Emilio Aguinaldo : A Hero, Traitor, Murderer or Politician
Back in the late 1800's in Philippine History, we recall how The Traitor, Emilio Aguinaldo, murdered Gatpuno Andres Bonifacio and his brother. The events preceding the tragedy were very glaring. The Katipunan was divided into 2 factions: The Magdiwang (meaning, "celebrate") and the Magdalo (the masculinized "Magdala" from Mary of Magdala, the then patron saint of Kawit, Kabite).The former was the Bonifacio wing, and the latter, the cohorts of The Traitor. This division transpired in Kabite where The Traitor encased himself.
The infamous Tejeros Convention saw a rigged election. Bonifacio and his handful of loyal warriors were massacred both figuratively and literally. It was the ambition of The Traitor to be recognized as the first President of Asia who declared the Philippines as the first republic of the continent.
Aguinaldo doesn't deserve to be in the league of Bonifacio, Rizal. A. Luna, Ricarte, Jacinto, Mabini. Aguinaldo isn't a hero he is a politician, a corrupt politician, blinded by greed, lust for power and money. He signed the Pact of Biak na Bato, the non agression pact with the spanish, after his capture by the americans he swore allegiance to the american government, the so called El Presidente, traitor to the Filipino people and the revolution. The assasination of Bonifacio and Luna sparked the end of generalisimo. Gen. Antonio Luna the greatest war tactician of the philippine revolution, was killed because of one's greed and paranoia, that because of his popularity and capacity was in fact a threat to Aguinaldo's Presidency. The death of Gen. Luna cost us the gaining of our independence before 1946.
Excerpts from Julio Nakpil's 'Apuntes Sobre La Revolucion Filipina' (Notes on the Philippine Revolution)
Page 30 'The Death of Bonifacio'
The Bonifacio brothers were accused of promoting a counter revolution to overthrow the power of Aguinaldo.
Unfortunately this slanderous accusation of Aguinaldo and his partisans was very common in Cavite. Andres Bonifacio challenged to a duel Emilio Aguinaldo to settle their differences, saying to him: "If you are offended by my behavior, name your seconds, hour, and place!"
The only reply of Aguinaldo was to send a company under the command of Colonel Ingtong (Agapito Monzon) which found the Bonifacio brothers breakfasting.
The Bonifacios asked them where they were going and invited them to join them at breakfast, to which they replied that they had just finished the same, and that they were going reconnoitering.
Then the Bonifacio brothers, unaware of what was going to happen to them, continued eating, their firearms being far from the reach of their hands. Aguinaldo's men thereupon began to seize the firearms of the Bonifacio men and when theY became aware of what was happening they were already disarmed.
Nevertheless, there was, a struggle, but very unequal. According to the eyewitnesses, the one who stabbed A. Bonifacio in the neck was Lazaro Makapagal.
The Bonifacios were also accused of drawing away soldiers from the Revolution in Cavite, the plan of Bonifacio being to continue the Revolution by joining his forces to those of Emilio Jacinto and the undersigned (i.e. Julio Nakpil) who were operating in the provinces of Manila, Laguna, and Morong.
It was an act of banditry: The jewels and money of the families of the murdered men were confiscated like war booty.
Chapter VII, page 103 'The Death of General Luna'
(D)riven by his patriotic fervor, he (General Antonio Luna) did not conceal his desire to be the head of the cabinet with the portfolio of war to prevent the autonomists or pacifists from controlling the government of the republic.
They slandered him of wishing to wrest the presidency from Emilio Aguinaldo, and for that purpose they invited him to enter the rattrap of Kabanatuan to enable the very ones whom he had disarmed for cowardice in different war actions to deal him the deathblow. Do not lose sight of the fact that the one who invited him (i.e. Emilio Aguinaldo) to a conference absented himself, which was a cowardly stratagem.
When General A. Luna was dastardly assassinated on the stairs of the Convent of Kabanatuan and already fallen on the ground, the mother of Emilio Aguinaldo looked out the window and asked: "Ano, humihinga pa ba?" (Is he still breathing?)
The Spanish soldier-prisoners who witnessed this iniquitous assassination said: "We admired the valor and intrepidity of General Luna who, tormented with shots and already fallen to the ground, could still shout: "Cowardly Cavitenios !"
History condemns these barbaric acts, He (E, Aguinaldo) also gave orders to assassinate the undersigned to Generals Severino Taino and Pio del Pilar who did not obey the said orders for considering them infamous, unjust, and without any motive, whatever. It was nothing more than a mean and despicable order.
General Pio del Pilar himself told me this in his barracks at San Pedro Makati, when Manila was under blockade.
