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Pedro Paterno


In office
May 7, 1899 – November 13, 1899
President Emilio Aguinaldo
Deputy Trinidad Pardo de Tavera
Preceded by Apolinario Mabini
Succeeded by Ferdinand Marcos

Member of the House of Representatives from Laguna's 1st district
In office
October 16, 1907 – May 20, 1909
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Potenciano Malvar

Born February 27, 1858(1858-02-27)
Manila, Philippines
Died March 11, 1911 (aged 53)
Manila, Philippines
Political party Katipunan
Alma mater Ateneo de Manila University
Profession Poet
Novelist

Pedro Alejandro Paterno (February 27, 1858 - March 11, 1911) was a Filipino statesman as well as a poet and novelist.[1]

His intervention on behalf of the Spanish led to the signing of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato on December 14, 1897, an account of which he published in 1910. Among his other works include the very first novel written by a native Filipino, Ninay (1885), and the first Filipino collection of poems in Spanish, Sampaguitas y poesias (Jasmines and Poems), published in Madrid in 1880.[2]

Contents

Biak-na-Bato

At the trial of Jose Rizal in 1896, it was suggested that Paterno, along with Rizal, had incited the revolution because they had both written about the ancient Tagalog civilization. As evidence for their complicity, the Spanish prosecution cited Paterno's earlier work "Antigua Civilizacion" as promoting ideas which had "consequences both erroneous and injurious to Spanish sovereignty." Nobody moved against Paterno, however, because he was close to a significant number of Spanish officials - both military and civilian - who could vouch for him. Thus, Paterno, like many others of the Manila elite, distanced himself from the events of the Philippine revolution.[1]

In 1897 the Philippine revolutionary forces led by Emilio Aguinaldo had been driven out of Cavite and retreated northwards from town to town until they finally settled in Biak-na-Bato, in the town of San Miguel de Mayumo in Bulacan. Here, they established what became known as the Republic of Biak-na-Bato.[3]

In late July, 1897, Paterno voluntarily presented himself to Governor General Fernando Primo de Rivera, whom he had known while living in Spain, and offered his services as a mediator.[1]

Because many higly place Spaniards of the time thought Paterno held great sway over the natives, Primo de Rivera accepted Paterno's offer. He called for a truce, explaining his decision to the Cortes Generales: "I can take Biak-na-Bato, any military man can take it, but I can not answer that I could crush the rebellion."[3]

Paterno left Manila on August 4, 1897 and found Aguinaldo five days later. This began a three-month-long series of talks which saw Paterno constantly shuffling between Manila, Biyak-na-bato, and some areas in Southern Luzon where a number of revolutionary chiefs held sway. During the negotiations, Paterno's wife Luisa died on November 27, 1897.[1]

In ceremonies on December 14-15 that year, Aguinaldo signed the Pact of Biak-na-bato. He proclaimed the official end of the Philippine revolution on Christmas Day, and on left for Hong Kong via the port of Dagupan on December 27.[3]

He returned to Manila on January 11 amidst great celebration, but was spurned by Primo de Rivera and other authorities when he asked to be recompensed by being granted a Dukedom, a seat on the Spanish Senate, and payment for his services in Mexican Dollars.[1]

Prime minister

He served as prime minister of the first Philippine republic in the middle of 1899, and served as head of the country's assembly, and the cabinet.

American Colonial Period

With the Philippine-American War after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, he was among the most prominent Filipinos who joined the American side and advocated the incorporation of the Philippines into the United States.

Death

He died of cholera on March 11, 1911. His literary work was not appreciated until several decades after his death.

Legacy

Despite Paterno's prominence in the many upheavals that defined the birth of the Philippine nation during his lifetime, Paterno's legacy is largely infamous among Philippine historians and nationalists.

Philippine historian Resil Mojares notes that:

History has not been kind to Pedro Paterno. A century ago, he was one of the country's premier intellectuals, blazing trails in Philippine letters. Today he is ignored in many of the fields in which he once held forth with much eminence, real and imagined. No full length biography or extended review of his corpus of writings has been written, and no one reads him today.[1]

Much of this is attributed to Paterno's penchant for turncoatism, as described by Ambeth Ocampo, who sums up his career thus:

Remember, Paterno was one of the greatest "balimbing" [turncoats] in history (perhaps he was the original balimbing in Philippine political history). He was first on the Spanish side, then when the declaration of independence was made in 1898, he wormed his way to power and became president of the Malolos Congress in 1899, then sensing the change in political winds after the establishment of the American colonial government, he became a member of the First Philippine Assembly.[2]

External links

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mojares, Resil (2006). "Pedro Paterno". Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes, and the Production of Modern Knowledge. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. pp. 1–118. ISBN 9715504966.  
  2. ^ a b Ocampo, Ambeth (December 4, 2005), "Looking Back: "Looking Back: The First Filipino Novel"", Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.net/globalnation/col_lob/2005/jan10.htm  
  3. ^ a b c Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (1899), "Chapter III. Negotiations", True Version of the Philippine Revolution, Authorama: Public Domain Books, http://www.authorama.com/true-version-of-the-philippine-revolution-4.html, retrieved 2007-12-26  
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. (1984). Philippine History and Government. National Bookstore Printing Press.  
Political offices
Preceded by
Apolinario Mabini
Prime Minister of the Philippines
1899
Succeeded by
Ferdinand Marcos
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