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Political History

Spanish Period

During the Spanish period, the town head was the Captain and the seat of government, the Tribunal located in the heart of the poblacion. The second highest town official was the Teniente Mayor. Next in rank was the Teniente de Ganado whose main function was to register carabaos, horses and other animals, collecting fees and taxes in the process. The Teniente de Montera was in charge of real estate matters in the municipality.

In 1772, a Spanish priest from Aliaga, Pampanga requested the Captain to send delinquent taxpayers to work at the construction of the church. All male delinquent taxpayers worked until the church's completion in 1800. During the period, old folks claimed that the cross in the Kalbaryo in Libid grew out the hill's summit.

In later part of the Spanish period, pirates from the other side of Laguna de Bay landed in Lunsad and plundered the town. They were repulsed in 1897 by policemen called Commisarios under Captain Pedro Capistrano.

When the Insurrectos revolted against the Spanish authorities, Captain Capistrano joined the rebels and changed his name to Tirana while Pedro Mechilina adopted the name del Rosario to elude arrest.

In 1896, the natives of Binangonan joined the revolutionary government under General Aguinaldo. The following events might have taken place between the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal and the enlistment of Binangonan in the revolutionary government. These were assumed to be part of the national revolution.

Katipuneros from Binangonan attacked the Spanish headquarters in Casadores at night when the enemies were asleep. A white handkerchief spread out at the second floor signalled the invasion that killed many Spaniards. Dead bodies were loaded in carabao sleds and buried at Kay-Pantina.

Two Spaniards escaped death: Sgt. Francisco Lagarejos sought refuge from his Filipina wife while Sgt. Arceo was spared because of his kindness to the Filipinos.

Katipuneros from Binangonan together with the forces from San Guillermo captured the Spaniards in Morong. The Spaniards were made to walk barefooted in columns parading amidst the people shouting Viva Garrovillas in honor of the leader Candido Garrovillas. Called Kumander Kunding, Garrovillas was believed to have possessed anting-anting which made him invisible.

 

American Period

In 1898, the first Americans to reach Binangonan aboard a stemboat Pagsanjan fired cannon at the church hitting its bells. A week later, another boat from Marikina, C Vocals shelled the town proper simultaneous with Pagsanjan's continued firing in Pritil. More Americans arrived by land and water after a week-long raid.

The people planned attacks against invading Americans; intercepted horse riding Americans at Mambog, killing 12 of them. In retaliation, the Americans captured native males in Malanggam and turned the place into a concentration camp.

Despite the punishments inflicted on the captured Filipinos, the Americans failed to squeeze out information about the natives' couter activities. The Americans stationed bancas at Navotas Strait to guard their camp and prevent the escape of prisoners using Laguna de Bay as passageway.

When the Filipino-American war ended, the Laguna de Bay became the major mode of transportation in Binangonan. The regular passenger and cargo vessels were the Margarita and the Nueva York. The Americans were allowed to use the places they occupied as their headquarters even the after the war.

 

Municipal Government during the American Regime

In 1901, Don Jose Ynares Y Granados was appointed Presidente by the American Governor. He won the first municipal election held in 1902 and served for four years holding office at his house as the Presidencia. With help from the Americans, Ynares made remarkable improvements in the town.

The second elected President was Manuel Ison, a former councilor. Seeing the need for a municipal building, Ison sought the municipal council's approval and enlisted financiers for the construction of the structure. Money collected were deposited in the local treasury. Ison also approached an American mining engineer at the San Guillermo quarry for material donations, which were granted after his term.

The municipal building was realized during the term of Clemente Antiporda. The house of Maria Cortez and Francisco Fuentes was purchased and remodeled in 1912 to accomodate the various municipal offices. Antiporda was also responsible for the construction of public roads, artesian wells and repair of the public market.

The present site of the Binangonan Elementary School was purchased during the term of Valentino C. Antazo. A former teacher and Municipal Secretary, Antazo was responsible for the construction of Home Economics building, elementary school, Puericulture Center and improvement of the public market.

The next mayor was Julio Antiporda, son of Clemente Antiporda. His accomplisheds included the construction of additional rooms in the municipal building, artesian wells and barrio roads. He even funded, out of his personal money, the establishment of a school in Janosa.

 

Mayors during the American Period

  1. Jose G. Ynares (1901-1905) - First appointed executive of the municipality in 1901 and elected President the following year.
  2. Manuel Y. Ison (1906-1907) - He raised funds for the construction of the first municipal building.
  3. Clemente Antiporda (1908-1912) - During his term, a permanent municipal building was constructed.
  4. Antonio Sisante (1913-1915) - His achievement was the construction of three artesian wells.
  5. Lorenzo Flores (1916-1922) - Roads and bridges were built and the old market was repaired during his term.
  6. Valentin Antazo (1922-1928) - He purchased the present Binangonan Central Elementary School site; built the H.E. Building and the Puericulture Center for the Women's Club.
  7. Julio Antiporda (1928-1936) - He planned the establishment of a public market in Pila-pila.

