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Chapter 10

The Revolution: First Phase

Rizal and the Revolution

Bonifacio, who had known Rizal the Liga days but whom Rizal did not know personally, wanted Rizals opinion on the necessity of rising in arms against the Spaniards. Valenzuela immediately proceeded to Rizals home. He related the founding of the Katipunan and its aims, among which was to overthrow Spanish authority.

Rizal pointed out that a revolution without sufficient arms should not be started against an armed nation. Rizal suggested that influential and wealthy Filipinos be attracted to the cause of the society in order to ensure the success of the revolution. Antonio Luna must be appointed to direct all military operations against the enemy. But Valenzuela pointed out the difficulty of winning over the wealthy Filipinos to the Katipunan side.

Rizals doubt on the Revolution

Without arms the rebels would surely be defeated and thereby cause irreparable damage to the innocent people. Any revolution would be useless unless the rebels were at least as armed as the enemy.

Preparations for the Struggle

Bonifacio ordered the manufacture of bolos to be distributed to the members of the society. Hope was present when the Japanese warship Kongo, with Admiral Kanimura on board, had dropped anchor at Manila Bay and that it might be possible for them to seek the aid of the admiral in the struggle for national liberation.

The Japanese admiral refused to commit his country to the revolutionary plan of the society. Bonifacio ordered, Tito Miguel and Roman Ramos, who were employed in the Maestranzas (arsenal) and ordered them to steal rifles and pistols, for the Maestranzas was a place where the ordinance was located.

Spanish Suspicion Aroused

The new members were impatient and in their impatience they met nightly, a circumstance that aroused the suspicion of the authorities. Rumors about the secret gatherings and that rifles and ammunition from Hong Kong and Yokohama were being landed. Blanco, the governor-general, was reluctant to act upon the suggestion of the friars, for he was not exactly sympathetic to the friars.

In spite of these reports, most of which were exaggerated and calculated to force the governor-general to act precipitately The friars, undaunted by their rebuff, continued to pester the governor-general with more reports of alleged secret meetings.

The Discovery of the Katipunans

Apolonio de la Cruz and Teodoro Patio had a misuderstanding and Patio, weakling that he was, took his revenge on Apolonio by revealing the secrets of the society to his sister, Honoria Sor Teresa suggested that Teodoro Patio tell all he knew to Father Mariano Gil. Discovery of the Katipunan was immediately followed by mass arrests of Filipino suspects.

Wealthy Filipinos Implicated

The wealthy Filipinos refused to join the Katipunan. A trick should be played on them in such a way as to make it appear that they were deeply involved in the Katipunan. The result of this trick was unexpected: instead of forcing the wealthy Filipinos to join or contribute to the society, they denounced it and denied any knowledge of its existence.

Francisco L. Roxas was executed, while Luis R. Yangco and others were saved by bribing some highly placed Spanish officials.

The Cry of Pugadlawin

Bonifacio secretly instructed his runners to summon all the leaders of the society to a general assembly to be held on August 24. On August 19, Bonifacio accompanied by his brother Procopio, Emilio Jacinto, Teodoro Plata and Aguedo del Rosario, slipped through the cordon of Spanish sentries and reached Balintawak before midnight.

On Aug. 23, Bonifacio asked his men whether they were prepared to fight to the bitter end. All those assembled agreed to fight to the last. Bonifacio said, bring out your cedulas and tear them to pieces to symbolize our determination to take up arms! This event marked the so-called Cry of Balintawak, which actually happened in Pugadlawin.

First Skirmishes

It was decided that all the rebels in the surrounding towns be notified of the general attack on Manila on the night of August 19, 1896. The intended attack on Manila did not materialize, however, probably because there were not sufficient arms with which to carry out the plan. Instead, Bonifacio and Jacinto led their men in attack on the powder magazine at San Juan del Monte on August 30.

The defending Spaniards waited for the reinforcement and as a result Bonifacio and his men lost the battle and were driven back with heavy casualty.

The Revolution Spreads

The Spaniards pursued them and in the battle that followed Bonifacio nearly lost his life when a Spanish Bullet ripped the collar of his shirt while he was protecting his friend Jacinto.

