Aguinaldo 'confession' letters on Bonifacio execution fetch P5 million at auction

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2019 04:39 PM

MANILA - Emilio Aguinaldo's "confession" letters about ordering the execution of revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio were sold for P5 million at an auction in Makati City, Sunday. 

Aguinaldo's letters were reportedly written by the first Philippine President after his retirement from politics. In these hand-written accounts, he admitted that he was the one who ordered the killings of Bonifacio and his brother Procopio. 

The letters were "Lot 69" on Saturday's auction at the León Gallery and described as "extremely important and exceedingly rare confessions of General Emilio Aguinaldo regarding his involvement in the death of Andres Bonifacio."

Before the Aguinaldo letters were auctioned off, they were in the collection of Jose P. Santos, son of historian and scholar Epifanio de los Santos, after whom EDSA was named.

Aguinaldo 'confession' letters on Bonifacio execution fetch P5 million at auction 1
This typewritten account has been amended in Aguinaldo’s handwriting. Image courtesy of Lisa G. Nakpil

Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, great grandniece of Gregoria "Oryang" de Jesus, Bonifacio's widow, said in a Facebook post that in his confession, Aguinaldo said: "I had to yield."

"What Aguinaldo meant by 'I had to yield' is that he saw the wisdom in his men’s advice and so freely chose to order Bonifacio killed. It did not mean 'I had no choice in the matter.' Of course he did," Nakpil wrote in a post hours before the auction. 

"He was the commander and decision-maker. By his own account, his guys did not act unilaterally, not without his knowledge, not without consulting him and never without getting a by-your-leave on any decision, big or small. He was after all ‘Dictator’ and master of the universe," she added. 

Bonifacio and his brother were executed in Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897. This followed a military trial on charges of treason, as he was accused of plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government. 

More details to follow. 

-- With reports from Ces Drilon, ABS-CBN News; Totel V. de Jesus