Articles

The Supremo’s Unresolved Claims to Post-Revolution Presidency (Part 3 of 3 of the Posts Commemorating Andres Bonifacio)

More than a century after his death, Gat Andres Bonifacio has found an ally in several movements pushing for his recognition as the bona fide President of the First Philippine Republic.

Recently, certain historians and labor groups put forward their arguments claiming that Bonifacio was the real first president, based on evidences in the form of rare documents and the way that the Supremo ran the Katipunan as a revolutionary organization.

De La Salle University History professor Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua said in a previous statement:

“Bagamat walang dokumento pang nakikita noong August 24, 1896, sinasabi ng mga nagkwento na may pulong doon at ginawang pamahalaang mapaghimagsik ang Katipunan. Ibig sabihin, hindi nalang siya samahan, siya ay isang pamahalaang mapanghimagsik.”

Chua also asserted that Bonifacio used the term “Haring Bayan” to refer to the “Pilipinas”, because the name “Pilipinas” was given by the colonizers.

He also added that the Spanish authorities back then recognized Bonifacio as the leader of the “Republika Tagala,” the Spaniards’ term for “Haring Bayan.”

The movements to recognize Bonifacio as the 1st President of the Philippine Republic started way back in 1994, with historians Milagros Guerrero, Ramon Villegas and Malou Encarnacion as its major proponents.

Moreover, the said movement is said to be gaining strength in the form of recent local government resolutions aiming to address the said claims.

However, some historians are in doubt as to whether they will consider the said claims to recognize Bonifacio as President.

In a previous interview with The Flame, the official student publication of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, Assoc. Prof. Augusto De Viana, Ph.D said that the problem with the claims might be the movement’s interpretation of the presented facts in history.

De Viana also noted that the title Supremo wasn’t solely accorded to Bonifacio, but it was passed on to him by Mariano Alvarez who previously held the said post.

Apart from the disputes as to whether the Katipunan was indeed a government in its own right with Bonifacio as its president, Chua, who was mentioned earlier, believes that the Kartilya of the Katipunan was a form of legislation in itself.

Chua insisted that even though the Kartilya and the Katipunan’s revolutionary government is lacking in some aspects, the Malolos Republic of Aguinaldo has likewise failed to meet certain ‘Western standards.’

“Konstitusyon din na maituturing yung Kartilya. Bakit kailangan ba may template? Ginaya lang sa Cuba ‘yan ah! ‘Yang konstitusyon na ‘yan ng Malolos, anung ipinagmamalaki nila, at least sa atin original na Kartilya. Ang pag-iisip ng mga iskolar ay natatali sa kung ano ‘yung western concept ng gobyerno.”

Discussions and arguments claiming whether or not Bonifacio was indeed the bona fide president of the 1st Philippine Republic may go on forever, but one thing is for sure; Bonifacio’s role in shaping the nation’s future is without a shadow of doubt a noble cause that surpasses controversy and transcends generations.

Sources:

Churchill, B., & Gealogo, F. (1999). Centennial Papers on the Katipunan and the Revolution (pp. 31-39). Quezon City: Manila Studies Association, Inc.

Papas, M., & Canivel, R. (2013). Beyond Katipunan: The Unresolved Presidency of Andres Bonifacio. The Flame, (Vol. 49, Issue 3).

Articles

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.

Articles

The Story of the Supremo’s Spouse  (Part 1 of 3 of the Posts Commemorating Andres Bonifacio)

Marahang kukunin alay mong larawan

Luha’y papatak saka ka tititigan

Buntong-hiningia ko’y tuloy sasabayan

Lakip ang salitang magtiis katawan.

Kung matitigan na’y marahang tatakpan

Tuloy itatago sa kanyang lalagyan

Matang lumuluha’y agad papahiran

Hapis ng puso’y ‘di niya mapigilan. 

Saya’y kung aking hanapin, din pakinggan

Sakit ng puso ko’y siyang umiiral

Wala kung ‘di ikaw ang panggagalinan

Lunas na gamot mo’y sa akin itapal. 

