Saturday, December 20, 2008

Year 1897

January ??, 1897
The widening rift between Bonifacio and Aguinaldo, sometimes expressed in loose talk that smear at each other's reputation, comes to a head in a duel, in the presence of their seconds, in the dark alley in the town of San Francisco de Malabon. The two are about to shoot at each other, but are convinced to withdraw their weapons, owing to the pleading of General Santiago Alvarez. The would-be protagonists are eventually reconciled through the Katipunero priest, Fr. Manuel Trias, and General Ricarte. (Alvarez, 76)

January ??, 1897
An attempt is made to secure the friendship and help of the United States by a group of Filipinos resident in Hongkong with the presentation of a memorial to the United States consul general at Hongkong, Mr. Wildman's predecessor, in which their countrymen's grievances against the Spanish government, particularly against the the friars, are set forth, and an appeal is made to the United States imploring help, so that their liberty and independence be restored to the Philippine Islands. The document is signed by Doroteo Cortes, Jose M. Basa and A. G. Medina. (Fernandez, 51-52)

January 11, 1897
Governor Polvieja telagraphs Madrid that twelve persons including Francisco Roxas, a millionaire and Councilor of Administration, Nijaga, Lieutenant of the native infantry, Villaroel, Villareal, Moises Salvador, and several others, are convicted by the council of war with crime of treason and shot. (St. Clair, 182)

February 14, 1897
Polavieja begins the offensive at Cavite lasting 52 days, with 15 officers and 168 soldiers killed, and 56 officers and 900 men wounded. At the end of the campaign two-thirds of Cavite still remains in the hands of the revolutionaries. (Fernandez, 27)

February 17, 1897
Aguinaldo defeats the Spanish forces at the Battle of Zapote Bridge. In this battle, Edilberto Evangelista, a civil engineer graduate from Ghent, Belgium, the first Filipino professional to join the revolution, and the builder of trenches used by the Revolutionary Army, is killed. (Delos Santos, 42)
[After this date Spanish troops successively retake pueblos belonging to the Magdalo Council and the members found it necessary to withdraw to San Francisco de Malabon and join the members of the Magdiwang Council and agree on the most suitable measures for the defence of the province. (Delos Santos, 42)]

February 25, 1897
The Carabineros, or Custom House Guards, stage a mutiny at the office of the Captain of the Port. The officer and sergeant on duty are shot by the mutineers, who made off with some arms and ammunition. They are pursued through the suburbs of Tondo as far as the San Lazaro Hospital, and such of them as are not killed, escape and join the rebels. (Blunt, 133)

March 1, 1897
Spanish troops assaults the town of Salitran, Cavite and in the ensuing battle General Flaviano Yengco of the Magdalo Council, a student from Sta. Cruz, Manila, who quit law school to join the revolution, and successor to General Edilberto Evangelista, is killed. (Ricarte, 51)

March 8, 1897
Bonifacio writes Emilio Jacinto saying that the enmity between the Magdalo and Magdiwang factions of the Katipunan in Cavite is very great, at the same time, expressing dismay over the plan of the Magdalo faction to establish a government that will replace the Katipunan organization. (Delos Santos, 43; KalawM[1], 79 )

