1st President of the Philippines

Emilio Aguinaldo (March 22, 1869 -- February 6, 1964)

Philippine Revolution Main article: 

Main article: Philippine Revolution

In 1894, Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan or the K.K.K., a secret organization led by Andrés Bonifacio, dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines through armed force. Aguinaldo used the nom de guerre Magdalo, in honor of Mary Magdalene.His local chapter of the Katipunan, headed by his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, was also called Magdalo.

The Katipunan revolt against the Spanish began in the last week of August 1896, in San Juan del Monte (now part of Metro Manila). However, Aguinaldo and other Cavite rebels initially refused to join in the offensive due to lack of arms. Their absence contributed to Bonifacio's defeat. While Bonifacio
and other rebels were forced to resort to guerrilla warfare, Aguinaldo and the Cavite rebels won major victories in set-piece battles, temporarily driving the Spanish out of their area.

Conflict between the Magdalo and another Cavite Katipunan faction, the Magdiwang, led to Bonifacio's intervention in the province. The Cavite rebels then made overtures about establishing a revolutionary government in place of the Katipunan.considered the Katipunan to be a government, he acquiesced and presided over elections held during the Tejeros Convention in Tejeros, Cavite on March 22, 1897. Away from his power base, Bonifacio 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 Morong (present-day Rizal).

Bonifacio refused to recognize the revolutionary government headed by Aguinaldo and attempted to reassert his authority, accusing the Aguinaldo faction of treason and by issuing orders contravening orders issued by the Aguinaldo faction. At Aguinaldo's orders, Bonifacio and his brothers were arrested and, in a mock trial which lasted one day, convicted of treason, and sentenced to death. After some vacillation, Aguinaldo commuted the death sentence, but cancelled his commutation order after being convinced by Generial Manuel Noriel, President of the Council of War the death sentence, and others prominent in his government that the sentence must stand. Andres and Procopio Bonifacio were executed by firing squad on May 10, 1897 at Mount Hulog, about four kilometers west of Maragondon, Cavite.


Main article:Pact of Biak-na-Bato

Spanish pressure intensified, eventually forcing Aguinaldo's forces to retreat to the mountains. Emilio Aguinaldo signed the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. Under the pact, Aguinaldo effectively agreed to end hostilities and dissolve his government in exchange for amnesty and "$800,000 (Mexican)" (Aguinaldo's description of the amount) as an indemnity. The documents were signed on December 14 and 15, 1887. On December 23, Aguinaldo and other Katipunan officials departed for Hong Kong to enter voluntary exile. $400,000, representing the first installment of the indemnity, was deposited into Hong Kong banks. While in exile, Aguinaldo reorganized his revolutionary government into the "Supreme Council of the Nation".

One revolutionary general who remained in the Philippines, Francisco Makabulos, established a Central Executive Committee to serve as a provisional revolutionary government "until a general government of the Republic in these islands shall again be established." Meanwhile, Spanish officials continued to arrest and imprison Filipinos suspected of having been involved in the rebellion. The consequence of this disregard of the pact by both sides was the resurgence of the revolution.

In April 1898, war broke out between Spain and the United States. In the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, the American Asiatic Squadron under CommodoreGeorge Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron, and blockaded Manila. Dewey provided transport to return Aguinaldo to the Philippines. Aguinaldo promptly resumed command of revolutionary forces and besieged Manila.


Main article: First Philippine Republic

The insurgent First Philippine Republic was formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899 in Malolos, Bulacan and endured until the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo by the American forces on March 23, 1901 in Palanan, Isabela, which effectively dissolved the First Republic.

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

Domestic Programs:

The Malolos Congress continued its sessions and accomplised certain positive tasks. The Spanish fiscal system was provisionally retained. The same was done with the existing taxes, save those upon cockfighting and other amusements. War taxes were levied and voluntary contributions were solicited. Customs duties were established. A national loan was launched. President Aguinaldo ordered schools open. Elementary education was made compulsory and free. The Filipino educator, Enrique Mendiola, founded the "Instituto de Burgos" and were appointed by the Director of Public Instruction. It offered courses in agriculture, surveying, and commerce, as well as a complete A.B course.

On October 1898, a government decree fixed the opening date of the "Universidad Literia".Couses offered were Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacy, and Notary Public. The President of the Philippines appointed the professors thereof. They, in turn, chose the University rector. The first to occupy this position was Joaquín Gonzales. Later, he was succeeded by León María Guererro.

Philippine American War:

Main article: 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, a disciplinarian and brilliant general and looming rival in the military hierarchy, asking him to proceed to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija for a meeting at the Cabanatuan Church Convent. However, treachery was afoot. Three days later (June 5), when Luna arrived, he learned Aguinaldo was not at the appointed place. As Luna was about to depart, he was shot, then stabbed to death by Aguinaldo's men. Luna was later buried in the churchyard; no investigation was made, and Luna's assassins were never punished.

After Luna's assassination, Aguinaldo assumed command of the Filipino forces. Without Luna's military expertise, Filipino forces encountered disaster everywhere. In November 1899, Aguinaldo and his staff fled northwards from the advancing Americans, to Palanan, Isabela, where he established a new headquarters. A picked force of 60 men under General Gregorio del Pilar fought a heroic battle at Tirad Pass against a much larger American force to delay the American advance to ensure Emilio Aguinaldo's escape. Del Pilar was killed in the battle along with 52 others of the defending force.

Less than two years later, on March 23, 1901, Aguinaldo was captured at his headquarters in Paanan by U.S. General Frederick Funston, with the help of MacabebeMalacanang Palace in what is today's State Dining Room. On April 19, 1901, Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the United States, formally ending the First Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.After Aguinaldo's surrender, some Filipino commanders continued the revolution. On July 30, 1901, General Miguel Malvar issued a manifesto saying, "Forward, without ever turning back. ... All wars of independence have been obliged to suffer terrible tests! " General Malvar surrendered to U.S forces in Lipa, Batangas on April 16, 1902. The war was formally ended by a unilateral proclamation of general amnesty by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

U.S. Territorial Period:

Main article: History of the Philippines (1898-1946)

During the American 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.

The display of the Philippine flag was declared illegal by the Sedition Act of 1907. This law was repealed on October 30, 1919. Following this, Aguinaldo transformed his home in Kawit into a monument to the flag, the revolution and the declaration of Independence. As of 2010[update], 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 in the Philippine presidential election, 1935, 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. During the Japanese occupation, 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, and briefly jailed. He was released by presidential amnesty.
Aguinaldo was 77 when the United States Government fully recognized Philippine independence in the Treaty of Manila, in accordance with the Tydings-McDuffie Act 
of 1934.

Post-American era:

See also: History of the Philippines (1946-1965), History of the Philippines (1965-1986), and History of the Philippines (1986-present)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."

Emilio Aguinaldo is depicted on the front of 5-peso coin He was made an honorary Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, by the University of the Philippines in 1953.

In 1962, 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 of coronary thrombosis at age 94 on February 6, 1964, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. A year before his death, he had donated his lot and his mansion to the government. This property now serves as a shrine to "perpetuate the spirit of the Revolution of 1896."

In 1985, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas made a new 5-peso bill depicting a portrait of Aguinaldo on the front of the bill. The back of the bill features the declaration of the Philippine independence on June 12, 1898 with Aguinaldo on the balcony of his house surrounded by crowds of rejoicing Filipinos holding the Philippine flag and proclaiming independence from Spain.
(Reference www.google.com/Wikipedia)