Saturday, January 19, 2013

Filipino Martyr: TIMOTEO PAEZ

Timoteo Paez or “Teong” to his friends was born on August 22, 1861 in Tondo, Manila.
Orphaned at an early age by his wealthy father, Francisco Paez, he had to take care of
himself. After finishing his elementary school in Tondo Municipal School, he took clerical jobs or
as messenger in offices during the day and studied at the Escuela Nautica during the night until he
completed a course in accounting.
He was employed at the shipping company of Carrinage & Co. when he became involved
with the reform movement, which he served by raising funds for the support of the reformists and
the La Solidaridad abroad. On July 3, 1892, he joined the La Liga Filipina and became part of its
Supreme Council. Although the organization was short lived, he continued his support to the ideals
for reform. He printed and distributed Bonifacio’s “True Decalogue” and the teachings of Rizal at
his own expense.
On August 19, 1896, Spanish authorities discovered the Katipunan and as a result, they
arrested many suspected members including Timoteo Paez. He suffered nine months in prison
until General Primo de Rivera pardoned him and placed him in exile in Hong Kong. There, he
continued to update himself of developments in the Philippines and, later, became acquainted with
the exiled revolutionary leaders.
In September 1898, he returned to the Philippines and joined the revolutionary
government of General Emilio Aguinaldo that have retreated to Tarlac. He was designated
commissary officer with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and represented the province of Surigao in
the Revolutionary Congress.
Paez was assigned to a command field during the Philippine-American War. In April 1899,
General Aguinaldo attached him to the General Headquarters Service Force as one of his security
officers on their retreat to Northern Luzon. After Tirad Pass fell to the Americans, the
revolutionary leaders decided to make their flight from the Americans easier by surrendering the
women and other non-combatant members in their company. Colonels Paez and Sityar were
tasked to accompany those who surrendered back to Manila, where he was held as prisoner-of-war.
When the civil government was organized, Paez was one of the first councilors of Manila.
In 1903, he erected a monument of Rizal in the place where the La Liga was established and was
one of those who proposed the Rizal monument in Luneta. One who strongly believed in God, he
had the Ten Commandments from the Bible inscribed on a stone block.
On September 18, 1939, Timoteo Paez passed away in Tondo.

Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.

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