Today in Philippine History, December 14, 1897, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed

Wednesday December 14, 2011 ()

On December 14, 1897, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed by General Emilio Aguinaldo and Spanish Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera to provisionally stop the armed conflict between the Filipinos and Spaniards. Don Pedro Alejandro Paterno was appointed by the Spanish Governor-General as sole mediator in the discussion of the terms of peace.

The following are the conditions according to General Aguinaldo through his book, True version of the Philippine revolution published on September 23, 1899,

Negotiators for  the Pact of Biak na bato
(The Filipino negotiators, seated from left to right: Pedro Paterno and Emilio Aguinaldo with five companions)
  1. That I would, and any of my associates who desired to go with me, be free to live in any foreign country. Having fixed upon Hongkong as my place of residence, it was agreed that payment of the indemnity of $800,000 (Mexican) should be made in three instalments, namely, $400,000 when all the arms in Biak-na-bato were delivered to the Spanish authorities; $200,000 when the arms surrendered amounted to eight hundred stand; the final payment to be made when one thousand stand of arms shall have been handed over to the authorities and the Te Deum sung in the Cathedral in Manila as thanksgiving for the restoration of peace. The latter part of February was fixed as the limit of time wherein the surrender of arms should be completed.
  2. The whole of the money was to be paid to me personally, leaving the disposal of the money to my discretion and knowledge of the understanding with my associates and other insurgents.
  3. Prior to evacuating Biak-na-bato the remainder of the insurgent forces under Captain-General Primo de Rivera should send to Biak-na-bato two General of the Spanish Army to be held as hostages by my associates who remained there until I and a few of my compatriots arrived in Hongkong and the first installment of the money payment (namely, four hundred thousand dollars) was paid to me.
  4. It was also agreed that the religious corporations in the Philippines be expelled and an autonomous system of government, political and administrative, be established, though by special request of General Primo de Rivera these conditions were not insisted on in the drawing up of the Treaty, the General contending that such concessions would subject the Spanish Government to severe criticism and even ridicule.

"General Primo de Rivera paid the first installment of $400,000 while the two Generals were held as hostages in Biak-na-bato. We, the revolutionaries, discharged our obligation to surrender our arms, which were over 1,000 stand, as everybody knows, it having been published in the Manila newspapers. But the Captain General Primo de Rivera failed to fulfill the agreement as faithfully as we did. The other installments were never paid; the Friars were;either restricted in their acts of tyranny and oppression nor were any steps taken to expel them or secularize the religious Orders; the reforms demanded were not inaugurated, though the Te Deum was sung. This failure of the Spanish authorities to abide by the terms of the Treaty caused me and my companions much unhappiness, which quickly changed to exasperation when I received a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Don Miguel Primo de Rivera (nephew and private Secretary of the above-named General) informing me that I and my companions could never return to Manila".

General Emilio Aguinaldo

The truce, however, failed due to suspicions on both sides, and fighting resumed in May 1898.

Reference: True version of the Philippine revolution, by Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy, president of the Philippine republic. Author: Aguinaldo, Emilio
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons


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Comments (Today in Philippine History, December 14, 1897, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed )