Emilio Aguinaldo's Second Proclamation of January 5, 1899
Proclamation from the president of the revolutionary government to my brothers, the Filipinos, all the honorable consults, and other foreigners.
Maj. Gen. E. S. Otis's proclamation published yesterday in the Manila papers obliges me to circulate the present one, in order that all who read and understand it may know of my most solemn protest against said proclamation, for I am moved by my duty and my conscience before God, by my political obligations with my beloved people, by my official and private relations to the North American nations.
In the above-mentioned proclamation General Otis calls himself "Military governor in the Philippines," and I protest one and a thousand times, with all my energy in my soul, against such an authority.
I solemnly proclaim that I have never had, either at Singapore or at Hongkong or here in the Philippines, any verbal or written contract for the recognition of American sovereignty over this cherished soil.
On the contrary, I say that I returned to these islands, conveyed by an American man of war, on the 19th of May of last year, with the firm and clear purpose of fighting the Spaniards in order to reconquer our liberty and independence, and so I expressed myself in the declaration made on the 24th of said month of May. Thus I published it in a proclamation directed to the Philippine people on the 12th of last June, when in my natal town, Kawit, I for the first time unfurled our sacred national flag, as a holy emblem of that sublime aspiration; and, lastly, the American general, Merritt, predecessor of Mr. E. S. Otis, has confirmed that same thing in a proclamation addressed to the Philippine people days before the surrender of the town of Manila was proposed to General Jaudenes, which proclamation clearly and decisively stated that the land and naval forces of the United States came to give us our freedom and to displace the bad Spanish Government.
In a word, our countrymen and foreigners are witnesses that the land and naval forces of the United States existing here have recognized by act the belligerency of the Philippines, not only respecting but also doing public honor to the Filipino banner, which triumphantly traversed our seas in view of foreign nations represented here by their respective consuls.
As in his proclamation General Otis alludes to some instructions issued by His Excellency the President of the United States relative ot the administration of affairs in the Philippines, I solemnly protest in the name of God, root and source of all justice and all right, who has visibly acceded me the power to direct my dear brethren in the difficult task of our regeneration, against this intrusion of the United States Government in the administration of these islands.
In the same manner I protest in the name of the Filipino people against the referred to intrusion. For when they gave me their votes in confidence, electing me, although unworthy to be so, president of the nation, they imposed upon me the duty of sustaining unto death its liberty and independence.
And, in conclusion, I protest against such an unexpected act which treats of American sovereignty in these islands in the face of all the antecedents that I have in my possession referring to my relations with the American authorities, which are unequivocal testimony that the United States did not take me out of Hongkong to make war against Spain for their own benefit, but for the benefit of our liberty and independence, to which end said authorities verbally promised me their active support and efficacious cooperation.
So that you all my understand it, my beloved brothers, it is the principle of liberty and absolute independence that has been our noble ambition for the purpose of obtaining the desired object, with a force given by the conviction, now very widespread, not to retrace the path of glory that we have passed over.
MALOLOS, January 5, 1899.