March 22, 1897
The leaders of the Magdalo and Magdiwang Councils hold the second convention at Tejeros and agree to create a revolutionary organization to replace the Katipunan. That same night the convention elects officers. Aguinaldo, who is out in the battlefield during the entire duration of the meeting, is elected President, while Bonifacio, who chaired the meeting, is elected to the lowest position, the Director of the Interior. The election signals the third and succsssful attempt to replace the Katipunan inspite of the opposition from Bonifacio and his supporters. Notwithstanding the prior understanding that the results of the elections will be respected, Daniel Tirona questions the election of Bonifacio, saying he is not qualified due to lack of higher education. Feeling slighted, Bonifacio storms out of the proceedings and declares the night's proceedings null and void. (Fernandez, 29)
[ According to Santiago Alvarez, the Supremo Bonifacio appointed Gen. Artemio Ricarte as secretary. Then with the help of Mr. Daniel Tirona, he distributed pieces of paper to serve as ballots. When the ballots had been collected and the votes were ready to be canvassed, Mr. Diego Mojica, the Magdiwang secretary of the treasury, warned the Supremo that many ballots distributed were already filled out and that the voters had not done this themselves. The Supremo ignored this remark. He proceeded with the business at hand as if nothing unusual had happened. (Alvarez, 85) On the other hand, seeing that discord was taking possession of some minds, the delegates from Batangas declared that “.. Everybody knows ... our loyalty to the founder of the Katipunan and Magdiwang; but if, against all reason, the result of an election so thoroughly agreed upon between all is to be invalidated, we, the Batanguenos, will impose it by force, and we will do it alone if the sons of Cavite will not respect it." The delegates from Central Luzon supported the Batanguenos and made those present come to reason that paved the way for taking of their oath of office by those elected. (Delos Santos, 53)]

March 23, 1897
The elected officers of the revolutionary government led by Aguinaldo, including those identified with the Magdiwang Council and associated with Bonifacio, namely: Mariano Trias as Vice President, the reluctant Artemio Ricarte as General in Chief, and Mariano Riego del Dios as Director of War - take the oath of office in a solemn ritual in the convent at Tanza, Cavite. (Delos Santos, 45)
[A secret document of this date signed by Bonifacio, Mariano Alvarez, Ricarte, Diego Mojica and 40 other persons state that they cannot accept the results of the election of the 22nd of March, especially the election of president, because it lacked legality, and the ballots having been prepared by one person; that the signors intend to separate from the Magdalo organization and perpetuate the aims and purposes of the Katipunan. It is claimed that Aguinaldo, on learning what was being plotted against him, barged into the meeting before the signors had taken their oath, and Mariano Trias, Severino de las Alas and nearly all, except Bonifacio, went to Aguinaldo's side. Bonifacio, upon seeing that things were beginning to look ugly for him and having enough of it, decamped and left for Jalang. (Delos Santos, 46-47)]

March 25, 1897
The 74th Regiment of the Spanish Native Infantry composed of Visayan recruits, after refusing to march against the rebels the day before when eight corporals were shot on the spot for disobeying orders, deserts in a body to Aguinaldo, saying they were willing to fight the foreign enemies of Spain, but not against their own friends. (Sawyer, 107)

March 31, 1897
Miguel Malvar of Batangas is appointed General by Aguinaldo.

April 14, 1897
Upon receiving reports: (1) that Bonifacio is recruiting forces, (2) inducing General Ricarte to resign as Captain General, (3) that General Malvar is loaning rifles to Bonifacio, Aguinaldo writes to the provincial government of Batangas instructing everyone to support the new government and that failure to do so could be seen as a sign of lack of patriotism, which the nation will punish with severity and without delay. (KalawM[1], 83)

April 15, 1897
Gov. Gen. de Polavieja returns to Spain, broken in health, leaving behind an archipelago far from peaceful.

April 16, 1897
Bonifacio writes to Emilio Jacinto saying that a Jesuit priest named Pio Pi and a Spaniard by the name of Rafael Comenge submited a proposal for cessation of hostilities and amnesty to rebels, which Aguinaldo has considered with favor on condition that provision for specific reforms such as expulsion of the friars and deputation to the Cortes be included; that the proposal was forwarded to the Magdiwang Council and both he and Mariano Alvarez rejected it; that key officers of Magdalo, namely: Daniel Tirona, Juan Cailles and Jose del Rosario, Minister of war, Lieutenant General and Director of War, respectively, have surrendered to the Spaniards, along with other officers and some inhabitants of Tansa, all Magdalo men; that the Batangas Council had placed themselves under the authority of the Supreme Council and he has helped establish a provincial government there with General Miguel Malvar as their leader; that he intends to leave Cavite and proceed to Central Luzon to generalize the war; that the arms (ordered through Feliciano Jocson) have not arrived causing it to delay his departure. He also warns Jacinto to be careful with Mamerto Natividad, a Magdalo man, who will talk ill of them. (Delos Santos, 44)