 

Japanese Occupation

During World War II, Binangonan was one of the evacuation centers for the residents of Manila and neighboring suburbs. People hid in the mountains and in Talim Island. The war brought untold difficulties and sufferings. Schools were temporarily closed; professionals turned to fishing, buy and sell for living. Many died of starvation, malnutrition and diseases while others survived by eating camote tops, papaya, corn, coconut and vegetables. Several people were killed when the Japanese machine-gunned the Rizal Cement Factory.

Months after the Japanese occupied the town, Faustino Antiporda organized Bantay Sunog, a brigade tasked in maintaining peace and order by providing volunteer males as nightly guards against looters and troublemakers. At that time, Col. Augustin Marking was recruiting members for his guerilla unit. Thus, the brigade became the local guerillas secretly affiliated with Marking's group. Major Teofilo Ceñido was appointed Mayor of the Provost Marshall of Military Police. Weapons available then were one Spring Field Riffle and five Granadora from five USAFFE soldiers who escaped from Bataan.

In 1942, Japanese troop, guided by two Filipinas, landed in Matikiw and inspected the Rizal Cement Factory. Resisting local guerillas were killed by the invaders. Filipino reinforcement retaliated by wiping out the entire Japanese troop. Dead soldiers, initially burned in the factory, were dug up and fed to the kiln. Even Japanese vessels were sunk in the lake to hide the massacre.

Because of this, the Japanese held sona or the screening of all males in the town. The Japanese Kempetai punished suspected guerillas. Inspite of the brutal torture inflicted to them, the Filipinos did not betray the guerilla organization.

Talim Island was also subjected to Japanese sona. On August 7, 1942, bombs were dropped in the neighboring towns killing four in Janosa and claiming a number of casualties in Cardona. Suspected guerillas were brought to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Even the parish priests at that time, a Columbian Fr. Martin Strong, was held in Los Baños concentration camp.

Late in 1944, the Makapilis, a group of pro-Japanese Filipinos, occupied the convent and served as Japanese interpreters. They were instruments in the cruelties suffered by the Filipinos.

In January 1945, the Japanese took the convent form the Makapilis and put up their headquarters. But they only stayed there for one week, scared of the nightly apparitions of a white lady believed to be the ghost haunting the convent.

Mayor Emerencio Unida was killed by the Japanese when he refused to reveal the guerilla organization.

 

Mayors during the Japanese Period

  1. Felix Katipunan (1936-1942) - He built roads and artesian wells and added rooms to the municipal building.
  2. Emerencio M. Unida (1942-1945) - He was the Deputy Mayor when Katipunan got ill. He supplied starving residents with foods and worked for the release of captured Filipinos.
  3. Juan Jerusalem (1945) - He took over as Mayor after Unida's death. He was shot in the Rizal Cement Compound before the Americans liberated the country.

 

Period of Independence

Binangonan was liberated from the Japanese forces in February 25, 1945, the feast day of the patroness of the town, Sta. Ursula. The Japanese' plan to burn the town was prevented by the timely arrival of American forces on the eve of the feast day. The local guerillas, with Major Ceñido deploying his men in Bunot Mountain, prevented the escape of Japanese forces. The Japanese peacefully retreated and pulled their forces out.

The liberation was quite peaceful for no fighting ever took place. It was also a glorious celebration as barrio folks rode on top of tanks and jeepneys with the Americans. People lined along the streets, jumping with glee, weeping tears of joy while shouting "Victory".

The American commander instructed the guerillas led by Major Ceñido to set up temporary headquarters in poblacion and to do surveillance work. When the American troops proceeded to Angono, they left the command under the local Military Police, composed of all units in Binangonan.

Napoleon Antazo, the town commander of the ROTC Hunter guerillas, was appointed Mayor through the orders of the 43rd Infantry Division of the U.S. army. Next to be appointed town mayor form 1945 to 1946 was Casimiro Ynares, Sr., son of Don Jose Ynares. When the Philippines became a Republic in 1946, the municipal government was allowed greater autonomy.

 

Post-War Accomplishments (1946-1951)

The first Mayor after World War II was Dr. Jose Pacis. Among his accomplishments were:

  1. Construction of wharf linking the Muella de Sta. Ursula to Pritil
  2. Construction of a modern public market, a self-liquidating project funded by the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation
  3. Construction of combined basketball courts and tennis courts in the town's plaza
  4. Beautification of the Kalbaryo
  5. Additional artesian wells
  6. Construction of a new street extending from Munting Bundok to M.H. del Pilar Street
  7. Construction of a double market tienda, the only one in Eastern Rizal at that time, which was completed with the P25,000.00 funds donated by ex-Senator Vicente Madrigal to Mayor Jose Pacis.

 

 

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