Dean C. Worcester.

The Philippines: Past and Present (Volume 1 of 2) online

. (page 8 of 43)
Online LibraryDean C. WorcesterThe Philippines: Past and Present (Volume 1 of 2) → online text (page 8 of 43)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the places to be occupied and the object of the occupation. [121]

Aguinaldo's assumption of civil authority on July 15, 1899, did not
pass unnoticed. On July 21 General Anderson wrote the Adjutant-General
of the army concerning it: -

"His assumption of civil authority I have ignored, and let
him know verbally that I could, and would, not recognize it,
while I did not recognize him as a military leader. It may
seem strange that I have made no formal protest against
his proclamation as Dictator, his declaration of martial
law, and publication and execution of a despotic form of
government. I wrote such a protest, but did not publish it,
at Admiral Dewey's request, and also for fear of wounding
the susceptibilities of Major-General Merritt, but I have let
it be known in every other way that we do not recognize the
Dictatorship. These people only respect force and firmness. I
submit, with all deference, that we have heretofore underrated
the natives. They are not ignorant, savage tribes, but have
a civilization of their own; and although insignificant in
appearance, are fierce fighters, and for a tropical people
they are industrious. A small detail of natives will do more
work in a given time than a regiment of volunteers."

Because he was invited as general rather than as president, Aguinaldo
refused to attend a parade and review on the 4th of July. This fact
is, in itself, an answer to his claim that the Americans were tacitly
recognizing his pretensions.

After referring to this incident, Blount says: -

"On subsequent anniversaries of the day in the Philippines
it was deemed wise simply to prohibit the reading of our
declaration before gatherings of the Filipino people. It
saved discussion." [122]

This statement is incorrect. I myself was present the following
year when the declaration was read on the Luneta to a considerable
gathering of Filipinos among whom were many school children, and it
has often been read since.

The landing of American troops at Parañaque and their going into
camp near that town on July 15 caused much excitement, and a lively
interchange of telegrams between Insurgent officers followed. [123]

They were suspicious of the intentions of the Americans, [124] and
trouble soon began.

On July 16 General Noriel telegraphed Aguinaldo as follows: -

"An American has come here who says that he is a Colonel of
the Army whom we should obey; and that it is your desire. We
did not listen to him, awaiting your order."

On the back of the telegram is written the following: -

"Reply. - You should not obey. What this American Colonel says
is a lie. Be cautious so as not to be deceived. You should
require from him proof. Be always vigilant, but upright,
also all of the officers and soldiers must be strict and not
timid." [125]

Obviously there was no real coöperation between American and Filipino
troops at this time. General Anderson ignored General Aguinaldo's
request for information as to places where American troops were to
land in Filipino territory and the objects of disembarking them.

The Americans proceeded with their plans for the attack upon Manila,
and it became desirable to occupy some of the Insurgent trenches. On
July 29 Arévalo telegraphed Aguinaldo as follows: -

"In conference with General Greene I asked for an official
letter, a copy of which I send you: 'Headquarters 2nd Brigade,
U. S. Expeditionary Forces, Camp Dewey, near Manila, July 29th,
1898. _El Señor Noriel, General de Brigade_. Sir: In pursuance
of our conversation of yesterday and the message which Captain
Arévalo brought to me during the night, I beg to inform you
that my troops will occupy the intrenchments between the Camino
Real and the beach, leaving camp for that purpose at 8.00
o'clock this morning. I will be obliged if you will give the
necessary orders for the withdrawal of your men. Thanking you
for your courtesy, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient
servant, _F. V. Greene, Brigadier General_, commanding.'" [126]

This clear direct declaration of intention by General Greene is the
actual transaction referred to by Blount as "Jockeying the Insurgents
out of their trenches." He bases his statements concerning the matter
on a newspaper report.

The attitude of the army officers in the matter of obtaining permission
to occupy the trenches needed in preparing for the assault on the
city could not have been more correct.

On August 10 General Merritt gave the following emphatic instructions
relative to the matter: -

"No rupture with Insurgents. This is imperative. Can ask
Insurgent generals or Aguinaldo for permission to occupy
their trenches, but if refused not to use force."

