Diary of Miguel Saderra Maso

Martes 24 de Mayo 1898

Con esta fecha publica Aguinaldo desde Cavite una proclama y dos decretos dictatoriales.

On this date, Aguinaldo issues a proclamation and two dictatorial decrees from Cavite. In the proclamation, he declares that with the failure to fulfill the conditions under which he accepted the peace the captain general offered him last December, and seeing the government is powerless to battle against certain elements which therefore continually hold back the country’ s progress, he is taking advantage of the altruistic protection of the great American nation to bring together [in his hand] the leadership of all the hosts for the accomplishment of their lofty aspirations. He establishes a dictatorial government which will exercise power through secret decrees for which he alone is responsible until, gaining control of the islands, they form a constituent republican assembly and name a president into whose hands he will resign the command. In one of his decrees, he forbids his men for the duration of the campaign and under pain of death from pillaging, robbing, and all kinds of crimes against all classes of people who have not contributed directly or indirectly in the taking up of arms against the insurrection. In another decree he threatens with execution before a firing squad any individual soldier or enemy who might present himself for a parley without the flag as provided for such cases by international law, and without the credentials and documents accrediting his role and person. If he who undertakes such a mission were an indio, he will be hung by the neck in the plaza for the duration of two hours with a placard saying “Traitor to the Fatherland.” Lieutenant Colonel Buencamino has gone to Cavite Port to confer with Aguinaldo and they say he has been kept as a prisoner.