Emilio Aguinaldo

(1899-1901) First Philippine President
First Republic

Emilio Aguinaldo first studied in San Juan de Letran. He joined the revolution in 1896 as a lieutenant under Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo and rose to the rank of general in a few months.
He was 29 years old when he became Chief of State, first as head of the dictatorship he thought should be established upon his return to Cavite in May 1898 from voluntary exile in Hongkong.

On January 23, 1899, two months before turning 30, Aguinaldo was proclaimed the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, and he convened the Philippine Congress which ratified the country’s Constitution. The first Asian constitutional Republic was thus established – an event that inspired other colonized Asian countries to work for independence.

He took an oath of allegiance to the United States a week after his capture in Palanan, Isabela. His term also featured the setting up of the Malolos Republic, which has its own Congress, Constitution, and national and local officialdom — proving Filipinos also had the capacity to build.
Aguinaldo is best remembered for the proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898, in Kawit, Cavite.


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