On the same day General Anderson wrote to Aguinaldo, asking
permission to occupy a trench facing blockhouse No. 14, in order
to place artillery to destroy it. The permission was granted on the
following day.

During the early part of August, Aguinaldo seems to have avoided
conferences with American officers. On the second of the month Mabini
wrote him how he had put off Admiral Dewey's aid with a false statement
that he did not know Aguinaldo's whereabouts. [127]

The landing of American troops at Parañaque for the assault on Manila
led to the concentration of Insurgent troops at the neighbouring town
of Bacoor. [128]

On August 8 Fernando Acevedo [129] wrote to General Pío del Pilar
that the Americans were going to attack the next day and that, -

"It is requisite and necessary before their attack takes place
to-morrow, that you to-morrow or to-night annihilate them,
sparing none, for the way they have deceived us, and will
again without fail, in the contract signed by Sr. Emilio;
and convince yourself, my friend, that it is necessary to do
this; and when it is done the whole world will wonder and say
that we have done well, and will not be able to give out that
the people here are fools spending the time sucking their
fingers." [130]

Worse yet, information was sent to the Spaniards of the proposed
American attack on the 13th instant, as is shown by the following
letter: -

"(Battalion of Cazadores, No. 2. Expeditionary. Office of
the Lieutenant-Colonel. Private.)

"_Señor Don Artemio Ricarte_: [131]

"My Dear Sir: I have received to-day your kind letter giving
warning of the attack on Manila, and I thank you for your
personal interest in me, which, on my part, I reciprocate. I
assure you that I am yours, most truly and sincerely,

"_Luis Martinez Alcobendas_.

"_Singalon_, August 10, 1898." [132]

According to Taylor, this was not the first occurrence of this
sort. He says: -

"The officers of the United States Army who believed that
the insurgents were informing the Spaniards of the American
movements were right. Sastrón has printed a letter from Pío
del Pilar, dated July 30, to the Spanish officer commanding
at Santa Ana, in which Pilar said that Aguinaldo had told him
that the Americans would attack the Spanish lines on August 2
and advised that the Spaniards should not give way, but hold
their positions. Pilar added, however, that if the Spaniards
should fall back on the walled city and surrender Santa Ana
to himself, he would hold it with his own men. Aguinaldo's
information was correct, and on August 2 eight American
soldiers were killed or wounded by the Spanish fire." [133]

Taylor continues: -

"And yet Aguinaldo claimed to be an ally of the Americans. It
is not probable that these were the only two such letters
written. Aguinaldo had by this time found out that although he
could defeat the scattered Spanish detachments, he could not
defeat the Spanish force holding the lines of Manila. He did
not want the Americans in the Philippines. They were in his
way, and he had already made up his mind that if they did not
give him what he wanted, he would drive them out by force. He
saw very early that it was extremely improbable that he should
obtain from them what he wanted; accordingly all losses both
among Spaniards and Americans would, from Aguinaldo's point
of view, inure to his benefit. The best possible thing for
him would be to hold his own force intact while they wore
each other out. The Spanish losses, small as they were,
occurred in front of the American lines, not in front of the
Filipinos. There is no reason, accordingly, for believing
that the Filipinos suffered heavily. To arrange that the
Spaniards should inflict losses upon the Americans, while he
saved his own men, showed ingenuity on the part of Aguinaldo;
but it was decidedly not the conduct of an ally." [134]

The feeling toward the American troops at this time is further shown
by a telegram from General Pío del Pilar, sent from San Pedro Macati
on August 10, 1898: -

"Commandant Acebedo writes that the Spaniards are about
to surrender because they want to turn over the place; the
Americans want them to leave only the batteries and say that
they will station themselves in said batteries. It appears
that they want to deceive us; they do not want to give us
arms, and if they do not give us arms, we shall attack them
and drive them out. I await your reply." [135]

This is perhaps not quite the kind of coöperation that Admiral Dewey
and Generals Anderson and Merritt had expected.

