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Aguinaldo in organizing a republic in Biak-na-Bato Essay

▪ Abolition of the government’s power to banish Filipinos ▪ Equality for all before the law. A charter based on the Cuban Constitution was also drafted by Felix Ferrer and Isabelo Artacho. It was signed on November 1, 1897. The Biak-na-Bato Constitution provided for the establishment of a Supreme council that would serve as the highest governing body of the Republic. It also outlined certain basic human rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the right to education. Emilio Aguinaldo and Mariano Trias were elected Supreme Council president and vice president, respectively. The Biak-na-Bato Pact Fails The Filipino’s and the Spaniards did not trust each other. As a result, periodic clashes between the two groups still took place even after Aguinaldo’s departure from the country. The Spanish did not pay the entire agreed amount.

Continue to The Spanish-American War. (http://www.philippine-history.org/biak-na-bato.htm) On December 27, 1897, General Emilio Aguinaldo and 25 other revolutionary leaders sailed for Hongkong from Sual, Pangasinan, on board the steamer Uranus, in compliance with the terms of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. Aguinaldo, with his men in voluntary exile in Hongkong as part of the peace agreement of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato by Pedro Paterno, also volunteered to be a peace maker as early as August 9, 1897 with the basis of reforms and amnesty. Accordingly, Spanish Governor Primo de Rivera realized the impossibility of quelling the revolution by force of arms contrary to his premature proclamation on May 17, 1897 that the “revolution is over”.

Gen. Aguinaldo’s forces were driven from Cavite to Bulacan and declared the constitution and inaugurated the Republic of Biak-na-Bato on November 1, 1897. Hence, negotiations with Aguinaldo, which specified that the Spanish would give self-rule to the Philippines within three years if Aguinaldo went into exile, began in August and concluded in December with the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. Also, under the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to end hostilities as well in exchange for amnesty and 800,000 pesos (Filipino money) as an indemnity. He and the other revolutionary leaders would go into voluntary exile.

Another 900,000 pesos was to be given to the revolutionaries who remained in the Philippines, who agreed to surrender their arms; general amnesty would be granted and the Spaniards would institute reforms in the colony. (http://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=47544.0) 2. What was the significance of Pact of Biak-na-Bato in the history of the Filipino people? How did the pact help the Filipinos to prepare themselves in achieving the long due independence from Spain? Explain your answer The Pact of Biak-na-Bato Pedro Paterno, a Spaniard born in the Philippines volunteered to act as negotiator between Aguinaldo and Gov. Primo de Rivera in order to end the clashes.

Paterno’s effort paid off when on, December 15, 1897, the Pact he sign the Pact as the representative of the revolutionaries, and de Rivera as the representative of the Spanish government. The Leaders are: Emilio Aguinaldo-President, Mariano Trias-Vice President, Antonio Montenegro-Secretary, Baldomero Aguinaldo-Treasurer, and Emilio Riego de Dios. On December 23, 1897, Generals Celestino Tejero and Ricardo Monet of the Spanish army arrived in Biak-na-Bato and became hostages of the rebels. A ceasefire was declared by both camps and an agreement between Aguinaldo and the Spanish forces was made -that the Spanish government will grant self-rule to the Philippines in 3 years if Aguinaldo went to exile and surrender his arms. In exchange, Aguinaldo will receive P800,000 (Mexican Pesos) as remuneration to the revolutionaries and an amnesty.

After receiving a partial payment of P400,000, Aguinaldo left for Hong Kong on December 27, 1897. Some Filipino generals, however, did not believe in the sincerity of the Spaniards. They refused to surrender their arms. Nevertheless, the Te Deum was still sung on January 23, 1898. (http://www.philippine-history.org/biak-na-bato.htm)

On August 9, 1897, Paterno proposed a peace based on reforms and amnesty to Aguinaldo. In succeeding months, practicing shuttle diplomacy, Paterno traveled back and forth between Manila and Biak-na-Bato carrying proposals and counterproposals. Paterno’s efforts led to a peace agreement called the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. This consisted of three documents, the first two being signed on December 14, 1897, and the third being signed on December 15; effectively ending the Republic of Biak-na-Bato.