In the North, the rebels of San Isidro, armed with bolos and pointed sticks, attacked the Spanish garrison on September 2, 3 and 4. Led by Mariano Llanera and accompanied by musikong bumbong (band with bamboo instruments) the rebels attacked furiously but were repulsed by heroic defense of the Spaniards.

Reign of Terror

The provinces of 1. Manila 2. Cavite 3. Laguna 4. Batangas 5. Bulacan 6. Pampanga 7. Tarlac 8. Nueva Ecija in a state of war and placing them under martial law.

Fort Santiago (Fuerza de Santiago)

Blanco, however, emphasized that those who would surrender to the government within 48 hours after the publication of the decree would not be turned over to military court.

Los Trece Martires de Cavite

Luis Aguado Eugenio Cabezas Feliciano Cabuco Agapito Conchu Alfonso de Ocampo Mximo Gregorio Mximo Inocencio

Jos Lallana Severino Lapidario Victoriano Luciano Francisco Osorio Hugo Prez Antonio San Agustn

The Katipunan in Cavite

Katipunan in Cavite

Magdalo was led by Baldomero Aguinaldo with headquarters at Cavite (Kawit) The Magdiwang was led by Mariano Alvarez with headquarters at Noveleta Emilio Aguinaldo was able to defeat the Spaniards under the command of General Aguirre

From that time on Aguinaldo was called General Miong by the Caviteos

Governor-General Ramon Blanco

Successive defeats of the Spaniards led the friars to agitate against Gov. Blanco He was accused of dilly-dallying and of incompetence He was relieved by the brutal General Camilo Polavieja on December 13, 1896

Bonifacio in Cavite

T patch up the rivalry between the Magdalo and the Magdiwang, the latter invited Andres Bonifacio to intervene in the conflict. Artemio Ricarte and Mariano Alvarez invited Bonifacio to Cavite He, his wife, his two brothers Procopio and Ciriaco, were met by Emilio Aguinaldo and Edilberto Evangelista

On December 31, an assembly of revolutionists was held at Imus to determine whether the katipunan should be superseded by another form of government. Magdalo wanted to form a new one since the katipunan is no longer a secret society On the other hand, the Magdiwang contended that the katipunan should remain because it already had a constitutions and by-laws

The conflict was not resolved and the meeting ended without having accomplished anything

The Tejeros Convention

On March 22, 1897, the two factions met again at Tejeros. Andres Bonifacio presided as the chairman To resolve the issue, Bonifacio prudently acceded that a new government should be established to replace the katipunan He stated that the principle that the will of the majority should be respected and obeyed must be followed

The Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed Before the election, Bonifacio reminded the convention that whoever should get elected to any position should be respected

The Tejeros Convention

President Vice-President Captain-General Director of War Emilio Aguinaldo Mariano Trias Artemio Ricarte Emiliano Riego de Dios

Director of the Interior

Andrs Bonifacio

When Bonifacio was being proclaimed, Daniel Tirona, a Magdalo stood up and said: The position of the director of the interior is an exalted one and it is not proper that a person without a lawyers diploma should occupy it. We have in our province. Bonifacio was hurt and felt insulted and demanded that Tirona should retract what he said.

Second Meeting at Tejeros

Controversy on Bonifacio

Some analytical historians, claim that what happened at Tejeros, Cavite was actually a coup de etat to wrest power from Bonifacio by the bourgeois or upper class represented by Aguinaldo. (Aguinaldo and members of his class enjoyed more privilege status even before the revolution. They would not allow a victorious president Bonifacio ordering land and wealth distribution as his first decree.) Hence, the Tejeros Convention was a farce intended to lure Bonifacio to the Caviteo territory.

The presidential election wasn't a national election at all. Participated only by mostly Caviteos. The other revolting provinces such as Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, and others, were not participants. Bonifacio, who was too fueled with idealism, was too naive to understand maneuvering politicians. Bonifacio was not allowed to get out of Cavite. He was tried then executed promptly for treason. Many now asks: Had Bonifacio able to slip to Manila could he have declared that the Aguinaldo was the one who betrayed the revolution?

