Manila council wants Bonifacio recognized as 1st president
MANILA, Philippines—Citing historical documents that say the Katipunan was transformed into a revolutionary government, the Manila City Council recently passed a resolution urging the national government to recognize Andres Bonifacio as the first president of the Tagalog Republic.
A separate resolution based on an online petition also called for a state funeral for Bonifacio “as befitting a true national hero and genuine son of the City of Manila.”
The councilors will present the resolutions to Mayor Joseph Estrada Saturday in a wreath-laying ceremony marking the hero’s 150th birth anniversary at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila.
Bonifacio was the leader of the Katipunan, an armed movement that led the revolution against Spain in 1896.
Vice President Jejomar Binay is expected to attend the commemorative program, which includes raising the Katipunan flag at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros.
The petition for a state funeral for the Katipunan supremo was launched by students of Miriam College on the website Change.org and it has gathered more than 9,000 signatures.
“Bonifacio stands solidly side by side with Jose Rizal as essential pillars of our [nation], for it was their significant courage that inspired a sweeping revolution of hearts and minds for the ultimate freedom of the Filipinos,” said Councilor DJ Bagatsing, author of the state funeral resolution.
The resolution said Bonifacio’s “senseless death” and “disgraceful semblance of a burial” is a travesty of history, an injustice and a grave insult to the legacy of a man who contributed greatly to the struggle for Philippine independence.
It added that the President has the prerogative to grant a state funeral to those considered worthy of it, like the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
All the councilors, led by Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, wrote the resolution to recognize Bonifacio as the first president of the Tagalog Republic.
Historians Milagros Guerrero, Emmanuel Encarnacion and Ramon Villegas said the word “Tagalog” used in the Katipunan’s cartilla referred to all natives of the Philippine archipelago and that the word “Filipino” applied only to Spaniards in the country.
The resolution said “Bonifacio’s presidency was further acknowledged in Spanish publications.”
It cited the Feb. 8, 1897, issue of La Ilustracion Española y America, where an article on the Philippine Revolution appeared, accompanied by a portrait of Bonifacio in a black suit and white tie with the caption “Titulado de la Republica Tagala.”
The article described Bonifacio as head of the native government.
Bonifacio pushed as national hero
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.