LUKBAN TO MARIANO TRIAS, FEBRUARY 25, 1901
[Original in Spanish . Unsigned document. P. I. R , 882 8.]
CAMP SAMAR, Feb. 25th, 1901.
To MARIANO TRIAS.
Lieutenant-General of the Philippine Army.
My DEAR SIR AND RESPECTED GENERAL: I have the honor to inform
you that on the 15th of December of last year I received your two
esteemed communications dated the 9th and 12th of August preceding
respectively, and that I carried out the orders therein contained.
I desire to state that it was impossible for me to answer your letters
in due time as the war claimed all my attention. In fact during the
months of October, November and December of last year was when the
enemy's reinforcements, numbering in all 3,000, arrived. They were under
command of General Hughes, and were accompanied by eight warships.
The Province was closely blockaded, and this obliged me to redouble
my operations and use my entire forces in order to harass the
enemy and anticipate their plan of campaign, which was to surround
my column and take us all prisoners at once. Thanks to my activity
(such as it was) their plans miscarried. In all their operations they
found their difficulties and impediments, which made it impossible for
them to overcome me. And perhaps this was the reason General
Hughes gave up and left about the middle of December taking part
of his troops with him. There are now only about 1500 of the enemy's
troops in the Province.
Concerning the war tax to be collected from the worthy inhabitants
or this Province, I am collecting one and one·half pesos from male and
female adults respectively; but in view of the high prices now demanded
for rice, and cloth for uniforms for my soldiers, and other necessary
articles, the little I am able to collect is used up for this purpose and
there remains nothing for me to send to you. And besides, as you are
aware, this Province has been rigidly blockaded for more than two years,
and, due to this fact, commerce has been paral[y]zed. Add to this the
locust plague, and the hurricane recently experienced here, and the
ensuing scarcity of money and other resources; and you can use that
people can not transact business and pursue their ordinary avocations
on account of these war conditions. And yet, wretched as is the condition
of these people, they continue to make sacrifices for their country
and stand by me constantly in our struggle for independence.
On the 1st of August last I sent 2,500 pesos to you, in care of your
Commissioner, which was all I then had on hand. I also sent you, at the
same time, a letter setting forth the occurrences of the early part of the
invasion, with reports of my operations attached, for yourself, the Captain-General,
and the Central Committee at Hong-kong, besides those
of the 30th of June last, which also I forwarded. Due to the critical
condition of things in the Province, I have authorized all the towns to
open the cock-pits, charging an entrance fee of $.50 and 10% of all bets;
and all money collected from this source is sent me monthly to defray
the expenses of the war.
On the 9th of October last I set my two American prisoners free
(a sergeant and a corporal) upon their giving me their word that they
would not again take up arms against us. I did not make a written
record of this as at that time I had not yet received circular No. 201
of the Captain-General, dated June 7th last, requiring the same. The
letters I received from these prisoners expressing their gratitude for
the treatment they had received at our hands, I sent to the Hong-Kong
Committee together with my report of operations, so that the whole could
be published in the foreign newspapers through the Commissary of War
of the Visayan Islands.
Having learned that the Military Chief of Masbate appointed by
our Government had left, and that the Americans were lording it there,
making the Province a base of operations whence they drew their reinforcements,
and, at the same time, an asylum for those that have been
routed here, I was obliged to send an expedition of one column there,
under command of Major Clare Pimentel, who at the present time is
operating in that Province. I made the required report of this move;
but I learned later that you had sent another expedition; and I immediately
gave orders to my Expeditionary Chief that, if such were the
case (for it may be only one of those so-called expeditionary forces
which, in fact, are not what they pretend to be), he should immediately
turn over the command of the Province in accordance with the military
laws, and that he should then return to join my column. I have the
honor to enclose you this order certified.
I sent an armorer to Sorsogon and saltpetre-workers to Albay and
Ambos Camarines as I heard that those Provinces were in need of the
same, and, of course, these men are very necessary to the carrying on
of the war.
About the middle of November last, the headmen of Leyte,
accompanied by Eduardo Chinchilla, Captain of Infantry, and his armed company,
appeared in this Province and informed me that they were unable
to locate Comrade Moxica, whose force had suffered a slight demoralization
by the surrender of many Chiefs and Officials, among them the
2nd Military Chief and his Treasurer with a considerable sum of money.
