ESTADO FEDERAL DE BISAYAS
PATRIOTIC CIRCULAR, DECEMBER 27, 1898
[Original in Spanish. Newspaper. P. I. R., 912.2. - From "La Revolucion,"
Jaro, January 5, 1899.]
We take pleasure in publishing herewith in full the patriotic circular,
the drafting of which was in charge of the Vice President, Sr. Vicente
Franco, addressed to the Sovereign People and to the provincial and local
authorities of the Federal State of Visayas.
"To the People of Visayas, the Army and to the Provincial Local
"Divine Providence has just raised the social level of the Philippine
Nation to the height of free nations, offering her a place in the concert
of universal civilization.
"Our tri-colored flag which symbolizes Liberty, Equality and Fraternity,
is already waving over the public buildings in this Archipelago,
and it will not be long before it will spread its folds across the seas of
"Under the august shade of that flag the factors in the welfare of
all nations, which are morality, intelligence and labor, will develop without
obstacles or restrictions.
"The disinterested patriotism, and the unlimited self denial of the
Filipino people, together with the heroism of our Liberating Army, have
deserved the blessing of God from the promptness with which it has
delivered us from the heavy yoke of the friars and the Spanish domination.
"While formerly we were slaves and pariahs, obliged to work for our
conquerors, the Spaniards, without expecting any other reward but promises
which were never kept, distain, and assassination committed with
the most scandalous cynicism and generally applauded by the Spanish
press, we are now free men, with our own nationality; and instead of being
individuals, we are persons capable of enjoying all the benefits which intelligence
and labor furnish.
"But in exchange for all these benefits, Divine Providence and the
entire world require of us a radical change in our customs, public and
private, to make us worthy of the honorable position which we have just
assumed among the civilized nations of the Universe.
"Hence, Morality, Intelligence and Labor, will be the real basis for
our conduct, but not an apparent morality, spoken or written, as that of
the Spaniards, but an actual and real morality, practiced by the entire
Philippine Nation in general, and by all the members thereof in particular.
"We are all citizens, we are brothers, and we are equal, we are all
called to enjoy the benefits brought by Liberty, and for this reason we
are obliged to possess and practice the civic virtues, inspired by the
principles of Christianity and sound reasoning.
"But a civilized society, in order to carry out its ideals, needs a
political organization for the purpose of attaining its aspirations, upon
shaking off the powerful yoke of the Spanish and constituting a free Nation,
based on the Sovereignty of the People: these aspirations are not
by the political organization called the Philippine Republic.
"On the other hand, the numerous large and small islands of which
this Archhipelago is composed, have since the beginning shown the necessity
of establishing the Federal States of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,
represented by the three stars of our august national flag, all of them
illumined by the sun of civilization which occupies the center of the white
triangle, the symbol of our unity and of the purity of our ideal.
"The political and military progress of the Philippine Revolution
since its initiation, is known to all; hence it is not necessary to give
here its glorious history, but you must all know that the former Revolutionary
Committee of Visayas when it was still conspiring, recognizing
the supremacy of the Republican Government of Luzon, and the Honorable
President of the three Confederate States of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,
Sr. Emilio Aguinaldo sent commissioners to him not only to obtain
assistance necessary to continue the war, but also to request instructions
as to the political organization which we must adopt.
"Upon the return of said commissioners, Sres. Pablo Araneta and
Francisco Villanueva, in addition to the assistance consisting of arms and
ammunition, the necessary instructions for the political organization of
the group of the Visayan Islands as a Federal State, politically united
to that of Luzon, forming with the latter and that of Mindanao a national
unity called the Philippine Republic, as appears from the document which
I take pleasure in attaching.
"For the local government of this Federal State, the personnel mentioned
in another document which I also take pleasure in attaching, was
"On its constitution, the Council of the Federal State sends its fraternal
greeting to the Sovereign people of Visayas, to its army and to all
the authorities and officials, both provincial and local, hoping that the
patriotism of all will lead them to contribute to the beautiful ideal of our
All the Visayan provinces, by reason of their geographical situation
and the bonds of family and interests, are called upon to form this Federal
administrative unity, without prejudice to our political unity with Luzon
and Mindanao, and without prejudice also to the extension in so far
as possible of the system of economic decentralization, in order that each
province, and even each town may provide for and administer its own
sources of revenue, without any obstacles or delay, subject only to the
laws enacted by said provinces, which shall appoint their respective
representatives by election.
"The power of moderation hence vested in the Council of State, resides
in said provinces and in said towns, who will give their representatives
all the instructions which they may deem necessary.
"The capital of the Federal State of Visayas must be situated in one
of the more important towns of the province of Iloilo, a commercial center
with easy communication with Luzon and with all the Visayan provinces.
It will also be within a short time the center of instruction in all the
branches of human knowledge, which we will take the greatest care in
developing to the fullest extent possible.
"It has been said that the provinces and all the towns of Visayas will
elect their representatives, and these elections will be held as soon as the
war closes, the councillors for Iloilo, Cebu, Negros Occidental and Negros
Oriental, Capiz, Antique and the District of Concepcion, having been appointed
only provisionally, which representatives will be relieved by others
elected by the towns of the said provinces of the Visayas, when they are
completely dominated by the revolution. We hope, therefore, that the
authorities of the Visayan provinces and towns, in inculcating in their
respective districts the idea of the exercise of national Clnd individua.l
liberty, within the rules of morality and intelligence, will inculcate also
the idea of the union of all these towns and their adherence to the central
Government of this Federal State and the political union of the Philippine
Republic, which constitute our honor as free citizens, our prosperity as the
Federal State of the Visayas and our nationality as the Philippine Republic.
"Consequently, as President of this Federal State, on the recommendation
of the Vice President, the Chairman of the Committee on Government,
and with the advice and consent of the Council of State, I direct
the publication of this governmental program in all the towns of the Visayan
provinces, hoping that the patriotism of all will lead to giving it
the greatest publicity possible by circulars and proclamation for the information of all."
God preserve you many years for our Liberty and Independence.
JARO, December 27, 1898.
The President of the Federal State, ROQUE LOPEZ.
The Vice President, member of the Committee on Government, VICENTE
The Secretary General of the Council of State, FRANCISCO VILLANUEVA.