April 24, 1897
Bonifacio again writes to Jacinto explaining what actuall happened during the Tejeros convention and the reason why he has not recognized the election results. He also mentions the seeming tendency of the Magdalo men to surrender the revolution to the Spaniards and his constant fear of a threat on his life not only from the Spanish soldiers but also from the Magdalo men. (Delos Santos, 45-46)

April 28, 1897
Brig. Gen. Mariano Noriel reports to Aguinaldo that Col. Agapito Bonzon with some men of the army was sent to investigate matters relating to the Supremo; that Bonifacio was hostile when approached and opened fire on the troops, resulting in the death of Ciriaco, a brother of Bonifacio, one rifleman and one boloman, and the wounding of Bonifacio, himself; that twenty riflemen, Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were taken prisoners. (KalawM[1], 84; Taylor, 304)

April 30, 1897
Gov. Gen. Primo de Rivera, who replaced de Polavieja, begins a campaign of 20 days against the rebels, which broke the organized resistance in Cavite. (Fernandez, 31)

May 3, 1897
Artemio Guevarra, a supporter of Bonifacio, writes to Emilio Jacinto narrating the incident about the visit of Col. Agapito Bonzon; that upon being asked what the purpose of the visit was, Col. Bonzon replied that he came to ask Bonifacio to meet with the government of Aguinaldo to prevent the separation between the two groups; that Bonifacio replied he will never go back to Cavite where he is treated a nobody; that thereupon Col. Bonzon took his leave and then a firefight ensued, Bonifacio was wounded. (KalawM[1], 84)

May 4, 1897
Pantaleon Garcia submits to Aguinaldo a report on the result of the investigation on matters relating to Bonifacio. The report says that Bonifacio refuses to recognize the Revolutionary government and its head, and that Bonifacio is recruiting people in Limbon, Cavite and putting to jail those who opposed him; that Bonifacio has hired a certain Pedro Giron for ten pesos to kill Aguinaldo. The report recommends a court martial be appointed to study more carefully and to determine if law and justice could be executed. (KalawM[1], 85)

May 4, 1897
The appointed Court Martial meets at Maragondon, presided over by Mariano Noriel, and including Mariano Riego de Dios. Esteban Infante, Sulpicio de la Cruz, Crsostono Riel (?), Placido Martinez. and probably Tomas Mascardo. Placido Martinez acts as lawyer for Andres Bonifacio, and Teodoro Gonzales for Procopio Bonifacio; and Jose Elises acts as fiscal or prosecuting attorney. The fiscal maintains that Andres Bonifacio and his brother are guilty of conspiracy and sedition, and should, therefore, be sentenced to death. Bonifacio's lawyer, Martinez, seems to admit Bonifacio's guilt but seeks pardon for him and his brother, Procopio. Bonifacio’s request for permission to speak is granted. The court martial finds that Bonifacio knew of a government in the locality where he was; that he was inducing officials and soldiers from the Revolutionary Government to join him; that he was recruiting and arming men at Limbon to overthrow the Revolutionary Government; and that he had fired the first shots against Col. Bonzon's troops. He is therefore guilty of conspiracy and sedition against the Revolutionary Government, and the Court sentences him to death. The death sentence is signed by Sulpicio de la Cruz, Crisostomo Riel, Mariano Noriel, Tomas Mascardo, Esteban Infante, and Placido Martinez.

May 7, 1897
The court martial sends the death sentence document to the Commander-in-Chief, President Emilio Aguinaldo. This is referred to the Auditor of War and Adjutant General Baldomero Aguinaldo, who confirms the sentence, though he asks that an investigation be conducted regarding the alleged maltreatment of Bonifacio's wife by Col. Bonzon.

May 8, 1897
Aguinaldo commutes the sentence of the Bonifacio brothers from death to permanent exile on an island (KalawT[1], 39), but several of Aguinaldo's men, notably Feliciano Jocson, Antonio Montenegro, Teodoro Gonzales, Severino de las Alas, Baldomero Aguinaldo, and Mariano Trias Closas, urge him to proceed with the death sentence. (Ricarte, 82)

May 10, 1897
Bonifacio and his brother Procopio are executed at Mt. Buntis, Maragondon Cavite by Filipino soldiers under the command of Lazaro Makapagal, following a written order signed by Col. Mariano Noriel.

