Clearly, as what this blog site implies, the author is not (and will never be) an Aguinaldo fan. It is also clear, unlike to what is being (and have been) taught in school, that Aguinaldo is after all for personal favor and not what was written in our history books. Despite his glorified image, it is undeniable that he was the person behind the deaths of the most important(if not “The”) persons in the Philippine History, as well as betrayals and the sale of our country.
That being said let us count the ways, how many times, Don Emilio Aguinaldo favored himself over our beloved country.
Philippine’s For Sale (Pact of Biak na Bato)
With the death of Katipunan’s Supreme Leader, Andres Bonifacio, the Philippine revolutionary stronghold started to lose grip, prompting Aguinaldo (and his cohorts and cabinet) to take refuge in a remote cave in the province of Bulacan, called Biak na Bato. Together with his cabinets and loyalist, they have agreed on and signed a pact selling the Philippine Revolution to the Spanish empire for 800,000 Mexican Peso, half of which will be Aguinaldo’s and the other half will be distributed to the entire party.
At that point in time, the move made some Filipinos, most specially those who are still fighting and not present in the Pact of Biak na Bato, angry and felt betrayed more overly those who are relatives of the one’s who were killed in action (I can’t fathom the way Donya Oryang (widow of Andres Bonifacio) felt during that time).
However, later on, it was refuted (by the Aguinaldo loyalist and relatives) that the move is some sort of a tactic to gather funds and ground in order to purchase firearms and recruit more revolutionaries, in relation to the second salvo of the revolution. Also, they claimed that without the Pact of Biak na Bato, the Spanish could have still went after the revolutionaries but all of it died down with the sale.
True enough, the Spanish purchased the revolution but agreed to only pay Aguinaldo in half (400,000 Mexican Pesos), and promise to pay the other half after his exile in Hong Kong. The other 400,000 Mexican Pesos was never fulfilled and Aguinaldo never had purchased additional firearms (and revolutionaries) with his money.
In 1941, during the Japanese Regime, Aguinaldo went to the radio and appealed to the country not to take up arms against the Japanese Forces, but join them in arms instead.
Other, most specially the Anti Aguinaldo forces, saw this gesture not only as betrayal but a mere revenge after he lost the seat to the then Speaker of the House, Manuel Quezon, with the hopes of getting the presidency or at least the highest Philippine representative during the occupation. Unfortunately, after all his efforts to take the seat, it was given to Jose P. Laurel.
Supremo’s Murder (Andres Bonifacio)
He first ordered the exile of Katipunan’s founding father Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio because of treason and conspiracy to kill Emilio Aguinaldo. On his credit, Aguinlado, tried the Bonifacio brothers, with Jury and a defense lawyer.Be as it may, the Jury and the Bonifacio defense lawyer were all Aguinaldo loyalist and fellow Cavitenos (during that time regional differences were at it’s highest peak).
After the trial, he ordered for the brothers to be exiled, but later on recalled his orders and gave in to his general’s advice (pressure) to kill the Bonifacio brothers, instead, for the sake of their cause. On the wake of an offensive by the Spanish forces in Maragondon Cavite, he ordered the execution of the Andres and Procopio Bonifacio in the Maragondon mountain ranges, some called named it Mount Buntis, some Nagpatong, some Tala, but unfortunately, until now, no one is definite the exact place of execution.
With the death of Bonifacio, he made himself the Supreme Leader of Katipunan that eventually led to the first Republic of the Philippines, but the manner of how he took the seat only showed that he is more into the personal rather than the patriotic edge of the blade. To make matters worst, he treated Andres Bonifacio like a common criminal, by ordering to shoot Andres Bonifcaio at the back (which is only given to traitors, like what the Spanish government did to Jose Rizal) and by not giving him a proper burial.
The Assassination of Gen. Antonio Luna
Gen. Antonio Luna gained notoriety during the Filipino-American War right after the Filipino-Spanish war. He is known to be a hot headed and ill tempered but very disciplined and dedicated general, of whom, many are happy and sad/bitter at the same time.
Luna was Aguinaldo’s highest commanding general but had gained many foes along the line, including some other generals and advisers of Aguinaldo.
Like Andres Bonifacio, Luna was killed by Aguinaldo’s men, but unlike Bonifacio’s, Aguinaldo denied the allegation until his death. Nonetheless, even though the evidences are pointing towards the men of Aguinaldo (and himself), no single person was tried nor convicted of Luna’s death on June 1899 in Cabanatuan City.
Aguinaldo’s name came into picture when he allegedly summoned Luna to Cabanatuan City, as he will be named secretary of war only to find out his arch nemesis (and a known Aguinaldo ally) Felipe Buencamino, behind Aguinaldo’s seat.
After a verbal altercation with Buencamino, Luna angrily came down the City’s capitol building and out of the square to his two trusted aides Col. Francisco “Paco” Roman and Capt. Eduardo Rusca, when he heard a gunshot inside the compound which prompted him to go back to confront the person who fired the gun. While looking for the culprit, he was upfronted by Capt. Jalonillo (another Aguinaldo ally and fellow Caviteno and was victim of the General’s wrath when he failed on a mission ), with a bolo to the head.
After Gen. Luna (and Paco Roman) was killed, Dona Trinidad Famy Aguinaldo (Aguinaldo’s Mother), peered out of the window and uttered or asked the question “Yari na ba yan?” which was/is a two standard phrase that can be interpreted as “is it done?” or “is he dead?” adding fuel to the controversy.
Don Emilio Aguinaldo went to live and witness the emancipation of our country until his death in 1964 at the age of 94 outliving his fellow Spanish “Hero” by a margin of 60+ years (Luna died at 32, Bonifacio died at 33, Jose Rizal died at 35, Del Pilar died at 24, and so on). In addition, Gen. Aguinaldo was not shy to show the entire country of his personal ambition like what he did during the Pact of Biak na Bato and the Japanese Occupation.
Nonetheless, like the old saying goes, winners write history, reason why he was (and still is) treated as a national hero well in fact he can be tagged as a traitor and betrayer.