Ladronism, the term used to connote brigandage at the dawn of the American colonial era in the Philippines, was rampant in southern Luzon, including the Province of Batangas, even after the conclusion of the Philippine-American War in 1902. These ladrones, otherwise known as tulisanes at the time, were either remnants of previous revolutionary bands or just plain outlaws who made a living out of the pillage of civilians even dating back to the days of the Spanish colonial government.
While Batangas had its own share of these outlaw bands, Cavite had even more so because there were so many forested lands to hide. Even as life returned to a semblance of normality in Batangas after the Philippine-American War and many of the outlaws in the province were either killed or captured, it was not entirely safe from brigandage because of its proximity to Cavite.
Early in 1905, in a move to put an end to these groups of outlaws, the then-Governor General of the Philippines Luke E. Wright issued Executive Order No. 6 suspending the writ of habeas corpus in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite. The contents of the executive order are provided below, extracted as it has been from the 1905 Report of the Philippine Commission Part I1.
|Filipino revolutionaries surrendering to the U.S. Army. Image digitally extracted from the 1905 publication “An Observer in the Philippines: Life in Our New Possessions.”
Manila, January 31, 1905.
Whereas, certain bands of ladrones exist in the Provinces of Cavite and Batangas who are levying forced contributions upon the people, who frequently require them upon compulsion to join their bands, and who kill or maim in the most barbarous manner those who fail to respond to their unlawful demands and are therefore terrifying the law-abiding and inoffensive people people of the provinces; and
Whereas, these bands have in several instances attacked police and Constabulary detachments and are in open insurrection against the constituted authorities, and it is believed that the said bands have numerous agents and confederates living within the municipalities of the said provinces; and
Whereas, because of the foregoing conditions, there exists a state of insecurity and terrorism among the people which makes it impossible in the ordinary way to conduct preliminary investigations before justices of the peace and other judicial officers;
In the interest of the public safety, it is hereby ordered that the writ of habeas corpus is from this date suspended in the Provinces of Cavite and Batangas.