MABINI TO AGUINALDO, DECEMBER 24, 1898
[Original in Tagalog. A.L.S. P.I.R., 512.5.]
DECEMBER 24, 1898.
Señor PRESIDENT: Sr. Ner came here and made to us the following
As, according to information received from the merchants, the Americans
thought that he was a Visayan, he was recently summoned by General
Otis in order to ask him whether the people there, [in the Vlsayas]
are antagonistic toward the Americans. He replied that they are not angry
with anybody, provided their liberty was not threatened.
General Otis further stated that he asked him that question in view
of the request of the foreign and Spanish merchants at Iloilo that the
Americans should occupy that city to protect them and to insure the safety
of their property. He will send a telegram to Washington consulting his
government in the matter, and if he is ordered to occupy the Visayan
islands he will again summon Sr. Ner.
Before the end of the interview, our compatriot stated to General Otis
that if their motives in occupying Iloilo were only to protect the interests
of the foreign merchants, the Visayan people are willing to guaranty them
with their property and wealth, thus showing him that we are able to maintain
the order and tranquility over there. He was also asked concerning
the number of arms of the revolutionists in the Visayas; he replied that
they are as many as the people there.
After the interview he came to Mololos for the purpose of informing
you of his interview; but as he was unable to see you because you were
then very busy, he stated everything to Sr. Sandico in order that the latter
may convey the information to the government.
Yesterday he was again summoned by General Otis, who read to him
the translation of a telegram from his government ordering him to occupy
Iloilo. The general requested him to intercede with the Visayan revolutionists
in order to avoid any shedding of blood. They are awaiting for
his reply to-day until 2 o'clock p.m., and they have already reserved for
him four state-rooms on board of a man-of-war which is to sail to-morrow.
He requested information as to what action he should take, whether he
should or not go with the Americans, and whether he should or not be a
As there was no chance left me to consult upon the matter with you,
I summoned the council of government. At our meeting were present only
Sr. Trias, Alas, and Canon, the other secretaries being absent.
We agreed that they should not be permitted to land in places already
taken by us, even if an outbreak of hostilities is necessary. But in regard
to places occupied by the Spaniards, as the Port of Iloilo, we consider
that if the Spaniards surrender to them the place and we insist upon hav.
ing the same there will be a useless war, we deemed it wise to send him
there in order to tell the revolutionary chiefs that if the Americans persisted
in occupying any place held by the Spaniards, they should yield on
condition that they ·would promise to occupy it only to protect the foreign
interests and not to take possession of it, and in case the Americans refuse
such condition, they should publish a manifesto protesting against such
action. We directed him also to endeavor to have our troops permitted
to enter the port of Iloilo, and not like what has happened in Manila.
He told us that it would be better to have some one of this government
go with him, to testify the people of Iloilo that everything he says to them
are the wishes of our government, and that he will manage to have
the Americans kept ignorant of such person being an envoy of the Filipino
government. It is necessary for said person to call on him at No.6 Calle
Salinas, prolongation of Calle Elcano, Binondo, to-morrow at 10 o'clock
a. m., in order to secure transportation.
I leave to your judgment the selection of the person whom you think
is most trustworthy, if you agree with what I have herein stated. You
should also give him instructions as to the best measures he should take
Sr. Ner has heard rumors to the effect that the Americans will occupy
Iloilo, Cebu, Mindanao and Negros. He thinks that he will be able to dissuade
the Americans from going to Negros. It is also said that the Americans
will occupy Legazpi.
Order your obedient servant.
(Signed) AP. MABINI.
[NOTE BY COMPILER.-P.I.R. 9.8 shows that on Dec. 23rd, 1898, Aguinaldo
left Malolos to spend a few days in Cavite Viejo and left routine matters
in the hands of Mariano Trias, all important matters were to be kept
until his return.]