June 10, 1897
Aguinaldo with a small band of devoted followers, elude Spanish forces within sight and hearing of Manila to the mountains of San Mateo, then to Biaknabato in Bulacan. (Fernandez, 31-32)

June 24, 1897
General Gregorio del Pilar receives the flag of the batallion of the Spanish garrison at Bulacan, Bulacan, under the command of Comandante Ortiz as an act of surrender in consequence of their defeat in the hands of the Filipino rebels. (Khaki[2], 15)

After the rebels lose several battles, Spanish troops retake Cavite as Aguinaldo and his men flee.

July ??, 1897
An unsigned, undated manifesto circulates which formalizes the demands of the Filipinos, namely: (1) Expulsion of the friars, and restitution to the townships of the lands which the friars have appropriated, dividing the incumbencies held by them, as well as the episcopal sees, equally between Peninsular [Spanish] and Insular [Filipino] secular priests. (2) Spain must concede to us, as she has to Cuba, parliamentary representation, freedom of the press, toleration of all religious sects, laws common with hers, and administrative and economic autonomy. (3) Equality in treatment and pay between Peninsular and Insular civil servants. (4) Restitution of all lands appropriated by the friars to the townships, or to the original owners, or, in default of finding such owners, the state to put them up at public auction in small lots of a value within the reach of all, payment to be made within four years, as in the case of the present state lands. (5) Abolition of the government's authority to banish citizens, as well as of all unjust measures against Filipinos; legal equality for all persons, whether Peninsular or Insular, under the civil as well as the penal code. (Robinson, 32)

July ??, 1897
Aguinaldo issues a manifesto which essentially declares the aspiration of the Filipinos to attain independence, viz: “We aspire to the glory of obtaining the liberty, independence and honor of the country.... We aspire to a government representing all the live forces of the country, in which the most able, the most worthy in virtue and talent, may take part, without distinction of birth, fortune or race. We desire that no monk nor friar shall sully the soil of any part of the archipelago, nor that there shall exist any convent, etc.” (Robinson, 33)

July 2, 1897
Gov. Gen. de Rivera issues an edict restricting travel and requiring approved passes for such.

July 05, 1897
From the mountain fastness of Biaknabato, Bulacan, Aguinaldo issues a proclamation appealing to all Filipinos to continue the fight and support the revolution. (KalawM[1], 89)

August 9, 1897
Aguinaldo signs a power of attorney in favor of Pedro Paterno, stating his terms, which were tantamount to a protocol of peace, and which was to serve as a basis for a peace agreement known as the Pact of Biaknabato providing for monetary compensation to the victims of the revolution and a promise of political reforms. (Foreman-1899, 544; Fernandez, 36)

August 13, 1897
Paterno presents the demands of the revolutionaries to Gov. Gen. Primo de Rivera who rejects it saying that only the Spanish Cortes can enter into such an agreement, and claiming the compensation ($3 million Mexican) asked is much too high. (Fenandez, 37)

September 6, 1897
Aguinaldo issues a proclamation - continue the fight, conduct guerilla warfare and prolong the conflict to wear out Spain. (Fernandez, 33)

September ??, 1897
After a relative lull in fighting during July and August conflict is renewed in Laguna, Batangas, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija; guerilla warfare is extended to Principe, Tarlac and Pangasinan.

