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The Tejeros Convention (alternate names include Tejeros Assembly and Tejeros Congress) was the meeting held on March 22, 1897 between the Magdiwang and Magdalo factions of the Katipunan at San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias, but the site is now at Rosario), Cavite. These are the first presidential and vice presidential elections in Philippine history, although only the Katipuneros (members of the Katipunan) were able to take part, and not the general populace.

Tejeros Convention, 1897
Philippine revolution flag kkk1.svg
March 22, 1897[citation needed] 1935 →
  PresidentAguinaldo.jpg Andrés Bonifacio photo.jpg Mariano Trias portrait.jpg
Nominee Emilio Aguinaldo Andrés Bonifacio Mariano Trías
Party Magdalo Party Magdiwang Party Magdiwang Party[1]
Electoral vote
146 / 256
80 / 256
30 / 256
Percentage 57.03% 31.25% 11.72%

President before election

None

Elected President

Emilio Aguinaldo
Magdalo Party

Site of the Tejeros Convention in present-day Rosario, Cavite, which was formerly part of San Francisco de Malabon

ConventionEdit

PurposeEdit

The convention was called to discuss the defense of Cavite against the Spaniards during the Philippine Revolution. The contemporary Governor General, Camilo de Polavieja, had regained much of Cavite itself. Instead, the convention became an election to decide the leaders of the revolutionary movement, bypassing the Supreme Council.

The revolutionary leaders held an important meeting in a friar estate residence in Tejeros to resume their discussions regarding the escalating tension between the Magdalo and Magdiwang forces; And also to settle once and for all the issue of governance within the Katipunan through an election.[2] Amidst implications on whether the government of the "Katipunan" should be established as a monarchy or as a republic, Bonifacio defended that it should be maintained as a republic. According to him, all of its members of any given rank shall serve under the principle of liberty, equality and fraternity, upon which republicanism was founded.[3] Despite Bonifacio's concern on the lack of officials and representatives from other provinces, The Magdalo was obliged to proceed with the election.[4]

Election resultsEdit

Tejeros Revolutionary Government
Pamahalaang Panghimagsikan ng Tejeros
 
Flag
Overview
EstablishedMarch 22, 1897 (1897-03-22)[citation needed]
DissolvedNovember 1, 1897 (1897-11-01)[citation needed]
StatePhilippines
LeaderPresident
Main organCabinet
HeadquartersSan Francisco de Malabon, Cavite

Andrés Bonifacio, the contemporary Supremo (supreme leader) of the Katipunan, presided over the election. He secured the unanimous approval that the decision would not be questioned.

e • d Summary of the March 22, 1897 Philippine presidential election, 1897
Candidate Faction Results
Votes %
Emilio Aguinaldo Magdalo 146 57.03%
Andrés Bonifacio Magdiwang 80 31.25%
Mariano Trías Magdiwang 30 11.72%
Valid votes 256 100.00%
Votes cast 256 100.00%
Registered voters 256 100.00%

The results of the election:

Position Name Faction
President Emilio Aguinaldo Magdalo
Vice-President Mariano Trías Magdiwang
Captain-General Artemio Ricarte Magdiwang
Director of War Emiliano Riego de Dios Magdiwang
Director of the Interior Andrés Bonifacio Magdiwang

Bonifacio accepted the decision, but not before insisting on a recount of the votes. Supporters such as Severino de las Alas made abortive efforts to help make Bonifacio vice president.[5] However, Daniel Tirona objected that the post should not be occupied by a person without a lawyer's diploma. He suggested a lawyer like Jose del Rosario is qualified for the suitable position.[6] Bonifacio was insulted, and demanded that Tirona retract the remark. When Tirona made to leave instead, Bonifacio drew a pistol and was about to fire at Tirona, but stopped when Ricarte tried to disarm him.[6] Bonifacio then voided the convention as Supremo of the Katipunan.[7]

Some Magdiwang leaders, led by Pio del Pilar and Mariano Llanera, recanted their previous insistence that the result of the convention is null and void, thereby recognizing the validity of the elected leaders, and later occupying the five vacant positions upon appointment from Aguinaldo. After the newly appointed officials had taken their oath of office on April 24, 1897, Aguinaldo convened the first session of the cabinet, and on the same day, issued an official circular informing the town presidents in all municipalities that he was duly elected by the convention and assuming his position as President.[8]

