In fact in no other way was such a serious matter to be regarded, for if America entrusted to Admiral Dewey the honour of her forces in such a distant region, surely the Filipinos might equally place their trust in the word of honour of such a polished, chivalrous gentleman and brave sailor, in the firm belief, of course, that the great and noble American people would neither reject his decision nor expose to ridicule the illustrious conqueror of the Spanish fleet.
In the same way the not less known and notorious circumstances, that the American Commanders who came soon after the echoes of the Admiral’s victory reached their native shores, namely, Generals Merritt, Anderson and Otis, proclaimed to the people of the Philippines that America did not come to conquer territories, but to liberate its inhabitants from the oppression of Spanish Sovereignty. I would therefore also expose to universal ridicule and contempt the honour of these Commanders if the United States, by repudiating their official and public acts, attempts to annex these islands by conquest.
The American Commission
With such prudent as well as well founded reflections, I succeeded in calming my companions shortly before the official news arrived reporting that the Washington Government, acting on Admiral Dewey’s suggestion, had intimated its intention to despatch a Civil Commission to Manila which would treat with the Filipinos with a view to arriving at a definite understanding respecting the government of the Islands.
Joy and satisfaction now filled the breasts of all the Revolutionists, and I thereupon set about the appointment of a Commission to meet the American Commissioners. At the same time I gave strict orders that the most friendly relations should be maintained with the Americans, enjoining toleration and overlooking of the abuses and atrocities of the soldiery because the effect on the Commissioners would not be good it they found us at loggerheads with their nation’s forces.
But the abases of the Americans were now becoming intolerable. In the market-place at Arroceros they killed a woman and a little boy under the pretext that they were surprising a gambling den, thus causing the greatest indignation of a great concourse of people in that vicinity.
My Adjutants, too, who hold passes permitting them to enter Manila with their uniform and sidearms, were molested by being repeatedly stopped by every patrol they met, it, being perfectly evident that, the intention was to irritate them by exposing them to public ridicule.
While this sort of thing was going on as against our people the American Commanders and officers who visited our camp were treated with the utmost courtesy and consideration.
In Lacoste Street an American guard shot and killed a boy seven years of age for taking a banana from a Chinaman.