MAXIMO F. INOCENCIO
One of the “Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite”
One of the “Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite,” Maximo Inocencio was born on November 18,
1833 in Cavite, Cavite to Tranquilino Inocencio and Ana Maria Franco. He was still a boy when his
father, a seaman who made voyages to and from Mexico, died.
Although he had only a little schooling, he was able to pursue an independent occupation
as a carpenter shop of the arsenal in Cavite. In time, he became a contractor in the erection of
churches, bridges, buildings, and other public works in the province. He was involved in the
building of the Tejeros Bridge, the provincial capitol, the Cavite elementary school, and the
Inocencio house, as well as the repair of the church in Naic and the Dominican church in Cavite.
His construction business became a steady one, regularly employing some 25 men at his shop in
Besides buildings, he also constructed bancas, sailboats, and cascos. He maintained a sort
of yard where repairs on small boats were done. Later, he established a sawmill and lumberyard.
He used the sailboats Dos Hermanos La Luz, Amparo, and Aurea for hauling logs and
transporting firewood from Mindoro, Mariveles, and from as far as Lagingmanok (renamed Padre
Burgos), Quezon province.
Inocencio had an established business and was well-known citizen of means when the
Cavite Revolt of 1872 took place. Artigas y Cuerva stated that he had nothing to do with this
uprising, but because he was a Mason, he was implicated in it and sentenced to 10 years’
imprisonment and deported to Cartagena, Spain, together with Crisanto de los Reyes and Pedro
Paraiso. Paraiso took upon himself the task of liberating his companions when the Cantons
revolted. Inocencio later on crossed the border to France, and from Marseilles obtained his pardon
and freedom. Upon his return to the Philippines he resumed his business activities, and regained
his social prestige. In 1895 he was one of the members of the junta inspectora of the Hospicio de
San Jose in Cavite, an honorary office headed by the parish priest, and was a “proprietor of a large
store and was a contractor of the arsenal.” He supported political causes, including the
Propaganda Movement abroad.
In the Revolution of 1896, Inocencio was again implicated together with other prominent
citizens of Cavite. From the declaration of Alfonso de Ocampo, it was revealed that Inocencio,
Francisco Osorio, Luis Aguado and Severino Lapidario were the leaders of the planned uprising in
Cavite, and that the signal was to come from the fireworks to be shot from Inocencio’s camarin.
This testimony led to his arrest on September 4. He was among 13 Caviteños, headed by Lapidario,
who were found guilty of rebellion on September 11 and were shot at the plaza de armas of Fort San
Felipe. He was the oldest of the 13. The execution was a warning to discourage the spread of the
uprising. But in a week, all the towns in Cavite rose up in arms.
Inocencio, whose life was summed thus: “with chisel and hammer he worked his way to
wealth amassing one of the largest fortunes in the province,” had been variously described as a
diligent and hard worker, and a charitable citizen who did not fail to lend a helping hand to the
He had nine children by his wife, Narcisa Francisco. His remains used to be sepulchered
in a niche at the Porta Vaga Church.
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission,
Saulo, Alfredo B. and Esteban A. De Ocampo. History of Cavite. Trece Martires City:
Provincial Government of Cavite, 1985.
The History and Cultural Life of Cavite, published by MEC, Division of Cavite and Cavite
Provincial Government, 1981.
Zaide, Gregorio. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Bookstore, 1970.