Andres Bonifacio: The Betrayal of a Hero
Andres Bonifacio y de Castro, the father of Philippine Revolution and Philippine Democracy, was executed by firing squad by Gen Lazaro Makapagal and four other soldiers at Mount Nagpatong, Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897. Who ordered the execution? Read the article and find out.
According to Teodoro A Agoncillo and Milagros C Guerrero in the “History of the Filipino People,” the katipuneros gathered around a flickering table lamp, performed the ancient blood compact, and signed their membership papers with their own blood. They vowed to liberate the Philippines from the tyranny of Spanish friars and civil guards through force of arms.
Under Bonifacio’s leadership, the Katipunan had three objectives: civic, moral, and political. The civic aim revolved around the principle of self-help and the defense of the poor and the oppressed. The moral goal was for hygiene, good morals, good manners, and attacking obscurantism and religious fanaticism. The political objective was separation from Spain through force of arms.
On August 23, 1896, at the yard of Juan Ramos y Aquino, the son of Melchora Ramos y Aquino, also known as Tandang Sora and considered as the Mother of the Katipunan, in Pugadlawin, Balintawak, now Quezon City, Bonifacio asked his fellow katipuneros whether they were prepared to fight to the bitter end. Despite the objection of Teodoro Plata, his brother in law, all katipuneros agreed to fight for freedom until their last breath. He then led his men in tearing their cedulas as a symbol of their determination to take up arms and to defy the Spanish colonial government. As the men torn their cedulas, they shouted, “Long live the Philippines!”
On August 30, 1896, Bonifacio and his men, fought the first battle of the Philippine Revolution. Leading 800 katipuneros, Bonifacio attacked a gunpowder storehouse in San Juan del Monte, now Pinaglabanan in the City of San Juan. The storehouse was an important military post of the Spanish army, but it was only defended by a hundred men. Outnumbered, the Spaniards retreated to El Deposito, the place where they stored water supply for Intramuros in Manila. Encouraged by the retreat of the Spaniards, Bonifacio and his men advanced toward Manila where they met an army of Spanish soldiers sent by Governor General Ramon Blanco. Bonifacio and his men were driven to Mandaluyong where more than 150 katipuneros died and another 200 others were captured.
Months later, the Katipunan was divided into two revolutionary groups: the Magdiwangs, which was headed by Bonifacio and the Magdalos, which was headed by Gen Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy. To resolve the issue whether the Katipunan should be superseded by another government, a revolutionary assembly was conducted in Barrio Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabon, now General Trias, Cavite on March 22, 1897. With Bonifacio as chairman, the assembly agreed that a central revolutionary government should be established to replace the Katipunan. He then reluctantly presided over the election and secured the unanimous decision of the assembly to abide by the decision of the majority. General Aguinaldo was elected president although he was absent because he was at the military front in Pasong Santol, now Barangay Anabu II, in Imus, Cavite. The Magdiwangs who were supposed to support Bonifacio did not even vote for him for president or vice president. Instead, Bonifacio was elected director of the interior.