The Aquinos of Tarlac in the Philippines
By Renato Perdon
candidate Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III came from an illustrious
family in Tarlac in the Philippines.
His great grandfather was revolutionary leader Gen. Servillano Aquino and
his grandfather, Benigno Q. Aquino, was a distinguished legislator and member
of the Quezon Cabinet. His father was senator and opposition leader, the
late Benigno S. Aquino and his mother, the late President Corazon C.
candidate Noynoy Aquino was born in Manila
in 1960 to Corazon and Benigno Aquino, Jr. His father, a senator was the
strong opponent of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
General Servillano Aquino
great, grandfather Gen. Servillano Aquino was a revolutionary leader. He
was born in Angeles, Pampanga in 1874 to Braulio Aquino and Petrona Aguilar
de Hipolito. He was well educated having completed at Colegio de San Juan
de Letran his bachelor of arts degree and land surveying. He continued his
study of law at the University
of Sto. Tomas but
dropped out of school when he married Guadalupe Quiambao. The couple had
three children, namely, Gonzalo, Benigno, and Armando.
actively participated in the activities of the Katipunan and was captured
and jailed at Fort
to death for sedition, he was however freed as result of the Pact of Biac-na-Bato
and joined Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in exile in Hong Kong.
the second phase of the Philippine revolution, he was promoted to full
colonel under Gen. Makabulos in Central Luzon
and military governor of Tarlac. During his term military governor, the
radical peasant movement Guardia de Honor, sowed terror among landowners in
the province. His father-in-law who was the town president of Murcia,
Tarlac, and his wife were killed by the peasants. His sons escaped death
when their grandmother managed to hide them while the killing was taking
the Filipino-American War, he became the leader of Pampango troops that
and pushed their way to San Lazaro and Sampaloc. He was promoted to the
rank of brigadier-general and appointed deputy to the Malolos Congress.
the war, he was court-martialled by the Americans after he surrendered
‘unconditionally’ to Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant and later
sentenced for life. After three years, he received pardon from President
Theodore Roosevelt upon recommendation of US Secretary of War William
returned to Tarlac and rejoined his three children who were living with
their grandmother and Petronila, the sister of his late wife. When
Petronila’s husband died, he married his sister-in-law and had a daughter,
Fortunata. When his second wife died in 1923, he divided the Murcia
hacienda among the heirs. He was only 49 years old and devoted much of his
time to his new farms and developing into rice or sugar land his estates
that included Hacienda Tianang, Hacienda Lauang, Hacienda Pandakaki, and
ripe age of 72 years old, he married Belen Sanchez of Concepcion. His third wife had a
miscarriage and by the age of 75 years, he became the father of Herminio.
General Servillano Aquino passed away at the age of 85 leaving children
from three wives.
Benigno Q. Aquino
son, Benigno S. Aquino was a wartime leader, a distinguished legislator and
member of the Quezon cabinet. He was born in 1894 in Murcia but
grew up in Concepcion, Tarlac. He had cartilla lessons under a private
tutor and later studied at the school managed by Bartolome Tablante in
Angeles, Pampanga. He boarded at the school of Modesto
Joaquin in Bacolor. He transferred to Colegio
de San Juan de Letran in 1904 where he excelled in oratory receiving medals
and the star pupil in the philosophy class. He graduated at the age of 13
with a bachelor of arts degree. Then he studied law at the University of Santo Tomas and completed a bachelor
of laws degree in 1913 and passed the bar the following year.
1916, he married Maria Urquico, a scion of a rich rice merchant family in
Tarlac and one of the country’s first certified public accountant in 1915.
She and Benigno lived in a house near the Tarlac market where their first
child, Antonio, was born.
family lived at the 1,200-hectare Hacienda Tinang which was inherited by
Benigno from his father in 1923. They lived in a large brick house known as
Casa Grande or Bale Maragul, the biggest in town fronting Calle Real. With
the help of his brother-in-law, he cleared the hacienda, planted sugar
cane, and put its old sugar mill back into operation but continued his law
practice by commuting between the farm and the town...’
served as representative of the second district of Tarlac from 1919 to
1928, then senator from 1928 to 1934, and assemblyman from 1935 to 1938. He
became the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce in 1938. In 19141, he
resigned from the cabinet.
the Japanese period, he served in the puppet government of Pres. Jose P.
Laurel. When the Japanese surrendered, he was imprisoned at the notorious
Sugamo prison in Tokyo.
It was at the concentration camp that Aquino developed a heart condition.
arraigned before the People’s Court, he entered a plea of innocence to the
charge of treason and asked for bail. In Sept. 1946, he was released
provisionally and stayed most of the time in Tarlac where he nursed himself
back to health.
political comeback took place in 1947 when he became a close ally of Pres.
Manuel Roxas. In December of that year, he suffered another heart attack
and died of cardiac arrest. Four days after his death, the case of treason
against him was dismissed. He was buried in Concepcion, Tarlac.
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