1906 Excerpts from the Report of Philippine Commission on Matters Pertaining to Batangas - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore 1906 Excerpts from the Report of Philippine Commission on Matters Pertaining to Batangas - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

1906 Excerpts from the Report of Philippine Commission on Matters Pertaining to Batangas

The 1906 Report of the Philippine Commission1, which came in three parts, varied from previous reports in that it had three main sections in the first part alone: (a) the Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs; (b) the Report of the Philippine Commission; and (c) the Report of the Governor General of the Philippines. The rest of the entire 1906 report would include numerous appendices, mostly a collection of reports from the different departments and bureaus of government. This particular page contains excerpts from the Report of the Philippine Commission to the War Department, exclusive of items not related to Batangas. The pages are as they were in the original document for the benefit of researchers who may need these for citation purposes.

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.

Rural Scene American Era Philippines
A rural scene during the American colonial era in the Philippines.  Image digitally extracted from the 1906 publication “America's Insular Possessions.”


[p. 29]

Manila, P.I.
September 15, 1906.
SIR: The Philippine Commission has the honor to submit... [parts not related to Batangas skipped from hereon]
conditions as to the peace and order.
In the vicinity of Manila. — In our last report, it was stated that the situation in the provinces of Cavite and Batangas had become such that it had been deemed advisable to invoke the aid of the military authorities in the restoration of good order, to suspend the write of habeas corpus, and to enter upon a vigorous campaign against the outlaws who for many years terrorized the inhabitants of those provinces; that a vigorous campaign had been entered upon; that

[p. 30]

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.

In the month of May, 1906, Colonel Bandholtz, who, in the absence of General Allen, was the acting director of constabulary, entered into negotiations with Dr. Dominador Gomez of Manila, who had long been suspected of being in league with the outlaws in the provinces surrounding the city, by virtue of which Gomez undertook to bring in the bandit chiefs above referred to. Within two months, more or less, he secured the surrender of all the outlaws above named, without other promises or inducement than that they should be protected in coming to Manila and should receive a fair trial.

[p. 31]

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.

[Several paragraphs skipped.]

[p. 32]

It is, therefore, safe to say that the island of Luzon, embracing the provinces of Isabela, Cagayan, Lepanto-Bontoc, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, Cavite, Batangas, Tayabas, Ambos Camarines, Albay, and Sorsogon, is free from disorder and lawless bands, aside from the center of disturbances which Felipe

[p. 33]

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 excerpt is from a section entitled “Railroads.”]

[p. 53]

The Speyer syndicate, which presented two bids for lines in Luzon, one for a line from Dagupan, and the northern terminus of the existing Manila and Dagupan Railway, to Laoag, Ilocos Norte, a distance of 168 miles, for which the full amount of the guarantee was asked for a period of thirty years; the second for lines aggregating 390 miles, which were to run from Manila south and southeast through the provinces of Batangas and Tayabas, and likewise in the southern peninsula through the provinces of Ambos Camarines and Albay, and branch lines from these roads and from the Manila and Dagupan Railway, now existing, the control of which had been secured by the Speyers prior to bidding.
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.

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