The political murder of Gat Andres Bonifacio

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez - The Freeman

The saddest and perhaps the most tragic of all political killings in our history happened 126 years ago, when the dictatorial government under General Emilio Aguinaldo, ordered the execution of the Katipunan Supremo, Gat Andres Bonifacio. The poor guy from Tondo is the true national hero of the poor, oppressed and exploited Filipinos. By the dictates of the American colonizers, Bonifacio was not declared our national hero because he was poor, uneducated and not as glamorous nor a hot copy like the colorful Dr. Jose Rizal.

Gat Andres Bonifacio should have been recognized as the first president of the Philippines. He was not only robbed of the leadership of the Revolutionary Government, he was murdered and his widow was sexually molested by his murderers. In 1899, General Emilio Aguinaldo was proclaimed as the first president of the Philippines. Until today, he is so recognized as such. But many historians insist today that the Katipunan, which was founded by Bonifacio in 1892 was transformed into a government on August 24, 1896 and Bonifacio was its president. The Haring Bayang Katagalugan was headquartered at a place called Pantayanin in the boundary between Pasig and Antipolo. Bonifacio was already president two years before Aguinaldo's drama in Kawit.

The tragic fate of president Bonifacio started with the greatest political booby trap ever contrived by the scheming political operators among the Magdalo faction of the Katipunan, This was the highly controversial Tejeros Convention, which was really the original "Hello Garci" electoral fraud, and the grandmother of all electoral frauds. It was the origin of all political schemes and electoral machinations of greedy and conscienceless men. The Tejeros Convention, was a meeting held on March 22, 1897, between Katipunan factions of Magdiwang and Magdalo in San Francisco de Malabon, Cavite (now General Trias), that resulted in the creation of a new revolutionary government grabbing control over the Philippine Revolution by treacherously replacing the Katipunan.

The Magdiwang group from Tondo, led by Bonifacio, was clueless that the Supremo was made to preside over an assembly that would oust the Katipunan led led by Gat Andres and would install the Aguinaldo group, hideously grabbing the limelight and the power over the Philippine Revolution against Spain. It was like an intra-union fight. Aguinaldo, in order to disguise his complicity, opted to be in absentia. But all the ballot boxes were prepared by the Magdalo, the elections committee was dominated by the Magdalos. And the election was a farce, where Bonifacio was defeated as nominee for president, then vice president. When he was grudgingly elected secretary of interior, the Magdalo supporters objected allegedly because Bonifacio was not a lawyer. This angered the Supremo and he declared all the proceedings null and void.


Bonifacio and his core supporters walked out and withdrew to the mountains. He was immediately charged with treason and was tried by a kangaroo tribunal, all appointed by his opponent Aguinaldo. He was, of course, convicted. Aguinaldo, at first, did not want to have him executed for fear that an execution might divide the revolutionaries, but later changed his mind upon the instigation of the Magdalos. Gat Andres was forthwith murdered, together with his two younger brothers, Ciriaco and Procopio in a forested area between the mountains of Nagpatong and Buntis in Maragondon, Cavite. Ka Andres was stabbed, kicked, mauled, boxed, stoned and shot, the greatest overkill by evil men led by the vilest of dictators. After his death, his widow, Ka Oriang or Gregoria de Jesus, was sexually molested by the same evil men who murdered the hero of the plebeians.  His murder is one of the most heinous atrocities committed against our heroes.

Like the murders of the Gomburza and Rizal in Bagumbayan by the Spanish oppressors, like the murder of General Antonio Luna in Cabanatuan by the same henchmen of Aguinaldo, like the murder of Ninoy Aquino in the airport tarmac, the conscienceless and treacherous killing of Ka Andres is one of the greatest injustices ever committed by the powerful against the powerless in all Philippine history. Rizal was killed by the Spaniards. But Gat Andres was murdered by the Filipinos in Cavite.

These days, the trapos have decided to transfer the Bonifacio Day to November 27 in the name of tourism and revenues from it. That is another form of travesty against history. Thus, I lament the many travesties committed by evil men, who hold power against the people and the nation. The murder of Gat Andres 126 years ago, the murder of Ninoy and the many extra-judicial killings and summary executions remain unsolved. And I lament more on the fact that many such evil men are still in power today, and the people seem not to care. And, by the way, that is the unkindest cut of all.

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