Exhibit 1354.

[Original in Spanish. Contemporary copy. P. I. R . 1263.5.]

JUNE 26, 1901.

To the leading men of this town of Laoang, Palapag, Katubig and Pambuan.

My BROTHERS IN JESUS CHRIST: On this date, the 25th of June, I received your letter in reply to mine of the 5th instant and noted its entire purport. Yes; I understand that even before now in this province there was a little chieftain (Jefecillo), called a revolutionary chief, the real meaning of which is agitator, nicknamed by some of the chief who acts half a king, or who wants to rule, and by others the Nacionalista; but I also understand in addition that since the year 1898, here in the Philippines, here in Samar, there is no other chief and no other flag which should be respected, recognized by the nations of the earth than the chief and flag of North America, by virtue of the agreement made in the congress at Paris in 1898. In such case, what is your understanding of the matter? Who is the master and governing power here in the Philippines here in Samar, able to enforce obedience and that must be respected by virtue of its power and might and the treaty of Paris in 1898? America! Furthermore, what your chief who rules you there in the woods tells you does not seem to have preserved many of those poor innocents who end in being shot and who are suffering there in the woods like wild animals, a chief who endures no mental suffering, nor takes pity on our losses, because, as you see, he does not have his family here and is not apt to be lost himself.

Referring to that argument of yours as to the traps set in your neighborhood, - I do not understand whether it be an argument or an intimidation; but bear in mind that the American soldiers also see and are acquainted with the traps set, and perhaps you have already observed that they only go through the woods and brush; therefore if they are even wounded by them it will only be from great carelessness. And moreover, this will lead to another act of retaliation and add to your ruin.

If you would like to confer with the American chief upon these matters, only settle upon the place and time, as you please, without fear except in regard to the pacification of this province and your welfare, because they will come. If you would like furthermore to meet the Americans to fight, only decide upon the place and time, as they will go out to fight with you. If you still reject these two conditions, then it follows that you are to become victims of the rifle, of hunger, wounded by your own snares, and other scourges, while the rest of you will lead the roving life of a wild boar. You children, you people, for God's sake understand. Open the eyes of your consciences; look upon these poor innocent old people, children, men and women, who are to be shot to death, caught in the traps there in the brush, to die of hunger, of assaults, of disease and other afflictions and sorrows which they suffer in body and soul. Understand, and open your hearts to true compas~ sion, and pity your relatives, your countrymen and your neighbors. For, look you! Who is to blame for all the ruin here among us? On whom rests the responsibility and the blame before God and man? Those wiseacres who incite to rebellion against the real chief; those, my children, who while they understood, yet lent a hand to such machinations and dragged in these poor innocent ones; those who disseminated lying reports mel'ely to terrorize or to sustain vain hopes; who incited men to hide and wander about in roving bands in the woods, for them to be shot and wounded. Oh, what a horrible and miserable condition! What a terrible punishment from God! May the mercy of God descend! May He enlighten you now as all or us! Ah, children of my soul, my brothers in Jesus Christ, my countrymen of this province of Samar, solely for the love of God and your neighbor, surrender now at once, recognizing and obeying the Americans. Moreover, how will it be if only those fight who are willing to fight, and not those who are unwilling, and not implicated with these others?

It was indeed a surprise to me that your answer was not signed, due, perhaps, to the fact that some of you suspected that I was trying to deceive you. No, my brothers in Jesus Christ; no; for if any of you are afraid on account of having aided these men to fight against the Americans that the latter would harm you, do not be afraid to approach the American authOl'ities, as when this is done you will receive a pardon, which in accordance with the promises of the Americans, blots out the past; but if you are captured by force, then, poor creatures, you will have no pm'don and you will receive proper punishment.

In order not to delay your answer, in case you wish, send a messenger under a white flag. This is once for all a proof to you as to the truth or falsity of my promise to you that you will not be troubled by the guard on the steamers, the launches or boats in the river, on the contrary they will even assist you. Such a messenger I promise you will be permitted to return, upon authority of the commander; or otherwise, put a white flag or the letter on Punta Ravis or on the river bank, so that it may be seen and noted immediately. My countrymen, there is no other remedy that I can see, except to surrender to the Americans; and if you wish to maintain your hostile attitude, realize that in this fight of the cat and the elephant, you are playing the role of the former; because the rumors of independence being in sight grow less to be trusted the more they are repeated. How can you continue your prayers unless you follow my counsel? You whom I have made my care, who have had a share in my charities and in my compassion at all seasons?

I will not write more. I am tired. And furthermore, understand that the Americans will not loose their hold or withdraw from the Philippines, or from here in Samar, for they have spent too much blood and money. Do not suppose that this is actuated by mere self interest; no; because by God's help I already have a place prepared for myself, if I wish it. Do not delay then. Do not forget to pray to God and to the most Holy Mary to help us and save us from sins of soul and body.

God preserve us many years.

Your humble priest,


LAOANG, June 26, 1901.

P. S. My brothers in Jesus Christ, the principal residents of this town: My sincere advice is for you to surrender willingly to the Americans; surrender for the sake of your own peace, and no longer endure much agitation, or run the risk of increasing so much your ruin and sufferings. For, rest assured, that unless you surrender to the Americans, you will have no rest; for they will continue to persecute you in those woods, with fires, with loss of your cattle and of your crops. You have already seen this. As I said to you in my previous letter, other provinces of the Philippines are already pacified, only this province is in disorder; therefore; who knows, as stated herein, what will become of you overwhelmed by so many sorrows and evils, unless you surrender? Thou, who readest this letter, if thou still hast a conscience, advise other principal citizens and other persons in those woods of it.


A true copy, signed by me with the approval of the American commander.