Monday, November 29, 2010
Confession Of A Murderer
Listen, I have a confession to make. My officers and the rest of the troop do not know that the two men we executed near the mountains of Maragondon are my former neighbors in Tondo. We grew in the same environment before we joined separate revolutionary movements. But nobody knows this except me. I am a soldier of a new republic and what I just participated in is part of my patriotic duty. I do not have a guilty feeling, bothered or whatsoever, by what we have done. Though the brothers are fellow Filipinos and not Spaniards, they became our enemies and I am here to serve and to protect the government.
May 10, 1897 - and that was yesterday - will remain in my mind till the rest of my life for I became part of this heroic act of executing these two traitors who have sinned against the revolutionary movement. The death verdict was already passed months ago and the presidential commutation of death sentence was received and already communicated to them. The two brothers deserve to die and I think they have sensed death already since the Tejeros Convention. They are dangerous and anyone who do not recognize nor respect the Supreme Government of the Philippine Republic must be considered bandits. They organized many men and collected firearms for the purpose of overthrowing the government and they even plotted to kill the national president, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. Based from what I saw from their eyes yesterday, they fully accepted and very proud of their impending death. They never even uttered words begging for dear life. Oh, their courage indeed is beyond description.
The Bonifacio brothers,- Andres and Procopio, were unaware that one of their tormentors and killers was a former neighbor. They did not recognize me for sure. I was only ten when my family moved from Tondo to Indang. Together we grew up in that proletarian community in Azcarraga with all its filth and poverty. How can I forget Azcarraga, that wide and long thoroughfare where from its west, you could find a lighthouse near the mouth of Pasig. The lighthouse was very visible from our homes. A beautiful marker facing Manila Bay was just part of many wonderful memories of my childhood, our childhood, of Andres and his younger brother Procopio. And if I remember right, the so-called Supremo was the oldest of four Bonifacio brothers, and the other three being Ciriaco – also a Katipunero who was also killed some months back – Procopio, and Troadio. They have two sisters, Esperidiona and Maxima. In Indang, at 19, I joined the Magdalo under the command of Col. Jose Ignacio Paua.
Deep inside I am proud every time I hear about Andres maybe because of my memories of Azcarraga or simply because he is a respected brother in this struggle, though his rank is higher than mine and he's more popular than myself. I do not exactly know why I have this feeling. I feel proud when he and Gen. Emilio Jacinto attacked Spanish force guarding the powder magazine in San Juan del Monte in August last year. This attack launched by the KKK made Katipunan’s presence felt heavily by the Spanish authorities and prompted the Governor General to proclaim Martial Law in the provinces of Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. On the day after the encounter, other towns around Manila also rose in arms. And the bloody arm struggle between the Spanish forces and the Katipuneros have started. All to the credit of Andres Bonifacio and, I hate to say this, to Magdiwang.
Yes, I am proud of Andres but I believe he is not qualified, academically-wise, to be the supreme leader of the revolution more so at this infantile stage of the republic. He only reached primary school because his mother - Catalina de Castro who I heard then hailed from Zambales – and later his father, our local tailor, died, leaving Andres with his brothers and sisters to face the world by themselves. Andres, without doubt, can raise a family but definitely not to lead the revolutionary government and the whole country. Tell me how could a lowly and uneducated warehouseman, messenger and salesman of British and German firms be our president? We need academically qualified leaders in Emilio Aguinaldo, Mariano Trias, Severino delas Alas and the rest of the calculating Magdalo leaders and not the stubborn and overly aggressive Bonifacio and the rest of the Magdiwang. Being a confirmed Mason, Bonifacio do not believe in God, as claimed by the leaflets allegedly distributed by one of our leaders in Magdalo, Daniel Tirona.
I do not care how history would judge us by killing Bonifacio yesterday. I am sure, time will come, many historians, politicians, students, scholars and academicians will ultimately oversimplify history. Only few will be interested in finding out our deepest secrets anymore and learn from them. With foreign invaders around, our idea of true heroism will be generalized until it become lip service. One and a half centuries from now, historical details no longer be given emphasis. The people of the next generation will remember only discrete bit of information - rather than vivid, often violent details - like how we killed the Supremo and his brother yesterday. Reading history in the future will only be trivial and will never be arresting and probing but when hate something that will hurt memories of a dead man and woman even how bad he or she was. History will no longer be the main instrument in educating the people to assert their basic and fundamental rights in the face of social problems of their day.
Centuries from now, majority of the Filipinos will no longer be interested in this critical study of history anymore, I am sure. Take it from me, time will come, unlike other heroes and luminaries, Andres Bonifacio's birthday will be remembered but not the day he died. People will remember the Magdalo leaders but not how and why we kill Bonifacio and his brother.
Their followers may call me and my officers and the rest of our troop, political murderers but we do not care. For tomorrow, centuries from now, Filipinos would again be putting into political power murderers like us…
(Photo soflinked from ofwnow.com)