Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo

[ah-gee-nahl-daw]
Aguinaldo, Emilio, 1869-1964, Philippine leader. In the insurrection against Spain in 1896 he took command, and by terms of the peace that ended it he went into exile at Hong Kong (1897). After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines and led a Philippine insurrection in concert with U.S. attacking forces. He established a republic with its capital at Malolos and himself as president.

Dissatisfied with the peace treaty that ended the Spanish-American War, he headed a rebellion against U.S. occupying forces from 1899 until he was captured by in 1901. Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the United States, was briefly imprisoned, and retired to private life. In 1935 he ran for president but was defeated by Manuel Quezon. Aguinaldo was charged with cooperating with the Japanese occupying the Philippines in World War II, but was not tried. With V. A. Pacis he wrote A Second Look at America (1957).

See biography by C. Quirino (1969).

Emilio Aguinaldo.

(born March 23, 1869, near Cavite, Luzon, Phil.—died Feb. 6, 1964, Manila) Philippine independence leader. He was born of Chinese and Tagalog parentage and was educated at the University of Santo Tomás, Manila. He became a leader of the Katipunan, a revolutionary society that fought the Spanish. Philippine independence was declared in 1898, and Aguinaldo became president, but within months Spain signed a treaty ceding the islands to the U.S. Aguinaldo fought U.S. forces until he was captured in 1901. After taking an oath of allegiance to the U.S., he was induced to retire from public life. He collaborated with the Japanese during World War II. After the war he was briefly imprisoned; released by presidential amnesty, he was vindicated by his appointment to the Council of State in 1950. In his later years he promoted nationalism, democracy, and improvement of relations between the U.S. and the Philippines.

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''For the municipality, see Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Cavite
General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (March 22, 1869February 6, 1964) was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role in Philippine independence during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War that resisted American occupation. He eventually pledged his allegiance to the US government.

In the Philippines, Aguinaldo is considered to be the country's first and the youngest Philippine President, though his government failed to obtain any foreign recognition.

Early life and career

The seventh of eight children of Crispulo Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy, he was born into a Filipino family on March 22, 1869 in Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. His father was gobernadorcillo (town head), and, as members of the Chinese-mestizo minority, they enjoyed relative wealth and power.

As a young boy, Aguinaldo received basic education from his great-aunt and later attended the town's elementary school. In 1880, he took up his secondary course education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which he quit on his third year to return home instead to help his widowed mother manage their farm.

At the age of 17, Emilio was elected cabeza de barangay of Binakayan, the most progressive barrio of Cavite El Viejo. He held this position serving for his town-mates for eight years. He also engaged in inter-island shipping, travelling as far south as the Sulu Archipelago.

In 1893, the Maura Law was passed to reorganize town governments with the aim of making them more effective and autonomous, changing the designation of town head from gobernadorcillo to capitan municipal effective 1895. On January 1, 1895, Aguinaldo was elected town head, becoming the first person to hold the title of capitan municipal of Cavite El Viejo.

Family

His first marriage was in 1896 with Hilaria Del Rosario (1877-1921). They had five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., Maria and Cristina). His second wife was Maria Agoncillo

Several of Aguinaldo's descendants became prominent political figures in their own right. A grandnephew, Cesar Virata, served as Prime Minister of the Philippines from 1981 to 1986. Aguinaldo's granddaughter, Ameurfina Herrera, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1979 until 1992.

Philippine Revolution

In 1895, Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan rebellion, a secret organization then led by Andrés Bonifacio (whom later was killed by Lazaro Macapagal, upon Aguinaldo's orders), dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines through armed force. He joined as a lieutenant under Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo and rose to the rank of general in a few months. 30,000 members of the Katipunan launched an attack against the Spanish colonizers in the same week. Only one general, Emilio Aguinaldo, successfully launched an attack with his troops. With the Katipunan, he helped the Philippines erupt in revolt against the Spaniards in 1896. He won major victories in Cavite Province, temporarily driving the Spanish out of the area. However, renewed Spanish military pressure compelled the rebels to restructure their forces in a more cohesive manner. The insulated fragmentation that had aided the Katipunan's secrecy had outlived its usefulness. In open war, unified leadership was required.

