DELGADO TO COMPATRIOTS, DECEMBER 2, 1900
[Original in Spanish. Copy made in U. S. Dept. of the Visayas. P.I. R., 1122. 5. ]
DEC. 2, 1900.
My DEAR COMPATRIOTS:
In reply to the questions of the people of some
towns, asking me what they were to do in view of the threat of the enemy
to confiscate their property, subjecting them to torture or forcing them to
take to the mountain if they did not recognize American sovereignty and
take an oath before two witnesses, I have replied as follows:
"To the people of the town of -----
"In reply to your favor received this day, I must tell you that the patriotism
which each feels in his heart is the best guide under the present circumstances.
It is the touch stone sent by Heaven to show to what point the
love which the Filipinos bear for this beloved soil can arrive. For your
safety, what is the use of this oath? The enemy does not believe we are sincere
in taking it; in fact they know we are not; but it suits their purpose, as
at the next session of congress the presentation of thousands of documents
acknowledging their sovereignty may aid in convincing the Senators of the
subjugation of our country. When that is assured, the persecution will be
harder, and under any pretext they will do to-morrow what they are doing
to-day, and perhaps worse. The sacrifice then will not be worth what it is today,
because it would be useless; a sacrifice to-day ennobles man, and it is a
sacrifice which will bear fruits in welfare, because it is most in accordance
with reason and justice and God will protect him who does not take His
name in vain.
"It is a trick of the enemy to ascertain the strength or weakness of our
will: if within a few months they do not obtain the result which they desire,
they will make use of the brute force they are now using, and a reign of
terror will result. The war may be long and costly; well then, the best
thing to do will be to divide us, that is to say isolate those in the field and
declare them bandits and disturbers, consequently declaring their extermination
as such, as they do not represent the will of the people, who under
oath has recognized American sovereignty. We should know how to support
and suffer this new iniquity with valor. But what would fall to you? Sad
ending of so many sacrifices and so much blood shed! And slavery with
perjury! Because it is impossible to deny that said oath is in contradiction
of what the Filipino feels in his heart. God knows it, our enemies know it,
and we know it. And then. Why is the oath taken? I do not wish to say,
because it is sad and shameful and in addition all know why.
"They will humor you in the beginning, but later they will despise you,
considering that you are not men and do not deserve a Country, but that
you are only a plate of cooked rice (morisqueta), the leavings of the table
of the master who gives them to his slaves out of pity, so that they may
have strength to work for his aggrandizement, if he does not wish to decree
their imprisonment, banishment or death.
"Stand firm, I beg of you, and let us await together the events in Luzon.
There are our foremost men who will sooner or later desire our future fate.
Consider your children, and do not leave them a sorry legacy.
"We. proclaim the liberty of men, and we aspire thereto because we believe
ourselves worthy. And why should we not be free to say before God
and man what we feel? Ah! Is it perhaps because the slave fears the lash and
has not sufficient dignity to protest? Thrn any advice is useless. All slaves
deserve their chains. Nevertheless, I do not expect this of you because you
are a free people, jealous of your rights.
MARTIN F. DELGADO."
DECEMBER 2, 1900.
A true copy:
Clerk of Military Offices.