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The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) by Dean C. Worcester

Part 4 out of 10

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Sargent, as portraying the conditions which actually existed there,
I propose to arraign him before the bar of public opinion. In so
doing I shall consider these conditions at some length. We have much
documentary evidence concerning them in addition to that furnished
by the Insurgent records, although the latter quite sufficiently
demonstrate many of the more essential facts.

In describing the adventures of Messrs. Wilcox and Sargent in this
region, Judge Blount says: [272]--

"There [273] they were met by Simeon Villa, military commander
of Isabela province, the man who was chief of staff to Aguinaldo
afterwards, and was captured by General Funston along with Aguinaldo
in the spring of 1901."

The facts as to Villa's career in the Cagayan valley are especially
worthy of note as they seem to have entitled him, in the opinion of
his superiors, to the promotion which was afterward accorded him. He
was an intimate friend of Aguinaldo and later accompanied him on his
long flight through northern Luzon.

On August 10, 1898, Colonel Daniel Tirona, a native of Cavite Province
and one of the intimates of Aguinaldo, was ordered to proceed to Aparri
in the Insurgent steamer _Filipinas_ and establish the revolutionary
government in northern Luzon. In doing this he was to hold elections
for office-holders under Aguinaldo's government and was authorized
to approve or disapprove the results, his action being subject to
subsequent revision by Aguinaldo. His forces were composed of four
companies armed with rifles.

Tirona reached Aparri on August 25 and promptly secured the surrender
of the Spaniards there.

He was accompanied by Simeon Villa, the man under discussion, and by
Colonel Leyba, who was also very close to Aguinaldo.

Abuse of the Spanish prisoners began at once. It is claimed that the
governor of North Ilocos, who was among those captured, was grossly

Taylor briefly summarizes subsequent events as follows: [274]--

"Whatever the treatment of the Spanish governor of Ilocos may
really have been, there is testimony to show that some of the other
prisoners, especially the priests, were abused and outraged under the
direction of S. Villa and Colonel Leyba, both of whom were very close
to Aguinaldo. Some of the Spanish civil officials were put in stocks
and beaten, and one of the officers who had surrendered at Aparri was
tortured to death. This was done with the purpose of extorting money
from them, for it was believed that they had hidden funds in place
of turning them over. All the Spaniards were immediately stripped
of everything they had. The priests were subjected to a systematic
series of insults and abuse under the direction of Villa in order
to destroy their influence over the people by degrading them in
their eyes. It was for this that they were beaten and exposed naked
in the sun; and other torture, such as pouring tile wax of burning
candles into their eyes, was used to make them disclose where they
had hidden church vessels and church funds. The testimony of a friar
who suffered these outrages is that the great mass of the people saw
such treatment of their parish priests with horror, and were present
at it only through fear of the organized force of the Katipunan."

Taylor's statement is mildness itself in view of the well-established

The question of killing the Spanish prisoners, including the friars,
had previously been seriously considered, [275] but it was deemed wiser
to keep most of the friars alive, extort money from them by torture,
and offer to liberate them in return for a large cash indemnity, or for
political concessions. Day after day and week after week Villa presided
at, or himself conducted, the torture of ill-fated priests and other
Spaniards who fell into his hands. Even Filipinos whom he suspected
of knowing the where-abouts of hidden friar money did not escape.

The following information relative to the conduct of the Insurgents in
the Cagayan valley is chiefly taken from manuscript copy of _"Historia
de la Conquista de Cagayan por los Tagalos Revolucionarios,"_ in
which the narratives of certain captured friars are transcribed and
compiled by Father Julian Malumbres of the Dominican Order.

The formal surrender of Aparri occurred on August 26. Tirona, his
officers and his soldiers, promptly pillaged the _convento_. [276]
The officers left the Bishop of Vigan ten pesos, but the soldiers
subsequently took them away from him. Wardrobes and trunks were
broken open; clocks, shoes, money, everything was carried off. Even
personal papers and prayer-books were taken from some of the priests,
many of whom were left with absolutely nothing save the few remaining
clothes in which they stood.

On the same day Villa, accompanied by Victa and Rafael Perea, [277]
went to the _convento_ and told the priests who were imprisoned
there that their last hour had come. He shut all of them except the
bishop and five priests in a room near the church, then separated
the Augustinians, Juan Zallo, Gabino Olaso, Fidel Franco, Mariano
Rodriguez, and Clemente Hidalgo, from the others and took them into
the lower part of the _convento_ where he told them that he intended
to kill them if they did not give him more money. The priests told
him that they had given all they had, whereupon he had their arms
tied behind their backs, kicked them, struck them and whipped them
with rattans.

Father Zallo was thrown on his face and savagely beaten. Meanwhile
two shots were fired over the heads of the others and a soldier called
out "One has fallen," badly frightening the priests who had remained
shut in the room. Villa then returned with soldiers to this room,
ordered his men to load, and directed that one priest step forward
to be shot. Father Mariano Ortiz complied with this request, asking
that he be the first victim. Villa, however, contented himself with
threatening him with a revolver and kicking and striking him until
he fell to the floor. He was then beaten with the butts of guns.

Father Jose Vazquez, an old man of sixty years, who had thrown some
money into a privy to keep it from falling into the hands of the
Insurgents, was stripped and compelled to recover it with his bare
hands, after which he was kicked, and beaten with rattans.

Father Aquilino Garcia was unmercifully kicked and beaten to make
him give up money, and this sort of thing continued until Villa,
tired out with the physical exertion involved in assaulting these
defenceless men, departed, leaving his uncompleted task to others,
who continued it for some time.

The net result to the Insurgents of the sacking of the _convento_
and of the tortures thus inflicted was approximately $20,000 gold in
addition to the silver, bank notes, letters of credit, jewels, etc.,
which they obtained.

On September 5 Villa had Fathers Juan Recio and Buenaventura Macia
given fifty blows each, although Father Juan was ill.

Villa then went to Lalloc, where other priests were imprisoned. On
September 6 he demanded money of them, causing them to be kicked and
beaten. Father Angel was beaten in an especially cruel manner for
the apparent purpose of killing him, after which he was thrust into
a privy. Father Isidro Fernandez was also fearfully abused. Stripped
of his habit, and stretched face down on the floor, he was horribly
beaten, and was then kicked, and struck with the butt of a revolver
on the forehead.

A little later the priests were offered their liberty for a million
dollars, which they were of course unable to furnish. Meanwhile the
torture continued from time to time.

On August 30 Tuguegarao was taken by the Insurgents without
resistance. Colonel Leyba promptly proceeded to the _convento_
and demanded the money of the friars as spoil of war. He found only
eight hundred pesos in the safe. Father Corujedo was threatened with
death if he did not give more. Other priests were threatened but not
tortured at this time. The prisoners in the jail were liberated,
but many of them had promptly to be put back again because of the
disorder which resulted, and that same evening Leyba was obliged to
publish a notice threatening robbers with death.

At midnight on September 3 Father Corujedo was taken from the
_convento_ by Captain Diego and was again asked for money. Replying
that he had no more to give, he was beaten with the hilt of a sabre
and stripped of his habit, preparatory to being executed. A mock
sentence of death was pronounced on him and he was placed facing to
the west to be shot in the back. Diego ordered his soldiers to load,
adding, "When I count three all fire," but the fatal count was not
completed. Three priests from Alcala were given similar treatment.

The troubles of the priests imprisoned at Tuguegarao were sufficiently
great, but they were augmented a thousand fold when Villa arrived on
September 11. He came to the building where they were imprisoned,
bearing a revolver, a sabre and a great quantity of rattans. He
ordered the priests into the corner of the room in which they were
confined, and beat those who did not move quickly enough to suit
him. He threatened them with a very rigorous examination, at the same
time assuring them that at Aparri he had hung up the bishop until
blood flowed from his mouth and his ears, and that he would do the
same with them if they did not tell him where they had their money
hidden. There followed the usual rain of kicks and blows, a number
of the priests being obliged to take off their habits in order that
they might be punished more effectively.

Fathers Calixto Prieto and Daniel Gonzales, professors in educational
institutions, he ordered beaten because they were friars.

Fathers Corujedo and Caddedila were beaten, kicked and insulted. Both
were gray-haired old men and the latter was at the time very weak,
and suffering from a severe attack of asthma. Father Pedro Vincente
was also brutally beaten.

The following is the description given by an eye-witness of conditions
at Tuguegarao:--

"Even the Indios of Cagayan complained and were the victims of looting
and robbery on the part of the soldiery. So lacking in discipline and
so demoralized was that army that according to the confession of a
prominent Filipino it was of imperative necessity to disarm them. [278]
On the other hand we saw with real astonishment that instead of warlike
soldiers accustomed to battle they were nearly all raw recruits and
apprentices. From an army lacking in discipline, and lawless, only
outrages, looting and all sorts of savagery and injustice were to
be expected. Witnesses to their demoralization are, aside from the
natives themselves who were the first to acknowledge it, the Chinese
merchants whose losses were incalculable; not a single store or
commercial establishment remained that was not looted repeatedly. As
to the Spaniards it goes without saying because it is publicly known,
that between soldiers and officers they despoiled them to their
heart's content, without any right except that of brute force, of
everything that struck their fancy, and it was of no avail to complain
to the officers and ask for justice, as they turned a deaf ear to such
complaints. At Tuguegarao they looted in a manner never seen before,
like Vandals, and it was not without reason that a prominent Filipino
said, in speaking to a priest: 'Vandalism has taken possession of the
place.' These acts of robbery were generally accompanied by the most
savage insults; it was anarchy, as we heard an eye-witness affirm,
who also stated that no law was recognized except that of danger,
and the vanquished were granted nothing but the inevitable duty of
bowing with resignation to the iniquitous demands of that soulless
rabble, skilled in crime."

Villa now set forth for Isabela. Meanwhile the jailer of the priests
proceeded to steal their clothes, including shirts, shoes and even
handkerchiefs. Isabela was taken without resistance on September
12. Dimas Guzman [279] swore to the priests on his life that he would
work without rest to the end that all friars and all Spaniards might
be respected, but he perjured himself.

On September 12 Villa and others entered the town of Cabagan Viejo,
where Villa promptly assaulted Father Segundo Rodriguez, threatening
him with a revolver, beating him unmercifully, insulting him in every
possible way and robbing him of his last cent. After the bloody scene
was over he sacked the _convento_, even taking away the priests'

Villa also cruelly beat a Filipino, Quintin Agansi, who was taking
care of money for masses which the priests wished to save from the

After Father Segundo had suffered torture and abuse for two hours he
was obliged to start at once on a journey to Auitan. The suffering
priest, after being compelled to march through the street shouting
"Vivas!" for the Republic and Aguinaldo, spent the night without a
mouthful of food or a drink of water.

Father Deogracias Garcia, a priest of Cabagan Nuevo, was subjected to
torture because he had sent to Hongkong during May a letter of credit
for $5000 which belonged to the Church. Villa and Leyba entered his
_convento_ and after beating him ordered his hands and feet to be
tied together, then passed a pole between them and had him lifted
from the ground, after which two great jars of water were poured down
his nose and throat without interruption. [280] In order to make the
water flow through his nose better, they thrust a piece of wood into
the nasal passages until it came out in his throat. From time to time
the torture was suspended while they asked him whether he would tell
the truth as to where he had concealed his money. This unfortunate
priest was so sure he was going to die that while the torture was
in progress he received absolution from a fellow priest. After the
torture with water there followed a long and cruel beating, and the
unhappy victim was finally thrust into a filthy privy.