They were desirous of having me return with them to their Provfnce to
assist them in raising a force in view of the little prestige (our cause)
enjoys in that Province. They also requested that in view of the services
rendered by Captain Chinchila, I promote him to the rank of Major
and make him 2nd Chief, for the whereabouts of Moxica was not
known, and he might have presented himself to the enemy.
The arrival of this party being coincident with the arrival of the
enemy's reinforcements under General Hughes, as mentioned above, it
was impossible for me to go with them in person; but in view of the
very extensive powers conferred on me by Seņor Aguinaldo, wherein he
gives me a free hand, and as to comply with the desire of the people
would be better than to oppose it, I was obliged to grant their request,
and gave instructions for the raising the necessary force by stirring
the spirit of the people of the Province. I also gave them cartridges,
an armorer and saltpetre-workers so that, though they don't know the
whereabouts of their Commander, they can carryon operations anyhow.
To help matters along, and knowing that many of the inhabitants
of that Province were awaiting me in person, I sent them some proclamations
calling on the inhabitants to show their patriotism, and mentioning
the great necessity there was for their cooperation in the present
campaign. When the commission was leaving, I instructed them to learn
the whereabouts of Comrade Moxica, and if they could find him to
deliver him a letter from me informing him of all I had done and
telling him he could either approve or disapprove the same as he saw
fit. It is probable that he will approve it, however. I told him, further,
that while the enemy was pursuing him so closely, he should keep in a
safe place where he could not be taken, and that he should let Captain
Chinchilla, to whom I had given instructions, carry on the operations.
In view of the demoralization of the troops in Leyte, and to keep the
same from dampening the people's spirit, I immediately placed myself
in touch with certain patriotic persons of standing for the purpose of
forming a conspiracy against the enemy. They responded, and our labors
were crowned with success, though we did not gain a complete victory.
This was due to the fact that the plot was discovered in some of the
towns before the appointed time had arrived. These schemes, the poor
offspring of my meager intelligence, worked favorably for our cause, it
would seem, for now Leyte is organizing a force and harrassing the
enemy constantly. The blockade of the Province during the months of
October, November and December was very severe. I sent out the report
that I had gone to Leyte with the commission that had called on
me, for the purpose of helping along operations there; this I did to
learn if the people could keep up the struggle without me. The fact
of the matter is I really did wish to go. But no sooner was this rumor
abroad than I noticed a great loss of heart on the part of the people,
and it continued to spread rapidly. To show them that I intended to
remain with them and fight to the death for our rights, no matter
how long the war might last, I contracted civil marriage with a woman
of the Province (my second marriage) on my birthday, the 11th of this
month, in the presence of a big public gathering and of all my officials,
after which they all gave me a feast here in the mountains. This step,
I noticed, cheered them up a great deal, and especially aroused their
patriotism. This was noticeably the case with my newly acquired relatives,
who swore to die with me in the defense of our beloved country.
So, with such resources as were at my command, I decided to continue
the struggle until we should have gained our independence.
I have organized a company for the Corps of Military Administration,
and sent detachments of it to various point throughout the Province to
attend to the securing of food supplies. Civil affairs are being managed
in accordance with the provisions of our Constitution, and all in this
line is doing nicely; but should the necessity for another company for
the Military Administration arise, I shall have to organize it.
Concerning the new taxes I'm collecting, I shall endeavor to send
you some funds as soon as they are available; but in case there is
not an opportunity to do so, I shall send them to Hong-Kong (Estrangero),
which, I suppose, will be the same. The blockade here is very
close, and the bombardment continuous; and as a result the inhabitants
can only plant a little rice and camotes, on which we are able to sustain
ourselves. Nothing else can be done as the enemy is constantly
sacking the unprotected towns and hamlets.
I send you herewith a signed memorandum of my operations here,
and also copies of the edict and the proclamation last issued by me for
the purpose of arousing the patriotism of the people of this Province,
calling on them to rise up as did the residents of Manila, and not to
be a stain on the spotless pages of our revolutionary history. You
will also find enclosed other memoranda bearing on the barbarous conduct
of the enemy, a protest from a citizen who complains that he was
forced to join what is known as the "Federal" party, and a paper
acknowledging the receipt of the two Americans which I later set free,
and of which I have already duly informed you.
My Chiefs and Officials join me in saluting you, and in placing
ourselves at your orders at all times.
Your affectionate subordinate.