December 12, 2017, 10:08 am
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Bonifacio versus Mindanao pirates

THAT’S the Philippine warship “BRP Andres Bonifacio” safeguarding the maritime Rizalian Republic from rapacious Moorish criminals infesting the southern waters. In fact, last Yuletide, this Filipino frigate was expected by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to patrol Sulu waters and help other naval units in curbing kidnapping and piracy in the country’s southern border.

Lorenzana: “This ship will certainly be a valuable platform in the pursuit of the constitutional mandate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, this will strengthen the Philippine Navy capabilities in raising the country’s security concerns, in the protection of our territorial integrity and maritime interest.” [Philippines News Agency, “BRP Andres Bonifacio to help rid Sulu waters of piracy, kidnapping threats,” 11 Dec 2016]

A crime-free Sulu Sea. Add that to your Christmas wish list. Defense Secretary Lorenzana had also said: “The acquisition of this sea platform will help propel the PN Sail Plan 2020...Our maritime territory is 20 times bigger than our land mass so it is just right that we go into a program to upgrade our Navy.” The Hamilton-class cutter is supposed to have a cruising range of 14,000 miles and a sea-and-loiter time of 45 days. [Philippines News Agency, “Arrival of BRP Andres Bonifacio, a symbol of PHL commitment to modernize its military,” 09 Dec 2016]

The BRP Andres Bonifacio (the third Gregorio del Pilar-class frigate to be commissioned by the Philippine Navy) had also flown the Flag further south in this year’s tropical summer. The seacraft’s participation in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition ‘17 and the maritime exercises at the Royal Malaysian Naval base in Lumut, Perak is a manifestation of the Philippine Navy’s “commitment to promote harmonious relations between and among countries,” according to Commodore Albert A. Mogol [Philippines News Agency, “BRP Andres Bonifacio’s Kuala Lumpur visit highlights PHL-Malaysia partnership,” 03 April 2017]

The Filipino frigate is named after the Pangulo of the Republika ng Haringbayang Katagalugan. Gat Andres (who was captioned the “titulado (Presidente) de la Republica Tagala” in the February 8, 1897 edition of “La Ilustration Espana y America,” a Spanish periodical) ought to be recognized as the country’s first president, according to a Manila City Council resolution circa November 2013. Bonifacio founded the first national government of the Philippines and served as its president from August 24, 1896 until his murder on May 10, 1897, according to Councilman John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, citing historians Milagros C. Guerrero, Emmanuel Encarnacion and Ramon N. Villegas. Bonifacio, moreover, had been declared by the Manila city council as the true father of the Filipino nation and founder of Philippine democracy. [McClatchy-Tribune Business News, Washington, 30 November 2013]

Just like the national capital, the Pampanga city of San Fernando had honored President Bonifacio, with Police Chief Inspector Andrea Bonifacio, reportedly a direct descendant of the hero, declaring, “What is important is how can we show our love for the motherland.” [Philippines News Agency, 30 November 2015]

Back in Manila, a legitimate progeny, Attorney Gregorio “Gary” Bonifacio, great-grandson of Procopio (a brother of President Andres B.) had told citizens gathered for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Bonifacio Shrine: “The Bonifacio family is thankful to the entire Filipino nation in commemorating the 152nd birthday of Gat Andres Bonifacio, but more than this event, we must accept his challenge to enrich our motherland by applying and embracing his spirit and aspirations for the country.”

“Voters should bring back the politics that is based on principles and dignity, as practiced by the Katipunan leaders.” [“Bring back ‘principled’ politics – Bonifacio kin,” TCA Regional News, Chicago, 01 Dec 2015]

Another descendant (and namesake), Andres Bonifacio, had run for the post of barangay councilman in Valenzuela City, garnering 2,000 votes, with a no-nonsense platform of environmental protection and an anti-crime advocacy. [Philippines News Agency, 05 November 2010]

President Bonifacio’s original platform was the Katipunan Kartilya, a code of ethics and a clarion call for self-actualization. “For Bonifacio’s Katipunan, self-determination began at home, with the family, whose apparatus of reason and enlightenment did not need to understand the politics of sovereign nations or the inter-state system of global capitalism in order to see clearly that a promise had been broken, and that no state of colonial exception could explain or legitimate the brutalisation of people by an intolerable exercise of sovereignty.” [“The blood compact: international law and the state of exception in the 1896 Filipino revolution and the US takeover of the Philippines,” Postcolonial Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2004, pp. 27–48]

Bonifacio (“the other great leader of 19th-century Philippine anti-colonial resistance,” according to David Haekwon Kim, “Empire’s entrails and the imperial geography of ‘Amerasia’,” City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 8:1, April 2004, p. 70) is honored today (30 November 2017) with a Philippine national holiday. But Bonifacio had always been highly regarded by non-Filipino Austronesians in the BIMP-EAGA portion of Asean.

“Tan Melaka put both the ‘national hero’ Jose Rizal and the ‘Father of the Philippine Revolution’ Andres Bonifacio into his Garden of Humanity, and upheld their names on the peak of one garden called ‘Greater Indonesia’ to emphasize the significance of their thoughts. Interestingly, Tan Melaka classified Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio as ‘pure Indonesians.’ According to Ramon Guillermo’s analysis, this shows that Tan Melaka saw Malaya, Indonesia and the Philippines as one nation based on the same race.” [Ngoi Guat Peng (translated by TEO Jia Jia and SHOW Ying Xin), “Editorial introduction: the pluralistic thoughts and imagined boundaries in Nusantara,” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 18:3, 2017, pp. 313-316]

Bonifacio’s legacy is shared by Filipinos with their Indonesian siblings. “Andres Bonifacio, a young working class from Tondo, served as a propagandist and organizer for the Liga Filipina formed by Rizal before Rizal was deported to Dapitan in 1896. His favourite books were Eugene Sue’s ‘Wandering Jew’ and the ‘Ruins of Palmyra.’ He preferred El Filibusterismo to Noli and loved to talk about the French Revolution. As a grown man, Andres Bonifacio had read numerous ‘protest literature’ to inspire him for the revolution.” [Ubonrat Siriyuvasak, “People’s media and communication rights in Indonesia and the Philippines,” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 6:2, 2005, pp. 245-263]
Bonifacio lives; smash Han hegemonism, Moorish criminality.
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