Meanwhile Father Calzada was assaulted by a group of soldiers and
badly beaten, after which he was let down into the filth of a privy,
first by the feet and afterwards by the head.

On the 14th a lieutenant with soldiers entered the _convento_ of
Tumauini and as usual demanded money of the occupants, who gave him
$80, all they had at the time. This quantity not being satisfactory,
a rope was sent for and the hands of the two priests were tied while
they were whipped, kicked and beaten. They were, however, released
when Father Bonet promised to get additional money. They had a short
respite until the arrival of Villa, who still demanded more money of
Father Blanco, and failing to get it for the reason that the father
had no more, leaped upon him and gave him a dreadful beating, his
companions joining in with whips, rattans and the butts of guns. They
at last left their victim stretched on the ground almost dead. This
priest showed the marks of his ill treatment six months afterward. Not
satisfied with this, Villa gave him the so-called "water cure."

Meanwhile his followers had also beaten Father Bonet. Villa started to
do likewise but was too tired, having exhausted his energies on Father
Blanco. While the tortures were going on, the _convento_ was completely
sacked. Father Blanco's library was thrown out of the window.

Villa entered Ilagan on the 15th of September at 8 o'clock at
night. Hastening to the _convento_, with a company of well-armed
soldiers, he had his men surround the three priests who awaited him
there, then summoned the local priest to a separate room and demanded
money. The priest gave him all he had. Not satisfied, Villa leaped
upon him, kicking him, beating him and pounding him with the butt of
a gun. Many of his associates joined in the disgraceful attack. The
unfortunate victim was then stripped of his habit, obliged to lie down
and received more than a hundred lashes. When he was nearly senseless
he was subjected to torture by water, being repeatedly lifted up when
filled with water, and allowed to fall on the floor. While some were
pouring water down his nose and throat, others spilled hot wax on his
face and head. The torment repeatedly rendered the priest senseless,
but he was allowed to recover from time to time so that he might
suffer when it was renewed.

The torturing of this unhappy man lasted for three hours, and
the horrible scene was immediately succeeded by another quite as
bad. Villa called Father Domingo Campo and, after taking from him
the little money that he had, ordered him stripped. He was then given
numberless kicks and blows from the butts of rifles and 150 lashes,
after which he was unable to rise. There followed the torture with
water, on the pretext that he had money hidden away.

Meanwhile the houses of Spaniards and the shops of the Chinese were
completely sacked, and the men who objected were knocked down or cut
down with bolos. Numerous girls and women were raped.

On September 15 Leyba received notice of the surrender of Nueva
Vizcaya. I quote the following from the narrative above referred to:--

"Delfin's soldiers [281] were the most depraved ever seen: their
thieving instincts had no bounds; so they had hardly entered Nueva
Vizcaya when they started to give themselves up furiously to robbery,
looking upon all things as loot; in the very shadow of these soldiers
the province was invaded by a mob of adventurous and ragged persons
from Nueva Ecija; between the two they picked Nueva Vizcaya clean. When
they had grown tired of completely shearing the unfortunate Vizcayan
people, leaving them poverty-stricken, they flew in small bands to the
pueblos of Isabela, going as far as Angadanan, giving themselves up
to unbridled pillage of the most unjust and disorderly kind. Some of
these highwaymen demanded money and arms from the priest of Angadanan,
but Father Marciano informed them 'that it could not be, as Leyba
already knew what he had and would be angry.'

"To this very day the people of Nueva Vizcaya have been unable to
recover from the stupendous losses suffered by them as regards their
wealth and industries. How many curses did they pour forth and still
continue to level against the Katipunan that brought them naught
but tribulations!"

Confirmation of these statements is found in the following brief but
significant passage from the Insurgent records:--

"At the end of December, 1898, when the military commander of Nueva
Vizcaya called upon the Governor of that province to order the police
of the towns to report to him as volunteers to be incorporated in the
army which was being prepared for the defence of the country, the
Governor protested against it and informed the government that his
attempt to obtain volunteers was in fact only a means of disarming
the towns and leaving them without protection against the soldiers
who did what they wanted and took what they wished and committed
every outrage without being punished for it by their officers." [282]

The effect of the surrender of Nueva Vizcaya on Leyba and Villa is
thus described by Father Malumbres:--

"Mad with joy and swollen with pride Leyba and company were like
men who travelled flower-strewn paths, crowned with laurels, and were
acclaimed as victors in all the towns on their road, their intoxication
of joy taking a sudden rise when they came to believe themselves kings
of the valley. It was then that their delirium reached its brimful
measure and their treatment of those whom they had vanquished began
to be daily more cruel and inhuman. In Cagayan their fear of the
forces in Nueva Vizcaya kept them from showing such unqualifiable
excesses of cruelty and nameless barbarities, but the triumph of
the Katipunan arms in Nueva Vizcaya completely broke down the wall
of restraint which somewhat repressed those sanguinary executioners
thirsting to fatten untrammelled on the innocent blood of unarmed
and defenceless men. From that melancholy time there began an era of
unheard of outrages and barbarous scenes, unbelievable were they not
proved by evidence of every description. The savage acts committed
in Isabela by the inhuman Leyba and Villa cannot possibly be painted
true to life and in all their tragic details. The blackest hues, the
most heartrending accents, the most vigorous language and the most
fulminating anathemas would be a pale image of the truth, and our
pen cannot express with true ardour the terrifying scenes and cruel
torments brought about by such fierce chieftains on such indefensive
religious. It seems impossible that a fleshly heart could hold so
much wickedhess, for these petty chiefs were veritable monsters of
cruelty who surpassed a Nero; men who were entire strangers to noble
and humane sentiments and who in appearance having the figure of a
man were in reality tigers roaring in desperation, or mad dogs who
gnashed their teeth in fury."

On September 18 Leyba continued his march, while Villa remained
behind at Ilagan to torture the prisoners who might be brought in
from Isabela.

On arrival at Gamut, Leyba at once entered the _convento_ and as usual
immediately demanded money from the priests. Father Venancio gave
him all he had. He was nevertheless given a frightful whipping, six
persons holding him while others rained blows upon him. A determined
effort was made to force the priest to recant, and when this failed
Leyba leaped upon him, kicking and beating him. He then ordered him
thrown down face uppermost, and asked for a knife with the apparent
intention of mutilating him. He did not use the knife, however, but
instead, assisted by his followers, gave the unhappy priest another
terrific beating, even standing upon him and leaping up and down. The
priest was left unable to speak, and did not recover for months.

Later Leyba had torture by water applied to Father Gregorio Cabrero
and lay brother Venancio Aguinaco, while Father Sabanda was savagely

On the 19th of September Father Miguel Garcia of Reina Mercedes was
horribly beaten in his _convento_ by a captain sent there to get what
money he had.

In Cauayan, on September 20, Fathers Perez and Aguirrezabal were
beaten and compelled to give up money by five emissaries of Leyba,
and the latter priest was cut in the face with a sabre. The _convento_
was sacked. On the 25th Leyba arrived and after kicking and beating
Father Garcia compelled him to give up $1700. He then informed the
priests that if it were not for Aguinaldo's orders he would kill all
the Spaniards.

On the afternoon of the 24th three priests and a Spaniard named Soto
arrived at Ilagan. The following is the statement of an eye-witness
as to what happened:--

"They led the priests to the headquarters of the commanding officer
where the tyrant Villa, always eager to inflict suffering on humanity,
awaited them. The scene witnessed by the priests obeisant to the
cruel judge was horrifying in the extreme. Four lions whose thirst
for vengeance was extreme in all, threw themselves, blind with fury,
without a word and with the look of a basilisk, upon poor Senor Soto
giving him such innumerable and furious blows on head and face that
weary as he was from his past journey, the ill-treatment received
at Angadanan and weighted down by years, he was soon thrown down
by his executioners under the lintel of the door getting a terrible
blow on the head as he fell; even this did not satisfy nor tame down
those fierce-hearted men, who on the contrary continued with their
infamous work more furious than before, and their cruelty did not
flag on seeing their victim at their feet. They could have done no
worse had they been Silipan savages dancing in triumph around the
palpitating head cut from the body of some enemy.

"The priests who witnessed this blood-curdling scene trembled like
the weak reed before the gale, waiting their turn to be tortured,
but God willed that cruel Villa should be content with the butchery
perpetrated upon unhappy Sr. Soto. Villa dismissed the priests after
despoiling them of their bags and clothes telling them, to torment
them: 'Go to the _convento_ until the missing ones turn up so that
I may shoot you all together.'"

Leyba entered Echague on September 22, promptly going to the _convento_
as usual and demanding money of the priest, Father Mata. When the
latter had given him all he had, he received three terrific beatings
at the hands of some twelve men armed with whips and sticks, after
which Leyba himself struck him with his fist and his sabre. He was
finally knocked down by a blow with the sabre and left disabled. It
took six months for him to recover.

Shortly after Leyba's arrival in Nueva Vizcaya on the afternoon of
the 25th, five priests were summoned to Solano and there abused in
the usual fashion in an effort to extort money from them. Only one
escaped ill treatment and one was nearly killed.

Leyba now went to Bayombong to carry out the established programme
with the priests. There he found Governor Perez of Isabela, who had
taken with him certain government moneys and employed them to pay
salaries of soldiers and other employees. He insisted on the return
of the total amount and threatened to shoot Perez if it was not
forthcoming. The Spaniards of the vicinity subscribed $700 which they
themselves badly needed and saved him from being shot. The priests
of the place were then summoned to Leyba's quarters and were beaten
and tortured. One of them was thrown on the floor and beaten nearly
to death, Leyba standing meanwhile with his foot on the unfortunate
man's neck. Another was given six hundred lashes and countless blows
and kicks. Leyba stood on this man's neck also. When the victim's back
ceased to have any feeling, his legs were beaten. Leyba terminated
this period of diversion by kicking Father Diez in the solar plexus
and then mocking him as he lay gasping on the floor. That afternoon
one of the priests, so badly injured that he could not rise unaided,
was put on a horse and compelled to ride in the hot sun to Solano.

