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Today in History

November 30, 1863

MANILA, Nov. 30 — On November 30, 1863, Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution and founder of the Katipunan, was born in Tondo, Manila.

Orphaned at the age of 14, he had to take on the task of caring for his younger brothers and sisters, being the eldest of six children. He quit schooling to look for ways to support his family.

While not fortunate to have a formal education, Andres educated himself by reading books through a lamp light at his house.

He read Dr. Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, The Ruins of Palmyra, Hugo’s Les Miserables, Eugene Sue’s The Wandering Jew, the lives of the presidents of the United States, International Law, the Penal and Civil Codes, and a book on the French Revolution, among others.

Unlike the middle class leaders who held onto the mistaken belief that Spain would hear their cries for reforms, Bonifacio knew deep in his heart that Spain would never grant the reforms demanded by the Filipino reformists.

Hence, on the night that the news of deportation of Rizal to Dapitan leaked out, Bonifacio founded the Katipunan on July 7, 1892, along with Valentin Diaz, Teodoro Plata (Andres’ brother-in-law), Ladislao Diwa, Diodato Arellano (brother-in-law of Marcelo H. Del Pilar) and few others in Tondo, to secure the independence and freedom of the Philippines by force. They formalized their membership in the organization by signing the Katipunan pact with their own blood.

On that same year, Bonifacio married Gregoria de Jesus, who took charge of the confidential files, firearms, seals and other materials of the society.

With the discovery of the Katipunan on August 19, 1896, Bonifacio and the other Katipuneros gathered secretly at the farm of Juan A. Ramos, a son of Melchora Aquino, at Pugad Lawin, then a part of Balintawak, on August 23, 1896 and agreed to fight to the bitter end, tore their cedulas as a symbolic gesture of their defiance of Spanish rule and the start of Philippine Revolution against Spain.

Since the time the Katipunan was discovered, they evaded arrest, won uncertain victories and incurred severe defeats. This prompted the Magdalo faction to invite Bonifacio to Cavite to settle their differences and remain united.

An assembly was called at Tejeros, Cavite. Bonifacio presided the conference to establish the Republic of the Philippines. In the election, Emilio Aguinaldo was elected president, Mariano Trias, vice president, and Bonifacio as secretary of the Interior.

However, Daniel Tirona questioned Bonifacio's qualifications, and Bonifacio was offended. Evoking his authority as the supreme head of the Katipunan, he declared the proceedings void. Bonifacio moved to Naic, Cavite and started to form his own government and army.

Meantime, the advancing troops of Spanish Governor- General Camilo de Polavieja threatened to capture Cavite. Aguinaldo ordered General Pio del Pilar and Mariano Noriel, who were being given new higher positions, to leave the Bonifacio camp and go back to their duties.

Bonifacio, with his family and men, left Naic for Indang on his way to return to Montalban. Aguinaldo sent men to arrest him, but Bonifacio resisted arrest and was wounded in the process. He faced a trial for acts inimical to the existence of the new government and was given the death sentence by a military tribunal.

Aguinaldo's men executed Bonifacio in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.

On this same day in 1972 also marked the signing of the 1973 Constitution that created the modified parliamentary form of government in the Philippines. The Constitution was ratified on January 10 and 15, 1973.

Also, on November 30, 1987, President Corazon C. Aquino raised the salary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel by signing Republic Act No. 6638.

RA 6638 established new rates of base pay of military and civilian personnel of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It is also known as the "DND-AFP Base Pay Law of 1987."

President Aquino said this Act shall apply to all military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the active service as well as any civilian employee covered under Section 4 of RA 6638. (PNA)

DCT/SDT/JCA/mec

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