Today in Philippine History, January 5, 1899, Aguinaldo issued counter-proclamation to the "Benevolent assimilation declaration"

Saturday December 08, 2012 ()

On January 5, 1899, General Emilio Aguinaldo issued manifestos declaring his opposition to the "benevolent assimilation declaration" of US President McKinley. Aguinaldo declared that "I protest 1001 times with all the energy of my soul against such authority. I solemnly declare that neither in Singapore, Hongkong, nor here in the Philippines did I ever agree, by word or in writing, to recognize the sovereignty of America in this our lovely country".

   General Emilio Aguinaldo
   (General Emilio Aguinaldo)

Aguinaldo issued the declaration after General Otis issued his edited version of the "Benevolent assimilation declaration" in which the American general mentioned that Aguinaldo called him (Otis) the "Military Governor of the Philippine Islands".

In another manifesto issued by Aguinaldo, also on this date, he said that he had relied on the good faith of the American people. He narrated how he come back to the Philippines and told of his early relation with Admiral Dewey, who had encourage him to start the revolt.

He added that "all the Filipinos without distinction of classes took arms, and every province hastened to expel from its frontiers the Spanish forces. This is the explanation of the fact that after the lapse of so short period of time, my government rules the whole of Luzon, the Visayan Islands, and a part of Mindanao".

The only Filipino of any significance who at that time ever proposed annexation with the United States was Jose Ma. Basa, who in one manifesto sent to Aguinaldo, said that he hoped that the Philippines might "be counted as another star in the great republic of the United States".

Reference:
Otis report of 1899, page 78 via The development of Philippine politics, Kalaw, Maximo M, pages 170-171,Manila: P.I., Oriental Commercial Company, Inc., 1927.


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