On March 30, the Americans reached the outskirts of Malolos. At the sight of a white signal of surrender, the Americans broke into cheers but the bearers suddenly broke and ran back into the town. An instant pursuit was begun and the US troops were received with heavy volleys. The Americans camped all night outside Malolos. The battle opened at daybreak.
At the end of the main street of the town, they were met by a barricade of stones from which a hot fire was poured by a few Filipino soldiers. Col. Frederick Funston leaped from his horse and swinging his hat, led the 20th Kansas Volunteers over the barricade and down the streets with terrific yells, firing as they ran.
The Associated Press cabled: “Colonel Funston, always at the front, was the first man in Malolos, followed by a group of dashing Kansans.” But the town was deserted.
President Emilio Aguinaldo had moved his government 30 miles (50 km) farther to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Province.
American losses were 8 killed and 105 wounded. Filipino casualties were unknown.
April 4, 1899: Official Proclamation of American intentions by the U.S. First Philippine Commission
On Jan. 20, 1899, Pres. William McKinley appointed the First Philippine Commission (the Schurman Commission) to investigate conditions in the Philippines and make recommendations. The Commission was presided over by Jacob Gould Schurman, president of Cornell University and a professor of Christian ethics and moral philosophy.
The members of the Commission were Dean C. Worcester (Professor at University of Michigan), Charles Denby (Ambassador to China), Admiral George Dewey (Head of the American Asiatic Squadron), and Maj. Gen. Elwell Otis (Military Governor of the Philippines).
It arrived in Manila on March 4, 1899, a month after the outbreak of the Filipino-American War.
The Schurman Commission interviewed Filipino landlords, money-lenders, and businessmen in Manila without trying to learn the views of the Filipinos who were resisting the Americans.
The Commission deemed that the Americans’ victory at Malolos on March 31, 1899 was more or less decisive; the time was opportune to issue a proclamation to the Filipino people. It would explain the true objectives of the United States in acquiring the Philippines.
On April 4, 1899, the proclamation was posted in the streets of Manila, printed in English, Spanish and Tagalog. It was also distributed in the outlying towns as far as Malolos.
The proclamation read in part:
“The commission desires to assure the people of the Philippine islands of the cordial good will and fraternal feeling which is entertained for them by the President of the United States and by the American people. The aim and object of the American government…is the well-being, prosperity, and happiness of the Philippine people and their elevation and advancement to a position among the most civilized peoples of the world…this felicity and perfection…is to be brought about by the assurance of peace and order…guarantee of civil and religious liberty…establishment of justice…cultivation of letters, science and the liberal and practical arts…development…with the aid of modern mechanical inventions, of the great natural resources of the archipelago…Unfortunately these pure aims and purposes of the American government and people have been misinterpreted to some of the inhabitants…as a consequence the friendly American forces have without provocation or cause been openly attacked…the supremacy of the United States must and will be enforced…those who resist it can accomplish no end other than their own ruin.”
On April 29, 1899 Apolinario Mabini, the head of President Emilio Aguinaldo’s cabinet, sent a message to the Commission asking for a three-month cease-fire in order to learn Filipino public opinion, but the Americans rejected his offer.