLDIERS AND FOUR COMMISSIONERS
In the foregoing instructions, mention is made of representative men
of Iloilo and Spanish native soldiers, whom General Miller was directed
to take with him, the first to assist in making the object of the United
States known and the latter in proof of good intentions.
referred to were sent by General Rios to Manila for discharge from the
Spanish military service, without permission or warning. They were about
200 of a lot numbering 600 or 700, and were Visayans belonging mostly
to Panay, while the remainder were Tagalos. They were discharged
upon arrival in the harbor, though not paid off, as the Spanish authorities
pleaded lack of sufficient public funds, and request was submitted
to permit them to land in the city. After much deliberation, it was
decided to land such of them as desired to remain in Luzon on the
northern shore of Manila Bay, and to send to Panay those who desired
to go south. The 200, who were accompanied by their families, elected
to go south. They were placed upon a Government transport, rationed,
each given a small amount of money from the public funds, and departed
for their homes with General Miller's command.
business men had come up from Iloilo a short time before for the purpose,
as they asserted, of arranging matters with the Americans so that
there might be a peaceful solution of affairs. They were introduced
by some of the native citizens in whom confidence was placed, and
expressed themselves as desirous of having the United States troops
go to Iloilo, and to accompany them in order that they might prevail
upon the people to receive them without opposition. These men were
intelligent and apparently very much in earnest, and General Miller,
who was present at the last conference, shared fully my opinion as
to their honesty. He took them with him on his own transport and
gave the best accommodations the vessel offered, free of charge. Upon
arrival at Iloilo, he sent them into the city to prepare the way for him
and they were seen no more.
He landed the discharged native soldiers
on the Panay coast, and it is believed that they joined the insurgent
ranks without taking much time for consideration.
subsequently ascertained that while temporarily sojourning in Manila one of
these representative men quietly visited Malolos, and received
Aguinaldo's orders, which he carried with him to his people.
-Otis, in his 1899 report