General Aguinaldo declared Philippine "independence" over the dead bodies of the Katipunan founder, Andres Bonifacio, his brothers and their followers. Aguinaldo's goons murdered these freedom fighters. History has it that Aguinaldo ordered also the assassination of Gen. Antonio Luna in Vigan, Ilocos Sur (Luna was killed in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. - Ed.).

Naik Military Agreement

Bonifacio and his men resolved to established a government independent of, and separate from that established at Tejeros Signed by bonifacio, Artemio Ricarte, Pio Del Pilar, and Severino de las Alas

Trial and Execution of Bonifacio

The Naik Military Agreement came to the knowledge of Aguinaldo and ordered the arrest of Bonifacio under the command of Colonel Agapito Bonzon Bonifacio was stabbed in the larynx, Ciriaco was killed, and Procopio was wounded Bonifacio was placed in a hammock and brough back to Naik

On April 28,1897, Aguinaldo forwarded the case to the Council of War to conduct the necessary trial Trial Lasted from April 29 to May 4 Andres and Procopio were found guilty of treason and sedition in spite of the fact that the evidence was not sufficient On May 8, Baldomero Aguinaldo wrote Aguinaldo a recommending approval of the councils decision, execution of the two brothers

On that same day, May 8, Aguinaldo commuted the death sentence to banishment Genral Mariano Noriel and Pio del Pilar asked Bonifacio to withdraw his order Seconded by Clemente Jose, Dr. Anastacio Francisco, and Gen. Mamerto Natividad, all of whom hated Bonifacio Under this pressure Aguinaldo wihdrew his order and the original decision of the council was imposed

On May 10, Gen. Noriel ordered Major Lazaro Makapagal to bring out the two brothers from jail and handed a sealed letter with orders to read it after reaching Mount Tala It contained an order to execute Bonifacio and Procopio and failure to comply would be punished severely

The Revolution Continues

General Camilo de Polavieja asked for his relief as governor and was granted on April 15, 1897 He was replaced by former GovernorGeneral of the Philippines, Primo de Rivera He arrived in Manila on April 23 and marched to Cavite to take personal charge of the military operations

Biyak na Bato Republic

The expulsion of the friars and the return to the Filipinos of the lands they appropriated for themselves Representation in the Spanish Cortes Freedom of the Press and tolerance of all religious sects Equal treatment and pay for Peninsular and Insular civil servants

Abolition of the power of the government to banish citizens Legal equality for all persons

Aguinaldos proclamation showed that he was still willing to return to Spanish fold provided that those demands were met in spite of the fact that he and his men had already established the Biak-na-Bato Republic The Constitution of Biak-na-Bato republic was prepared by Felix Ferre and Isabelo Artacho, who copied almost word for word, the Cuban Constitution of Jimaguayu The constitution was signed on November 1897

The Truce of Biyak na Bato

A mestizo, Pedro Paterno became the mediator between the Filipinos and Spaniards From August to December, he negotiated with Aguinaldo and de Rivera on the conditions that he thought would be satisfactory to both

The Truce of Biyak na Bato

Aguinaldo and his companion would go into voluntary exile abroad That Primo de Rivera would pay the sum of P800,000 to the rebels in three installments

P400,000 to Aguinaldo upon his departure from Biyak na Bato P200,000 when the arms surrendered by the revolutionists exceeded 700

The remaining P200,000 when the Te Deum was sung and general amnesty proclaimed by the governor

That Primo de Rivera would pay the additional P900,000 to the families of the non-combatant Filipinos who suffered during the armed conflict.

December 23, two Spanish generals, Celestino Tejeiro and Ricardo Monet arrived at Biak-na-Bato and became hostages of the rebels Colonel Miguel Primo de Rivera accompanied the exiles to Hongkong Aguinaldo and his men including Pedro and Maximo Paterno The group sailed to Hongkong on December 27, with Aguinaldo in possession of a check for P400,000

Failure of the Truce