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Filipino Resistance to Colonial Rule, Katipunan Revolutionaries
Emilio Aguinaldo, guerrilla tactics, firing squad, military tribunal, Bonifacio
By the time Rizal returned to Manila in 1892, it was apparent that Spain, itself in the throes of domestic unrest, was unwilling to undertake substantial colonial reforms. Considered a threat to the colonial regime, Rizal was arrested shortly after his return and sent into exile on Mindanao. Soon after Rizalís exile, Andres Bonifacio, a self-educated man of the urban working class, organized a secret society called Katipunan, short for Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (The Highest and Most Respectable Society of the Sons of the People). The Katipunan, which advocated revolution rather than reform, gained a popular base of support, with membership concentrated among urban and rural workers. Spanish officials discovered, through an informant parish priest, the existence of the Katipunan in August 1896. Bonifacio, realizing the Katipunan could no longer hide its activity, proclaimed the beginning of the revolution. Katipunan members first attacked Spanish military installations, and then the insurrection spread throughout the provinces of central Luzon. Rizal was arrested and convicted by a military tribunal on fabricated charges of involvement with the Katipunan. His execution by a firing squad on December 30 merely served to spread the revolt to the entire country. Rizal, as a martyr, became the ultimate symbol of Filipino nationalism.
Leadership of the Katipunan passed from Bonifacio to its most successful general, Emilio Aguinaldo, a former schoolteacher. A year of fighting between Katipunan forces, which used guerrilla tactics, and government troops ended in a negotiated truce, the Pact of Biac-na-bato, in 1897. In accordance with the pact, Aguinaldo and his staff went into voluntary exile in Hong Kong, while the Spanish authorities promised reforms within three years.
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