Ang Republika Federal sg Kabisay-an (The Federal Republic of the Visayas)

Historical Facts obviously omitted or deliberately hidden in our School History Books
(Source: History Reborn"The Federal Republic of the Visayas" -by: dinggol a.divinagracia*June 12, 2007)

*That Spain had already formally surrendered to the Federal Republic of the Visayas even before Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was proclaimed Philippine President in Malolos, Bulacan on January 23, 1899. That our Independent Visayan Republic, had never been under the authority and jurisdiction of Aguinaldo's "Katagalogan" Republic in Luzon.

excerpted: "...A paper written by Jose Manuel Velmonte, a research associate at the UP Third World Studies Center, found that the Visayan revolutionary elites not only had sophisticated political ideas but also resented attempts by Malolos to assert its authority. A Tagalog military expedition sent by Malolos to Panay to assert its presence was met with hostility. The Luzon force led by Generals Ananias Diocno and Leandro Fullon was regarded by the Visayan revolutionaries, led by the Visayan supremo, Gen. Martin Delgado, as an ''invasion'' force ..." (Source: Inquirer-1999- 06-13 "View of revolt in provinces spurs revision" By: Amando Doronila)

According to Dr. Luis C.Dery, an eminent Filipino Scholar: "Expounding the extent of Aguinaldo's Philippine Army; the Bangsamoro nation's Mindanao, Sulu, and the rest of its islands never fell under Aguinaldo's politico-military control and sovereignty. In fact as late as August 1898 much of northern Luzon, southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao remained outside of the control of Aguinaldo's Republic. Thus, several military expeditions were sent to these places to bring' them to recognize the First Philippine Republic."

*That the 1898 Treaty of Paris preliminaries, should not have included territories of the sovereign "Visayan Nation"; the confederation of both the Central and Western Visayas Cantonal Governments by virtue of Spain's formal surrender prior to this U.S. and Spain treaty of peace (Paris) and the $20-million buy-out. Spain had no more legal rights to sell. In legal parlance "nemodat quod non habet” -meaning “you cannot give what is not yours”. It states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title.

This diplomatic "Faux pas" that was supposed to be officially consummated and became legal and internationally binding only on APRIL 11, 1899 should, or rather must be rectified.
*June 12, 1898 -Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite --but never won the war against Spain, as explained in the infamous betrayal --the "Mock Battle of Manila of August 13, 1898".

*Nov. 6 & Dec. 23, 1898 -Spain formally surrendered to both; the Negros Republic that merged (Dec. 2, 1898) with the Federal Republic of the Visayas based in Iloilo (respectively)

excerpted: "...These two nations, from a purely legal point of view, are COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE UNTIL TODAY. This could imply that the Manila-based Tagalista-oriented Unitarian central government of the Philippines in the Visayas and Mindanao is an Occupational Government, that ultimately originated from an invalid Treaty of Paris...."

Dr. Jose P. Dacudao; National President -Save Our Languages thru Federalism Foundation (SOLFED), Inc.

*July 4, 1946 -The United States of America granted Philippine Independence on a silver platter with strings attached.

"True Independence could never be just self-proclaimed nor bestowed upon, it has to be won and duly achieved with dignity" -- DinggolAranetaDivinagracia (Founder: Ilonggo Nation Movement (INM) Global Network ..Dec. 25, 2005)

Dinggol is an Ilonggo Historian of modern times. He is a lover of nature and reform activist by profession; a genealogist by avocation, and an avid advocate of the Cooperative Movement and "Parliamentary" Federalism. He is, likewise, a duly registered Researcher at the U.S. Library of Congress in the nations capital --Washington D.C.

"It is rather speculative as it is without basis of history if we mean of "history" is that which had been written for us by the "tutas" or lackeys of our colonial and imperial masters.." -- Benjie Evicner Estuche (INM Co-Founder)

"Federalism is not the best way, it is the only way"..
Join the Last Laugh with us!

*When Christopher Columbus said that the world is round, people asked -What? and then they laughed.

*When the Wright brothers said they'll fly and soar the skies, people asked -How? and then they laughed.

*When Jules Verne wrote someday man could travel below the seven seas and shall walk on the moon, people asked - When? and then they laughed.

*When John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the Lord, the Messiah, people asked -Who? and then they laughed.

