I also told the Commissioners to tell Archbishop Nozaleda that he was abusing the privileges and authority of his exalted position; that such conduct was at variance with the precepts of His Holiness the Pope, and if he failed to rectify matters I would throw light on the subject in a way which would bring shame and disgrace upon him. I added that I knew he and General Augustin had commissioned four Germans and five Frenchmen to disguise themselves and assassinate me in the vain hope that once I am disposed of the people of the Philippines would calmly submit to the sovereignty of Spain, which was a great mistake, for were I assassinated, the inhabitants of the Philippines would assuredly continue the struggle with greater vigor than ever. Other men would come forward to avenge my death. Lastly I recommended the Commissioners to tell the people in Manila to go on with their trades and industries and be perfectly at ease about our Government, whose actions were guided in the paths of rectitude and justice, and that since there were no more Friars to corrupt the civic virtues, the Filipino Government was now endeavouring to demonstrate its honesty of purpose before the whole world. There was therefore no reason why they should not go on with their business as usual and should not think of leaving Manila and coming into the Camp, where the resources were limited, where already more were employed than was necessary to meet the requirements of the Government and the Army, and where, too, the lack of arms was sorely felt.
The Commissioners asked me what conditions the United States would impose and what benefits they would confer on the Filipinos, to which I replied that is was difficult to answer that question in view of the secret I was in honour bound to keep in respect of the terms of the Agreement, contenting myself by saying that they could learn a good deal by carefully observing the acts, equivalent to the exercise of sovereign rights, of the Dictatorial Government, and especially the occular demonstrations of such rights on the waters of the harbour.
These statements, which were translated by my interpreter, Sr. Leyba, made such an impression on the Admiral that he interrupted, asking—“Why did you reveal our secret?” Do you mean that you do not intend to keep inviolate our well understood silence and watchword?
I said in reply that I had revealed nothing of the secret connected with him and the Consul.
The Admiral then thanked me for my cautiousness, bid we good-by and left with General Anderson, after requesting me to refrain from assaulting Manila because, he said, they were studying a plan to take the Walled City with their troops, leaving the suburbs for the Filipino forces.
He advised me, nevertheless, to study other plans of taking the city in conjunction with their forces, which I agreed to do.