October 21, 1897
Commodore Dewey receives an order detaching him as president of the board of inspection and survey and to take passage to Japan in a Pacific mail steamer sailing from San Francisco on December 7 and to relieve Acting Rear Admiral McNair on board the ship Olympia. Dewey spends the one month sojourn at Washington studying charts and maps of the Philippine Islands. (Dewey, 170; Olcott, 39)

November ??, 1897
The thought of taking the Philippines if war is declared against Spain came to Dewey while in command of the Narrangansett as she lays anchored in the Gulf of California, whereupon he seeks the command of the asiatic squadron and with Mr. Roosevelt's aid obtains it. (Storey,36)

November 1, 1897
The Constitution of Biaknabato is adopted by the revolutionaries at Biaknabato, Bulacan to take effect only for two years, with Aguinaldo as President, Mariano Trias as Vice President, Isabelo Artacho, Secretary of the Interior, Antonio Montenegro, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Baldomero Aguinaldo, Secretary of Treasury and Emilio Riego de Dios, Secretary of War.(KalawM[1], 91-92; Fernandez, 34)

Aguinaldo accepts Pedro Paterno's offer as mediator between the rebels and Gov. Gen. Primo de Rivera, and gives Paterno authority to negotiate for the insurgents, and states that the reforms which would be acceptable to the revolutionists as a basis for peace were as follows: (1) Expulsion of the religious orders, or at least regulations prohibiting them from living together in cloisters, (2) Representation of the Philippines in the Spanish Cortes, (3) Application of true justice in the Philippines, the same for the native as for the Spaniard. The same laws in Spain and the Philippines. The natives to have a share in the higher offices of the civil administration, (4) Adjustment of property, of taxes and parishes, in favor of the native, (5) Proclamation of the individual rights of the native, as well as his liberty to combine with others in associations, and the liberty of the press. ( KalawM[1], 92-93)

November 2, 1897
The Hong Kong junta, a committee of expatriated Filipinos working for the cause of the revolution, is formally inaugurated.

November 3, 1897
Felipe Agoncillo approaches the American consul in Hongkong, Rounseville Wildman, proposing an alliance in case war breaks out between Spain and the United States. As reported by Consul Wildman to the U.S. State Department, Mr. Agoncillo holds a commission, signed by the president, members of cabinet, and general in chief of the republic of Philippines, empowering him absolutely with power to conclude treaties with foreign governments. Mr. Agoncillo offers on behalf of his government alliance offensive and defensive with the United States when the United States declares war on Spain, which, in Mr. Agoncillo's judgment, will be very soon. In the meantime he wishes the United States to send to some port in the Philippines 20,000 stand of arms and 200,000 rounds of ammunition for the use of his government, to be paid for on the recognition of his government by the United States. He pledges as security two provinces and the custom-house at Manila. He is not particular about the price- is willing the United States should make 25 per cent or 30 per cent profit. (Olcott, 142-143; Atkinson, 48)

November 7, 1897
Aguinaldo issues a new power of attorney in favor of Pedro Paterno to proceed with the peace negotiations with certain amendments, including the reduction of compensation from $3 million to $1.7 million. (Foreman-1899, 545)

November 10, 1897
Mamerto Natividad, Commander-in-Chief of the revolutionary forces of Central Luzon dies in an encounter with Spanish cazadores in San Fernando, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija.

November 14, 1897
Pedro Paterno succeeds in extracting from the revolutionaries a reduced compensation package of $800,000 Mexican Dollars and submits the revised draft to the Spanish authorities. (Fernandez, 38)

November 18, 1897
Paterno presents the revised draft of peace agreement to Gov. Gen. Primo de Rivera who gives it his instant consideration. (Fernandez, 38)

November 20, 1897
Spanish authorities in Madrid give Gov. Gen. Rivera the full authority to conclude negotiations at once with the Filipino rebels. (Fernandez, 38)

December ??, 1897
President McKinley, in a message to Congress about U.S. Intentions in Cuba, says: “I speak not of forcible annexation, because that is not to be thought of, and under our code of morality that would be criminal aggression.” (Swift, 39)

[One year later, President McKinley did exactly the opposite by forcibly imposing American sovereignty over the unwilling Filipinos.]

