CRISPULO F. AGUINALDO
Hero of Pasong Santol
General Crispulo Aguinaldo, the Hero of Pasong Santol, was an elder brother of General Emilio Aguinaldo. He was born on June 10, 1864, in Kawit, Cavite to Capitan Carlos Aguinaldo and Doña Trinidad Famy. He had five brothers (Primo, Benigno, Esteban, Ambrosio and Emilio) and two sisters (Tomasa and Felicidad).
Crispulo or Pulong, obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He married Irenea Arazaso of Kawit by whom he had seven children. His only son was named after him.
Before the outbreak of the Revolution in 1896, he served as Capitan Municipal of Kawit.
A Freemason, he was a member of the Katipunan’s Magdalo council.
He took part in the Battle of Binakayan on November 11, 1896. His troops were assigned at the rear together with the troops of Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo. Generals Simeon Latorre and Candido Trias Tirona were killed in that battle. Luckily, THE Filipino irregular troops led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo defeated later the Spanish forces headed by Governor General Ramon Blanco and Colonel Marina.
Gen. Crispulo Aguinaldo also led the insurgent forces in attacking the Spanish forces in Muntinglupa, Taguig and Pateros in Rizal Province. They waged a fierce fight for two days, after which they retired to Cavite.
Consequently, the fighting intensified as the Filipino bastions in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna provinces were stormed by the Spanish troops to avenge their defeat at the Battle of Binakayan and in the Rizal towns.
In the later part of February, 1897, Crispulo joined the staff of his brother, Emilio, who was defending the town of Dasmariñas, Cavite against the attack of General Lachambre, the trusted division general of Captain-General Camilo Polavieja. The Filipino forces evacuated the town only after days of bitter fighting.
After the victory in Dasmariñas, General Lachambre, assisted by Gen. Antonio Zabala (commander of the Spanish garrison in Dasmariñas), attacked Salitran (an estate house). Crispulo distinguished himself in hand-to-hand combat heading a mixed group of rifleman and bolo men. In this battle, General Zabala was killed.
On March 22, 1897, Crispulo attended the Tejeros Assembly in San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias). In this assembly, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was elected president of the reorganized revolutionary government. Gen. Daniel Trias Tirona of Kawit questioned Andres Bonifacio’s election to the post of director of the interior. The lamentable break between Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio thus began.
The assembly sent Colonel Vicente Riego de Dios to fetch Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, who was in Pasong Santol (a zigzag trail between Imus and Dasmariñas). Colonel Riego de Dios returned to Tejeros without the new president and so Crispulo headed a second commission to notify his younger brother. Two o’clock in the afternoon of the same day he left for Pasong Santol with a handful of aides and scouts.
After reaching their destination the following day, Crispulo conveyed his birthday greetings to his brother. Likewise, he explained his mission and urged him to assume the presidency in order to effect the reorganization of the government. Emilio, however refused to leave his command as he knew that the Spanish forces were advancing from Dasmariñas to Imus; he wanted to block their way and annihilate the cazadores.
Crispulo didn’t want to return to Tejeros without his brother so he offered to take over the command at Pasong Santol on condition that Emilio should go to Tejeros with the commission to formally accept his election as head of the revolutionary government.
Crispulo made his pledge in the presence of his brother and the members of the staff, vowing that the Spanish forces could only take Pasong Santol over his dead body. Aware of the dauntless courage of his brother, Emilio relinquished his command in favor of Crispulo.
Two days later, on the 24th of March, the Spaniards outnumbered the Filipino forces and captured Pasong Santol. Although wounded, Crispulo fought on gallantly. He died a martyr at the age of 33.
He was survived by his widow Doña Irinea Aranzaso of Kawit, who at that time bearing their seventh child, the baby boy was named after his brave father.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila : Tahanan Books, 1995.
Villaroel, Hector K. Eminent Filipinos. Quezon City : Textbook Publishers, 1965.