Ako’y lalakad usok ang katulad

Pagtaas ng puti, agiw ang katulad

Ang bilin ko lamang tandaan mo liag

Kalihiman natin huag ipahahayag

Paalam sa iyo masarap magmahal

May-aring puso ko’t kabiyak na katawan

Paalam na nga yaring pinalalayaw

Paalam Giliw ko, sa iyo’y paalam

Masayang sa iyo’y aking isasangla

Ang sulam pamahid sa mata ng luha

Kung kapusin ng palad buhay mawala

Bangkay man ako haharap sa iyong kusa.” 

(Written by Doña Gregoria de Jesus in September 1897)

Those were the parting words of Doña Gregoria “Oriang” de Jesus to her deceased husband, Andres, after knowing about the harsh plight he went through under the hands of what is said to be Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s men.

In the book titled “Centennial Papers on the Katipunan and the Revolution,” historian Isagani R. Medina recounts the tale of Oriang’s bereavement:

Di pa rin makatkat-katkat sa kanyang (Oriang) alaala ang kanyang asawang si Andres na nilitis ng isang hukumang-pandigma sa Maragondon, Kabite, kasama ng kanyang kapatid na si Procopio at pinatawan ng hatol na kamatayang barilin noong ika-10 ng Mayo 1897.

Whilst her husband was in trial in 1897, Oriang underwent a similar situation, this time under the hands of Col. Agapito Bonzon, also known as Col. Intong.

Two years after the said incident, Oriang narrates to her husband’s best friend, Emilio Jacinto, all that transpired in her arrest under the supervision of Col. Intong:

Ako’y sinalubong ng nasabing mga pinuno ng tropa [ni Bonzon] at ako’y pinipilit na ibigay ko ang salapi ng Cavite o kaha at kinuhang pili ang aking revolver pati ng kaonti naming kuartand baon at pagkatapos ay akong pinipilit na igapos sa puno ng kahoy [at gulpihin ngunit hindi natuloy sa pakiusap ng mga kasamahan ng Koronel (Bonzon) at pinasisigaw sa aking ang salapi raw na aming hinakot. Ang mga kapatid ang makapagsasabi ang ibang mga tagarito na siyang nagdadala sa buanbuan ng aming kinakain pagkatapos na di ako mapilit ang ako’y dinala sa Tribunal ng Yndang at doo’y dinaanan ko ang may sugat na kanilang hinubaran [si Bonifacio] at kinuha pa pati ng damit sa katawan at kanilang tinakpan lamang ng kumot.

Oriang had a clear image of Andres’ suffering under the hands of Aguinaldo’s men. She knew that her husband is wronged by those whom he thought were one with his mission— to make the Philippines independent from its colonizers.

Oriang suffered before, during, and after Andres’ plight, wounded both physically and emotionally by the stress and strain caused by her husband’s situation.

However, though she suffered, Oriang chose to stand and be strong and to continue what her husband was fighting for. She chose to remain true to her love to her husband, which she wrote:

“Magmula Giliw nang ikaw ay pumanaw, 

Katawan at puso ko’y walang paglagyan

Lakad ng dugo sa ugat ay madalang

Lalo’t magunita ang iyong palayaw. 

Lubhang malabis ang aking pagdaramdam

Sa biglang paggayak mo’t ako’y panawan

Alaala ko sa inyong padaraanan

At gayun din naman sa inyong Katawan.

A love so great she was willing to suffer, both for her spouse, and for her country. That was the story of the Supremo’s spouse.

Source: Churchill, B., & Gealogo, F. (1999). Centennial Papers on the Katipunan and the Revolution (pp. 31-39). Quezon City: Manila Studies Association, Inc.

Articles

The Stories of Supremo’s Downfall and His Unresolved Claim of The Post-Revolution Presidency: A Series of Posts Commemorating Andres Bonifacio

The likes of Gat Andres Bonifacio, the Supremo of the Katipunan, and Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippine Republic are just two out of many of the great forefathers of Philippine independence, whose legacies are without a doubt timeless and worth emulating.

However, our history books may have told us many great things about them, but little do we know of the controversy that still surround them up to this day.

As we embark on a journey to nationalistic identity in the changing times, we should also look back on some disputed issues in our history that may spark critical thinking in students like us, and uncover what could be the truth to these controversies.

Thus, in this post, we would try to deduce from several evidences what could be known about the struggle of Doña Gregoria “Oriang” de Jesus following the death of her husband, Andres Bonifacio and the longstanding issues concerning the Supremo’s downfall in the hands of his comrades as well as his contested claim to the presidency of the 1st Philippine Republic.