The principal conditions of the pact were: (1) That I would, and any of my associates who desired to go with me, be free to live in any foreign country. Having fixed upon Hongkong as my place of residence, it was agreed that payment of the indemnity of $800,000 (Mexican) should be made in three installments, namely, $400,000 when all the arms in Biak-na-Bató were delivered to the Spanish authorities; $200,000 when the arms surrendered amounted to eight hundred stand; the final payment to be made when one thousand stand of arms shall have been handed over to the authorities and the Te Deum sung in the Cathedral in Manila as thanksgiving for the restoration of peace.

The latter part of February was fixed as the limit of time wherein the surrender of arms should be completed. (2) The whole of the money was to be paid to me personally, leaving the disposal of the money to my discretion and knowledge of the understanding with my associates and other insurgents. (3) Prior to evacuating Biak-na-Bató the remainder of the insurgent forces under Captain-General Primo de Rivera should send to Biak-na-Bató two General of the Spanish Army to be held as hostages by my associates who remained there until I and a few of my compatriots arrived in Hongkong and the first installment of the money payment (namely, four hundred thousand dollars) was paid to me.

(4) It was also agreed that the religious corporations in the Philippines be expelled and an autonomous system of government, political and
administrative, be established, though by special request of General Primo de Rivera these conditions were not insisted on in the drawing up of the Treaty, the General contending that such concessions would subject the Government to severe criticism and even ridicule. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Biak-na-Bato)

3. What is the significance of the proclamation of Philippine Independence in 1898? Independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo some 30 kilometers South of Manila. The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines, made in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo, and Delfina Herboza, and the performance of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, as the national anthem, now known asLupang Hinirang, which was composed by Julián Felipe and played by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band.

The Act of the Declaration of Independence was prepared, written, and read by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Spanish. The Declaration was signed by ninety-eight people, among them an American army officer who witnessed the proclamation. The final paragraph states that there was a “stranger” (stranger in English translation —extrangero in the original Spanish, meaning foreigner) who attended the proceedings, Mr. L. M. Johnson, described as “a citizen of the U.S.A, a Coronel of Artillery”.

The proclamation of Philippine independence was, however, promulgated on 1 August, when many towns had already been organized under the rules laid down by the Dictatorial Government of General Aguinaldo. Later at Malolos, Bulacan, the Malolos Congress modified the declaration upon the insistence of Apolinario Mabiniwho objected to that the original proclamation essentially placed the Philippines under the protection of the United States. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Declaration_of_Independence#The_Proclamation_on_June_12) Despite the constant vacillation of the elite, Aguinaldo and his advisers tapped on their services in organizing the Philippine Republic. Aguinaldo was eager to prove that the Filipinos could govern themselves, and in the process it
would legitimize the Philippine Republic.

Moreover, since he and his advisers wereilustrados, Aguinaldo only trusted his own kind – the wealthy, educated, and politically experienced – in the matter of governance. Thus, he called on them to convene and create a Congress which would draft a constitution. He wanted a Philippine constitution to complete the required trimmings of a sovereign, nation-state – flag, army, government, and constitution. In his actions, Aguinaldo was advised by Apolinario Mabini who became known as the “Sublime Paralytic” because his spirit was not deterred by his physical handicap, and the “Brains of the Revolution” due to his intellectual acumen.

On January 21, 1899, Aguinaldo proclaimed the Malolos Constitution which was drafted by the ilustrados of the Malolos Congress. Two days later, the Philippine Republic was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan, the new capital of the fledging government. The Philippine Republic was, however, short-lived. From the start, Aguinaldo’s forces were fighting the Spaniards without military assistance from the Americans. Except for the Battle of Manila Bay, the United States was not a major force in the fighting. The American troops did not arrive in the country until late June, and they saw no military action until August. But events starting with the Spanish surrender of Manila on August 13, 1898, doomed the end of Philippine independence.

