(? – 1897)
Katipunero and Patriot
Roman Aguirre was a Katipunero who was executed during the Philippine Revolution as one of the 19 martyrs of Capiz.
Following General Francisco del Castillo’s abortive attempt to seize the capital town of Kalibo on March 17, 1897, the hastily formed Katipunan in Capiz suddenly found itself waging an uprising to overthrow Spanish rule in Panay.
Armed only with bolos, bamboo spears, and a few guns, the rebels faced the superior native troops of the Spaniards. They were almost able to capture the town of Ibajay, but were eventually driven away with the arrival of additional Spanish troops led by Colonel Ricardo Monet. With General Del Castillo killed and his second-in-command, Candido Iban, captured in Malinao, the Katipuneros, numbering about 50-including Roman Aguirre-surrendered to Colonel Monet on April 19 to 22.
Although promised freedom and humane treatment through an amnesty, the rebels who surrendered were instead arrested and imprisoned at the town jail in Kalibo, and then tortured to reveal the names of their comrades. Later, 20 of them, including Aguirre, were picked out from the rest and identified as leaders of the Katipunan.
On the night of March 23, they were led to a camarin, or warehouse, on Amadeo Street where they were again tortured before being finally shot to death. In the usual Spanish fashion of intimidating would-be rebels, their bodies were paraded around Kalibo and displayed at the town square. Later, their bloody remains were piled atop a cart and hauled for burial in a common grave.
Alba, Digno. “Fragments of the Philippine Revolution in Capiz and a Brief Historical Account of the Separation of Aklan to be a Province.” Manila: 1955.
Gwekoh, Sol H. “The Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan.” Hall of Fame. Manila Times. 1966.
Roces, Alejandro, ed. Filipino Heritage Volume 8. Quezon City: 1975.
Sonza, Demetrio. Illustrious Ilonggos. Iloilo City: Iloilo Provincial Historical Society, 1972.