Villa and Leyba had their able imitators, as is shown by the following
description of the torturing of Father Ceferino by Major Delfin at
Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, on September 27:--

"They wished to give brave evidence of their hate for the friar before
Leyba left, and show him that they were as brave as he when it came
to oppressing and torturing the friar. This tragedy began by Jimenez
again asking Father Ceferino for the money. The priest answered as
he had done before. Then Jimenez started to talk in Tagalog to the
commanding officer and surely it was nothing good that he told him,
for suddenly Delfin left the bench and darting fire from his eyes,
fell in blind fury upon the defenceless priest; what harsh words he
uttered in Tagalog while he vented his fury on his victim, striking him
with his clenched fist, slapping him and kicking him, I do not know,
but the religious man fell at the feet of his furious executioner who,
being now the prey of the most stupendous rage, could scarcely get
his tongue to stutter and continued to kick the priest, without seeing
where he kicked him. Getting deeper and deeper in the abyss and perhaps
not knowing what he was about, this petty chief made straight for a
sabre lying on a table to continue his bloody work. In the meantime
the priest had risen to his feet and awaited with resignation new
torments which certainly were even worse than the first, for he gave
him so many and such hard blows with the sabre that the blade was
broken close to the hilt. This accident so infuriated Delfin that
he again threw himself upon the priest, kicking him furiously and
striking him repeatedly until he again threw him to the ground, and
not yet satisfied, his vengefulness led him to throw himself upon his
victim with the fury of a tiger after his prey, beating him on the head
with the hilt of the saber until the blood ran in streams and formed
pools upon the pavement. The priest, more dead than alive, shuddered
from head to foot, and appeared to be struggling in a tremendous
fight between life and death; he had hardly enough strength to get
his tongue to ask for God's mercy. At this most critical juncture,
and when it seemed as if death were inevitable, the martyr received
absolution from Father Diez, who witnessed the blood-curdling picture
with his heart pierced with grief at the sight of the sufferings of
his innocent brother, feeling as must the condemned man preparing for
death who sees the hours fly by with vertiginous rapidity. The blood
flowing from the wounds on the priest's head appeared to infuriate
and blind the heart of Delfin who, rising from his victim's body,
sped away to the armory in the court house, seized a rifle, and came
back furious to brain him with the butt and finish killing the priest;
but God willed to free his servant from death at the hands of those
cannibals, so that generous Lieutenant Navarro interfered, took the
rifle away from him and caught Delfin by the arm, threatening him with
some words spoken in Tagalog. Then Navarro, to appease Delfin's anger,
turned the priest over with his face to the ground and gave him a
few strokes with the bamboo, and feigning anger and indignation,
ordered him away.

"Those who witnessed the horrible tragedy, the brutality of the tyrant
and the prostration of the friar were persuaded that the latter would
never survive his martyrdom. The religious man himself holds it as
a veritable portent that he outlived such a terrible trial; but even
this did not satisfy them as subsequently the Secretary again called
Father Ceferino to subject him to a further scrutiny, as ridiculous
as it was malicious, though it did not go beyond words or insults."

Senor Perez, the governor of Isabela, and Father Diez were compelled
to go to Ilagan. After they had arrived there on October 2d, Villa
proceeded to torture them. At the outset ten soldiers, undoubtedly
instructed beforehand, beat the governor down to the earth, with the
butts of their guns. Villa himself struck him three times in the chest
with the butt of a gun and Father Diez gave him absolution, thinking
he was dying. Father Diez was then knocked down repeatedly with the
butts of guns, being made to stand up promptly each time in order
that he might be knocked down again. Not satisfied with this, Villa
compelled the suffering priest to kneel before him and kicked him in
the nose, repeating the operation until he left him stretched on the
floor half-senseless with his nose broken. He next had both victims
put in stocks with their weight supported by their feet alone. While
in this position soldiers beat them and jumped onto them and one set
the governor's beard on fire with matches. Father Diez was kept in
the stocks four days. He was then sent to Tuguegarao in order that
personal enemies there might take vengeance on him, Villa bidding
him good-by with the following words: "Go now to Tuguegarao and see
if they will finish killing you there." Senor Perez was kept in the
stocks eight days and it is a wonder that he did not die.

Upon the 25th of September Villa went to the _convento_ in Ilagan
prepared to torture the priests, but he succeeded in compelling a
number of them to sign indorsements in his favour on various letters
of credit payable by the Tabacalera Company and departed again in
fairly good humour, having done nothing worse than strike one of them.

Later, however, on the pretext that Fathers Aguado and Labanda had
money hidden away, he determined to torture them with water. The first
to be tortured was Father Labanda. Villa had him taken to the prison
where the priest found his two faithful Filipino servants who had
been beaten cruelly and were then hanging from a beam, this having
been done in order to make them tell where his money was.

He was tied after the usual fashion and water poured down his nose
and throat. During the brief respites necessary in order to prevent
his dying outright he was cruelly beaten. They finally dragged him
out of the prison by the feet, his head leaving a bloody trail on
the stones. After he had been taken back to his companions, one of
the men who had tortured him came to beg his pardon, saying that he
had been compelled to do it by Villa.

Father Aguado was next tortured in one of the rooms of the
_convento_. Villa finished the day's work by announcing to the band
of priests that he would have them all shot the next day on the plaza,
and ordering them to get ready.

On the 29th the barbarities practised by this inhuman fiend reached
their climax in the torturing to death of Lieutenant Piera. The
following description gives some faint idea of one of the most
diabolical crimes ever committed in the Philippines:--

"Villa's cruelty and sanguinary jeering grew without let or hindrance
from day to day; it seemed that this hyena continually cudgelled his
brains to invent new kinds of torture and to jeer at the friars. On
the night of the 29th of September the diabolical idea occurred to
him of giving the _coup de grace_ to the prestige of the friars by
making them pass through the streets of Ilagan conducting and playing
a band of music. He carried out his nonsensical purpose by calling
upon Father Diograeias to play the big drum, and when this priest
had started playing Villa learned that Father Primo was a musician
and could therefore play the drum and lead the band with all skill,
so he called upon Father Primo to come forward, and with one thing
and another this ridiculous function was carried on until the late
hours of the night.

* * * * *

"While these two priests were serenading Villa and his gang, the most
dreadful shrieks were heard from the jail, accompanied by pitiful
cries that would melt the coldest heart. The priests hearing these
echoes of sorrow and pain, and who did not know for what purpose
Fathers Deogracias and Primo had been separated from them, seemed
to recognize the voices of these two priests among the groans,
believing them to be cruelly tortured; for this reason they began
to say the rosary in order that the Most Holy Virgin might imbue
them with patience and fortitude in their martyrdom. Great was their
surprise when these priests returned saying that they had contented
themselves with merely making fun of them by obliging them to play
the big drum and lead the band.

"Although this somewhat tempered their sorrow, a thorn remained in
their hearts, fearing that the moving lamentations and the mortal
groans came from the lips of some hapless Spaniard. This fatidical
presentiment turned out unfortunately to be a fact. The victim
sacrificed that melancholy night, still remembered with a shudder by
the priests, was Lieutenant Salvador Piera. This brave soldier, who had
made up his mind to die in the breach rather than surrender the town
of Aparri, was persuaded to capitulate only by the prayers and tears
of certain Spanish ladies who had been instructed to do so by a man
who should have been the first one to shoulder a rifle. After having
been harassed in Aparri he was taken to Tuguegarao at the request of
Esteban Quinta or Isidoro Maquigat, two artful filibusters thirsting
to revenge themselves on the Lieutenant, who during the time of the
Spanish government had justly laid his heavy hand upon them. In the
latter part of September they conducted him on foot and without any
consideration whatever to the capital of Isabela. In this town he
was at once placed in solitary confinement in one of the rooms of
the _convento_ and allowed no intercourse with any one. The sin for
which they recriminated Piera was his having charged Dimas [283] with
being a filibuster, and their revengefulness reached an incredible
limit. The heartrending moans of this martyr to his duty still resound
in that _convento_ converted into the scene of an orgy of blood. The
unfortunate man was heard to shout: 'For God's sake, for God's sake,
have pity,' and trustworthy persons tell that under the strain of
torture he would challenge them to fight in a fair field by saying:
'I will fight alone against twenty of you;' but the cowardly torturers,
a reproach to the Filipino race, looked upon it as an amusement to
glut their spite on a defenceless man whose hands were tied. They
had him strung up all night with but insignificant refreshment and
rest, sometimes being suspended by his arms which finally became
disjointed and useless, and at others he was hung up by his feet,
the blood rushing to his head and placing him in imminent danger
of sudden death. It was the intention of these brutes to torture
him as much as possible before killing him, just as a member of the
feline race plays with, tosses in the air and pirouettes around the
victim which falls into his claws. If to the torture of the rope
are added the blows with cudgels and the butts of rifles which were
frequently rained upon the victim it will be no surprise that early
on the morning of the 30th he was in the throes of death in the midst
of which the sufferer had just enough strength to say that he was
hungry and thirsty; then those cannibals (the heart is filled with
fury in setting forth such cruelty) cut a piece of flesh from the
calf of the dying man's leg and conveyed it to his mouth and instead
of water they gave him to drink some of his own urine. What savagery!

"The blood from the wound finished the killing of the fainting
Piera. The blood shed served to infuriate more the barbarous
executioners who in order to give the finishing stroke to the martyr,
as an unrivalled expression of their savage ferocity, thrust a red-hot
iron into his mouth and eyes. That same night these treacherous and
ferocious tyrants whose sin made them hate the light, buried the
body in the darkness of the night in a patch of cogon grass adjoining
the _convento_."

Piera's torture was by no means confined to this last night of his
life, as the following account of it shows:--

"In the first days of this accursed month, while the padres were
bemoaning their fate in jail, a dark drama was being enacted in the
_convento_, whose hair-raising scenes would have inspired terror to
Montepiu himself.

"Lieutenant Salvador Piera of the Guardia Civil, commanding officer at
Aparri, who, realizing that all resistance was useless, gave way to the
persistent solicitations of Spaniards and natives and surrendered that
town on honourable terms, which the Katipunan forces did not respect
after the capitulation had been signed, was sent for by Villa, the
military authority of Isabela. Something terrible was going to happen
as Piera himself felt confident, for it is said that before leaving
Aparri he went to confession where he settled the important business
of his conscience in a Christian manner with a representative of God.

"And so it turned out, for as soon as he arrived in Ilagan he
was taken to the _convento_ and placed incomunicado in one of its
apartments. Soon after, three or four vile fiends,--for they do not
deserve the name of men,--bound him with strong cords and hanged him to
a beam. Then they began to charge him with having prosecuted a certain
Mason, and inflicted upon him the most frightful tortures. The pen
refuses to set forth so many atrocities. For three days they had him
in that position while his vile assassins made a martyr of him. Our
hair stands on end to think of such crimes. The heart-rending cries
of this unfortunate man while prey to such barbarous torments could
be heard in every part of the town and carried panic to the homes of
all the inhabitants.

"The late hours of the night were always chosen by those treacherous
fiends to give Piera the _trato de cuerda_ (this form of torture
consists in tying the hands of the victim behind his back and hanging
him by them by a rope passed through a pulley attached to a beam;
his body is lifted as high as it will go and then allowed to fall
by its own weight without reaching the ground); but this torture was
administered to him in a form so terrible that all the pictures of this
kind of torment found in the dreadful narratives of the calumniators
of the Holy Office, pale into insignificance in comparison with the
atrocious details of the tortures here recited; at each violent jerk
the unhappy victim feeling that his limbs were being torn asunder
would cry out 'My God! My God!' This terrifying cry reverberating
through the jail would freeze the very blood of the poor priests
therein incarcerated.