The truth is that the Insurgents were determined to capture Manila for
themselves, not only because of the "war booty," for which they were
hungry, but because of the status which they felt that the taking of
the capital of the Philippines would assure them. The great importance
which they attached to this plan is shown in communications written
by Agoncillo, Aguinaldo and others. [136]

Of conditions at this time, Taylor says: -

"On July 7, Aguinaldo appointed Artemio Ricarte and Pantaleón
García to negotiate the surrender of Manila by the Spaniards
to him (Exhibit 155). On July 5 Pantaleón García was planning
to enter Manila by way of Tondo or of Santa Cruz (P.I.R.,
243.7). On the 9th Aguinaldo ordered that rice should be
gathered from the towns of Manila Province for the use of his
troops in the decisive attack upon Manila which he intended
making in a few days (P.I.R., 1087. 5).

"Aguinaldo, finding that his chance of obtaining Manila for himself was
growing steadily less, now determined to force himself into the city
with the Americans and demand a consideration for the assistance he
had rendered them during the siege. It is true he had assisted them,
but his assistance had not been intentional. It was the result of
the operations he was carrying on for his own ends. The operations of
the Filipinos and the Americans were against Spain as a common enemy
of both; but the operations were not joint operations, and although
their purpose was a common purpose, it was not a mutual one. On August
8 Aguinaldo appointed General Ricarte commander in the operations
about Manila, ordered him to respect the property of all foreigners,
and told him that in case his troops succeeded in entering Manila they
were to carry their flag and plant it there (P.I.R., 703. 2). Judging
from an unsigned draft of a letter, he must have warned the foreign
consuls in Manila about the same time to gather under the protection
of their flags all of their fellow-citizens who had not taken refuge
on the vessels in the bay, so that when his troops entered the city
no foreign lives would be taken, and no foreign property would be
injured. The earnestness with which he urged that all foreigners not
Spaniards should take steps to identify themselves and their property
shows that he considered the persons and property of Spanish civilians
as fair booty of war." [137]

There was certainly no need of Insurgent assistance in the assault
on Manila.

The reports which reached Aguinaldo that the surrender of Manila had
been agreed upon in advance were correct, as is shown by the following
testimony of Admiral Dewey:

"_Senator Patterson_. When did you reach an understanding
with the Spanish commander upon the subject, [138] - how long
before the 12th or 13th of August?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Several days before.

"_Senator Patterson_. To whom did you communicate the
arrangement that you had?

"_Admiral Dewey_. General Merritt and, of course, all of my own
captains - General Merritt, and I think a council of officers on
board of one of the steamers. I think there were several army
officers present when I told the General that; and I may say
here that I do not think General Merritt took much stock in it.

"_Senator Patterson_. What statement did you make to them,
Admiral, in substance?

"_Admiral Dewey_. That the Spaniards were ready to surrender,
but before doing so I must engage one of the outlying forts. I
selected one at Malate, away from the city. [139] They said I
must engage that and fire for a while, and then I was to make
a signal by the international code, 'Do you surrender?' Then
they were to hoist a white flag at a certain bastion; and I
may say now that I was the first one to discover the white
flag. We had 50 people looking for that white flag, but I
happened to be the first one who saw it. I fired for a while,
and then made the signal according to the programme. We could
not see the white flag - it was rather a thick day - but finally
I discovered it on the south bastion; I don't know how long
it had been flying there when I first saw it." [140]

On August 12, the day before Manila surrendered, Buencamino telegraphed
Aguinaldo, urging him in the strongest terms to attack that night so
that Americans might be obliged to ask him to stop, with the result
that the Insurgents would be included in the official negotiations. He
further advised Aguinaldo that he must not suspend his attack because
the Americans suspended theirs. [141]

General Anderson tells us that, on the evening of August 12,
he received an order from General Merritt to notify Aguinaldo to
forbid the Insurgents under his command from entering Manila. This
notification was delivered to Aguinaldo that night, and was received
by him with anger. [142]

