The Principal Orders of the Katipunan SimplifiedSeptember 14, 2019
This is a simplified version of the Principal Orders of the KKK (Dakilang Kautusan)
Why we should separate from Spain
We have been impelled to separate from Spain by her abusive behavior, hard-heartedness, treachery and other degradations that no Mother should inflict upon any child, such as:
- The imposition of high taxes on us, on our bodies, our produce, or our property
- The Spanish squeeze out our meager profit from our work so that we are kept weak and prevented from bettering ourselves.
- There are high tariffs on any imported goods.
- The refusal to permit our country from entering treaties of foreign trade with other powers like America.
As a consequence, our initiative is stifled and we remain in poverty.
- If we are unable to pay taxes due to hardship or lack of money, our possessions are confiscated.
This is especially true if investment our industry produces no profit and even deepens our debt. There is no investigation into whether there was any profit, nor any exemption granted if there was a loss.
- Spain allows our means of livelihood to be snatched away by any nation, especially the Chinese.
We cannot learn or glean any enlightenment from the Chinese regarding decent behaviour, but only trickery, thievery, and misery.
- Spain does not treat us like her children, except in relation to punishment for any misdemeanor.
- Spain does not grant us any privileges like those she gives to her children, who are the only ones she loves.
- Spain does not create positions with salaries that are high unless they are for the Spanish, while our monthly pay is meager.
- Spain does not like us to participate in congresses or for us to have representatives in the Cortes.
Those representatives could:
- defend and assert our rights in our name,
- denounce the mistaken decisions of the leaders,
- relate how we are oppressed by them, and
- submit proposals for the welfare of our country
- Spain does not give us any freedom to produce or distribute any book or document in our language that would open our eyes to beneficial pursuits and enlighten our thinking on the Arts and Sciences and other things that are not holy.
We remain in blindness. We are prevented from glimpsing reason and other virtues.
- Any complaint against the King or the enumeration of the mistakes, abuses of the Spanish in this country are deemed illicit.
- Spain denounces as inimical to the Catholic Religion anyone among us who circulates writings that expose and protest against the errors committed by that organization.
- Spain halts or delays whatever plans come from this land.
- Spain does not require the Spanish here to observe the laws given to order our affairs, so that any guilt is entirely ours.
- The publication of orders on the newly discovered territories, or unsubjugated people like those of Jolo.
One of these orders is the new Decree which gives still more power to the High Chief here. It says that whenever something disturbs the Spanish, these natives are immediately charged and prosecuted on some pretext:
- those who have some accomplished learning
- those who feels the suffering of all
- Spain does not allow us to publish any newspaper, especially in our local language, that does not go through the Censor.
This is why the news about the abuses committed here does not reach others, especially in Spain.
- Gross injustice, in the Office of the Ruler, where the underlings and copy clerks are all Tagalogs and the Officials and Chiefs are solely Spaniards, even though few of these chiefs know what to do.
The majority do not even turn up and are out just roaming around, so the clerks are the ones left to attend to their duties. If necessary, they just add their endorsement or signature. What a great way to earn a salary!
- The pretensions of the enlightened men (ilustrados) who have education and wealth have coarse habits.
If the Tagalogs join any meeting with the Spaniards, they are counted as unworthy.
But if the Spaniards are the ones who visit Tagalog homes they expect to be received with all due honor and respect, and to be treated almost as if they are Gods.
They address us familiarly as “Tu”, and even insult us by calling us “blacks” or “monkeys.”
- Spain honors as glorious conduct the pitiless cruelties of the officers of the Guardia Civil
- If sometimes one of these prisoners dies, without any justice, it will always be pretended that the victim was forced to admit the denunciations or imputations against them.
If they get a confession by such means, the case will be referred to the corresponding Judge or whatever authority and these Chiefs will accept that confession.
- Spain allows the friars to fornicate with women
In the provinces, it is rare for the majority not to have children or to not have violated the young women.
- The parents and other relatives of these women who detest this conduct have to say immediately that it did not really happen, because otherwise they will be deported far away.
We consider those wicked and perverse acts as reasons for separating this Archipelago from Spain.
