Friday, January 18, 2013

Filipino Martyr: ANANIAS N. DIOKNO

A Great General
Great general of the Philippine Revolution, Ananias Diokno was born on January 22, 1860
to Angel Diokno and Andrea Noblejas, scions of distinguished families of Batangas. There are no
records regarding his boyhood and early manhood. In 1895, he came to the limelight together with
Felipe Agoncillo when both were prosecuted by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities for antireligious
activities and obstruction of the functions of government.
On August 29, 1896, Don Fernando Parga y Torriero had Diokno and others arrested for
treason and sedition. It was ordered that upon apprehension they were to be brought to Cavite for
immediate trial.
When the Spanish forces unleashed a full pacification campaign in Cavite and Batangas,
many of the families fled to Cavite. At Indang, these prominent citizens organized the regional
government of Batangas in 1896 with Ananias Diokno as secretary of war; Miguel Malvar, as
commanding general; and Eleuterio Marasigan as brigadier general.
The Pact of Biak-na-Bato of December 15, 1897, temporarily suspended hostilities, but
May 16, 1898, the war assumed wider proportions. By this time Ananias Diokno was already one of
the most trusted generals of Aguinaldo. The full in the fighting after the destruction of the Spanish
Navy on May 1, 1898, afforded time for this Batangueño general to organize the Batallon Malaya, a
contingent consisting of six companies with 125 men each and a battery of two cannons. The
batallon had Diokno as commanding general and Major Macario Adriatico as chief of staff. Their
immediate mission was to attack the Spanish forces in the province or elsewhere. Under strict
orders they were to board the war vessels, Taal and Concepcion. General Diokno was given ample
discretionary power to meet any circumstances.
In September 1898, they went to Calapan and picked up the troops of Major Adriatico and
sailed for Santa Cruz, Marinduque. They landed in Pasacao, Camarines Sur, where they informed
that General Lucban had already occupied Ambos Camarines. In San Pascual, Burias Island,
Diokno organized the revolutionary government under Juan Miranda as president. The
government was subjected to the supervision of Second Lieutenant Jose Karingal of the infantry to
insure the collection of taxes.
On the first Sunday of October 1898, he sailed for Sorsogon only to find out that its local
government had been turned over to the revolutionary government by Bishop Jorge Barlin, the
vicar forane of Sorsogon. Don Celestino Mercader headed the new government while Vicente Vera
headed the revolutionary junta.
Lt. Colonel Marella was dispatched by General Diokno to Bulan to relieve the enemy
pressure on the military campaign of General Mariano Riego de Dios. Upon the recall of Marella,
General Diokno and his forces sailed for Samar. The presence of a strong Spanish force did not
warrant an immediate clash. General Diokno, therefore, ordered his expedition to fall back to
He ordered the boat Sta. Maria to sail to Masbate to aid General Mariano Riego de Dios
and his troops who were marooned in that island province. The Sta. Maria was one of the two
vessels- the other one was the Vitas – that was seized in Sorsogon harbor.
They returned to San Pascual , Burias Island where they left Lt. Colonel Marella at the
head of the military government and sailed for Romblon where they installed Captain Casimiro
Platon as commandant. In Looc, Romblon, General Diokno was informed that the Spanish forces
were still holding their garrisons in Ibahay, Capiz.
As appointed commander of the expeditionary forces by Aguinaldo and upon the urgent
call of General Martin Delgado of the revolutionary government in Panay for reinforcement,
General Diokno together with Lt. Colonel Protasio Mondejar left Batangas for Panay on November
16, 1898. They landed in Navas, Capiz (now part of Aklan) and with other Filipino troops seized the
Spanish garrisons. At that part, however, many of the places were already occupied or controlled
by the Visayan fighters.
His appointment as politico-military governor of Capiz by the central government, in
October 1899, later prompted opposition from the rebel leaders who felt that they should be
leaders of the organized revolutionary government and that orders must come from President
Roque Lopez of the Republic of the Visayas.
The American forces under General Marcus Miller attacked Iloilo and subsequently
occupied the city on February 11, 1899. With other rebels, General Diokno fought in the defense
lines at Hibaan, passi and Cabatuan. In October of the same year, he was at Sta. Barbara, the
headquarters of General Martin Delgado. The raging dissension within the command forced him to
lead his troops back to Capiz
On February 2, 1901, General Delgado surrendered to General Robert P. Hughes. With a
few troops left General Diokno conducted a guerilla war against the Americans. But on March 18,
1901, his troops were ambushed. Most of his men were killed and he himself was wounded and
captured. With that, the insurrection in Panay was over.
General Ananias Diokno came home a military hero. He was offered the directorship of the
Bureau of Agriculture, but he refused. He retired to his farm in Arayat, Pampanga, where he died
on November 2, 1922.
Among his descendants were Ramon Diokno, a soldier and senator, Jose W. Diokno, a
lawyer; Nora Diokno Casa, an M.D., and Mrs. Paulina Acuña, a prolific writer.

Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila : Tahanan Books, 1995.
Villaroel, Hector K. Eminent Filipinos. Quezon City : Textbook Publishers, 1965.

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