Today in Philippine History, May 26, 1859, Felipe Agoncillo was born in Taal, Batangas

On May 26, 1859, Felipe Agoncillo, considered as the first Filipino diplomat assigned by the Revolutionary Government to campaign for recognition of Philippine independence by foreign countries, was born in Taal, Batangas.

Agoncillo, a brilliant lawyer who got perfect score in the Bar examination, was assigned by General Emilio Aguinaldo to lobby with foreign entities that the Filipinos were well civilized people and capable of maintaining a stable government.

Late in 1898, Agoncillo went to the United States and filed petition after petition urging recognition of Philippine independence, but US President William McKinley refused to heed his appeal.

After being ignored by the US president, Agoncillo proceeded to Paris, France to present the Philippine cause at the peace conference convened between Spain and the US, where a meeting was to be held to discuss Cuba and the Philippines. Agoncillo tried to submit a memorandum but again failed. The people behind the meeting did not want to have any official dealings with him. On December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was successfully signed.

Two days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Agoncillo returned to the United States and endeavored to block ratification of the treaty by the US. Although this was signed by the commissioners, it was not yet approved by the Senate of the United States. He filed a State memorandum to express that Filipinos must be recognized by the United States.

In 1907, he was elected to represent Batangas province, among others, to the Philippine Assembly.

He was appointed as Secretary of Interior in 1923 during the administration of Governor General Leonard Wood and fought for the Filipinization of the government service.

He died on September 29, 1941 at the age of 82

Reference: Philippine News Agency
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

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