Facts about Heroes and their Memorial Statues (By DinggolAranetaDivinagracia -IlonggoNationMovement)
Prologue: “With malice towards none, and with no pun intended, we believe there is something wrong in honoring our foremost Ilonggo 1898 revolutionary hero.” –dinggol.d~~~
The truth of the matter:
On the 27th of April 1899, Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo issued a decree abolishing the “Estado Federal de Bisayas (EFB)”, a sovereign Visayan nation/state with a legitimate form of government by virtue of Spains’ formal surrender earlier.
The Visayan leaders of course openly ignored this decree since they were not under his authority/jurisdiction. The embattled EFB republic at war with American invaders still continued to function, moving its capital from the town of Santa Barbara to Cabatuan in Iloilo.
However, the civilian government of the “Estado Federal de Bisayas” or the Federal Republic of the Visayas, finally ceased to exist when the last President Jovito Servando Yusay of Molo in Iloilo City signed it’s formal dissolution on September 23, 1899. This was the result of a military coup-de-etat in the town of Cabatuan, Iloilo by its own military arm led by the General-en-Jefe Martin Teofilo Delgado, as instigated by General Ananias Diokno of Taal, Batangas.
Thereafter, the sovereign Visayan nation spearheaded by illustrious Ilonggos, was replaced by Gen. Martin Delgado and his Politico-Military Government, subservient to Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s, under the so-called Philippine Republic based in Luzon that had won several battles, but never the war against Spain nor the U.S.A. Then on October 28, 1899, General Delgado became head of the Superior Council on the island of Panay.
Eventually, Gen. Martin Teofilo Delgado y Bermejo after his formal surrender in Jaro to American military Governor Edmund Rice on February 2, 1901, collaborated with the U.S. invaders. Then on April 11, 1901, he was appointed as the very first Iloilo Provincial Governor upon the establishment of the civil government during the American Regime.
Thus, the campaign against the remaining revolutionary leaders and many lesser-known Ilonggo freedom fighters who continued the guerilla warfare against Uncle Sam’s invading forces was intensified upon orders by the “tuta” or lackeys of the civilian government established by the U.S. authorities.
Thereafter, on March 3, 1902, the first local election was held, and Delgado was elected governor of Iloilo. He served until March 1904.
After his term expired, he returned to his hometown of Santa Bárbara, Iloilo. Not long after, the former Visayan Supremo of the revolution was inflicted of leprosy or hanses disease, a highly contagious skin deformity.
Later, the former Gen-en-Gefe of the Visayan revolution Martin T. Delgado by virtue of the enacted Leprosy Law was arrested and exiled to Culion in the island of Palawan, where he stayed in a leprosy sanatorium for the rest of his life.
He died in Culion on November 12, 1918, at the age of sixty (60) years old.
In honor of his deeds and memory, Camp Martin Delgado and Delgado Street, a main thoroughfare in the city of Iloílo was named after him.
In 1998, during the centennial celebration of the declaration of Philippine independence kuno! in Kawit, Cavite, an impressive bigger-than-life size statue was erected in his honor in the public plaza of his beloved hometown of Santa Bárbara in Iloilo Province, Philippines.
It should be noted, however, that the declaration in Kawit, Cavite of Independence was never recognized by neither Spain nor the U.S. –or by any other foreign nation.
In 2019, an equestrian statue of Gen. Martin T. Delgado, made by Spanish Sculptor Ginés Serrán-Pagán, was also erected in front of the Casa del Emperador at the Iloilo Business Park.
Ironically, the Generals’ mounted statue on a concrete pedestal shows him astride –with both front legs of the horse in the air; that is reserved only to heroes who died fighting in the battlefield. Whereas, General Martin Teofilo Delgado finally succumbed in his deathbed due to leprosy, a dreaded incurable disease and not while fighting in the field of battle. Skeptics even believe that he had never personally fought or encountered any actual closed-combat during his stint as the revolutionary leader. But we doubt as to the veracity of this allegation.
Epilogue: “Let us refrain from further embarrassing the memories of Gen. Martin Teofilo Delgado y Bermejo with undeserved exposures that do not faithfully reflect his true being.
Why do they have to embarrass Gen. Martin Delgado with these inaccuracies in their desperate efforts to justify his proclamation by the early American regime as the foremost Inonlonggo Hero of the 1898 revolution?”. ~~~