Bonifacio presided over the Tejeros Convention in Tejeros, Cavite (deep in Aguinaldo territory) to elect a revolutionary government in place of the Katipunan on March 22, 1897. Away from his power base, Bonifacio unexpectedly lost the leadership to Aguinaldo, and was elected instead to the office of Secretary of the Interior. Even this was questioned by an Aguinaldo supporter, claiming Bonifacio had not the necessary schooling for the job. Insulted, Bonifacio declared the Convention null and void, and sought to return to his power base in Rizal. Bonifacio was charged, tried and found guilty of treason (in absentia) by a Cavite military tribunal. Bonifacio was sentenced to death. He and his party were intercepted by Aguinaldo's men, with violence that left Bonifacio mortally wounded. Aguinaldo confirmed the death sentence, and the dying Bonifacio was hauled to the mountains of Maragondon in Cavite, and executed on May 10, 1897, even as Aguinaldo and his forces were retreating in the face of Spanish assault.

Biak-na-Bato

Spanish pressure intensified, eventually forcing Aguinaldo's forces to retreat to the mountains. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo signed the treaty of Biak-na-Bato, which specified that the Spanish would give self-rule to the Philippines within 3 years if Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was exiled. On December 14, 1897, Aguinaldo was shipped to Hong Kong. Under the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to end hostilities as well in exchange for amnesty and "$800,000 (Mexican)" (Aguinaldo's description of the amount) as an indemnity. Aguinaldo took the money offered. Emilio Aguinaldo was President and Mariano Trias (Vice President). Other officials included Antonio Montenegro for Foreign Affairs, Isabelo Artacho for the Interior, Baldomero Aguinaldo for the Treasury, and Emiliano Riego de Dios for War.

However, thousands of other Katipuneros continued to fight the Revolution against Spain for a sovereign nation. Unlike Aguinaldo who came from a privileged background, the bulk of these fighters were peasants and workers who were not willing to settle for 'indemnities.'

In early 1898, war broke out between Spain and the United States. Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines in May 1898. He immediately resumed revolutionary activities against the Spaniards, now receiving verbal encouragement from emissaries of the United States.

Philippine-American War

On the night of February 4, 1899, a Filipino was shot by an American sentry. This incident is considered the beginning of the Philippine-American War, and open fighting soon broke out between American troops and pro-independence Filipinos. Superior American firepower drove Filipino troops away from the city, and the Malolos government had to move from one place to another.

Aguinaldo led resistance to the Americans, then retreated to northern Luzon with the Americans on his trail. On June 2, 1899, a telegram from Aguinaldo was received by Gen. Antonio Luna, an arrogant but brilliant general and looming rival in the military hierarchy, ordering him to proceed to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija for a meeting at the Cabanatuan Church Convent. However, treachery was afoot, as Aguinaldo felt the need to rid himself of this new threat to power. Three days later (June 5), when Luna arrived, he learned Aguinaldo was not at the appointed place. As Gen. Luna was about to depart, he was shot, then stabbed to death by Aguinaldo's men. Luna was later buried in the churchyard, and Aguinaldo made no attempt to punish or even discipline Luna's murderers.

Less than two years later, after the famous Battle of Tirad Pass with the death of Gregorio del Pilar, one of his most trusted generals, Aguinaldo was captured in Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901 by US General Frederick Funston, with the help of Macabebe trackers (who saw Aguinaldo as a bigger problem than the Americans). The American task force gained access to Aguinaldo's camp by pretending to be captured prisoners.

Funston later noted Aguinaldo's "dignified bearing", "excellent qualities," and "humane instincts." Of course, Funston was writing this after Aguinaldo had volunteered to swear fealty to the United States, if only his life was spared. Aguinaldo pledged allegiance to America on April 1, 1901, formally ending the First Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines. Nevertheless, many others (like Miguel Malvar and Macario Sakay) continued to resist the American occupation.

Presidency of the First Republic of the Philippines

Aguinaldo appointed two premiers in his tenure. These were Apolinario Mabini and Pedro Paterno.

Aguinaldo cabinet

President Aguinaldo had two cabinets in the year 1899. Thereafter, the war situation resulted in his ruling by decree.

OFFICE NAME TERM
President Emilio Aguinaldo 1899–1901
Prime Minister Apolinario Mabini January 21 - May 7, 1899
Pedro Paterno May 7 - November 13, 1899
Minister of Finance Mariano Trias January 21 - May 7, 1899
Hugo Ilagan May 7 - November 13, 1899
Minister of the Interior Teodoro Sandico January 21 - May 7, 1899
Severino de las Alas May 7 - November 13, 1899
Minister of War Baldomero Aguinaldo January 21 - May 7, 1899
Mariano Trias May 7 - November 13, 1899
Minister of Welfare Gracio Gonzaga January 21 - May 7, 1899
Minister of Foreign Affairs Apolinario Mabini January 21 - May 7, 1899
Felipe Buencamino May 7 - November 13, 1899
Minister of Public Instruction Aguedo Velarde 1899
Minister of Public Works and Communications Maximo Paterno 1899
Minister of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce Leon Ma. Guerrero May 7 - November 13, 1899

U.S. Territorial Period

During the United States occupation, Aguinaldo organized the Asociación de los Veteranos de la Revolución (Association of Veterans of the Revolution), which worked to secure pensions for its members and made arrangements for them to buy land on installment from the government.

When the American government finally allowed the Philippine flag to be displayed in 1919, Aguinaldo transformed his home in Kawit into a monument to the flag, the revolution and the declaration of Independence. His home still stands, and is known as the Aguinaldo Shrine.

Aguinaldo retired from public life for many years. In 1935, when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in preparation for Philippine independence, he ran for president but lost by a landslide to fiery Spanish mestizo Manuel L. Quezon. The two men formally reconciled in 1941, when President Quezon moved Flag Day to June 12, to commemorate the proclamation of Philippine independence.

Aguinaldo again retired to private life, until the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II. He cooperated with the Japanese, making speeches, issuing articles and infamous radio addresses in support of the Japanese — including a radio appeal to Gen. Douglas MacArthur on Corregidor to surrender in order to spare the innocence of the Filipino youth.

After the Americans retook the Philippines, Aguinaldo was arrested along with several others accused of collaboration with the Japanese. He was held in Bilibid prison for months until released by presidential amnesty. In his trial, it was eventually deemed that his collaboration with the Japanese was probably made under great duress, and he was released.

Aguinaldo lived to see independence granted to the Philippines July 4, 1946, when the United States Government granted full recognition of Philippine independence in accordance with the Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934. He was 93 when President Diosdado Macapagal officially changed the date of independence from July 4 to June 12, 1898, the date Aguinaldo believed to be the true Independence Day. During the independence parade at the Luneta, the 93-year old general carried the flag he raised in Kawit.

Post-American era

In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino appointed Aguinaldo as a member of the Council of State, where he served a full term. He returned to retirement soon after, dedicating his time and attention to veteran soldiers' interests and welfare.

He was given Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa by the University of the Philippines in 1953.

In 1962, when the United States rejected Philippine claims for the destruction wrought by American forces in World War II, president Diosdado Macapagal changed the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Aguinaldo rose from his sickbed to attend the celebration of independence 64 years after he declared it.

Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964 of coronary thrombosis at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. He was 94 years old. His remains are buried at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. When he died, he was the last surviving non-royal head of state (self-proclaimed) to have served in the 19th century.

See also

External links

References

Further reading

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