A Doctor and Gen. Luna’s Order To Massacre Americans, Feb. 7, 1899: Philippine Archival Index

“Brethren, the country is in danger and we must rise to save it. Europe sees that we are feeble, but we will demonstrate that we know how to do what should be done, shedding our blood for the salvation of our outraged country. Death to the tyrant! War without quarter to the false Americans  who wish to enslave us! Independence or death! ” A. Luna. Malolos, Feb 7, 1899. 

Did General Antonio Luna, with his “Death to the tyrant!” cry really ordered the Filipino troops in Manila to massacre all Americans and foreigners a few days after the Feb 4, 1899 outbreak of the Philippine American war?  While the massacre never materialized, the American authorities conducted an investigation to determine the authenticity of Gen. Luna’s order. Finally, the American provost marshall acknowledged that  Manuel Xerez y Burgos, a medical doctor assigned to the Bilibid prison, provided a copy of the Gen. Luna’s orders. Dr. Xerez y Burgos, although working for the Americans in his assignment as doctor in the Bilibid prison, was also a member of the Filipino revolutionary government. The doctor wrote a letter around July 1901 where he narrated how he acquired an original copy of Gen. Luna’s order and have given said original to the Americans. On June 30, 1901, the Americans showed the order to General Aguinaldo and he acknowledged that the signature was that of Gen. Luna. (Dean C. Worcester, Philippines, Past and Present, 1914, p. 759-761).

Around December, 1901, Dr. Manuel Xerez Burgos was appointed clerk in the bureau of statistics (Report of the Philippine Commission, Vol X, Part 2, 1903, p.900). Later on, Dr. Xerez-Burgos also became a member of the local school board of the city of Manila (Report of the Philippine Commission, Vol X, Part 1, 1903, p 148).

Image: Dr. Manuel Xerez y Burgos, Philippine Commission. Source: University of Michigan.

In the National Archives of the Philippines, the name of Dr. Manuel Xerez y Burgos appears in various documents found at the Spanish section documents under the bundle “Medicos Titulares.” As an example, this last installment (part 6) of Rose Marie E. Mendoza’s “Partial Index of Memorias Medicas and Medicos Titulares” contains documents of Dr. Manuel Xerez y Burgos, medico titulares for Sampaloc, Manila, against Tiburcio de Borja.  What other documents about Dr. Xerez-Burgos can be found in the archives?

Note: This last installment contains 17 bundles with 265 entries.

SDS 166652 (18) 18 items on medicos titulares. Includes a good number of items related to “vacunador.” A rare mention of another woman doctor, Dra. Josefa Arnedo, who died of cholera and whose husband, Basilio Mercado, will receive a monthly pension of $20 (item 13).

SDS 16632 (17). 17 items on medicos titulares. Includes a number of appointment papers, reimbursements for travel expenses of doctor and family.

SDS 16670 (4). Four items on medicos titulares. Mostly related to cases about unauthorized or illegal selling of medicines.

SDS 16671 (16). 16 items on medicos titulares. Includes the provision of $1000 annual compensation for the newly created post of Professor of Medicine at the Microbiology Laboratory of the Institute of Vaccination, 1897 (item 4).

SDS 16669 (20). 20 items on medicos titulares. Processings against medico titulares of Basilan, Francisco Perez y Suero, for violations and abuses (item 3). Payment of $600 to Ramon Lopez, medicos titulares of Bataan, for help in solving cholera (item 7).

SDS 16673 (12).  12 items of medicos titulares. Contains a good number of documents related to the case of Emilio Fernandez, e.g, instructions on an inquest to investigate claims of services rendered by Emilio F. Fernandez, Tayabas, 1884 (item 9) and then case of falsification of records filed against same doctor (item 11) and recovery of honorarium paid (item 10).

SDS 16625 (14). 14 items of medicos titulares. Another item on our doctor from Tayabas, Emilio Fernandez (item 9) and other investigations and cases (item 10, 12,) including one of Dr. Manuel Xeres, medico titulares of Sampaloc, against Tiburcio de Borja, 1 (item 14).  List of medicos munipales for Manila, 1885 (item 13) and list of names of medicos titulares and their merits and services (item 4).

SDS 16672 (1). one item only. related to various medical titles or degrees.

SDS 16675 (9). Contains 9 items on medicos titulares. Includes medical services for prisoners in Cebu (item 1, 2). Another batch of foreigners applying for license to practice medicine in the Philippines (German, Mr. Charles Koeniger, 1880, item 4; Benedicto Maria Poyet, French, 1876, item 7; Leopoldo Engelhard, “Anglo-Americano”, 1868, item 7; Jose O’Conor, 1877, English, item 7).

SDS 16676 (19). Contains 19 items mostly on deportations. Interestingly, includes a report on expenses incurred as a result of espionage activities in Hongkong, 1898 (item 6). One wonders who they were spying on.

SDS 16620 (16). Contains 16 items includes a thick file on recommendations of awardees for the “cruz de primera clase de Ma. Cristina…” (item 16). Another case against Pablo Nada for abuse (item 19).

SDS 16658 (32). Contains 32 items. Includes recognition of a Christian Chinese, Julian Escudero y Choco, for services rendered during cholera epidemic of 1888-1889 in Zamboanga (item 1). In addition, another “cruz de epidemias” awarded to Juan Juille y Casadevan for services rendered duing 1888-1889 cholera in Yloilo (item 11). Various reports on public health conditions or statistics, e.g., Cavite, 1891 (item 28), Corregidor, Sta. Cruz (Laguna), Romblon, Dapitan (item 7). Some interesting medical cases as well, e.g., report of the death of four girls from Bengued, Abra due to “elefantiasis” (item 18). Also, $10,000 of funds released to address an “epidemia variolosa y la peste bubonica, 1894 (item 21). Finally, another case filed by the cura parocco against the medico municipal of Manila (item 16).

SDS 16661 (17). Contains 17 items mainly requests for reimbursements of expenses.

SDS 16663 (15). Contains 15 items. Includes recommendation for the award of “cruz de epidemias” for Ramon Lopez y Flores, medico titulares of Batangas, 1882 (item 5) and for Rafael Monserrat, medico titulares of Ilocos Sur, 1884 (item 13).

SDS 16665 (16 items). Contains 15 items. Again, mostly on reimbursements of expenses.

SDS 16659 (15). Contains 15 items. Mostly on assignments, transfers.

SDS 16668 (24). Contains 24 items. Includes item regarding D. Manuel Xerez y Burgos (items 4).

Download Part 6 (final installment): MEMORIAS MEDICAS 6

Part 1. https://curatormuseo.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/doctors-public-health-in-spanish-colonial-philippines-an-archival-index/

Part 2. https://curatormuseo.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/whos-who-of-medical-doctors-in-spanish-colonial-philippines-archival-index-part-2/

Part 3 https://curatormuseo.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/foreign-medical-doctors-in-spanish-colonial-philippines-archival-index-part-3/

Part 4 https://curatormuseo.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/cholera-doctors-in-spanish-colonial-philippines-archival-index-part-4/

Part 5 https://curatormuseo.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/a-story-of-young-doctor-from-madrid-spanish-colonial-philippines-archival-index-5/


~ by Martin Gaerlan on January 17, 2012.

One Response to “A Doctor and Gen. Luna’s Order To Massacre Americans, Feb. 7, 1899: Philippine Archival Index”

  1. Hello. I have a question. While writing this, you mention that these papers still exist. Can you please let me know if there is a way I can get a hold of them? Manuel Xerez y Burgos is my great-great grandfather, and I am doing family research. Any information is greatly appreciated.


    Helen Webster

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