"On the third day, when those infuriated hyenas appeared to have
spent their diabolical rage; after they had thrust a red-hot iron
into his eyes and left him with sightless sockets; the poor martyr,
the prey of delirium, cried out that he was hungry, and one of those
_sicarii_ cut a piece of flesh from Piera's thigh and was infamous
enough to carry it to his mouth. On the night of the seventh of the
month very late a number of wretches buried in the _convento_ garden
a body still dripping warm blood from the lips of which there escaped
the feeble plaints of anguish of a dying man."

The feeling of the Spaniards relative to this matter is well shown
by the following statement of Father Malumbres:--

"This horrible crime cannot be pardoned by God or man, and is still
uninvestigated, crying to Heaven for vengeance with greater reason
than the blood of the innocent Abel. So long as the criminals remain
unpunished it will be a black and indelible stigma and an ugly stain
on the race harbouring in its midst the perpetrators of this unheard-of
sin. Words of reprobation are not enough, justice demands exemplary and
complete reparation, and if the powers of earth do not take justice
into their own hands, God will send fire from Heaven and will cause
to disappear from the face of the earth the criminals and even their
descendants. A murder so cruel and premeditated can be punished in
no other way.

"If the courts here should wish to punish the guilty persons it would
not be a difficult task; the public points its finger at those who
dyed their hands in the blood of the heroic soldier, and we shall
set them forth here echoing the voice of the people. The soulless
instigator was Dimas Guzman. The executioners were a certain Jose
Guzman (alias Pepin, a nephew of Dimas) and Cayetano Perez."

The matter was duly taken up in the courts, and Judge Blount himself
tried the cases.

The judge takes a very mild and liberal view of the occurrence. He
says of it: [284]--

"Villa was accompanied by his aide, Lieutenant Ventura Guzman. The
latter is an old acquaintance of the author of the present volume,
who tried him afterwards, in 1901, for playing a minor part in the
murder of an officer of the Spanish army committed under Villa's orders
just prior to, or about the time of, the Wilcox-Sargent visit. He
was found guilty, and sentenced, but later liberated under President
Roosevelt's amnesty of 1902. He was guilty, but the deceased, so
the people in the Cagayan Valley used to say, in being tortured to
death, got only the same sort of medicine he had often administered
thereabouts. At any rate, that was the broad theory of the amnesty
in wiping out all these old cases."

He adds:--

"I sentenced both Dimas and Ventura to life imprisonment for being
accessory to the murder of the Spanish officer above named, Lieutenant
Piera. Villa officiated as arch-fiend on the grewsome occasion. I am
quite sure I would have hung Villa without any compunction at that
time, if I could have gotten hold of him. I tried to get hold of
him, but Governor Taft's attorney-general, Mr. Wilfley, wrote me
that Villa was somewhere over on the mainland of Asia on British
territory, and extradition would involve application to the London
Foreign Office. The intimation was that we had trouble enough of
our own without borrowing any from feuds that had existed under our
predecessors in sovereignty. I have understood that Villa is now
practising medicine in Manila. More than one officer of the American
army that I know afterwards did things to the Filipinos almost
as cruel as Villa did to that unhappy Spanish officer, Lieutenant
Piera. On the whole, I think President Roosevelt acted wisely and
humanely in wiping the slate. We had new problems to deal with, and
were not bound to handicap ourselves with the old ones left over from
the Spanish regime." [285]

But it happens that this was the Filipino regime. Piera's torture
occurred at the very time when, according to Blount, Aguinaldo had
"a wonderfully complete 'going concern' throughout the Philippine

Furthermore, it occurred in the Cagayan valley where Blount says
"perfect tranquillity and public order" were then being maintained
by "the authority of the Aguinaldo government" in a country which
Messrs. Wilcox and Sargent, who arrived on the scene of this barbarous
murder by torture four weeks later, found so "quiet and orderly."

Not only was Blount perfectly familiar with every detail of this
damnable crime, but he must of necessity have known of the torturing
of friars to extort money, which preceded and followed it.

The following statement seems to sum up his view of the whole matter:--

"It is true there were cruelties practised by the Filipinos on the
Spaniards. But they were ebullitions of revenge for three centuries of
tyranny. They do not prove unfitness for self-government. I, for one,
prefer to follow the example set by the Roosevelt amnesty of 1902,
and draw the veil over all those matters." [286]

The judge drew the veil not only over this, but, as we have seen,
over numerous other pertinent matters which occurred in this land of
"profound peace and tranquillity" just at the time Wilcox and Sargent
were making their trip. My apologies to him for withdrawing the
veil and for maintaining that such occurrences as those in question
demonstrate complete and utter unfitness for self-government on the
part of those who brought them about!

If it be true that Blount knew more than one officer of the American
army who did things to the Filipinos almost as cruel as Villa did to
Lieutenant Piera, why did he not report them and have the criminals
brought to justice?

Such an attack on the army, in the course of which there is not given
a name or a fact which could serve as a basis for an investigation,
is cowardly and despicable.

I do not for a moment believe that Blount speaks the truth, but if
he does, then his failure to attempt to bring to justice the human
fiends concerned brands him!

It has been the fashion in certain quarters to make vile allegations
of this sort against officers of the United States army, couching them
in discreetly general terms. This is a contemptible procedure, for
it frees those who make reckless charges from danger of the criminal
proceedings which would otherwise doubtless be brought against them.

On arrival at Ilagan, the town where Piera was tortured to death,
Blount says [287] that Messrs. Wilcox and Sargent were

"given a grand _baile_ [ball] and _fiesta_ [feast], a kind of
dinner-dance, we would call it.... From Ilagan they proceeded to
Aparri, cordially received everywhere, and finding the country in
fact, as Aguinaldo always claimed in his proclamations of that period,
seeking recognition of his government by the Powers, in a state of
profound peace and tranquillity--free from brigandage and the like."

Within sight of the banquet hall, within hearing of the music, lay
a lighter on which were huddled eighty-four priests of the Catholic
Church, many of them gray-haired old men, innocent of any evil conduct,
who for weeks had suffered, mentally and physically, the tortures of
the damned.

Of the events of this evening and the following day Father Malumbres

"From the river the _convento_ could be seen profusely illuminated and
the strains of music could be heard, an evident sign that they were
engaged in revelry. This gave us a bad start, as we came to fear that
Villa had returned from the expedition undertaken to come up with two
Americans who had crossed the Caraballo range and were thinking of
coming down as far as Aparri. It was late to announce to Villa our
arrival at Ilagan, so that we were obliged to pass the night on the
lighter. In the morning our boat was anchored in front of the pueblo of
Ilagan, where we were credibly informed that Villa had returned. This
accursed news made us begin to fear some disagreeable incident.

"Our Matias went ashore and delivered the official communication
regarding our transfer to Villa, while we waited impatiently for
his decision. Sergeant Matias at length returned with orders for
our disembarkation; we put on the best clothes we had and the rowers
placed a broad plank between the lighter and the arsenal and we left
our floating prison two abreast. Matias called the roll and the order
to march, we were eighty-four friars in a long column climbing the
steep ascent to Ilagan.

"When we had arrived in front of the building used for headquarters, we
faced about in front thereof, and the first thing we saw in one of the
windows were the sinister features of Falaris, who with a thundering
brow and black look was delighting himself in the contemplation of
so many priests surrounded by bayonets and filled with misery. Any
other person but Villa would have melted on seeing such a spectacle,
which could but incite compassion. The two American tourists were
also looking on at this horrible scene as if stupefied, but they soon
withdrew in order, perhaps, not to look upon such a painful picture. It
was, indeed, heartrending to contemplate therein old gray-haired men
who had passed their lives in apostolic work side by side with young
men who had just arrived in this ungrateful land, and many sick who
rather than men seemed to be marble statues, who had no recourse but
to stand in line, without one word of consolation; therein figured
some who wore religious garb, others in secular dress limited to
a pair of rumpled trousers and a cast-off coat, the lack of this
luxurious garment being replaced in some instances by a native shirt.

"For two long hours we were detained in the middle of the street
under the rays of a burning sun and to the scandal of the immense
crowd which had been gathered together to witness the denouement of
the tragedy. The priests had hardly come into the presence of Villa
when Fathers Isidro and Florentino were called out for the purpose of
having heaped upon them a flood of insults and affronts. Father Isidro
was ordered by Villa to interview Sr. Sabas Orros, who, Villa supposed,
would wreak his revenge blindly upon him, but he was greatly mistaken,
as said gentleman treated the priest with great respect; the tyrant
remained talking to Father Florentino in the reception room of the
headquarters building, and when it appeared that such talk would come
to blows, the elder of the Americans left one of the rooms toward
the reception room, and the scene suddenly changing, Villa arose
and addressing the priest said: 'I am pleased to introduce to you
an American Brigadier-General, Mr. N.' The latter returned a cordial
greeting in Spanish to the priest who made a courteous acknowledgment;
after this exchange of courtesies, Villa resumed his defamatory work,
pouring out a string of absurdities and infamous insults upon the
friars, going so far as to say in so many words: 'from the bishop down
you are all thieves and depraved' he added another word which it would
be shameful to write down, and so he went on from one abyss to another
without regard to reputations or the respect due to venerated persons.

"The American let his disgust be seen while Villa was talking,
and the latter understood these protests and ordered the priest to
withdraw, the comedy coming to an end by the American shaking hands
with the priest and offering him assistance. Villa would not shake
hands with him, as was natural, but the priest was able to see that
he was confused when he saw the distinction and courtesy with which
an American general had treated a helpless friar. What a narrow idea
did the Americans form of the government of Aguinaldo, represented
by men as savage and inhuman as Villa!

"The natives averred that the Americans referred to were spies who had
come to explore those provinces and were making maps of the strategic
points and principal roads, so that a very careful watch was kept upon
them and Villa took measures to have them go down the river without
landing at any place between Echague and Ilagan. At Ilagan they were
given an entertainment and dance, Villa being a skilled hand in this
sort of thing, and a few days later he accompanied them to Aparri
[288] without allowing them to set foot on land. The government of
Aguinaldo no longer had everything its own way, and secret orders
had been given to have every step of the explorers followed. The
commanding and other leading officers of the Valley, supporting the
orders of the government, circulated an order throughout the towns
which read as follows:--

"'_To All Local Officers_:

"'You will not permit any maps to be made or notes to be taken of
strategic points by Americans or foreigners; nor will you allow them
to become acquainted with the points of defence; you will endeavour
to report immediately to this Government any suspicious persons;
you will make your investigations secretly, accompanying suspected
persons and feigning that their investigations are approved, and
finally when it shall seem to you that such suspected persons have
finished their work, you will advise without loss of time, in order
that their notes may be seized.'

"Despite this order the Americans were able to inform themselves very
thoroughly of the forces in the Valley and its state of defence,
and Filipinos were not lacking who for a few pesos would put them
abreast of all information regarding the plans and projects of
Aguinaldo's government."

Relative to this Wilcox-Sargent trip Taylor says:--

"In October and November, 1898, Paymaster W. B. Wilcox, U.S.N.,
and Naval Cadet L. R. Sargent, U.S.N., travelled through Northern
Luzon from which they returned with a favourable impression of the
government which had been set up by Aguinaldo's agents.

"It was realized by the subtle men whom they met that it was highly
expedient that they should make a favourable report and accordingly
they were well received, and although constant obstacles were thrown
in the way of their seeing what it was not considered well for them
to see yet the real reasons for the delays in their journey were
carefully kept from them. At least some of their letters to the
fleet were taken, translated, and sent to Aguinaldo, who kept them,
and constant reports upon them and their movements were made."

