Martyrdom of a People’s Leader
To his last breath, Bonifacio was devoted to the main objective of the KKK, which was separation from Spain. Aguinaldo and his clique, in contrast, would not long after yield their arms in exchange for P400,000 and accept exile to Hong Kong and the continuation of Spanish sovereignty in accordance with the Pact of Biak na Bato, in which Pedro Paterno negotiated for the Spanish colonial government.
By Alexander Martin Remollino
Among the more tragic chapters in the history of the Filipino people is the execution of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK), which began to wage a revolutionary struggle against Spanish colonial rule in 1896, on Mt. Buntis, Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.
Unlike Jose Rizal and Macario Sakay, who were executed by soldiers of occupying powers, Bonifacio died in the hands of fellow Katipuneros. This makes his death doubly tragic.
But why did the Supremo, as Bonifacio came to be known among his fellow Katipuneros, have to die — and in such a manner?
In his book The Price of Freedom, Gen. Jose Alejandrino, one of the officers who served under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, wrote of Bonifacio’s death, thus: “In crying over the spilled blood of Andres Bonifacio, let our grief be assuaged by the thought that it was not shed in vain, because it served to establish firmly our much-needed unity for the overthrow of the forces of tyranny, in the same way that Rizal’s blood tinged with scarlet the rays of our early dawn.” There is in this passage the implicit suggestion that at the time of his death, Bonifacio had become a divisive force, therefore a threat to the Revolution — and had to be eliminated.
But was he really a threat to the Revolution?