*When the Ilonggo Nation Movement (INM) Global Network announced its mission and vision, people did not even bother to ask, What? How? When? or Who? --They just laughed and laughed. *People are still laughing, ...but the laughter is fading!

Ang inyo alagad sa guihapon -DinggolAranetaDivinagracia~~

Claim your birth right, VISIT AND JOIN US! AT: "GLIMPSES OF ILONGGO HISTORY" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~oo0oo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"ACTA DE CAPITULACION~1898" (The Formal Surrender Document)

"ACTA DE CAPITULACION~1898" (The Formal Surrender Document)
*Nov. 6 & Dec. 23, 1898 -Spain formally surrendered to both; the Negros Republic that merged (Dec. 2, 1898) with the Federal Republic of the Visayas based in Iloilo (respectively)
Ergo! we won our battle-scarred freedom and legitimate independence and became a sovereign nation. The "First" Republic in the whole of Asia, but was nipped-in-the bud by the "ugly" Americans. A diplomatic faux pas, a political blunder and a travesty of history! --DinggolAranetaDivinagracia~~~


Friday, September 20, 2019

The Royal Blood at the Iloilo City Waterfront

The Royal Blood at the Iloilo City Waterfront

(By DinggolAranetaDivinagracia - IlonggoNationMovement)

Prologue: “Iloilo City has one of the best, if not the best harbor in the world; according to Merchant Marines of their “Port-of-Call” --while their ships are docked along Muelle Loney or anchored by the Iloilo Strait, many decades ago.” --dinggol.d~~~

The Iloilo River Facilities

Iloilo City is endowed by mother nature with a clear navigable river right at the center of its activities. The long and winding waterway known as the “Iloilo River” --that traverse Iloilo City’s downtown area and Lapuz then a part of Iloilo City’s Lapaz District; where the VISTRANCO, and its dry dock subsidiary Iloilo Dock and Engineering Company (IDECO) were once-upon-a-time operational. Where the Panay Railways, Inc. offices and their employees residential complex, repair shops and its’ depot was once a happy and lively community. Yes! all of these are now gone!

Likewise, right across the wide Iloilo River conveniently located along the Muelle Loney we also used to see the busy loading or unloading terminals of many Inter-island freight, cargo and domestic passenger shipping lines, including the ferry and pump boats serving Jordan and Buenavista piers in Guimaras island.

Along the side was the Panay Railways transport system that reached as far as Roxas City in the Province of Capiz. After the long railroad or sea travel, the commuters could easily access in both the private and public transportation facilities with assistance from the uniform-wearing, courteous and well-disciplined stevedores or the reliable porters.

The familiar festive site was the much- awaited arrival of deep-sea fishing fleet, especially as nightfall up to the wee hours in the morning, where people rushed to buy some seafood cached at a bargain price for home consumption or just grilled nearby with beer-drinking buddies. Today, the action is at the modern Fishing Port that was constructed near the Tanza and Baluarte area in Molo.

The Iloilo Strait, a Haven for Shipping Anchorage

The huge tonnage of ocean-going vessels that many international shipping companies anchored by the Iloilo Strait, were assured of protection from the wrath of nature and other elements with a natural shield that the Guimaras island sub-province provides.

Unfortunately, what people see today in areas along Muelle Loney, are squatter colonies, and except for a few still usable, are remnants of old warehouses and the dilapidated buildings that stands as mute witnesses to the busy hustle and bustle of early trade and commerce; of the glory and splendor of the yesteryear that earned the “La muy leal y noble Ciudad de Iloilo” --the title as the “Queen City of the South”.

The Rise of the Royal Blood on the Waterfront

On June 11, 1914, a baby boy was born “with a mission” in Iloilo City, Philippines. His parents were the modest but upright couple named Jose Morales Espinosa and his wife Monica de la Paz Espinosa. The young boy was christened as Pascual with the nickname “Pascualing”. While studying at A. Montes Elementary School and at the Iloilo High School, Pascualing augmented his meager allowance by taking odd jobs as laborer at the waterfront and by selling newspapers. Likewise, Pascualing worked hard to assist in the needs of his five (5) younger brothers; Franco, Amalik, Deting, Moor, and Benny.

