Jan 30, 1897 9:30PM
Manila, Philippines - Diario de Filipinas has confirmed that Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, leaders of rival factions in the Katipunan, engaged in a duel recently. The duo, and their supporters, have worked to keep the animosity between the leaders quiet. However, sources have confirmed that they almost pulled pistols on one another in the town of San Francisco de Malabon.
The source of the widening rift between Bonifacio and Aguinaldo appears to be more than personal and is connected to their disparate views on the future of the Philippine Revolution. The Magdiwang faction, led now by Andres Bonifacio, favors retaining Katipunan leadership of the Revolution. The Magdalo faction, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, favors creating a new government that reflects the new composition of the Revolution; recent enlistees (many deserters from the Spanish military) are not members of the Katipunan. Correspondence acquired by Diario indicates that the Magdalo faction has been working to establish a new revolutionary government based in Cavite.
Additionally, sources on condition of anonymity say that Aguinaldo feels threatened by the continued presence of Bonifacio in Cavite. Aguinaldo has long felt that Cavite is his territory, he hails from Cavite El Viejo, and firmly believes that Cavite has been the most successful of the revolting provinces because of the labor of native Caviteños. Andres Bonifacio was born in Tondo, Manila and it was in Manila where most of his political and revolutionary work took place. Some Spanish political analysts have intimated that the disagreement could have roots in ‘regionalism.’
The rift between the two factions appears to have begun as far back as August 30, 1896. Series of meetings held in Imus, Cavite at the end of last year to repair the rift had the opposite effect. One of the noteworthy moments during the meeting was Edilberto Evangelista standing up and arguing that the Revolution has outgrown the Katipunan.
A highly placed source, with firsthand knowledge of the event, has relayed the events to Diario de Filipinas. One night (our source would not confirm when) Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio met in San Francisco de Malabon to discuss mending the schism between the two Katipunan factions. However, the meeting turned heated and violent. Our source says that Aguinaldo, with Mariano Trias, and Bonifacio, with his brother Procopio, exited the home Mrs. Epifania Potente in a fury. They made their way to a large tree and proceeded to shout at one another, until they drew pistols. Bloodshed was only averted through the intervention of General Santiago Alvarez.
Neither side has commented on the story.
With contributions from O.D. Corpuz.