MIGUEL MALVAR: SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
Atty. Joanna Marie A. Liao
This research paper was made in response to the query of Vice President Jejomar Binay as to whether or not General Miguel Malvar could be declared as the second President of the Philippines.
After careful examination of the available resources on the matter, I am of the opinion that there is sufficient basis to support such claim.
Allow me to provide a brief summary of the events that transpired in the war efforts of the Filipinos against the American colonial forces and the role of Gen. Miguel Malvar:
Batangas had participated in the revolution of 1896 against Spain, the leader of the Batangueño forces in that conflict and also in the subsequent war against the Americans was Miguel Malvar, a former gobernadorcillo (the ranking municipal official) of the town of Sto.Tomas. The revolutionaries were initially unsuccessful in their efforts to win independence from Spain and their leaders, including Malvar, went into exile in Hongkong. However the revolution was renewed in May 1898, shortly after the outbreak of war between the U.S and Spain, and this time the Filipinos were successful. In Batangas military units quickly reorganized and by mid-June had liberated the province. (May, Glenn Anthony, A Past Recovered p.105)
When the U.S. Army invaded the southern Tagalog region in January 1900, the Filipino generals in that area, Mariano Trias, Miguel Malvar, Mariano Noriel and Juan Cailles- attempted to resist the American advance by engaging in set-piece battles. (A Past Recovered p.156) The Batangas leaders recognizing their inability to defeat the enemy in set-piece battles, decided to switch to guerilla tactics. For the most part, they restricted their offensive operations to ambushing small units and escort parties and conducting hit-and-run raids on the American garrison in the province.
On 19 April 1901, following his capture, Aguinaldo took the oath of allegiance to the United States government. He then called on his followers to lay down their arms, and explained that at that moment, his love and service for his country demanded that he accept American sovereignty. (Arcilla, Jose S., An Introduction to Philippine History, p.102) It was on this very day that Gen. Malvar wrote to Aguinaldo inquiring about the truth of newspaper and other reports of his capture. But should such reports be true, declared Malvar, not even then would they cease to continue insisting on their old ideals. Even though he continued to look up to Aguinaldo for direction and inspiration, he frankly stated that the resistance in the south would not be abandoned. His parting statement to Aguinaldo, reveals his unflinching commitment: “I should regret to refuse for the first time, and you would have to pardon the first proof [of my] insubordination or lack of discipline, should you by chance order me to surrender my arms.” (Pasyon and Revolution, pp.161-62) People in Manila, friends, former comrades-in-arms and prominent politicos wanted him to surrender but to no avail. (O.D. Corpuz, Roots of the Nation Vol.12, p.475-76.) On February 1902, a seemingly promising peace initiative was launched by Luis Luna, Malvar’s recently surrendered adjutant. But on every occasion Malvar refused to meet the would-be negotiators and somehow he managed to elude his uniformed pursuers as well. (May, Glenn Anthony, Battle for Batangas, p.267-68)
Gen. Malvar, had assumed the position formerly held by Mariano Trias, second-in–command of the revolutionary army and commander of the provinces of the southern department (Laguna & Batangas) upon the surrender of General Trias on April 19, 1901 (Battle for Batangas, p.213) and the superior command of the whole Revolutionary Army on July 21, 1901. (Roots of the Nation Vol.12, p.475-76.)
In late November, 1901, the U.S. command assigned its crack brigadier, J. Franklin Bell to the southern Tagalog region. To prevent the...
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