Blount refers to the fact that Mr. Sargent tells a characteristic
story of Villa, [289] whose vengeful feeling toward the Spaniards
showed on all occasions.

It would doubtless have interested the travellers to know that the
"robbery" consisted in taking the funds out of the province to save
them from falling into Villa's hands, and in paying them to soldiers in
Nueva Vizcaya to whom money was due. It would further have interested
them to know that this unfortunate Spaniard had been twice tortured
within an inch of his life by Villa.

But let us continue our interrupted narrative:--

"The presence of the Americans in Ilagan soon freed us from certain
forms of savagery and barbarous intentions on the part of Villa. There
can be no doubt that the tyrant was constantly cudgelling his brains
to invent new methods of showing his contempt for the friars; at the
unlucky time we write of he conceived the infamous plan of ordering
a circular enclosure of cane to be made, put a pig into it--we trust
the reader will pardon the details--with a bell hung to his neck,
blindfolded the priests and compelled them to enter the enclosure with
sticks in their hands, and in this ridiculous attitude, obliged them to
strike about when the sound of the bell appraised them of the animal's
proximity; it is obvious that the principal purpose of the fiendish
Villa was to have the priests lay about them in such a way as to
deal each other the blows instead of the pig. The tyrant also had the
idea of making us and the other priests in Ilagan parade the streets
of that town dancing and playing the band. The wish to consummate
his plan was not lacking but he was deterred by the presence of the
Americans and the arguments of Sr. Sabas Orros to whom we also owed
the signal favour that Villa did not take us to our prisons at Tumauini
and Gamut on foot and with our clothing in a bundle at our backs."

On October 2 a banquet was given in Villa's honour at Ilagan and the
pleasant idea occurred to him to have four of the friars dance at
it for his amusement. The people of the town put their handkerchiefs
before their faces to shut out the sight, and some wept. Father Campo,
one of the priests who was obliged to dance, had great ulcers on his
legs from the wounds caused by the cords with which he had been bound
when he was tortured with water, and was at first unable to raise his
feet from the floor; but Villa threatened him with a rattan until he
finally did so. This caused the sores on his legs to burst open so
that the bones showed.

On the 3d of October a number of the friars were compelled to get up a
band and go out and meet Leyba with music on his arrival. The people
of the towns closed their windows in disgust at the sight. A great
crowd had gathered to receive Leyba, and the priests were compelled
to dance in the middle of the street, but this again only caused
disgust. A couple of priests were then beaten in the usual fashion
in a private house. This caused murmuring even among those of the
soldiers who were natives of the Cagayan valley. At the same time
two other priests were horribly whipped in the prison.

This has been a long story, but the half has not been told. Those
who escaped torture had their feelings harrowed by the sight of
the sufferings of their fellows. They were constantly and grossly
insulted; were often confined in the most unsanitary quarters; given
poor and insufficient food and bad water, or none at all; robbed of
their clothing; compelled to march long distances under a tropical
sun when sick, wounded and suffering; obliged to do servants' work
publicly; forced to make a ridiculous spectacle of themselves in the
public streets; ordered to recant, and heaven knows what not!

The torments practised on them had two principal objects: to
compel them to give up money, and to discredit them with the common
people. They failed to accomplish this latter result. There is abundant
evidence that the natives of the Cagayan valley clothed and fed
them when they could, and wept over the painful humiliations and the
dreadful sufferings which they were powerless to prevent or relieve.

The tormentors were men from distant provinces, with no possible
personal grievances against the priests whom they martyrized. Their
action was the result, not of an "ebullition of revenge for three
centuries of tyranny" as stated by Blount, but of insensate greed
of gold and damnable viciousness. I believe the American people will
hold that such cruelities brand those who practise them as unfit to
govern their fellows, or themselves.

Lest I be accused of basing my conclusions on _ex parte_ statements
I will now return to the Insurgent record of events in the Cagayan

At the outset the Spanish officers of the Tabacalera Company [290]
fared comparatively well. In a letter dated September 27, 1898, and
addressed to the secretary of war of the revolutionary government,
Leyba says of the taking of Tuguegarao that the only terms of the
surrender were to respect life. He therefore felt at liberty to seize
all the money that the friars had hidden, "which was accomplished
by applying the stick." He adds that they did nothing to the agents
of the great Tabacalera Company, then the most powerful commercial
organization in the Islands, for the significant reason that they
had found that its stock was largely held by Frenchmen and feared
trouble. [291]

On December 4, 1898, Leyba, concerning whose ideas as to public order
we are already informed, wrote a most illuminating letter setting
forth the conditions which had existed there. He does not claim that
there had been Octavian peace!

It should be borne in mind that this letter covers the very time
during which Messrs. Wilcox and Sargent passed through the Cagayan
valley. It paints a vivid picture of conditions, and as the painter
was the ranking Insurgent officer in the valley during this entire
period, he cannot be accused of hostile prejudice. I therefore give
the letter in full'--

"_Aparri_, December 4, 1898.

"_Don Baldomero Aguinaldo_,

"_The Secretary of War_:

"_Dear Sir and of My Greatest Esteem_: I take the liberty of addressing
this to you in order to state that owing to the lack of discipline
in the soldiers whom we have brought, since they are all volunteers
and whom I am not able to reduce to rigorous subordination, for the
revolution would find itself without soldiers with whom to win triumph,
they committed many abuses and misdeed which, for the lack of evidence,
I was not able to punish, although I knew of these abuses but had
no proof, and as a lover of my country and of the prestige of the
Revolutionary Army, I took care not to disclose the secret to any one,
in this way avoiding the formation of an atmosphere against the cause
of our Independence to the grave injury of us all. But it happened
that, in spite of the good advice which I have given them and the
punishments which I have given to some of the 3d Company of Cauit,
they did not improve their conduct but have gone to the extreme of
committing a scandalous robbery of 20,800 pesos which sum the German,
Otto Weber, was taking to the capital, which deed has caused me to
work without ceasing, without sleeping entire nights, for I understood
what a serious matter it was to take money from a foreigner. After
making many inquiries, it was discovered that a very large part of
the money which reached the sum of $10,000, a little more or less,
was buried under the quarters which the said company occupied, this
with the sanction of all the officers, it appears to me, because it
is impossible that such a sum could be brought into a house where so
many soldiers are living without the knowledge of the officers.

"Indignant at such shameful behaviour, I reprimanded the officers
and preferred charges against the ones I deemed to blame in the matter.

"Afterwards I found out that they had attempted to murder me for trying
to find out the originators of the crime. On account of this, and in
order to prevent a civil war which would have broken out against the
said soldiers if precautions had not been taken, I decided to disarm
them, to the great displeasure of the Colonel who was not aware of
my motives.

"This bad conduct has been copied by the soldiers of the 4th Company
stationed in Ilagan, and I believe the Colonel, guided by my warning,
will take the same measures in regard to them.

"As the officers are the first ones to commit abuses and misdeeds, it
is easily seen that the soldiers under their orders, guided by them,
will commit worse ones than the chiefs, and as these seem to lack
the moral strength to control and reprimand them, I propose to you,
if it meets your approval, that all these soldiers and some of the
officers be returned to their homes by the steamer _Luzon_, if there
should be sufficient coal, or in another if you order it, since they
tell me themselves that because they are far away from their homes
they do not wish to continue in the service in this province. This is
easily arranged as there are now men stationed in this province for
instructing the native volunteers, many of whom have been students,
and will therefore make good officers and non-commissioned officers,
and in this way a battalion could be formed, well disciplined from the
beginning and disgraceful things would be avoided not only towards
the natives of this province but also towards foreigners, which is
the most important. Having stated my case, I place myself always at
your disposal, requesting you will attend to this affair.

"With reference to the 4th Company stationed in the Province of
Isabela, whose captain is Don Antonio Monzon of Panamitan, there are
many complaints of thefts and assaults committed by the soldiers,
and in answer to my questions, Don Simeon Adriano y Villa, Major
and Sanitary Inspector and doctor of this battalion, whom I have
stationed there for lack of a competent person, tells me that he
has always punished and offered advice to officers and soldiers in
order to prevent the recurrence of thefts and assaults, but he has
never been able to suppress them completely, because the soldiers are
abandoned by their officers, and because of lack of example on the
part of the latter; they do not understand that it is a great blot
when they commit these abuses, since when they discover the goods
or house of a Spaniard they believe they have a right to appropriate
everything which they encounter.

"I have learned lately, that some foreigners, residents in that
province, among them some employees of the Tobacco Factory, 'El
Oriente' and of the firm of Baer Senior & Co., who have Spanish
employees in various pueblos of that province, have some very serious
complaints to make of assaults committed against them prejudicial
to their interests; however, I hope that now with the arrival of
General Tirona he will regulate matters, although I believe that this
gentleman is not sufficiently energetic in proceeding against the
officers and soldiers, as I have seen when I reprimanded and punished
them for faults committed he has pardoned them, and it appears that
he censures energetic acts which we must use in order to subject them
to rigorous discipline. The same thing happened when Major Sr. Victa
wished to discipline them; it appears that the Colonel reprimanded
him when he punished some soldiers for gambling in their quarters,
since, as you know, that gentleman believes that he who is right is
the one who comes to him first, and who is best able to flatter him.

"The Colonel has agreed with me that his first act on arrival at the
province of Isabela should be to disarm and take all the money he
finds among the soldiers of the 4th Company (Panamitan) in order to
serve as indemnity for the property of the foreigners in case they
should make any claim.

"I request that you send some leader or officer in order to superintend
our actions, and to lift the doubt which hangs over the person who
has worked faithfully and honourably in the sacred cause of our

"I am filling the position of First Chief in the Port of Aparri
temporarily on account of the absence of the Colonel who has conferred
on me all his duties and power. After the military operations which
were carried on as far as the last town in Isabela, being tired and
somewhat sick, I was put in charge of these military headquarters,
which I found to be very much mixed up, the town, moreover, being
desperate on account of the assaults committed by my predecessor,
Rafael Perca, who was appointed by the Colonel, and who was formerly
2d Captain of the steamer _Filipinas._ After arriving and taking
charge, having received numerous complaints against him, I had him
arrested and I found that he had been guilty of robbery, unlawful
use of insignia, illegal marriage, rape and attempted rape. I hold
him in custody only awaiting the arrival of the Colonel in order to
convene a court-martial for his trial, in which the Colonel will act
as President and I as Judge Advocate.

"With nothing more to communicate, I hope you will attend to my just
claim and send a special delegate to investigate our acts and see
the truth, for perhaps if a statement comes direct from me you will
not believe it.

"I am your affectionate and faithful subordinate, who kisses your hand,

(Signed) "_J. N. Leyba_." [292]

Blount states that conditions existed "just like this, all over Luzon
and the Visayan Islands." [293] Unfortunately this was only too true!

The troops complained of by Leyba were made up of Aguinaldo's fellow
townsmen. They never obeyed any one else, and left a trail of murder
and rapine behind them. Aguinaldo never punished them, and from the
time when one of them tried to murder their commander until a guard
composed of them murdered General Antonio Luna in June, 1899, they
are mentioned only with fear and execration.