Although the Spanish troops had been routed in all fronts by the Filipinos, the continuing presence of the Americans was unsettling. Questions on actual American motives surfaced with the continuous arrival of American reinforcements. It did not take long for the Filipinos to realize the genuine intentions of the United States.

The precarious and uneasy Philippine-American alliance collapsed on February 4, 1899, when the Philippine-American War broke out and threatened to annihilate the new found freedom of the Filipinos. (http://opmanong.ssc.hawaii.edu/filipino/republic.html) For our country, enough time has passed for “We, the sovereign Filipino People” to yield their interpretive power to the courts. But reclaim it we did in the impeachment trial just past, wherein the elected deputies in Congress in effect reasserted the sovereign prerogative to make their preferred meanings prevail over the Chief Justice’s, about the duty of disclosure and transparency in the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth and on whether nondisclosure alone, without proof of corruption or plunder, is impeachable.

And the very next day, the Supreme Court itself echoed that popular judgment when it lifted its longstanding veil of secrecy over the justices’ SALNs, thus recognizing the primacy of the people’s over the court’s reading of the constitution. (http://opinion.inquirer.net/30235/independence-day-1898-and-2012) 4. How did the Malolos Congress and its Constitution become momentous to the history of Filipino people? Explain your answer. A committee headed by Felipe Calderon and aided by Cayetano Arellano, the constitution was drafted, for the first time by representatives of the Filipino people and it is the first republican constitution in Asia. The constitution was inspired by the constitutions of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belgium and France.

After some minor revisions (mainly due to the objections of Apolinario Mabini), the final draft of the constitution was presented to Aguinaldo. This paved the way to launching the first Philippine Republic. It established a democratic, republication government with three branches – the Executive, Legislative and the Judicial branches. It called for the separation of church and state.

The executive powers were to be exercise by the president of the republic with the help of his cabinet. Judicial powers were given to the Supreme Court and other lower courts to be created by law. The Chief justice of the Supreme Court was to be elected by the legislature with the concurrence of the President and his Cabinet. (http://www.philippine-history.org/malolos-congress.htm) 5. What prompted the United States of America to declare Spanish-American War? This presentation provides resources and documents about the Spanish-American War, the period before the war, and some of the fascinating people who participated in the fighting or commented about it.

Information about Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States is provided in chronologies, bibliographies, and a variety of pictorial and textual material from bilingual sources, supplemented by an overview essay about the war and the period. Among the participants and authors featured are such well-known figures as Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt, as well as Admiral George Dewey and author Mark Twain (United States), together with other important figures such as Antonio Maceo and José Martí (Cuba), Román Baldorioty de Castro and Lola Rodríguez de Tió (Puerto Rico), José Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo (Philippines), and Antonio Cánovas del Castillo and Ramón Blanco (Spain). (http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/) (http://spanamwar.com/timeline.htm) Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans; there had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873.

By 1897–98, American public opinion grew angrier at reports of Spanish atrocities in Cuba. After the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed the administration of Republican President William McKinley into a war he had wished to avoid. Compromise proved impossible, resulting in the United States sending an ultimatum to Spain demanding it immediately surrender control of Cuba, which the Spanish rejected. First Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war. Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific.

American naval power proved decisive, allowing U.S. expeditionary forces to disembark in Cuba against a Spanish garrison already reeling from nationwide insurgent attacks and wasted by yellow fever. Cuban, Philippine, and American forces obtained the surrender of Santiago de Cuba and Manila owing to their numerical superiority in most of the battles and despite the good performance of some Spanish infantry units and spirited defenses in places like San Juan Hill. With two obsolete Spanish squadrons sunk in Santiago de Cuba andManila Bay and a third, more modern fleet recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts, Madrid sued for peace.

