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Danilo Donor
Dr. Pio Valenzuela and Events of August 1896PDFPrintE-mail
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Written by Danilo Donor
Dr.Pio Valenzuela ,was one of the close confidants of Supremo Andres Bonifacio. He stood as a baptismal sponsor of Bonifacio's son, Andres Jr. who later died.Hence, he was the "compadre" of Bonifacio. He was initiated in the Katipunan on 1895. Even though he was not among the early members of the Katipunan, he occupied various important offices: In the Fourth Supreme Council (Jan.1896) Physician of the Katipunan ; Member of the Camara Secreta/Secret Chamber and one of the Jefes Generales of the Katipunan Army. He was the Katipunan emissary who went to Dapitan to confer with Dr. Jose Rizal. Dr.Rizal refused to join an untimely revolt.

Valenzuela was among the early Katipunan members who sought refuge in the town of Caloocan, north of Manila,when the society's secret existence was betrayed by Teodoro Patino first to the Madre Potrera of the Orphan House in Mandaluyong and to the Augustinian Fr.Mariano Gil. in the parish house in Tondo.(Minutes:121- 124).He is an important witness of the events that triggered the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution of 18996.

Below is the chronological reconstruction of events based on the following Valenzuela documents: Valenzuela's testimonies before the Spanish Military Court, Sept.3- Dec.9,1896 in Appendix I of "Minutes "pp.146-176 (herein as VTMC), Testimony of Dr. Pio Valenzuela in Case of U.S vs. Sotto For Libel Case,1917 in Appendix W of "Minutes" pp, 230-243 (herein as U.S vs. Sotto ) and the Valenzuela Memoirs ca. in Appendix A of "Minutes", pp. 89-108,herein as VM).

The author also made cross references to other eye witness of the events and other documents about the turbulent events that transpired in August 1896.

Readers are warned that there were inconsistencies, contradiction and confusion regarding Dr. Valenzuela's court statements in 1896 and 1917 as well as in his Memoirs circa 1914.

AUGUST 19- Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Procopio Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata and Aguedo del Rosario sought refuge in Balintawak,Caloocan. (VM in Minutes p.100)

AUGUST 21,1896 (Friday)-After dining with his cousins, he was told by a druggist, that a man in civilian clothes but appeared to be a soldier called at the house in Buenavides Divisoria, and inquired bout him. (VTMC in Minutes p.148)

Note: Valenzela in his memoirs claimed that he reached Balintawak on August 20. (VM in Minutes.p.100)

AUGUST 22, 1896 (Saturday.)Morning at 6 Magdalena St. Tondo. "Josefa Dizon, mother of Emilio Jacinto (Secretary of the Supreme Council), to him that her son and Andres Bonifacio ,fled the city to evade arrest and advised him to go into hiding". In the afternoon he took a coach going to Polo, Bulacan. When he reached Caloocan at 8:00 p.m his coach was stopped and someone that Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto wanted to talk to him.(Author's comment: Did Valenzuela originally wanted to escape to his home town Polo, Bulacan rather than join Bonifacio in Caloocan? ). About 11:00 p.m. He met the outlaw "Laon" who detained and forced persons to be initiated to the Katipunan.

AUGUST 23,1896 (Sunday) A.M in Balintawak. The Katipunan General Assembly held at the yard of Melchora Aquino (Tandang Sora) decided to take up arms against Spanish rule. Minutes of the General Assembly was signed by Valenzuela , as Secretary General. All the minutes and funds of the Katipunan placed in separate travelling bags of Valenzuela, (Guillermo) Masangkay and Alejandro (Santiago).

Emilio Jacinto and Aguedo del Rosario using the times in preparing the orders and instructions for the outbreak that which was to take place on August 29. (TVMC in Minutes, p.1190

Note: A very confusing recollection of Dr. Pio Valenzuela in the Libel case of U.S vs. Sotto (1917),regarding this event,that the Katipunan session was held in the house of Melchora Aquino at Daang Malalim,in Pasong Tamo,also known as Pacpac Lawin. ( in "Minutes" p.238 )

AUGUST 24- 1896 (Monday)Formation of a Revolutionary Government under the "Republika ng Katagalugan": Andres Bonifacio (President), Emilio Jacinto (Minister of Stae), Teodoro Plata (Minister of War), Briccio Pantas (Minister of Justice), Enrique Pacheco (Minister of Finance) and Aguedo del Rosario (Minster of Interior).

The Katipunan 'Jefes Generales'. Pio Valenzuela, Guillermo Masangkay, Apolonio Samson, Aguedo del Rosario, Tomas Remegio,Emilio Jacinto, Teodoro Plata, Alejandro Santiago one Lucino and others (Borromeo-Buehler.1997;34 , 119)

AUGUST 25 (Tuesday)-News reached Valenzuela that the town mayor of Caloocan (Silverio Baltazar) had been arrested and the Civil Guards were on march to that place. Valenzuela and others fled (abandoned the katipunan and the Revolution---D)

First clash between the Katipunan and the Civil Guard.( WN, in Minutes p.100)

Valenzuela retracted in his testimony before the Military Court (Sept.6), he stated that "The fight between the Guardia Civil and the rebels in Bulat (Banlat) and Balintawak took place Wednesday, August 26, and not in the morning of Tuesday, August 25, as he wrongly stated. (Minutes.p.157)

Note: In Valenzela's testimony before the Spanish Military Court he stated "THEY REMAINED IN BALINTAWAK, SUNDAY, MONDAY AND TUESDAY". It proves that Bonifacio and Jacinto's presence in BALINTAWAK from August 23- 25, 1896.