Blount describes with enthusiasm the establishment of civil government
in Cagayan.

Perhaps Americans will be interested in knowing who was its head and
how it worked. The "elections" were held on December 9, 1898, and Dimas
Guzman was chosen head of the province. He was the man subsequently
sentenced to life-imprisonment by Blount, for complicity in the
murder of Lieutenant Piera. In describing his method of conducting his
government he says that the people doubted the legality of attempts
to collect taxes; that the abuses of heads of towns caused rioting in
the towns, in which only Ilocanos took part; and that he not only did
not report these things but contrived to conceal them from foreigners
in the province. [294]

His failure to report these troubles and disorders to his government
is of interest, as Blount alleges [295] that differences between the
local authorities were in a number of cases referred to the Malolos
government for settlement.

Blount says [296] that General Otis's reports were full of inexcusable
blunders about the Tagalogs taking possession of provinces and making
the people do things, and cites the relations between Villa and Dimas
Guzman to illustrate the error of these allegations.

He has elsewhere [297] referred to Villa as the "arch-fiend" in the
matter of torturing the unhappy Spaniards as well as the Filipinos who
incurred his ill-will. We have seen that Guzman proved an apt pupil
and did credit to his instructor in connection with the torturing
of Lieutenant Piera, but it nevertheless appears from Guzman's own
statements that his relations with the Insurgent officers and their
subordinates involved some rather grave difficulties. Of Major Canoy,
for instance, he says:--

"I must add that the said Major Canoy is such a remarkable character
that he saw fit to give my cook a beating for not taking off his hat
when he met him. He insulted the delegate of rents of Cabagan Viejo
for the same reason. He struck the head man of the town of Bagabag in
the face. He put some of the members of the town council of Echague
in the stocks, and he had others whipped." [298]

It was really incautious for Governor Guzman to complain of these
conditions because Major Canoy and his party won, and the Governor
had to resign.

But the day of reckoning came. It was in consequence of the atrocities
committed by the Tagalog soldiers in the Cagayan valley that Captain
Batchelder was able a little later to march practically unopposed
through the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Cagayan with one
battalion of American negro troops, for whom he had neither food nor
extra ammunition, and that Tirona surrendered the Insurgent forces
in the valley without attempting resistance!


Insurgent Rule in the Visayas and Elsewhere

Referring to the conditions alleged to have been found by Sargent
and Wilcox in the Cagayan valley, Blount says:--

"Had another Sargent and another Wilcox made a similar trip through
the provinces of southern Luzon about this same time, under similar
friendly auspices, before we turned friendship to hate and fear and
misery, in the name of Benevolent Assimilation, they would, we now
know, have found similar conditions." [299]

So far as concerns the provinces of Mindoro and Palawan, and the great
island of Mindanao, he dodges the issue, alleging the unimportance
of Mindoro and Palawan, and claiming that "Mohammedan Mindanao"
presents a problem by itself. Under such generalities he hides the
truth as to what happened in these regions.

I agree with him that there was essential identity between actual
conditions in the Cagayan valley and those which prevailed under
Insurgent rule elsewhere in Luzon and in the Visayas. I will go
further and say that conditions in the Cagayan valley did not differ
essentially from those which prevailed throughout all portions of
the archipelago which fell under Insurgent control, except that in
several provinces captured friars and other Spaniards were quickly
murdered whereas in the Cagayan valley no friar was quite killed
outright by torture. Those who ultimately died of their injuries
lived for some time.

Let us now consider some of the actual occurrences in these other
provinces, continuing to follow the route of our tourists until it
brings us back to Manila.

_South Ilocos_

The first province visited by Messrs. Wilcox and Sargent after
leaving Aparri was South Ilocos. The conditions which had prevailed
at Vigan, the capital of the province, shortly before their arrival,
are described in a letter signed "Mariano" and addressed under date
of September 25, 1898, to Senor Don Mena Crisologo, from which I
quote extracts:--

"_Dear Mena_: I read with a happy heart your letter of the 3rd instant,
and in answer I have to say:--

"On the 22nd of August a mass meeting was held for the election of
the local presidente of this town, and I was elected to the office;
and on the 1st instant the Colonel appointed me Provisional Provincial
President of this province, so that you can imagine the position I
am in and the responsibilities which weigh on me.

"Your house is occupied by the Colonel, in view of the fact that it
is not rented.

"I have here eleven friar prisoners and the damned priests who escaped
from here have not as yet been returned, but it is known that they
are prisoners in Cagayan, and as soon as they arrive here I will
treat them as they deserve.

"It is with great regret that I have to relate the events and
misfortunes which we have been suffering here since the arrival of the
troops, as all the detachments are supported by the towns, and here
in the capital where the commissary is established, our resources
are exhausted, owing to the unreasonable demands of the commissary,
because he never asks what is only just and necessary, but if he
needs provisions for 200 men, he always asks enough for 1000. And
notwithstanding this, the most lamentable and sad occurrences are
taking place almost daily in the different barrios, and often in the
town itself; the soldiers are guilty of many abuses and disorderly
acts, such as rapes and murders, which usually remain unpunished by
reason of the real authors thereof not being found, and when they are
found and reported to their commanders, the latter do nothing. One
night the house and estate of Sario Tinon in Anannam was sacked by
six armed men, who threatened him and took his money, his wife's
jewels and the best horses he had. Thank God that his family was at
the time in the capital, and it appears that now the authors of this
act are being discovered.

"I am at the present time working with Father Aglipay to have
the forces stationed here replaced by our volunteers which I am
recruiting, in order to prevent in so far as possible the frequent
acts of barbarity which the former are committing in the province.

"When the friars from Lepanto arrived here, they were made to publish
the following proclamation:--

"'_Proclamation_.--We, the friars, declare that all the acts committed
by us against the honest Filipinos when we discharged our respective
offices, were false and in contravention of the rights of the Holy
Church, because we only wished to deceive and prejudice the honest
inhabitants of the Philippines; for which reason we now suffer what we
are suffering, as you see, according to the old adage that "he who owes
must pay." And now we inform all you honest Filipinos that we repent
for the acts above referred to, which are in contravention of the laws
and good customs, and ask your pardon.--_Vigan_, September 13, 1898.'

"All of which I communicate to you in order that you may form an
idea of what is taking place here, and take such steps as may be
proper for the common good, and especially for the good of this town,
hoping that with the aid of your valuable protection the abuses and
disorders suffered by the residents will be stopped." [300]

The province of Abra, now a subprovince of South Ilocos, was evidently
no exception to the general rule, for there is on file a letter to
Aguinaldo with twenty-six signatures, protesting bitterly against the
oppression of the poor, in the effort to compel them to contribute war
taxes, complaining against the misuse of supplies gathered ostensibly
for the soldiers, and stating that the petitioners will be obliged to
take refuge with the Igorots and Negritos, if not granted relief. [301]

Apparently the trouble grew, for on December 27, 1898, the "Director
of Diplomacy" telegraphed to Aguinaldo concerning it, saying:--

"Most urgent. The discontent in the provinces of Pangasinan, Tarlac and
Yloco (Ilocos) is increasing. The town of Bangbang rose in revolt the
25th and 26th of this month, and killed all of the civil officials. It
is impossible to describe the abuses committed by the military and
civil authorities of the said provinces. I urge you to send a force
of 100 men and a diplomatic officer to reestablish order. The matter
is urgent." [302]

I find nothing important in the Insurgent records concerning conditions
in La Union at this time. Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga and Bulacan,
which were now revisited by our tourists, have already been discussed.

_The Province of Manila_

Conditions in Manila Province, as distinguished from Manila City,
left much to be desired.

Admiral Dewey made a statement applicable to the territory adjacent
to the city and bay of Manila in a cablegram to Washington dated
October 14, 1898, which reads as follows:--

"It is important that the disposition of the Philippine Islands should
be decided as soon as possible. . . . General anarchy prevails without
the limits of the city and bay of Manila. Natives appear unable to
govern." [303]

Of it Blount says:--

"In this cablegram the Admiral most unfortunately repeated as true some
wild rumours then currently accepted by the Europeans and Americans
at Manila which, of course, were impossible of verification. I say
'unfortunately' with some earnestness, because it does not appear on
the face of his message that they were mere rumours. And, that they
were wholly erroneous, in point of fact, has already been cleared
up in previous chapters, wherein the real state of peace, order, and
tranquillity which prevailed throughout Luzon at that time has been,
it is believed, put beyond all doubt." [304]

Blount seems here to have overlooked the fact that the admiral
himself was in Manila Bay and in Manila City at the time he sent
this cablegram. The statements in question were not rumours, they
were deliberate expressions of opinion on the part of a man who had
first-hand information and knew what he was saying.

They were not the Admiral's only allegations on this subject. When
testifying before the Senate committee he said:--

"_Admiral Dewey_. I knew that there was no government in the whole of
the Philippines. Our fleet had destroyed the only government there
was, and there was no other government; there was a reign of terror
throughout the Philippines, looting, robbing, murdering; a reign of
terror throughout the islands."

_La Laguna_

Having brought our tourist friends safely back to Manila, we must
now leave them there and strike out by ourselves if we are to see
other provinces.

La Laguna lies just east of Manila. Of it we learn that:

"Laguna Province was so overrun by bands of robbers that the head of
the pueblo of San Pablo ordered the people to concentrate in the town
to avoid their attacks." [305]


The province of Bataan lies just across the bay from Manila.

"On January 10, 1899, the secretary of the interior directed the
governor of Bataan Province to ascertain the whereabouts of a number
of men who had just deserted with their rifles from the commands
there. He was to appeal to their patriotism and tell them that if
they would but return to their companies their complaints would be
attended to and they would be pardoned." [306]


Zambales joins Bataan on the west and north. On November 13, 1898,
Wenceslao Vinvegra wrote to Aguinaldo describing the state of affairs
in this province. From his letter we learn that two brothers named
Teodoro and Doroteo Pansacula, claiming to be governor and brigadier
general respectively, who are charged with abandonment of their
posts in the field, disobedience and attempts against the union
of the Insurgents, had been committing all manner of abuses. They
had organized a band of cut-throats, armed with rifles and bolos,
and were terrorizing the towns, committing robberies and murders and
ordering that money be furnished for themselves and food for their men.

They were also encouraging the people to disobey the local authorities
and refuse to pay taxes, and were promulgating a theory, popular with
the masses, that the time had come for the rich to be poor and the
poor rich.

They had furthermore induced regular Insurgent troops to rise up in
arms. [307]

From this communication it would appear that the Insurgent government
had not been entirely effective in Zambales up to November 13th, 1898.

From other communications we learn that the soldiers at Alaminos were
about to desert on November 30th, 1898; [308] that it was deemed
necessary to restrict travel between Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan and
Zambales in order to prevent robberies; [309] and that on January 9,
1899, the governor of the province found it impossible to continue
the inspection of a number of towns, as many of their officials had
fled to escape the abuses of the military. [310] Conditions were
obviously very serious in Zambales at this time.


