The 5 Most Loathed Men in Philippine History

Thanks to these men, Philippine textbooks saw its greatest plot twists.

The Philippines has its fair share of villains. These infamous baddies were either disloyal to their people or aided enemy factions intentionally or accidentally. While the journey to independence was paved with traitors, a few names stand out in history books.

1| Pedro Paterno


History books paint Pedro Alejandro Paterno to be one of the greatest traitors in Philippine history and the “original and perfect balimbing,” as Portia L. Reyes calls him in a historiography. Paterno was first caught in the middle of two sides during the negotiations that led to the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1897, when he served as a mediator for Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera. When the Americans came and waged war against the Spanish government, Paterno tried to convince the revolutionaries to fight for Spanish rule. During the Philippine-American war, Paterno was captured and eventually persuaded to pledge his loyalty to the Americans. He was later editor and owner of newspaper La Patria, which praised both American and Spanish rule.


2| Januario Galut


Galut, a Tinggunian Igorot, never declared himself a revolutionary or a nationalist, but his name frequently appears in textbooks because of a despicable role he played in the Battle of Tirad Pass. Galut was responsible for leading Major Peyton March and his small army of 300 U.S. soldiers to the trail that led to Gregorio del Pilar’s fleet. Del Pilar was tasked to delay the troops who were after Emilio Aguinaldo but the information divulged by Galut proved to be crucial in the battle. In the end, del Pilar was defeated and killed, along with 52 of his men.

3| Teodoro Patiño

Arguably the worst case of gossip in Philippine history, the secret of the existence of the KKK was put in danger when Teodoro Patiño told his sister Honoria about it. Rumors swirled about the revolutionary council but they were never truly confirmed, reports Philippine History. At that time, Honoria was living in an orphanage and informed its Mother Superior, Sor Teresa de Jesus, of the secret her brother told her. This message was transmitted to parish priest Father Mariano Gil, who proceeded to lead the guardia de civil to search Patiño’s office at the Diaro de Manila. It was here that they uncovered proof of Katipunan’s existence. The governor-general was informed and KKK members were imprisoned.

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4| Antonio Surabao

#October27 | On this day in 1901, leader of Filipino revolutionary forces in Cebu, General Arcadio Maxilom, surrendered...

Posted by Everyday History on Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Tondo Conspiracy details a foiled plan to regain freedom on a local level, as told in Philippine History by Maria Christine Halili. It was led by Agustin de Legazpi, Martin Oangan, Magat Salamat, Juan Banal, Esteban Taes, Pedro Balinguit, Ptionggatan, Felipe Salonga, and Geronimo Basi. The conspirators were working with a Japanese Christian, who had promised them arms and their support in battling the Spaniards in exchange for tribute. Salamat tells Antonio Surabao about this plan, who in turn betrays the faction by telling his master, Pedro Sarmiento. This was brought to the attention of Governor-General Santiago de Vera and everyone involved in the plot was arrested.

5| Felipe Buencamino


Similar to Paterno, Buencamino shifted his allegiance from one country to the other. The lawyer obviously sided with the Spaniards until he was imprisoned. He then became a member of President Aguinaldo’s cabinet once freed. The arrival of the Americans swayed Buencamino’s loyalty to their side, which led to a heated encounter with General Antonio Luna.


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