Pascualing Espinosa married the former Ramona Rojas, the daughter of Don Jose Rojas of the illustrious and politically influential clan of Ajuy, Iloilo. They were gifted with twelve (12) children namely: Pascual “Junie”, Jose “Hamy”, Chris “KC”, Jerome, Ramona, Antonio, Oscar “Oskit”, Jesus “Jing” the twins Estrella and Eva, Luz, and Victoria.

The bright young student from the waterfront of Iloilo City pursued his Law Degree at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City and became a full-fledged Lawyer. One of his classmates Enrique Fernando later became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

During world war II, Pascualing Espinosa served as war-time Justice of the Peace, then later served as one of the Technical Assistant to Iloilo Governor Tomas Confesor. When the war ended, Pascualing served as Assistant Provincial Fiscal, and later as City Fiscal of Iloilo City. For his involvement in the labor sector, he rose as Vice President of Federacion Obrera de Filipinas (FOF).

In 1947 Atty. Pascual Espinosa, began his political career when he was appointed as Councilor of Iloilo City. On the same year, he broke his ties with the FOF labor group and accepted the leadership of the government-favored Trade Union, the “Consolidated Labor Union of the Philippines (CLUP)” based near Muelle Loney in Iloilo City. These two (2) Labor Unions became bitter rivals that resulted in violent armed confrontations.

In the 1949 national election, Pascualing of the Liberal Party won the congressional seat of the second district of Iloilo comprising; Iloilo City, and the Municipalities of Leganes and Pavia, also the Municipalities of Jordan, Buenavista and Nueva Valencia in the island sub-province of Guimaras. When he ran for re-election in 1953, he lost to the charismatic Timawa leader of Molo, Roding Ganzon. In the 1957 congressional election, he won again by a slim margin of votes against the Nationalista Party leading candidate Atty. Jose Cabangal Divinagracia.

It would be fair to add, that while Cong. Espinosa was in the August Hall of Congress, he was a pro-people legislator who championed the plight of the poor and lowly workers. He was the author of the Magna Carta of Labor or the Minimum Wage Law; thus, he was called "the Father of the Common Man of Labor". Likewise, he also authored Republic Act 875, otherwise known as the Industrial Peace Act, an act that provides equitable protection for both capital and labor in the industries. He authored the Woman and Child Labor Law or the Maternity Leave with Pay which, until now, is still being enjoyed by working mothers in the country.

The most significant role of Congressman Pascualing Espinosa in his career as labor leader was to secure the movement of his many fellow Ilonggos to Agana, Guam that was devastated during World War II, tasked with rebuilding the US base military facilities, and many other infrastructure projects. The U. S. Navy gave their contract of the project to Luzon Stevedoring Company, Inc. (LUSTEVECO). The local subsidiary in Iloilo City was the VISTRANCO's labor union, the Consolidated Labor Union of the Philippines (CLUP) headed by Congressman Pascualing Espinosa.

Thereafter, Espinosa was also instrumental in sending Filipino workers by the thousands, mostly from Iloilo City --in the islands of Manus, Saipan, and Tinian. His endeavor paved the way for the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Program, a novel project still in its infant stage at that time of the National Government.

The Impregnable Fiefdom on the Waterfront

The first generation of the Espinosa clan who lived together with their respective families within the compound of CLUP a.k.a. Espinosa compound near the Muelle Loney area were reportedly Bosses of the waterfront arrastre services in the decades of the 60’s and 70’s. Their hold was bolstered by the political power and influence of their eldest brother Cong. Pascual Espinosa. Thus, the family of the six (6) Espinosa brothers was dubbed as the “Royal Blood” of Iloilo City waterfront. They maintain a stronghold and ruled over their claimed area of jurisdiction, that government authorities and even law enforcers tiptoed as they approached the area.

As the first generation of Espinosa brothers, gradually went beyond the great divide, and while the others retired; their sons took over their share of the lucrative arrastre business at the local pier. The third generation Espinosa children, meanwhile, are poised to inherit the same trade.

The Fall of the Royal Blood on the Waterfront

At some time in the past, as squatters mushroomed around the area, Muelle Loney became synonymous to criminality, to robbery and killings when corpses were often fished-out from Iloilo river. As the news of the Iloilo port's notoriety reached major cities in the country, it discouraged the many prospective entrepreneurs and investors to open up business in Iloilo. Local passengers who are coming in from different parts of the Philippines feared of the port, since not only that these arrastres are rumored to do extortion to all shipping companies and businessmen, but also pickpockets and the almost daily daring hold-ups abound in the area. Many Iloilo born merchants fled the dying city.