On the following morning the Insurgents actually made an independent
attack of their own, as planned. [143] It promptly led to trouble
with the Americans, and at 8 A.M. Aguinaldo received a telegram from
General Anderson sternly warning him not to let his troops enter
Manila without the consent of the American commander on the south
side of the Pasig River. [144]

Aguinaldo apparently took no action in response to this request,
except to direct General Riego de Dios, who was at Cavite, to go
with Buencamino without losing a moment and ask for an explanation,
in writing if possible. [145]

At 10.50 A.M. he telegraphed General Anderson saying that his troops
were being forced, by threats of violence, to retire from positions
which they had taken, and asking Anderson to order his troops to
avoid difficulty with the Insurgent forces. Aguinaldo said that he
had directed his men to aid the American forces if the latter are
attacked by a common enemy, but was discreetly silent on the subject
of their entering Manila. [146]

Fifteen minutes later, at 11.05, he received a reply to his telegram
to General Riego de Dios, in which that officer communicated the
views of Araneta [147] and Buencamino, who had been unable to find
General Anderson. This important communication follows: -

"Most urgent. Araneta and Buencamino having been consulted in
regard to your telegram of to-day, they confirm capitulation,
and in regard to the telegraphic note of General Anderson
they are of the opinion, first that we should continue
hostilities while we ask for an explanation; second, that
explanation should be in the following terms: Inquire reason
for note and ask why our troops are not to enter Manila without
permission of the American commander; third, in case the (terms
of?) capitulation is given as the reason, to answer that we
do not suspend our attempt to enter Manila. Its capitulation
is not favourable to our independence. General Anderson is not
here. General Merritt is probably in Manila. Only Admiral Dewey
is in the Bay. We ask authorization to express our explanation
in the proposed terms and to have a conference with Admiral
Dewey in order to have our claims reach General Merritt." [148]

An endorsement written by Mabini and signed by Aguinaldo on the above
paper reads: -

"I authorize every assertion of right, but state that we
believe that we have the right to enter Manila without
permission as we have a part in the surrender of the
Spaniards. They would not have surrendered if our troops had
not cut off their retreat to the interior. Besides but for us
the landing of troops would have cost them much blood. Obtain
an answer as soon as possible in order to lay a protest before
the consuls in case it is necessary." [149]

Naturally, trouble followed. At 1.30 P.M. General Ricarte telegraphed
to Aguinaldo: -

"Americans wish to put us out. Give directions." [150]

Apparently about the same hour he wired more at length, as follows: -

"Most urgent. American troops rearguard our trenches. Mabolo
and San José warn us that they will fire on us when the time
comes. Impossible to remain there without disagreeing with
them. Since 5 o'clock this morning we have been furiously
attacking. Americans firing incessantly, Spaniards silent. No
losses yet." [151]

At 3.52 he wired again: -

"General Pío del Pilar informs me of the following: 'Come here,
if possible, as our soldiers at the barrio of Concepción
are not allowed to go out and we are prohibited to move
on any farther. We it was who succeeded in capturing that
place. Come here or there will be trouble, since they are
driving me away, and refusing to listen to what I say.' I am
at this very moment going to aforesaid place." [152]

At 5 P.M. another was sent by Ricarte to Aguinaldo as follows: -

"Colonel San Miguel arrived here from Ermita. Regional
Exposition, Agricultural College and other buildings are
ours. Our flag flies already at Ermita. Colonel Agapito Donzón
with his troops is in the Pérez building, Paco. Colonels Julian
Ocampo and Isidoro Tolentino are in the convent of Ermita. All
houses without flag are guarded by our soldiers." [153]

At 6.15 P.M. he telegraphed as follows: -

"I inform you that the chiefs of our troops have reported to
me that our flag at Singalong church (_visita_) was removed by
the Americans and they hoisted theirs instead, not allowing
us to approach thereto. General Pío del Pilar is at present
at the barrio of Concepción. Americans prohibited him to move
on any farther. How can he enter Manila?" [154]