AUGUST 26 (Wednesday)- Col.Francisco Pintos Ledesma of the Guardia Civil,on his report to the Captain general, Mentionednan engagement with the Katipuneros on the previous day, August 26.(Minutes.p125)

Valenzuela and two other persons reached the mountains of San Mateo, Morong Province (now Rizal). Night- They made their way to Mariquina, stayed at the house of one Jacinto and there they found Cipriano Pacheco who fled from Bonifacio's party and gave him a copy of the letter (amnesty proclamation) of the governor-general (Ramon Blanco).

NOTES: In his Memoirs ca. 1914 he wrote that on August 26,the last meeting of the Camara Secreta (secret Chamber) composed of Bonifacio, Jacinto and himself devised a plan on how forged documents of the KKK implicating the rich anti-Katipunan Filipinos fall into the hands of Spanish authorities.(Minutes .p.100)

In his testimony in U.S. vs. Sotto he mentioned about the fight between the Civil Guards and the rebel in Baulat (Banlat ?) and Balintawak that took place August 26. That he did not witness the fight as he had retired with others to the rear. (VTMC in Minutes 160)

The truth is: How can he be witness as well as a participant in these events when he already abandoned the Katipunan and fled?

AUGUST 27 (Thursday) Valenzuela in Mariquina.

AUGUST 28 (Friday) Daylight. Started from Mariquina. Valenzuela reached Escolta as far as Pasaje de Perez. He embarked in a lake steamship going to Binang, Laguna and called on the house of a native cleric, D. Sivino Manalo and after receiving a copy of the amnesty proclamation returned to Manila, went to Malacanang Place and surrender himself to the governor-general.

AUGUST 29- Start of Philippine Revolution against Spain. Towns around Manila and Morong (now Rizal) raised their standards of revolt as response to Bonifacio's Proclamation of August 28,1896.(Agoncillo,1963:4,70) It was only on August 31, when Cavite Magdiwang and Magdalo Councils attacked Spanish town halls and barracks.(Unabia.1997:61)

The surrender of Dr. Pio Valenzuela proved to be disastrous to whom he mentioned in his testimony before the military court many were arrested, tortured, exiled and the unlucky ones-executed (ie.Dr.J.P.Rizal).

Carlos Ronquillo y Valdez ,Aquinaldo's private secretary in Hong Kong wrote with bitterness in his 1898 memoirs:" Sa bandong ito (proklamasyong amnestiya ni Gob.Hen.Ramon Blanco---D) ay walang napasakop ni isa mang tunay na Naghihimagsik,maliban lamang sa mga duwag at taksil...hindi nilingon ang maling kamalian at kahalayang tatamuhing pula,at nagsipaglilong humarap at magprisinta sa Punong Kaaway,sanhi sa udyok at mali nilang sapantahana magkakamit ng kapakinabangan at maliligtas balang daang ikapapahamak.....Mga taksil na walang munti mang kabaitan !...Ang mga dusta nilang pangalan ay di mangyayaring kaligtaang ilagda samaitim na dahon ng Historia at di mangyayaring mapawi magpakailanman! sa mga ito ay kabilang si Pio iba't iba pa na may katungkulan sa paghihimagsik.Sa dila ng nauna ay lubhang marami ang mga tahimik na nsngapahamak sa kanilang ipinagsusumbong At paraang pagganting-loob sa kanila,ay nagsitulog sa bilangguan at nagatapon."(pp.219,221)

I rather quote the entire passage than to translate the above to preserve and faithfully present the Ronquillo's emotional assessment Valenzuela's surrender and confession.

Valenzuela was given the penalty of life imprisonment and he was incarcerated with Filipino rebels in Barcelona,Madrid and Malaga, Spain and later on transferred to Mantilla, Africa. After the Treaty of Paris of 1898,he and his fellow prisoners were set free. During the American Regime, he served as town mayor of Polo (now Valenzuela) from 1899-1901) and provincial governor from 1919 to 1925. He died on April 6,1956 at the age of 87. (Cuneta 1997:42)

Additional notes:

The tearing of 'cedulas '(resident/ID certificates) was NOT done once but several times. According to Ambeth Ocampo,base on a report in the National Archives Bonifacio have a habit of carrying fake 'cedulas'."this means he probably had more than one cedula in his pocket enabling him to inspire different groups by tearing his cedula in more than one place,before different audience."(Ocampo 2001:78)

Place of the First Cry of the Revolution, Pugad Lawin or Balintawak. Early accounts of the Revolution mentioned Balintawak (see above Valenzuela 1896 accounts made one week after the events and not based on murky later recollections of participants.(see full discussion: Borromeo-Buehler,1997)