Official Cabinet of the Tejeros Revolutionary Government
Position Name Term Political Faction
President Emilio Aguinaldo March 23, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdalo
Vice-President Mariano Trías March 23, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang
Captain-General Artemio Ricarte March 23, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang
Director of War Emiliano Riego de Dios April 24, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang
Director of State Jacinto Lumbreras April 24, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang
Director of Finance Baldomero Aguinaldo March 23, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdalo
Director of Welfare Mariano Alvarez April 24, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang
Director of Justice Severino de las Alas April 24, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang
Director of the Interior Pascual Alvarez April 24, 1897 - November 1, 1897 Magdiwang

Allegations of fraudEdit

In addition to Bonifacio's statement voiding the outcome the probity of the election held has been questioned, with allegations that many ballots distributed were already filled out and that the voters had not done this themselves.[9]

In their memoirs, Santiago Álvarez and Gregoria de Jesús both alleged that many ballots were already filled out before being distributed, and Guillermo Masangkay contended there were more ballots prepared than voters present. Álvarez writes that Bonifacio had been warned by a Cavite leader Diego Mojica of the rigged ballots before the votes were canvassed, but he had done nothing.[3][10]

Post-convention eventsEdit

AguinaldoEdit

Emilio Aguinaldo was not present at the convention, but was at a military front at Pasong Santol, a barrio of Dasmariñas, Cavite. He was notified of his election to the Presidency the following day, and his elder brother, Crispulo Aguinaldo, persuaded him to travel to take the oath of office. Leaving Crispulo in command, Aguinaldo traveled to Santa Cruz de Malabon (now Tanza, Cavite), where he and the others elected, with the exception of Bonifacio, took their oath of office. Crispulo Aguinaldo was among those killed in the Battle of Pasong Santol between March 7 and 24, 1897, which ended with a Spanish victory.[7] Aguinaldo surreptitiously took his oath of office as President in a chapel officiated by a Catholic priest Cenon Villafranca who was under the authority of the Roman pope.[11]:109 According to Gen. Santiago Alvarez, guards were posted outside with strict instructions not to let in any unwanted partisan from the Magdiwang faction while the oath-taking took place.[12] Artemio Ricarte also took his office "with great reluctance" and made a declaration that he found the Tejeros elections "dirty or shady" and "not been in conformity with the true will of the people."[13] After assuming the Presidency, Aguinaldo sent a delegation to contact Bonifacio and persuade him to cooperate with the newly constituted government. The delegation was able to contact Bonifacio, but was unable to persuade him to cooperate.[14]

BonifacioEdit

After leaving the convention, Bonifacio met on March 28 with 45 of his followers. Convinced that the election at the convention had been invalid, they drew up a document titled Acta de Tejeros giving their reasons for having rejected the convention results.[15] They then proceeded to Naik and drew up another document, sometimes referred to as the Naic Military Agreement, repudiating the insurgent government established at Tejeros.[16] Several complaints against Bonifacio, notably from Severino de las Alas and Jose Coronel, were presented to Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo dispatched a force to Naik, which arrested Andres and Procopio Bonifacio after an exchange of gunfire in which Andres was wounded and his older brother, Ciriaco, was killed. Andres and Procopio were tried on charges of treason by members of the war council of Aguinaldo's government. On May 10, 1897, the brothers were executed.[17][18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Zaide, Gregorio F. (1968). The Philippine Revolution. Modern Book Company. p. 123.
  2. ^ Constantino 1975, p. 184
  3. ^ a b Alvarez 1992.
  4. ^ Constantino 1975, pp. 185–186
  5. ^ Alvarez 1992, p. 107.
  6. ^ a b Alvarez 1992, p. 108.
  7. ^ a b Agoncillo 1990, p. 178.
  8. ^ "Andres Bonifacio and others, Declaration, c. April 19, 1897 (The "Naik Military Agreement") - Katipunan: Documents and Studies". www.kasaysayan-kkk.info.
  9. ^ Ambeth Ocampo, Election fraud at the Tejeros Convention Archived 2010-06-30 at the Wayback Machine (November 5, 2007), Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  10. ^ Guerrero 1998, p. 192.
  11. ^ Alvarez, S.V., 1992, Recalling the Revolution, Madison: Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, ISBN 1-881261-05-0
  12. ^ Álvarez 1992.
  13. ^ Artemio Ricarte Declaration dated March 24, 1897. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 19, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Agoncillo 1990, pp. 178-179.
  15. ^ "Tejeros Convention". Presidential Museum and Library, Malacañan Palace.
  16. ^ "Andres Bonifacio and others, Declaration, c. April 19, 1897 (The "Naik Military Agreement")". Katipunan: Documents and Studies. December 11, 2018.
  17. ^ "Artemio Ricarte on the Arrest and Execution of Bonifacio - Presidential Museum and Library".
  18. ^ Agoncillo 1990, pp. 179-181.

BibliographyEdit