True Version of the Philippine Revolution
By Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy

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Public Domain Books

Chapter II. The Treaty of Biak-na-bató

Don Pedro Alejandro Paterno (who was appointed by the Spanish Governor-General sole mediator in the discussion of the terms of peace) visited Biak-na-bató several times to negotiate terms of the Treaty, which, after negotiations extending over five months, and careful consideration had been given to each clause, was finally completed and signed on the 14th December, 1897, the following being the principal conditions:–

(1) That I would, and any of my associates who desired to go with me, be free to live in any foreign country. Having fixed upon Hongkong as my place of residence, it was agreed that payment of the indemnity of $800,000 (Mexican) should be made in three installments, namely, $400,000 when all the arms in Biak-na-bató were delivered to the Spanish authorities; $200,000 when the arms surrendered amounted to eight hundred stand; the final payment to be made when one thousand stand of arms shall have been handed over to the authorities and the Te Deum sung in the Cathedral in Manila as thanksgiving for the restoration of peace. The latter part of February was fixed as the limit of time wherein the surrender of arms should be completed.

(2) The whole of the money was to be paid to me personally, leaving the disposal of the money to my discretion and knowledge of the understanding with my associates and other insurgents.

(3) Prior to evacuating Biak-na-bató the remainder of the insurgent forces under Captain-General Primo de Rivera should send to Biak-na-bató two General of the Spanish Army to be held as hostages by my associates who remained there until I and a few of my compatriots arrived in Hongkong and the first installment of the money payment (namely, four hundred thousand dollars) was paid to me.

(4) It was also agreed that the religious corporations in the Philippines be expelled and an autonomous system of government, political and administrative, be established, though by special request of General Primo de Rivera these conditions were not insisted on in the drawing up of the Treaty, the General contending that such concessions would subject the Spanish Government to severe criticism and even ridicule.

General Primo de Rivera paid the first installment of $400,000 while the two Generals were hold as hostages in Biak-na-bató.

We, the revolutionaries, discharged our obligation to surrender our arms, which were over 1,000 stand, as everybody knows, it having been published in the Manila newspapers. But the Captain General Primo de Rivera failed to fulfill the agreement as faithfully as we did. The other installments were never paid; the Friars were neither restricted in their acts of tyranny and oppression nor were any steps taken to expel them or secularize the religious Orders; the reforms demanded were not inaugurated, though the Te Deumwas sung. This failure of the Spanish authorities to abide by the terms of the Treaty caused me and my companions much unhappiness, which quickly changed to exasperation when I received a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Don Miguel Primo de Rivera (nephew and private Secretary of the above-named General) informing me that I and my companions could never return to Manila.

Was the procedure of this special representative of Spain just?


Introduction  •  Chapter I. The Revolution of 1896  •  Chapter II. The Treaty of Biak-na-bató  •  Chapter III. Negotiations  •  Chapter IV. The Revolution of 1898  •  Chapter V. The Dictatorial Government  •  Chapter VI. The First Triumphs  •  Chapter VII. The Philippine Flag  •  Chapter VIII. Expedition to Bisayas  •  Chapter IX. The Steamer “Compania de Filipinas”  •  Chapter X. The Proclamation of Independence  •  Chapter XI. The Spanish Commission  •  Chapter XII. More American Troops  •  Chapter XIII. The Thirteenth of August  •  Chapter XIV. First Clouds  •  Chapter XV. Vain Hopes  •  Chapter XVI. The American Commission  •  Chapter XVII. Impolitic Acts  •  Chapter XVIII. The Mixed Commission  •  Chapter XIX. Outbreak of Hostilities  •  Notes