Cavite province lies immediately south of Manila province as the
latter was then constituted. On August 24, 1898, the secretary of
war wired Aguinaldo that two drunken Americans had been killed by
Insurgent soldiers. [311] On the same day General Anderson advised
the governor of Cavite that one American soldier had been killed and
three wounded by his people, and demanded his immediate withdrawal,
with his guard, from the town. [312] The governor asked Aguinaldo for
instructions. Aguinaldo replied instructing the governor to deny that
the American had been killed by Insurgent soldiers and to claim that
he had met death at the hands of his own companions. The governor was
further directed to give up his life before leaving the place. [313]

In view of the definite statement from one of his own officers that
the soldier in question was killed by Filipino soldiers, Aguinaldo's
instructions to say that he was killed by Americans are interesting
as showing his methods.

Not only were the Insurgents obviously unable to control their own
soldiers in Cavite town sufficiently to prevent them from committing
murder, but conditions in the province of the same name left much to
be desired. On December 29, 1898, the governor wired Aguinaldo that
the town of Marigondong had risen in arms. [314]

It is a well-known fact that land records were destroyed in Cavite. Of
this matter Taylor says:--

"In Cavite, in Cavite Province, and probably in most of the other
provinces, one of the first acts of the insurgents who gathered
about Aguinaldo was to destroy all the land titles which had been
recorded and filed in the Spanish administrative bureaus. In case the
independence of the Philippines was won, the land of the friars, the
land of the Spaniards and of those who still stood by Spain, would
be in the gift of Aguinaldo or of any strong man who could impose
his will upon the people. And the men who joined this leader would
be rich in the chief riches of the country, and those who refused to
do so would be ruined men." [315]


"The native civil officials who took charge of the government of
Sorsogon Province when the Spaniards abandoned it did not think it
worth while to hoist the insurgent flag until a force of four companies
arrived there to take station early in November, 1898. The officer in
command promptly ordered the Chinamen in the town of Sorsogon, who are
prosperous people, to contribute to the support of his troops. They at
once gave him cloth for uniforms, provisions, and 10,000 pesos. This
was not sufficient, for on November 8 Gen. Ignacio Paua, who seems to
have been the insurgent agent in dealing with the Chinese, complained
that the troops in Sorsogon were pillaging the Chinamen there. They
had killed 13, wounded 19, and ruined a number of others." [316]

In January, 1899, a correspondent wrote Aguinaldo that it was very
difficult to collect taxes as every one was taking what he could lay
his hands on. [317]

_Ambos Camarines_

On September 18, 1898, Elias Angeles, a corporal of the _guardia
civil_, headed an uprising against the Spaniards. The Spanish officer
in command, and all of his family, were killed by shooting up through
the floor of the room which they occupied. Angeles then assumed the
title of Politico-Military-Governor.

When the Tagalog Vicente Lucban arrived on his way to Samar, he ordered
Angeles to meet him at Magarao, with all his troops and arms, disarmed
the troops, giving their rifles to his own followers, marched into
Nueva Caceres and took possession of the entire government. Aguinaldo
subsequently made Lucban a general, and sent him on his way to Samar.

Lucban was succeeded by another Tagalog, "General" Guevara, a very
ignorant man, who displayed special ability in making collections,
and is reported to have kept a large part of the funds which came
into his possession.

Colonel Pena, who called himself "General," was one of the worst of
the Tagalog invaders, for they were practically that. He threatened
all who opposed him with death, and summarily shot at least one man
in Tigaon. That town subsequently rose against him, and he was badly
cut up by the Bicols. [318] On getting out of the hospital he was
sent away.

The daughters of prominent families suffered at the hands of these
villains. Pena abducted one, a son of Guevara another. Her brother
followed young Guevara and killed him. If girls of the best families
were so treated, how must those of the common people have fared?

Braganza ordered the killing of all Spaniards and Chinese at
Minalabag. Some forty-eight Spaniards were murdered.

Many Chinese were killed at Pasacao; about thirty at Libmanan by
order of Vicente Ursua a Tagalog; more than twenty at Calabanga.

Conditions became so unbearable that Faustino Santa Ana gathered
around him all Bicols who were willing to fight the TagLlogs, but
the troubles were finally patched up.

American troops had little difficulty in occupying Ambos Camarines
and other Bicol provinces, owing to the hatred in which the Tagalogs
were held.


Conditions in the important island of Mindoro may be inferred from
the fact that it became necessary for its governor to issue a decree
on November 10, 1898, which contained the following provisions among

"2nd. The local presidentes of the pueblos will not permit any one
belonging to their jurisdiction to pass from one pueblo to another nor
to another province without the corresponding pass, with a certificate
upon its back that the taxes of its holder have been paid.

"3rd. That from this date no one will be allowed to absent himself from
his pueblo without previously informing its head who will give him an
authorization on which will be noted the approval of the presidente
of the pueblo. . . .

"5th. Persons arriving from a neighboring town or province in any
pueblo of this province will immediately present themselves before the
presidente of said pueblo with their passes. He will without charge,
stamp them with his official seal." [319]

These are peculiar regulations for a province which is at peace,
and as Major Taylor has truly remarked:--

"The form of liberty contemplated by the founders of the Philippine
Republic was not considered incompatible with a very considerable
absence of personal freedom." [320]

Later, when travelling through Mindoro, I was told how an unfortunate
legless Spaniard, who had been running a small shop in one of the towns
and who was on good terms with his Filipino neighbors, was carried
out into the plaza, seated in a chair, and then cut to pieces with
bolos in the presence of his wife and children who were compelled to
witness the horrible spectacle!

On this same trip Captain R.G. Offley, then the American Governor
of Mindoro, told me while I was at Pinamalayan that the people there
were greatly alarmed because a murderer, liberated under the amnesty,
had returned and was prowling about in that vicinity. This man had a
rather unique record. He had captured one of his enemies, and after
stripping him completely had caused the top of an immense ant-hill to
be dug off. The unfortunate victim was then tied, laid on it, and the
earth and ants which had been removed were shovelled back over his
body until only his head projected. The ants did the rest! Another
rather unusual achievement of this interesting individual was to tie
the feet of one of his enemies to a tree, fasten a rope around his
neck, hitch a carabao to the rope, and start up the carabao, thus
pulling off the head of his victim. Yet this man and others like
him were set at liberty under the amnesty proclamation, in spite of
the vigorous protests of the Philippine Commission, who thought that
murderers of this type ought to be hanged.

And now I wish to discuss briefly an interesting and highly
characteristic statement of Judge Blount. In referring to conditions
in the Visayan Islands, he says:--

"Of course the Southern Islands were a little slower. But as Luzon
goes, so go the rest. The rest of the archipelago is but the tail to
the Luzon kite. Luzon contains 4,000,000 of the 8,000,000 people out
there, and Manila is to the Filipino people what Paris is to the French
and to France. Luzon is about the size of Ohio, and the other six
islands that really matter, are in size mere little Connecticuts and
Rhode Islands, and in population mere Arizonas or New Mexicos." [321]

This paragraph is no exception to the general rule that the statements
of this author will not bear analysis. One of the other six islands
that he says really matters is Samar. Its area is 5031 square
miles. The area of Rhode Island is 1250 square miles. The smallest of
the six islands named is Bohol, with an area of 1411 square miles. It
cannot be called a little Rhode Island.

As regards population, Arizona has 122,931. It is hardly proper to
call either Panay with a population of 743,646, Cebu with 592,247,
Negros with 460,776, Leyte with 357,641, Bohol with 243,148 or even
Samar with only 222,690, a mere Arizona, and New Mexico with 195,310
is also a bit behind.

Luzon really has an area of 40,969 square miles and a population
of 3,798,507. [322] What Blount is pleased to call "the tail to the
Luzon kite," is made up as follows:--

Island Area (Square Miles) Population
Samar 5,031 222,690
Negros 4,881 460,776
Panay 4,611 743,646
Leyte 2,722 357,641
Cebu 1,762 592,247
Bohol 1,411 243,148
Totals 20,419 2,620,148

Even so, the tail is a trifle long and heavy for the kite, but if we
are going to compare Luzon with "the Southern Islands," by which Blount
can presumably only mean the rest of the archipelago, why not really do
it? The process involves nothing more complicated than the subtraction
of its area and population from those of the archipelago as a whole.

Area (Square Miles) Population
Philippines 115,026 7,635,426
Luzon 40,969 3,798,507
Difference 74,057 3,836,919

Performing this operation, we discover that the tail would fly away
with the kite, as Luzon has less than half of the total population
and only a little more than a third of the total area.

To compare the area or the population of one large island with those of
individual small ones, in determining the relative importance of the
former in the country of which it makes up a part, is like comparing
the area and population of a great state with those of the individual
counties going to make up other states.

Blount resorts to a similar questionable procedure in trying to show
the insignificance of Mindoro and Palawan. There are an island of
Mindoro and a province of Mindoro; an island of Palawan and a province
of Palawan. In each case the province, which includes numerous small
islands, as well as the large one from which it takes its name, is
much larger and more populous than is the main island, and obviously
it is the province with which we are concerned.

Even if Blount wished to limit discussion to the Christian natives
commonly called Filipinos, his procedure is still wholly unfair. Of
these there are 3,575,001 in Luzon and 3,412,685 in the other
islands. In other words, the Filipino population is almost equally
divided between the two regions.

As he would not have found it convenient to discuss the conditions
which arose in Mindanao under Insurgent rule, he attempts to show
that no political importance attaches to them. In the passage above
quoted he does not so much as mention either Mindoro or Palawan
(Paragua). Elsewhere, however, he attempts to justify his action by
making the following statements:--

"The political or governmental problem being now reduced from 3141
islands to eleven, the last three [323] of the nine contained in the
above table may also be eliminated as follows: [324]--

"Mindoro, the large island just south of the main bulk of Luzon,
pierced by the 121st meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, is
thick with densely wooded mountains and jungle over a large part
of its area, has a reputation of being very unhealthy (malarious),
is also very sparsely settled, and does not now, nor has it ever,
cut any figure politically as a disturbing factor." [325]

Apart from the fact that the political problem involved in the
government of the important islands which Blount would thus leave
out of consideration, is not solved by ignoring it, certain of his
further statements cannot be allowed to go uncorrected.

The allegation that the island has never "cut any figure politically
as a disturbing factor" is absurd. In the Spanish days its forests
furnished a safe refuge for evildoers who were from time to time
driven out of Cavite and Batangas. A large proportion of its
Filipino inhabitants were criminals who not infrequently organized
regular piratical expeditions and raided towns in Masbate, Romblon
and Palawan. The people of the Cuyos and Calamianes groups lived
in constant terror of the Mindoro pirates, and _tulisanes_, [326]
who paid them frequent visits. I myself have been at Calapan, the
capital of the province, when the Spanish officials did not dare to
go without armed escort as far as the outskirts of the town for fear
of being captured and held for ransom. During considerable periods
they did not really pretend to exercise control over the criminal
Filipinos inhabiting the west coast of the island. Conditions as
to public order were worse in Mindoro than anywhere else in the
archipelago north of Mindanao and Jolo.

