ESTADO FEDERAL DE BISAYAS
MALOLOS TO ILOILO LETTER, JANUARY 4, 1899
[Contemporary copy in Spanish. P.I.R., Books C.l.]
MALOLOS, January 4, 1899.
My RESPECTED GENERAL: By order of the President, Sr. Emilio Aguinaldo,
and with the concurrence of his government I have the pleasure of
cordially greeting in your person all the Filipinos who live in the beautiful
region of Visayas and with congratulating them with every effusion of
the soul for the fortitude they have just displayed in keeping the ambitious
foreigners at bay.
The Government views with great interest the incidents developing
there, because it concerns an integral and principal portion of the Phi1ippine nation; for this it entreats those who respresent the sacred interests
of our country that they give it notice by any means whatsoever, as
promptly as possible of the outbreak of hostilities in order to effectively
further the movements being executed here.
I have the pleasure of transmitting to you herewith copies of the
decree constituting a new cabinet and the statement read by the latter
before the congress of representatives. I beg you to read them to the council
which you may have formed there and send a copy of them to the
islands of Negros, Cebu, etc.
I also pray you to inform the council charged with watching the
interests of that region that the government will provisionally approve
the form of government which may be there constituted upon a republican
basis, as it well understands that difficulty of communication weakens
and almost renders useless its action over those provinces. Only it begs
them to take care to send to this congress legal representatives of those
provinces in order that when once the independence is consolidated it may
agree upon a fundamental law for all. Nevertheless, I send you a few
pamphlets as it may appear better to organize those people in a form
analogous to that of their brothers in Luzon. I must observe that this
organization is provisional and that a constitutional law is being discussed
in this Congress which will be of a provisional character until it shall
be ratified by the representatives of those provinces.
It is unnecssary to say to them that the government is animated by
the unalterable confidence that the Filipinos of Visayas or Mindanao, as
those of Luzon, will know how to defend the integrity of their country
without which neither individual nor national honor is possible. To the
brothers of that beloved region I earnestly recommend that they guard
with watchfulness and solicitude the maintenance of national unity, in
which lies our only salvation. And above all let them not lose sight of
the fact that in a democratic government any authority whatever is a
mere agent of the people, whose unavoidable duty it is to guard individual
liberty and interests, public safety and an exact compliance with the law.
Finally I urge them that in so far as possible they do not refuse their
assistance and succor to the rest of the adjacent islands, including Mindanao
and the Jolo Archipelago. Say to the Moros when you have an
opportunity that the government is disposed to concert with them national
unity on the basis of a true federation and to absolutely respect
their faith and traditions.
The Council of Government will view with the greatest of pleasure the
admission to its body of the best patriots from there. I beg of you to
send the people of Negros and othesr Islands copies of this letter, tiresome
in its incoherency, owing to the pressure of affairs.
I enclose a few copies of the draft of the proclamation of independence
subscribed by the popular chiefs of Luzon, so that those over there may
be in harmony with us if they wish.