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The Philippine-American War Documents

Pedro Paterno's Proclamation of War

June 2, 1899

To the Filipino people:

No one is ignorant of the fact that since we took the direction of the Ship of State we have sacrificed ourselves to the services of the government of our republic, offering ourselves as victims for the sake of peace without abandoning the sacred idea of liberty and independence which fires our country; but the North Americans refuse to suspend hostilities, asked for by us so that we may consult the National Assembly, seat of free popular sovereignty. The Commissioners returning from Manila so declare.

Since it is their desire, may the responsibility of the war and its consequences fall on the great nation of the United States of America.

We have done our duty as patriots and human beings, showing the great powers of the world that the present cabinet has the diplomacy necessary to protect our casue as well as the arms required to defend our rights.

The Council of Government, deciding to preserve our republican institutions, national independence, and the presidency of Don Emilio Aguinaldo, in spite of the Americans, who intended to construct upon our ruins the edifice of tyranny, has concluded to continue the war, preserving unhurt in their spirit and letter our constitution and laws, which we have conqured with so much blood and such sacrifices.

To war, then, beloved brothers, to war!

In order that the people be free it is necessary that they be brave. Rich and poor, learned and ignorant, beloved Filipinos, hasten to unite to save our native land from insult and ignominy, from punishments and scaffollds, from the sad and fatal inheritance of enslaved generations.

The God of War, in whom we have put our faith and hoppe, will help us.

Confusion, internal and international dissensions and conflicts, rend the invading army; its volunteers, being aware that we are in the right, fight without enthusiasm and only in compliance with their forced military duty. Within the American nation itself, a great political party asks for the recognition of our rights, and the Divine Providence watches over the justice of our case.

Forward, Filipinos, and the sun of vistory will shine upon us.

    Long live the Filipino sovereign people !!
    Long live national independence !!
    Long live the liberating army !!
    Long live Don Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the Republic !!

Source of Treaty Texts: The Statutes At Large of the United States of America from March 1897 to March 1899 and Recent Treaties, Conventions, Executive Proclamations, and The Concurrent Resolutions of the Two Houses of Congress, Volume XXX, published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1899. Copy courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress, Asian Division.

Document copy researched by Madge Kho of Somerville, MA 

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