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Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's Manifesto

by Emilio Aguinaldo

5 January, 1899

General Otis is proclaimed Military Governor of the Philippines and I protest a thousand times and with all the force in my soul against such pretension. I solemnly declare that neither in Singapore nor in Hongkong nor in Manila did I agree to recognize verbally nor in writing, American domination over our beloved country. I declare that while I was transported to Cavite on board one of their naval vessels, I immediately made known in a Manifesto addressed to the Filipinos, my determination to wage war against Spain to win our independence. I reiterated this on the day when for the first time, I hoisted our flag, the emblem of our legitimate aspirations.

In the Manifesto of General Merritt addressed to the Filipinos a few days before he called upon the Spaniards to leave Manila, he said that he did not ignore the noble objective that we wanted to attain; he also declared clearly and without any conditions that the land army and navy of the United States came to the Philippines to deliver us, like in Cuba, from the Spanish yoke. Natives and foreigners have witnessed that American soldiers have rendered publicly on many occasions, military honors to our flag, recognizing us as belligerents.

As it is stated in the Proclamation of General Otis that in accordance with the instructions of the President of the United States they will be engaged in the internal administration of the archipelago. I protest in the name of God, based upon justice and law, that I have been visibly designated to lead my countrymen in the task for their regeneration against this American intrusion. I also protest in the name of all the people in the Philippines; these people have chosen me to lead their destiny; my duty is therefore to fight until my last breath for her independence.

For the last time, I protest again, because of my former relations with the Americans who conducted me from Hongkong to Cavite not to wage war against the Spaniards for their benefit but for us, against their unexpected claim to dominate us.

And it is for this, my dear countrymen you should understand that in the end, united by indissoluble ties, we will not retrogress from the glorious way which is open to us.

Emilio Aguinaldo

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