The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U.S., which allowed temporary American control of Cuba and, following their purchase from Spain, indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The defeat and collapse of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock to Spain’s national psyche, and provoked a thoroughgoing philosophical and artistic reevaluation of Spanish society known as the Generation of ’98. The victor gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of expansionism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish%E2%80%93American_War)

6. Discuss the reasons behind the Filipino-American War (1899-1906). On February 4, 1899, an American soldier, Private William Grayson, shot a Filipino soldier at the bridge of San Juan, Manila. The fatal shot was followed by an immediate U.S. offensive on the Filipino lines. This marked the beginning of the Philippine-American War, which lasted for three years until the establishment of the civilian colonial government of Governor-General William Howard Taft on July 4, 1902.

The timing of the San Juan incident is suspect since it happened only two days before the U.S. Congress was scheduled to ratify the Treaty of Paris on February 6, 1899. Under the treaty, Spain officially ceded the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico to the United States in exchange for $20 million. Since the U.S. Congress, like the American public, was evenly split between the anti-imperialists and pro-annexationists, the treaty was expected to experience rough sailing when submitted to the Chamber for ratification.

The San Juan incident and the outbreak of the Philippine American War tilted sentiment in favor of acquiring the Philippines, and thus the treaty was ratified by the U.S. Congress. (http://opmanong.ssc.hawaii.edu/filipino/philam.html) The conflict arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following annexation by the United States. The war was part of a series of conflicts in the Philippine struggle for independence, preceded by the Philippine Revolution and the Spanish–American War.

Fighting erupted between U.S. and Filipino revolutionary forces on February 4, 1899, and quickly escalated into the 1899 Battle of Manila. On June 2, 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States. The war officially ended on July 4, 1902. However, some groups led by veterans of the Katipunan society continued to battle the American forces. Among those leaders was General Macario Sacay, a veteran Katipunan member who assumed the presidency of the proclaimed Tagalog Republic, formed in 1902 after the capture of President Aguinaldo. Other groups, including the Moro people and Pulahanes, continued hostilities until their defeat at the Battle of Bud Bagsak on June 15, 1913.

Opposition to the war inspired the founding of the Anti-Imperialist League on June 15, 1898. The war and occupation by the United States would change the cultural landscape of the islands, as the people dealt with an estimated 34,000–1,000,000 casualties, disestablishment of the Catholic Church as the Philippine state religion (as the United States allowed freedom of religion), and the introduction of the English language as the primary language of government and most businesses. In 1916, the United States promised some self-government, a limited form of which came in 1935. In 1946, following World War II, the United States gave the territory independence through the Treaty of Manila. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine%E2%80%93American_War)

7. Describe the Military and Civil rule of the United States of America in the Philippines. On January 20, 1899, President McKinley appointed the First Philippine Commission (the Schurman Commission), a five-person group headed by Dr. Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell University, and including Admiral Dewey and General Otis, to investigate conditions in the islands and make recommendations. In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it. Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian government as rapidly as possible (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including establishment of a bicameral legislature, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a system of free public elementary schools.

The Second Philippine Commission (the Taft Commission), appointed by McKinley on March 16, 1900, and headed by William Howard Taft, was granted legislative as well as limited executive powers. Between September 1900 and August 1902, it issued 499 laws. A judicial system was established, including a Supreme Court, and a legal code was drawn up to replace antiquated Spanish ordinances. A civil service was organized. The 1901 municipal code provided for popularly elected presidents, vice presidents, and councilors to serve on municipal boards. The municipal board members were responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining municipal properties, and undertaking necessary construction projects; they also elected provincial governors. In July 1901 the Philippine Constabulary was organized as an archipelago-wide police force to control brigandage and deal with the remnants of the insurgent movement.

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