December 7, 1897
Commodore Dewey, after obtaining the commandership of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron with the help of Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, sailed Japan to take his position. (KalawM[2], 19)

December 12, 1897
Pedro Paterno, accompanied by two Filipino rebel leaders, returns to Manila from Biak-na-bato, with authorization from Aguinaldo to enter into a peace agreement with the Spanish authorities on his behalf. (Fernandez, 38)

December 15, 1897
Third Asst. Secretary Thos. W. Cridler replies to American Consul in Hongkong, Mr. Wildman, advising him to tell Agoncillo that the United States does not negotiate such treaties and that it is not possible to send the arms and ammunition. Mr. Wildman is told to refrain from encouraging Agoncillo to make any advances and should courteously decline to communicate with the department regarding Agoncillo's mission. (Olcott, 144)

December 20, 1897
The peace pact, signed by the Filipino rebels and Spanish authorities in December 14 and 15, is ratified by the revolutionary council. Among the numerous reforms the Spanish authorities promised to make are: representation in the Spanish Cortez, freedom of the press, general amnesty for all insurgents, and the expulsion or secularization of the monastic orders. The document also provides for the surrender of Aguinaldo and his followers and for full amnesty for them. The rebellion is to be ended and arms surrendered. The monetary consideration provides for the sum of 800,000 pesos, to be paid in three installments, one of which, a check for 400,000 pesos, is to be given Emilio Aguinaldo upon his departure for Hongkong.(KalawM[1], 94)

[It is claimed that the peace documents did not make reference to promised reforms. Gov. Gen. Primo de Rivera insisted that the peace agreement covered only an act of surrender for money. Aguinaldo, however, claimed Rivera verbally committed to the reforms but requested not to put these in writing as this will put the Spanish government in an embarassing position. The reference to promised reforms is very evident in the parting words of Aguinaldo to Gov Gen Primo de Rivera before the exile-rebels left for Hongkong: "Those who were Filipino rebels, on leaving the land of their birth, send their farewell greetings, not without profound emotion and with tears in their eyes, leaving in the hands of Your Excellency the guardianship of their homes and the protection of the soil where they first saw the light of day. All are confident that Spain, impelled by right and justice, will grant the reforms without bloodshed or combat, since so much blood has already stained the soil of Luzon ..."(Fernandez, 42-43)

December 23, 1897
Spanish Generals Tejeiro and Ricardo Monet arrive in Biaknabato, there to remain as hostages for the safe passage of the Filipino rebel leaders as provided for in the peace agreement. (Fernandez, 43)

December 27, 1897
Aguinaldo and 35 other Filipino rebel leaders leave for Hong Kong on exile aboard the steamer Uranus, an option which some of the rebel leaders were allowed to exercise. Those who will remain in the country will take it upon themselves to monitor the faithful implementation of the peace agreement. (Fernandez, 43)
[The rebel leaders who left for Hongkong with Aguinaldo were: Mariano Llanera, Tomas Aguinaldo, Vito Belarmino, Antonio Montenegro, Escolastico Viola, Lino Viola, Valentin Diaz, Dr. Anastacio Francisco, Benito Natividad, Gregorio H. del Pilar, Manuel Tinio, Salvador Estrella, Maximo Kabigting, Wenceslao Viniegra, Doroteo Lopez, Vicente Lukban, Primitivo Artacho, Tomas Mascardo, Joaquin Alejandrino, Pedro Aguinaldo, Agapito Bonson, Carlos Ronquillo, Teodoro Legazpi, Agustin de la Rosa, Miguel Valenzuela, Antonio Carlos, Celestino Aragon, Jose Aragon, Pedro Francisco, Lazaro Makapagal y Lakang-dula, Silvestre Legazpi, Vitaliano Famular, Vicenter Kagton, Francisco Frani and Eugenio de la Cruz.]

December 31, 1897
As provided in the peace agreement, the surrender of arms of the Filipino rebels begins and will continue until February the following year.
[According to the inventory signed by Baldomero Aguinaldo, Pio del Pilar and Urbano Lacuna for the rebels and Miguel Primo de Rivera for the Spanish government the following armaments were surrendered: 458 rifles, mostly Remington and Mauser, 724 Muskets and other firearms, 120 lantakas (small native cannon); 20 revolvers; 796 sabers, bolos and spears; and 13,992 rounds of ammunitions.](Fernandez, 43)

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