Felipe Agoncillo (b. May 26, 1859 - d. September 29, 1941)was the first Filipino diplomat who also became the representative of the First Philippine Republic in the negotiations in Paris that led to the Treaty of Paris (1898), which ended the Spanish-American War. However, Agoncillo was excluded from sessions as the revolutionary government of the Philippines was not recognized by the family of nations.
Felipe, finished his high school at Ateneo Municipal de Manila (presently, Ateneo de Manila), and obtained a law degree in 1879, from the University of Santo Tomas. He practiced law in Taal, Batangas, where he gave his services for free. A note was posted outside his office saying "Free legal service to the poor anytime."
As a Patriot
He then sailed to Yokohama, Japan and later went to Hong Kong where he established a propaganda office in promulgation of the revolutionary government of General Emilio Aguinaldo in the Philippines. He was then sent to Washington, USA to secure a recognition of the Philippine independence, then went to Paris to present the cause of the American-Spanish peace conference. Agoncillo attempted to block the Treaty of Paris, believeing that this treaty won't be binding in the case of the Philippines. Upon the break of the Philippine-American War, he returned to Hong Kong and was later joined by the Hong Kong Junta.
After the hostilities in the Philippines, he lived as an ordinary man and established a law office. In 1907, Agoncillo was elected as the representative of Batangas to the Philippine Assembly. In 1923, he was named as Secretary of the Interior and fought for the Filipinization of the government service.
- Quirino, Carlos. Who's who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
- An Online Guide to Philippine History: Felipe Agoncillo. (accessed on September 5, 2007).