Petition seeks recognition for Gen. Miguel Malvar
MANILA, Philippines – A hero may have long left the earth but he should never be forgotten.
This sums up the message of supporters of an online petition lobbying the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Army to give official recognition to Gen. Miguel Malvar, a revolutionary general who was at one point the supreme commander of Filipino forces during the Philippine-American War.
Writer and journalist Norman Sison, who initiated the petition, said Malvar’s authority was “designated by Aguinaldo’s decreed line of succession” and was, in fact, “approved by the Hong Kong Junta.”
“That made Malvar the third, after Gen. Antonio Luna, to command the Philippine Army as its captain-general,” he added.
Sison, a history buff and advocate, said the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) recognizes the historical fact. While conducting reseach on Malvar in 2013, however, he discovered that the Philippine Army website does not include Malvar in its list of commanding generals.
The petition is addressed to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista and Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes.
General Miguel Malvar (1865-1911) joined the Katipunan movement before the Philippine Revolution (1896-1898). He headed the Filipino forces in Batangas as chief commander during the revolt and the Phil-Am War that consequently broke out from 1892 to 1902.
On April 1, 1899, following the capture of General Emilio Aguinaldo by US troops the month before, Malvar assumed overall command of the revolutionary forces. He was one of the most effective of Aguinaldo’s generals and among the last to surrender to the Americans.
Malvar’s surrender on April 13, 1902 prompted then US president Theodore Roosevelt to declare victory in the war. The fighting, however, lasted until General Macario Sakay surrendered in 1906.
“Considering Malvar’s contributions to the Army and to our nation, it is only correct that we, the Filipino people, give him the recognition that the General deserves: his name and portrait in the Philippine Army’s roster of commanding generals,” Sison said in the online petition which was started on December 16, 2013.
“Our nation has a revolutionary tradition. We must not forget is, for it is our compass in our journey towards nationhood,” he added.
The petition, hosted on Change.org, targets to get 5,000 signatures. It has gathered more than 650 signatures as of Saturday, January 12. – Rappler.com