VALENTIN V. DIAZ
Co-Founder of the Katipunan
Co-founder and one-time treasurer of the Katipunan, Valentin Diaz was born on
November 1, 1849 in Paoay, Ilocos Norte to Geronimo Diaz and Maria Villanueva. His family
moved to Tayug, Pangasinan in 1857.
Nothing is known of the educational background of Diaz. However, it can be presumed
that ha had studied because he became gobernadorcillo of the town. The position is equivalent to
that of the present-day municipal mayor. Moreover, he and his family must have been influential,
for the Spanish authorities awarded such position only to members of important families.
Exactly when and how he came to live in Tondo, Manila is also not known. However, when
Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and other patriots formed the La Liga Filipina, he was among
those listed as its members.
At any rate, the reformist Liga was dissolved following the banishment of Rizal to Dapitan.
As a consequence, Bonifacio and the others decided that the time was opportune for them to
organize a more radical group.
Diaz was with former Liga members, like Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and Jose Dizon,
when Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, a secret revolutionary society, during a meeting at the
house of Deodato Arellano at No. 72 Azcarraga Street, Tondo, on July 7, 1892. Diaz was one of
those who helped drew up the statutes of the society; he was then a court clerk when the first
supreme council was established. He was elected treasurer.
Before the outbreak of the 1896 Revolution, Diaz already held the rank of major in the
revolutionary army. He figured in the negotiation of the surrender of Tarlac on July 10, 1898, a
successful siege of the town by Francisco Makabulos. He was one of the signatories of the Pact of
Biak-na-Bato, which was promulgated on November 1, 1897. Later, he joined other revolutionaries
who went in self-exile in Hong Kong in keeping with the conditions of the pact. During the
Filipino-American War (1899-1902), he served as colonel in the Philippine Army.
Diaz died in Manila in 1916 at the age of 67.
Agoncillo, Teodoro A. The Revolt of the Masses, UP, Quezon City, 1956.
Manuel, E. Arsenio Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume II. Quezon City: Filipiniana
____________. Dictionary of the Philippine Biography Volume I. Quezon City: Filipiniana
Medina, Isagani R. Unang talata tungkol sa Paghihimagsik (Revolucion) noong 1896- 97,
sinulat ni Carlos Ronquillo y Valdez. Quezon City: UP Press, 1976.