No less absurd are Blount's suggestions as to the general
worthlessness of the island. There are high mountains in its
interior, and there are great stretches of the most fertile land in
the world along its coast. Its northern and eastern portions have
a very heavy and evenly distributed rainfall, and are admirably
suited to the growing of cocoanuts, hemp, cacao, rubber and similar
tropical products. In this region rice flourishes wonderfully without
irrigation. There was a time in the past when Mindoro was known as
"the granary of the Philippines." Later its population was decimated
by constant Moro attacks, and cattle disease destroyed its draft
animals, with the result that the cultivated lands were abandoned
to a considerable extent and again grew up to jungle, from which,
however, it is easy to redeem them. The west coast has strongly marked
wet and dry seasons similar to those at Manila. There is abundant
water available for irrigation, furnished by streams which never run
dry. Much of the soil is rich, and will grow the best of sugar in
large quantity. The forests, which now cover extensive areas, abound
in fine woods, and produce rubber and other valuable gums. There are
outcroppings of lignite at numerous points on the island, and in the
vicinity of Mt. Halcon is found the finest marble yet discovered in
this part of the world. Gold is also present in some quantity at
various places. In short, Mindoro is naturally one of the richest
islands in the Archipelago. If its tillable lands were under high
cultivation, it would support half the population of the Philippines.


In endeavouring to show that Palawan is without political importance
Blount has followed precisely the procedure which he adopted in the
case of Mindoro. First, he gives the area and the population of the
island, when he should concern himself with the province. The area of
the island is 4027 square miles; that of the province, 5238 square
miles. According to the 1903 census, the population of the island
was 10,918, while that of the province, which contains such thickly
settled and fertile islands as Cuyo and Agutaya, was 39,582. Of course,
if one wishes to emphasize the unimportance of Palawan, it is more
convenient to take the figures for the island.

Blount says:--

"Paragua, [327] the long narrow island seen at the extreme lower
left of any map of the archipelago, extending northeast-southwest
at an angle of about 45 deg., is practically worthless, being fit for
nothing much except a penal colony, for which purpose it is in fact
now used." [328]

I must deny the truthfulness of his statements, even if we limit
our consideration to the island of Palawan. Only 159 of its 4027
square miles are utilized for a penal colony. Its natural wealth
is simply enormous. It is covered throughout the greater part of
its extent with virgin forest containing magnificent stands of the
best timber. Damar, a very valuable varnish gum, is abundant in its
mountains. Much of the so-called "Singapore cane," so highly prized by
makers of rattan and wicker furniture, comes from its west coast. It
is a well-watered island, and its level plains, which receive the
wash from its heavily forested mountains, have a soil of unsurpassed
fertility in which cocoanuts come to bearing in five years or even
less. Incidentally, the greater part of the island lies south of
the typhoon belt. Malampaya Sound, situated near its northwestern
extremity, is one of the world's great harbors. But should we wish to
rid ourselves of this wonderful island, I may say, without violating
any official confidences, that there was a time when Germany would
have been more than pleased to take it off our hands; and indeed our
British friends, who were sufficiently interested in it to survey it
some decades ago, might possibly be prevailed upon to accept it!

There are good reasons why Blount thought it convenient to make it
appear that Palawan was politically unimportant. Shortly after the
outbreak of hostilities with Spain the Filipino garrison at Puerto
Princesa mutinied, and the things which they did were not nice. Among
others, they liberated the convicts, Puerto Princesa being at the time
a penal colony, and the latter, together with some of the soldiers,
started up the east coast of the island, leaving a trail of devastation
in their wake. The prosperous town of Tinitian was abandoned as they
approached it, and was so thoroughly cleaned out by them that it has
never since been reoccupied except by a few stragglers. Other towns,
including Tay-Tay, were raided.

On November 27, 1899, Aguinaldo's representative in this province wrote
him that the inhabitants were preparing to kill all the Tagalogs and
revolt against Insurgent rule. [329] Later when some of the latter
were anxious to get the people of one of the northern settlements to
take them on a short boat journey, these Visayans consented to give
them a lift only on condition that they first allow themselves to be
bound, and then took them out to sea and threw them overboard.

Another thing which Blount would have found it inconvenient to discuss
is the conduct of the people of Cuyo, at one time the capital of
the province. On this island, which contains but twenty-one square
miles, there were in 1903 no less than 7545 inhabitants. They hated
and feared the people of Mindoro and sent messengers to Iloilo,
after the Americans had occupied that place, to beg for a garrison of
American troops, and to say that if furnished with an American flag
they themselves would defend it. For some reason they were not given
the flag, and the sending of a garrison was long delayed. Having grown
weary of waiting, they made an American flag of their own, hoisted
it, and when the Insurgents from Mindoro came intrenched themselves
and defended it. They were actually being besieged when the American
garrison finally arrived. Here is one more fact inconsistent with
the theory that the Filipino people were a unit at Aguinaldo's back,
and of course the easiest way to get around such an occurrence is to
forget to mention it!


And now we come to the great island of Mindanao, which all but equals
Luzon in size, having an area of 36,292 square miles as against the
40,969 of Luzon. Blount's first mention of it is peculiar.

In connection with the words "the other six islands that really
matter," in the passage above cited on page 116 of his book, he has
inserted a foot-note reading as follows:--

"The six main Visayan Islands. Mohammedan Mindanao is always dealt
with in this book as a separate and distinct problem." [330]

But it was hardly possible for him to dismiss this great island, which
is a little continent by itself, quite so cavalierly and I will quote
the more important of his further and later statements regarding it:--

"While the great Mohammedan island of Mindanao, near Borneo, with its
36,000 square miles of area, requires that the Philippine archipelago
be described as stretching over more than one thousand miles from
north to south, still, inasmuch as Mindanao only contains about 500,000
people all told, half of them semi-civilized, the governmental problem
it presents has no more to do with the main problem of whether, if
ever, we are to grant independence to the 7,000,000 Christians of the
other islands, than the questions that have to be passed on by our
Commissioner of Indian Affairs have to do with the tariff. Mindanao's
36,000 square miles constitute nearly a third of the total area of
the Philippine archipelago, and more than that fraction of the 97,500
square miles of territory to a consideration of which our attention
is reduced by the process of elimination above indicated. Turning
over Mindanao to those crudely Mohammedan semi-civilized Moros would
indeed be 'like granting self-government to an Apache reservation
under some local chief,' as Mr. Roosevelt, in the campaign of 1900,
ignorantly declared it would be to grant self-government to Luzon
under Aguinaldo. Furthermore, the Moros, so far as they can think,
would prefer to owe allegiance to, and be entitled to recognition as
subjects of, some great nation. Again, because the Filipinos have no
moral right to control the Moros, and could not if they would, the
latter being fierce fighters and bitterly opposed to the thought of
possible ultimate domination by the Filipinos, the most uncompromising
advocate of the consent of the governed principles has not a leg to
stand on with regard to Mohammedan Mindanao. Hence I affirm that as
to it, we have a distinct separate problem, which cannot be solved in
the lifetime of anybody now living. But it is a problem which need not
in the least delay the advent of independence for the other fourteen
fifteenths of the inhabitants of the archipelago--all Christians living
on islands north of Mindanao. It is true that there are some Christian
Filipinos on Mindanao, but in policing the Moros, our government
would of course protect them from the Moros. If they did not like our
government, they could move to such parts of the islands as we might
permit to be incorporated in an ultimate Philippine republic. Inasmuch
as the 300,000 or so Moros of the Mohammedan island of Mindanao and
the adjacent islets called Jolo (the 'Sulu archipelago,' so called,
'reigned over' by the sultan of comic opera fame) originally
presented, as they will always present, a distinct and separate
problem, and never did have anything more to do with the Philippine
insurrection against us than their cousins and co-religionists over
in near-by Borneo, the task which confronted Mr. Root in the fall of
1899, to wit, the suppression of the Philippine insurrection, meant
practically the subjugation of one big island, Luzon, containing half
the population and one third of the total area of the archipelago,
and six neighbouring small ones, the Visayan Islands." [331]

Now as a matter of fact Mindanao is by no means Mohammedan. The
Mohammedan Malays, called Moros, are found here and there along the
western coast of the Zamboanga peninsula and along the southern coast
of the island as far as Davao. They also extend far up the Cotabato
River and occupy the Lake Lanao region, but that is all. The interior
of the island is for the most part occupied by the members of a
number of non-Christian, non-Mohammedan tribes, while its northern
and eastern coasts are inhabited by Visayan Filipinos, of whom there
are many in Zamboanga itself.

While, as Blount says, the Moros took no part in the insurrection
against the United States, the Visayans of Mindanao did, and we had
some lively tussles with them in Misamis and in Surigao.

It is indeed unthinkable that we should turn Mindanao over to the
Moros. Abandonment of it by us would in the end result in this,
as they would take possession of the entire island in the course of
time. Neither the other wild tribes nor the Filipinos could stand
against them. I heartily agree with the conclusion that we must retain
this island for many years before we can settle the problems which it
presents. It is further true that we might retain it and still grant
independence to the remainder of the Philippine Archipelago, but if
we are to eliminate Mindanao from consideration because the Filipinos
have no right to control the Moros, of whom there are in reality
only about a hundred and fifty-four thousand [332] on the island,
and could not if they would, what about Luzon, where there are in
reality no less than four hundred and sixty thousand non-Christians,
[333] many of whom, like the Ifugaos, Bontoc Igorots, Kalingas and
wild Tingians, are fierce fighters and practically all of whom are
bitterly opposed to the thought of possible ultimate domination by
Filipinos, while most of them welcome American rule?

Have the Filipinos any more moral right to control them than they
have to control the Moros? Could they control them if they would? And
has the most uncompromising advocate of the consent of the governed
principle "a leg to stand on" in the one case if he lacks it in
the other?

The Filipino politicians are not ready to admit that Filipinos could
not satisfactorily govern Moros and have even alleged that they did
so govern them during the period now under discussion. Let us examine
the facts.

Aguinaldo attempted to enter into negotiations with the Sultan of Jolo,
addressing him as his "great and powerful brother," [334] but this
brother does not seem to have received his advances with enthusiasm,
and the other brothers proceeded to do things to the Filipinos at
the first opportunity.

Jose Roa in writing Aguinaldo on January 26, 1899, of conditions in
the province of Misamis says: [335]--

"Hardly had said evacuation of Iligan taken place on the 28th of
last month, when the Moros or Mohammedans of the interior, our mortal
enemies since times immemorial on account of their religious fanaticism
which they carry to extremes, as do their co-religionists in Europe
and Asia, and on account of their objection to leading a civilized
life, began to harry the town of Iligan which is the nearest town
to the lake around which is the densest Moro population. Due to the
prestige of the local president of that town, Senor Carloto Sariol,
and the energy that he showed, after some days of constant firing
against groups who descended upon the suburbs of the town, he was
successful in having them abandon their hostile attitude and promise
to live in peace and harmony with said towns, this verbal agreement
being participated in by the Dattos of some settlements who did not
wish to treat with the Spanish Government.

"Being acquainted nevertheless with these people, we know by experience
that the more friendly they appear, the more we must watch against
them, because as soon as they find a good opportunity they do not
fail to take advantage of it to enter the towns for the purpose of
sacking them and kidnapping as many of their inhabitants as possible
in order to reduce them to slavery."

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