Battle of Pasong Santol
The Battle of Pasong Santol took place on March 24, 1897 between Crispulo Aguinaldo’s revolutionary army and the Spanish forces. Pasong Santol is a zigzag trail between Imus and Dasmariñas in Cavite, with Crispulo Aguinaldo being the most prominent figure after he took over General Emilio Aguinaldo’s leadership in the battle.
During the Tejeros Assembly on March 22, 1897 at San Francisco de Malabon, Cavite (now named General Trias), General Emilio Aguinaldo was elected president of the reorganized revolutionary government. He was elected in absentia for he was at Pasong Santol at the time, leading skirmishes against the Spanish forces. Several other positions were filled during the election: Mariano Trias was elected vice president, Artemio Ricarte as captain-general, Emiliano Riego de Dios as director of war, Pascual Alvarez as director of the interior, and Severino de las Alas as director of justice. Andres Bonifacio was also elected into the minor position of director of the interior. This caused much debate over whether or not the elections were rigged, ultimately leading to the breakaway of Bonifacio and his supporters from the Magadalo party.
The assembly then sent Colonel Vicente Riego de Dios to General Aguinaldo to inform him of his election and to urge him to take his oath of office, but Colonel de Dios was unsuccessful in bringing him back. General Aguinaldo refused to leave his post for he and his army needed to wipe out the advancement of Spanish forces from Dasmariñas to Imus.
Crispulo Aguinaldo, an elder brother of General Aguinaldo, went back to Pasong Santol with his aides and scouts to give his birthday greetings to General Aguinaldo and to convince him to assume presidency in order to effect the reorganization of the government. Crispulo Aguinaldo urged his brother to let him take over the Pasong Santol post and swore to him and his army that he would fight the Spanish forces to death. General Aguinaldo finally conceded to his brother’s request and allowed him to assume command of the post.
Two days later, on March 24, 1897, Spanish forces outnumbered Aguinaldo’s army and captured Pasong Santol. Crispulo Aguinaldo was wounded and eventually died at the age of 33.
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