The establishment of the Iloilo Integrated Arrastre Services Corporation (IlASCO); where some prominent old Shipping Companies, etc. were represented under the supervision of the Philippine Ports Authority, somehow eased the anxiety.

Eventually, in the early part of year 2000, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) took over the port operations.

The Deadly Family Feud

Every new years eve since way back when, the respective houses of the Espinosa brothers within the compound are filled with each family members, including in-laws for the grand celebration. An open court serves as common ground. Needless to say, beer and hard liquor flow to the maximum, while many long and short firearms are displayed ready to burst come 12:00 o’clock midnight for the loudest explosion.

However, in 1993 neighbors were surprised and alarmed of the premature continued thundering explosions expected for midnight. All Iloilo City radio stations “flash reports” --later announced that before midnight there was a commotion and gunfights inside the Espinosa compound. They confirmed that two (2) first cousins had an argument, shots were fired, pandemonium followed as both immediate family members concerned joined in the shootout.

Naturally, thereafter, ambulance and paramedics came to take the victims to the nearest emergency room, and police arrived to investigate after the gunsmoke was cleared. The final result later, sad to say, revealed six (6) fatalities; Oskit, the son, and two (2) grandsons of Pascualing, and three (3) sons of his brother Franco. Many other brothers, and cousins were seriously or slightly injured with gunshot wounds.

Ongoing Violent Family Feud

In 2002, Rodney Espinosa and Pascual Jesus “PJ” Espinosa were shot to death.

On June 1, 2010, at the Espinosa enclave near the waterfront area, Pascual “Toto E” Espinosa III, and his younger brother Leo (sons of Benny Espinosa) were wounded after they both traded bullets with “Jing-Jing” --the son of their first cousin Jesus “Jing” Espinosa, Sr. (son of Pascualing Espinosa)

Authorities have long speculated a power struggle for control of the waterfront district, particularly the arrastre and cargo handling services between clan members, resulting in violent murders over the years.

However, then PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas said it bluntly, that the feud started over who will take in control of the alleged illegal activities and economic operations in the Waterfront area of Iloilo City.

The war between the feuding Espinosa families could be traced back in the 1990s. The tension was temporarily eased up with the meddling of the Espinosa remaining patriarch Atty. Gerson “Deting” Espinosa, but when he passed away, it was a “Free for all”.

A Memorial for Congressman Pascual dela Paz Espinosa

On June 11, 2014 during the centennial birthday celebration of the great Ilonggo waterfront labor leader, the Iloilo City Council approved a resolution officially naming the newly constructed covered gymnasium in Barangay Monica-Blumenritt as the “Congressman Pascualing Espinosa Memorial Gymnasium”. The project was funded under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Iloilo City lone district Representative Jerry P. Treñas.

The Dawn of a New Era

In recent years, the political kingpins of Iloilo City joined forces as one to set their acts together under the guidance of the “Numero uno” Ilonggo political “Godfather”, former Senate President Franklin M. Drilon. And with the ready blessings of Malacañang. They were: Congressman Jerry Perez Treñas, Mayor Jed Patrick Locsin-Escalante Mabilog and Vice-Mayor Jose “Joe III” Sanson Espinosa (Son of Mr. Moor Espinosa).

With the cooperation of the Iloilo City business community, the land owners, and residents of the City --the development of idle vacant lands and construction of many infra-structure projects, both vertical and horizontal, were rapidly realized.

Including the “walkers paradise” along both sides of Iloilo River going to the Muelle Loney and the favorite tourist destination the “Iloilo Esplanade” and the wide “Promenade Park”. A long Ilonggo dream come true.

Epilogue: Many second, and even third generation of the Espinosa family members on the waterfront are career professionals. They represent varied professions, and many are relatively successful in the respective fields of endeavor.

However, as in any other family, there are always “black sheep of the family” as the saying goes. Thus, they say that you can always choose your friends, but not your relatives.” sabi dah! --dinggolSDname~~~

(N.b: Credit to Nereo Cajilig Lujan for the headline photo)

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