The most important, most honorable and sublime duties of any enlightened Power are to:
- defend her country,
- safeguard its welfare, and
- shed blood and even life for her country, brothers and children so that they are not subjugated, oppressed and enslaved by another ruler.
Men depend on the God the Father to achieve their desires.
The Almighty does not mandate any one of His creations to oppress and trample on another, particularly if this other has given no cause.
To defend and love one’s country is not a crime, especially if she is suffocated and enslaved by her rulers, as is happening now.
A people whose interests, needs, and genuine desires are under overwhelming attack has just cause to bring down such rulers. It is not lawless or treasonous, but a response forced by the flame of hardship. The defense of true reason is what arouses the people.
For over 300 years, this unfortunate Tagalog people has labored under the dominion of the Spaniards, bearing great humiliation and obeying blindly, even though kept under complete slavery, dragged and submerged in vast hardship, denied loving care, weighed down by heavy burdens, and never allowed to escape.
The manner in which the Spaniard behaves and acts does nothing but wound and hurt the heart of the most peaceful and long-suffering, and whoever has a genuine love for him.
This land has been broken from the stem and withered, and shows no inclination to grow fresh shoots or spring back to life. More precisely (and a sharp mind is needed to comprehend these mysteries), this unfortunate land is like a body of which only a skeleton of fragile bones is left standing, but the body still manages to scratch deeper, and finally it sucks the last of its own flesh so that it lives no more, and so perhaps gains revenge for the oppression it has suffered.
When they were first paying court in order to tread on these Islands she solemnly promised to treat us like her godchildren, to call us brothers, to defend us from all dangers, to clothe our nakedness, and not to talk down to us, but the compact was never honored.
Considering that from the outset, Sp… did not have to incur great expense, or even effort, blood or life in her confiscation and extension of her power in this entire Archipelago, because the subjects at that time greeted her with great humility and received her with full affection on account of her pledges that everybody here would be her Children and Brothers, that they would not be subjugated, and that the compact would not be betrayed.
Considering that Spain has prospered and accumulated not inconsiderable riches as a result of her possession and subjugation of these Islands.
Considering that no Reason can be registered why anybody should seize and confiscate land or possessions that are not hers and that we are the true owners and natives of this oppressed and subjugated land, there is no cause according to true Reason to have any debt as a result of what has happened. Our only desire is to have our own independent and complete sovereignty in these Islands. Moreover, we do not need the interference or direction of people from other lands, because if that happens, like now, the result is frustration, humiliation, enslavement, scorn and slaughter.
Having regard to all the abuses narrated above, which open deep wounds in our heart, and for the reasons enumerated here, we affirm below this document that we are of one accord and resolve to put an end to this enslavement, maltreatment, injustice and many other abuses that this subjugated Archipelago suffers at the hands of its pitiless, ravenous and bestial oppressors.
In order to ensure the success of this momentous and arduous undertaking, we henceforth have a vital duty in whatever we may accomplish with our own strength to place ourselves before the High Tribunal of the Almighty and to request the help of his great strength and power in order that we may be sheltered and succored by true reason.
For the fulfillment of what we have discussed and covenanted, we swear before this Most Respected and Supreme Catipunan that for her, our country; for her wounds, which pain us; for her welfare, which we pledge to defend dearly, that we shall strive and fight come what may for her independence and separation. We shall not allow her to be subjugated again like she is now by any other Power who dares to invade us. In the fulfillment of this sacred cause, we shall respond with our bodies, lives and wealth, now and in the future.
We swear also that we approve and shall put into effect the rules set out below, which have been signed and agreed by the gentlemen at the fore of this Supreme Katipunan. With our respect and salutations, on _______the ________ of January, 1892.
To achieve all that is set out in the foregoing Covenant, we are ordering the entire subject population of these Islands, which in time will be given a proper name, and we are appealing to them with the utmost fervor to implement and accomplish the following decisions:
It is hereby now declared that from this day forward, these Islands are separated from Spain and that no other leadership or authority shall be recognized or acknowledged other than this Supreme Katipunan.
The Supreme Katipunan is constituted forthwith, and will be the body that exercises sovereign power throughout the Archipelago.