Sunday, November 20, 2005

Andres Bonifacio Trial Part V: Council of War's verdict -- Guilty!

After the completion of the trial the previous day, the Council of War, its President, Mariano Noriel, and his colleagues, Tomas Mascardo and Esteban Ynfante, met and studied the records of the trial on May 6, 1897. The issues were threshed out, and the decision was voted upon as follows:

1. Andres Bonifacio knew of the existence of a Government of the Philippnes (Sangkatagakluagan) and of its location in the province.

2. Mr. Andres had no permission to hold arms and to assemble soldiers as well as take prisoners from the village of Limbon.

3. Mr. Andres together with his bothers Procopio and Ciriaco ordered their soldiers to commence rapid firing should the soldiers of the Government arrive.

4. Andres enticed the commanders of the soldiers of the Government to go over to his side together with their arms.

5. Andres gave money to the said commanders at the town of Naik.

6. Mr. Andres and his brothers fought the soldiers of the Government and the first one shot was Ciriaco and because of the shots they fired, two soldiers of the Government were killed.

7. In staying in the village of Limbon and in gathering troops , the intention of Andres as well as his brother was to rebel against the Government.

8. Andres and Procopio on account of their unfortunate deeds deserve the punishment of death.

9. The soldiers and commanders who acquiesced to the plot of the brothers Andres Procopio and Ciriaco deserve no punishment but for them to join the army that they might do what is proper in the barracks as well as in battle.

10. It would be proper to give support to the families of the two soldiers who died.

11. The said support should be demanded from Andres and Procopio, aside from the pension given to the families of soldiers who die in combat.

The statement and judgment was signed by Mariano Noriel, Sulpicio Antnoy. T. Mascardo, Crisostomo Riel and Estevan Ynfante. Mariano Noriel forwarded the records to Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo who referred the sme to Judge Advocate General Baldomero Aguinaldo who agreed with the punishment imposed by the Council. Baldomero then said that it should be Emilio who should decide.

When Emilio Aguinaldo received the verdict, he commuted it to banishment. But according to Emilio Aguinaldo, “As soon as General Mariano Noriel, General Pio del Pilar … learned of this (commutation), they called my attention and said, “if you want to maintain the stability of our Revolutionary Government and if you wish tht we should stay alive, please withdraw your edict for those brothers.” Because of this, I withdrew and assigned General Noriel to follow the verdict of the Council of War, to shoot the brothers for the good of the country.”

In the next post, the execution of Andres and Procopio Bonifacio.
(To be continued)

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