In late 1897, the revolutionaries were pushed into the hills southeast of Manila, and Aguinaldo had an agreement with the Spaniards. In exchange for financial compensation and a promise of reform in the Philippines, Aguinaldo and his generals would accept exile in Hong Kong. The rebel leaders withdrew, and the Philippine revolution was momentarily over. While the Americans were massing their troops, Philippine resistance leader Emilio Aguinaldo announced the resumption of his fight against Spain. Aguinaldo lived in self-imposed exile as part of an agreement with the Spanish authorities, but he turned to the Americans and offered his help in their military campaign. Transported by an American ship from Hong Kong, Aguinaldo landed in Cavite on May 19, gathered his supporters and quickly conquered several towns south of Manila. On 12 June, he proclaimed the independence of the Philippines and was declared President of the Philippine Republic. Aguinaldo`s actions were not sanctioned by the Americans, but there was little they could do to slow his progress. At the head of a large insurgent army, Aguinaldo established a narrow siege of Manila. General Greene`s brigade quickly pushed through Malate, Manila and bridges to occupy Binondo and San Miguel, Manila. The Americans on the move used good means for new weapons, such as the M1897 Trench Gun, which was ideal for the melee. General Arthur MacArthur Jr., who was advancing at the same time on Pasay Road, encountered resistance from log houses, trenches and woods on his forehead, advanced and held the bridges and the town of Malat.
This is what gave Manila American ownership, with the exception of Intramuros. Shortly after Malate`s entry, American troops observed a white flag on the walls of Intramuros. Lieutenant Colonel C. A. Whittier, United States Volunteers, representing General Merritt, and Lieutenant Brumby, U.S. Navy, representing Admiral Dewey, were sent ashore to communicate with the Captain General. General Merritt soon followed in person, met with Governor General Joudenes and reached an interim agreement on the terms of the surrender.  [John Foreman, American historian of the beginning of the war between the Philippines and the United States, stated that “Aguinaldo and his inexperienced supporters were so swept away by the humanitarian avowelses of the largest republic that had seen the world that they were willing to cooperate with the Americans on mere verbal promises rather than a written agreement that could be binding on the United States.