While the source PDF document had OCR (optical character recognition) properties, not all the text could be extracted accurately. Thus, large parts of this report had to be manually transcribed for the purposes of accuracy.
|A rural scene during the American colonial era in the Philippines. Image digitally extracted from the 1906 publication “America's Insular Possessions.”|
TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
for the protection of the people, there had been a reconcentration of the inhabitants from the remote barrios into the poblaciones, or settled portions of the communities, and as a result thereof, that more than 500 firearms had been captured by the governmental forces, consisting of the insular constabulary and companies of the Regular Army and scouts detailed for that purpose; that so many of the outlaw leaders and their followers had been killed or captured that troops of the Regular Army were deemed no longer necessary and were withdrawn from the provinces; that the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus had been revoked because the people, being relieved from the terror inspired by the outlaw leaders, were no longer disposed to harbor them and were willing to give information as to their whereabouts. It was also stated that one of the most desperate of the outlaw leaders, Felizardo, had finally been killed. This statement, however, was afterwards found to be erroneous. Subsequently, he was killed by some of his own followers who were in the employment of the insular constabulary, and his body was brought to Manila within a few hours and an inquest held over it by competent authority appointed by the governor-general, and thirty or forty witnesses, among them many of his former followers, the wife of Governor Trias, whom he had abducted and long held in confinement; Governor Cailles, of the province of Laguna, under whom at one time Felizardo had been a lieutenant, and many of his old neighbors, were examined, all of whom without exception instantly identified the body as that of Felizardo. The remaining outlaws in the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Batangas, and Cavite were in hiding, and among them were some of the most wicked and desperate men ever at large in the Philippine Islands, including Sakay, the self-styled president of the Filipino republic, Carreon, his vice-president, Villafuerte, his lieutenant-general, Montalon, who styled himself “the lieutenant-general of the army of liberation” and long the leader of the outlaws in the provinces of Cavite and Batangas, and De Vega, with small bands of men and a few guns. As long as these men remained at large, they constituted leaders to whom the lawless and disaffected might resort and the seeds of further disturbance were constantly available.
Before the arrests were made in the province of Cavite, each of the outlaws signed and swore to an affidavit stating that his surrender was unconditional and had been made without any promise on that part of the government than that the person surrendering should receive a fair trial. The trials were ultimately assigned by the court for the 17th day of September, at Cavite, before Judge Villamor, the Filipino judge of the district in which the crimes had mainly been committed — nearly all of them have been guilty of shocking murders and mutilations, such as are detailed in our last annual report. These surrenders in a large degree complete the tranquilization of the whole island of Luzon, except as hereinafter stated. Not all the guns held by the followers of these robber chiefs have been surrendered, but the number not surrendered is very small, and they are gradually being brought in, one by one, to the constabulary officials. The effect of these surrenders has been immediate and marked increasing in the area of land under cultivation in the two provinces of Cavite and Batangas, the people no longer fearing robbery or molestation while in pursuit of their employments or the devastation of their homes, the carrying away of their wives and daughters, and the destruction of all the fruits of their industry at the hands of outlaws. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo has himself, since these surrenders, leased from the bureau of lands 500 hectares of land on the remote portion of one of the “friar” estates, in a district close to the mountains hitherto infested by the outlaws. He himself states that he believes now that there will be very little trouble from this source. For several years past, the products of his hacienda near the town of Imus, in the province of Cavite, has been but little, owing to the difficulty of securing labor, by reason of the fear of ladrones and also by reason of the reconcentration which it had been necessary to enforce in some of the towns, as stated in our former report.
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Salvador may constitute, and that never before within the history of modern times has this great island been in so peaceful and orderly a condition as now. The agriculturalist may sow and gather his harvest in safety, and the traveler may come and go throughout practically every part of the island unguarded and as safe as he would be in any rural regions of the United States.
[Pages skipped after the previous excerpt. The following excerpts is from a section entitled “Railroads.”]
Notes and references:
1 “Report of the Philippine Commission to the War Department, Part 2,” published 1907 by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, in Washington D.C. by the Government Printing Office.