His Friends Were His Foes: The Role Aguinaldo’s Men in the Supremo’s Downfall (Part 2 of 3 of the Posts Commemorating Andres Bonifacio)

More than a century after the Supremo’s death, many are still wondering as to whether how did he encountered such plight, and why did he underwent such circumstance in the hands of a Katipunero himself, in the person of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

According to historians, the conflict between the Magdalo and the Magdiwang factions of the Katipunan urged the Supremo to stand in between the two groups in conflict.

With the said undertaking, Andres Bonifacio was invited by Magdalo’s Gen. Aguinaldo to then-independent Cavite province, a known Magdalo stronghold.

However, what transpired from a single invitation to Cavite went to somewhere beyond expectation.

Bonifacio’s spouse, Gregoria “Oriang” de Jesus, recalled the injustice done to her husband and his brother, Procopio who were both sentenced to death on the 10th of May, 1897 under the rule of the military court in Cavite.

She recalled Pedro Giron, a young man who was given a 10-peso bribe by Aguinaldo’s men just to attest that Bonifacio ordered  him to kill Gen. Aguinaldo.

With the said accusation, the Supremo was charged with treason and sedition.

In the book titled “Centennial Papers on the Katipunan and the Revolution,” historian Isagani R. Medina writes:

“Dumating sa Kabite sina Andres, Oriang at ang kanilang mga kasamahan noong Disyembre 1896. Sa Kabite na nga nagsimula ang wakas ni Andres sa kamay ng mga maka-Aguinaldo. Mga putok ng mga baril ang kanyang ikinabuwal noong ika-10 ng Mayo 1897 sa Bundok Hulóg sa Pinagsanghan ng Maragondon.” 

While he was in Limbon, Indang, Cavite in the 24th of April 1897, Bonifacio wrote to his best friend, Emilio Jacinto, saying:

“bago naidaos ang paghahalalan (sa Tejeros, ika-22 ng Marso, 1897), natuklasan ko ng pailalaim na pakana ng ilang taga-Imus na tahimik at palihim na nagkakalat ng balita na nagsasabing hindi mabuting sla’y mapailalim sa pamumuno ng mga taga-ibang bayan. Dahil dito’y inihalal si Kapitan Emilio Aguinaldo sa pagka-Pangulo.

Even in his last moments, Bonifacio sought to defend himself from the wrong accusations thrown at him by Aguinaldo’s men. Men who are prejudiced and questioned his ability to be the Secretary of Interior.

Bonifacio wrote:

“Halos lahat ng Ministrong taga-Magdiwang at sampu pa ng lumabas na General en Jefe ng Sangkatagalugan na si G. Artemio Ricarte ay nagpatunay sa pamamaguitan ng isang kasulatan na nagpapatunay na sa maruming paraan ang pagkakahalal doon sapagkat hindi nasunod ang talagang kalooban ng taong bayan kaya’t hindi nia masabing sa pulong na yaon naguing Presidente ng Sangkapuluan si G. Emilio Aguinaldo.” 

Bonifacio knew of the wrongdoing committed to him by whom he thought of as comrades. He was appalled by what they’ve done to him. The elitists of Imus didn’t believe in his capacity to lead and serve in the 1st Republic, and his plead for a right and just election eventually led to the downfall of a man so brave, he never thought his friends were his foes.

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Author: marlapapas

The girl your mother warned you about.

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