A Great General
Great general of the Philippine Revolution, Pantaleon Garcia was born in Imus, Cavite, on
July 27, 1856. He finished a teacher’s course and taught for some time in Silang, Cavite in 1875. In
1896, he joined the Katipunan.
When the Revolution broke out, Garcia immediately took arms and figured in several
bloody engagements against the Spaniards. In February 1897, with only 30 men from Imus, Garcia
boldly attacked the fort of Silang. Armed with bolos, daggers, spears and guns, the insurgents
assaulted the Spanish troops and overran several trenches. For his victory and heroism shown
during the encounter he was made a colonel. This was the beginning of his brilliant military career.
In the revolutionary army, Garcia headed the 4th one covering Navotas, Tambobong,
Novaliches and Caloocan. In many military operations he led, his wife took part, showing in all of
them “an admirable serenity and an enviable courage.”
Aguinaldo appointed him a committee of one to make an investigation and to report on the
case of the Bonifacio brothers. It was he who recommended that a court-martial, with General
Noriel presiding be appointed to try the brothers. Moreover, it was he who recommended that the
death penalty be imposed on them.
When Aguinaldo appointed him a committee of one to make an investigation and to report
on the case of the Bonifacio brothers. It was he who recommended that a court-martial, with
General Noriel presiding be appointed to try the brothers. Moreover, it was he who recommended
that the death penalty be imposed on them.
When Aguinaldo retreated to Biak-na-Bato in San Miguel, Bulacan, he took Garcia with
him. While they were encamped in the forests of Puray in Montalban, they were attacked by
surprise; Garcia’s men gravely launched a counterattack that led to the enemy’s fleeing.
Garcia was also with General Aguinaldo in finalizing the battle plans for Pasong Santol,
which was recaptured the last days of February. Having a great confidence in the military ability
and tact of Garcia. Aguinaldo entrusted the defense of Imus against the Spaniards to him and Gen.
In the Philippine-American war, Garcia was assigned as a commanding general in Central
Luzon. In the war program of Aguinaldo, the supreme objective was the capture of Manila. To carry
out the plan he named five of his best revolutionary generals to form an equal number of brigades;
Garcia was one of those five generals. In a battle fought on February 5, 1899, the rebels defended
the important maintenance plant of the Manila-Dagupan railroad line in Caloocan against the
assault of the 10th Mac-Arthur Division by land and sea. As a consequence of the foregoing battle,
Garcia became seriously ill. His men took him to Jaena, Nueva Ecija for treatment. He was still
confined and in bed when Capt. Smith captured him in May 1900. Thereby, he took his oath of
allegiance and afterwards was released from the hospital.
During the American regime, he was the first municipal president of Imus, Cavite. He also
became its justice of the peace.
He retired from public service after his assignment as superintendent of an agricultural
colony in Cavite expired. He died on August 16, 1936.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
Saulo, Alfredo and Esteban A. de Ocampo. History of Cavite : The Mother Ground of the
Philippine Revolution, Independence Flag and National Anthem. Trece Martires: Provincial
Government of Cavite. 1985.
Villaroel, Hector K. Eminent Filipinos. Quezon City: Textbook Publishers, 1965.