Pages 157 and 158 'The Capture of Aguinaldo'
Emilio Aguinaldo's surrender to the American's was a cowardly act. There was no doubt that he coveted the presidency. He surrendered for fear that others more competent than he would occupy the post of president of tne Republic.
Had he fought with his captors, regardless of whether he succumbed so that he might be considered a hero, at least to vindicate his crimes, by this time we would be admiring a monument to the second hero of the Philippines, unlike what he did delivering himself as prisoner and afterward taking an oath of allegiance to the American flag.
The crimes he committed against Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna, and his attempt to assassinate the undersigned (i.e. Julio Nakpil) should be condemned by history, and Universal Freemasonry ought to expel him and declare him a spurious son. The coward finds many dangers where none exist!
March, 1897 - A persistent rumor circulated that Andres Bonifacio was paid by the friars to promote the rebellion against Spain and also it was said he was sanguinary. Is this the work of his enemies to discredit him?
Emilio Aguinaldo censured by those from Cavite. On account of the abuses and immoralities of his soldiers, such as robberies and rape of married women as well as single, many complaints were brought to E. Aguinaldo; but, instead of punishing the culprits, he would reply invariably: "Please be patient because we do not pay our soldiers."
Among the despicable ones was a Major surnamed Ritual who boastfully recounted with the greatest pleasure and effrontery the following: He and two of his soldiers went up a house in one of the towns of Cavite finding there two sisters, single and pretty. As they would not accede to their satyric de sires, he kicked one of them several times on the hips, and when the other protested and shouted for help, then Ritual himself hit them with the butt of his gun until they fell on the floor; and once the two sisters had fainted, they succeeded to satisfy their vile appetite.
Many of these barbarous acts occurred in Cavite principally, inasmuch as they were left unpunished. Under Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna these cases were severely punished. Ritual related this in the presence of Atilano Sta. Ana, two Spanish soldiers who were deserters, and the undersigned in the town of Cainta. I was very indignant. Thanks that I was able to refrain from shooting him with my revolver for fear of committing murder.
Finally, Emilio Aguinaldo ought to give an example of national solidarity. Considering those murders committed by him on the precious lives of Bonifacio and Luna and others their indignant relatives as well as their friends and the people in general did not rise against him for the sake of national unity.
His ambition to occupy the presidency is fully demonstrated when General L. Wood promised it to him (deceiving him for his own purposes) when we would' be granted our independence'. It is a common belief that this post would be occupied by one who held it during the Revolution, and for this reason he persists in winning sympathy, using as an instrument the Veterans of the Revolution, endeavoring to establish throughout the Archipelago Commandancias Departamentales (Departmental Commands.)
Another reproach against Aguinaldo was his acceptance of P12,OOO as annual life-pension so that he is already paid for his services during the Revolution.
He himself destroyed his work due to his excessive ambition for grandeur and riches, and the like. Had he renounced this great amount in favor of the invalid veterans of the Revolution. he would have performed an act of patriotism and charity.
I swear before God and before History that everything related in these notes is the truth and I entreat the historian not to publish this until after my death.
(Signed) JULIO NAKPIL - Year 1925
General Antonio Luna's Assassination
General Antonio Luna fortified the battle lines of Bagbag and Santo Tomas, Pampanga, established arsenals and encouraged material and financial support from civilians.
On May 4, 1899, General Luna was wounded in an encounter with the Americans at the fortlines of Santo Tomas, Pampanga. While recuperating from his wounds, he dispatched a patrol to Benguet hoping to find a site for guerilla activities against the Americans. General Antonio Luna's tragic death came unexpectedly on June 17, 1899.
On June 4, 1899, a telegram from Gen Emilio Aguinaldo, arrived ordering him to go to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija for a Conference. He left at once with his aide, Col. Paco Roman.
When they arrived at Aguinaldo's headquarters in Cabanatuan they learned that he had left for Pampanga. While going down the stairs of the headquarters, the assassins, guards who happened to be the same men on whom he had imposed disciplinary punishments after the battle at Caloocan, pounced on him, riddled his body with bullets while others stabbed him.
He fired blindly with his pistol while shouting "Cowards and assassins! Coward Cavitenios!" Col. Paco Roman rushed to his aid but was shot dead a few meters away from him.
At the age of 31, General Antonio Luna was already dead. Juan Luna, elder brother of Gen Antonio and renowned painter of 'La Spoliarium' died because of extreme disappointment and intense grief shortly after learning that his youngest brother was assassinated.
Gen Antonio Luna's soldiers, by whose side he had stood loyally, greatly mourned the leader's death and they would always remember him as the one who exhorted them to a profound love of country; the one who had vowed to them: "I will defend my country until I exhaust the last recourse for the cause... thus complying with my oath to the flag."
ABAKAN de los Reyes
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