No attention was paid to General Anderson's request that the Insurgent
troops should not enter Manila without permission. They crowded forward
with and after the American forces. Coming out on Bagumbayan drive,
they found American and Spanish troops confronting each other but not
firing, the former on the drive, the latter on the neighbouring city
wall. A flag of truce was waving from the south bastion, nevertheless
the Insurgents fired on the Spanish forces, provoking a return fire
which killed and wounded American soldiers. Of this incident General
Greene has said: -

"At this point the California regiment a short time before
had met some insurgents who had fired at the Spaniards on the
walls, and the latter, in returning the fire, had caused a loss
in the California regiment of 1 killed and 2 wounded." [155]

Some of these matters must have come to the attention of General
Anderson, for he sent Aguinaldo a telegram, received by the latter
at 6.35 P.M., as follows: -

"Dated Ermita Headquarters 2nd Division 13 to
Gen. Aguinaldo. Commanding Filipino Forces. - Manila,
taken. Serious trouble threatened between our forces. Try
and prevent it. Your troops should not force themselves in
the city until we have received the full surrender then we
will negotiate with you.

"_Anderson_, commanding." [156]

It appears that the Insurgent troops took the suburb of Santa Ana,
and captured Spanish and Filipino officers and men. [157]

In view of the known facts, how absurd becomes the following contention
of Aguinaldo, advanced in his "Reseña Verídica: -

"Our own forces could see the American forces land on the beach
of the Luneta and of the Paseo de Santa Lucía. The Spanish
soldiers, who were on the walls of the city, drew the attention
of every one because they did not fire on the former, a mystery
which was explained at nightfall of that day, by the news of
the capitulation of the place by General Señor Jáudenes [158]
to the American General, Mr. Merritt, a capitulation which
the American Generals claimed for themselves, an infraction of
what had been agreed upon with Admiral Dewey, in regard to the
formation of plans for the attack and taking of Manila by the
two armies, American and Filipino, together and in combination.

"This inexplicable line of conduct on the part of the American
officers was made clearer by the telegrams, which General
Anderson addressed to me, from Maytubig on the said 13th day,
requesting that I should order our troops not to enter Manila,
which request was refused, inasmuch as it was contrary to what
was agreed upon, and to the high ends of the Revolutionary
Government, which, on taking upon itself the immense work of
besieging Manila, during the two months and a half, sacrificing
thousands of lives and millions in material interests, could
not surely have done so with any object other than that of
capturing Manila and the Spanish garrison which with firmness
and tenacity defended that place." [159]

On August 14 Aguinaldo telegraphed General Anderson as follows: -

"My troops, who have been for so long besieging Manila,
have always been promised that they could appear in it,
as you know and cannot deny, and for this reason, and on
account of the many sacrifices made of money, and lives, I
do not consider it prudent to issue orders to the contrary,
as they might be disobeyed against my authority. Besides, I
hope that you will allow the troops to enter because we have
given proofs many times of our friendship, ceding our positions
at Parañaque, Pasay, Singálon and Maytubig. Nevertheless,
if it seems best to you, and in order to enter into a frank
and friendly understanding and avoid any disagreeable conflict
before the eyes of the Spaniards, I will commission Don Felipe
Buencamino and others, who will to-day go out from our lines
and hold a conference with you, and that they will be safe
during the conference." [160]

Aguinaldo and his associates pressed the demand for joint
occupation. On August 13 Admiral Dewey and General Merritt informed
the government that since the occupation of Manila and its suburbs
the Insurgents outside had been insisting on this, and asked how far
they might proceed in enforcing obedience in the matter.

They were informed by a telegram dated August 17 that the President
of the United States had directed: -

"That there must be no joint occupation with the
Insurgents. The United States in the possession of Manila city,
Manila bay and harbor must preserve the peace and protect
persons and property within the territory occupied by their
military and naval forces. The insurgents and all others
must recognize the military occupation and authority of the
United States and the cessation of hostilities proclaimed
by the President. Use whatever means in your judgment are
necessary to this end." [161]

This left the military and naval commanders no option in the premises,
and in any event dual occupation was out of the question because of
the lawlessness of the Insurgent troops.

Online LibraryDean C. WorcesterThe Philippines: Past and Present (Volume 1 of 2) → online text (page 8 of 43)