When Emilio Aguinaldo became president of the new revolutionary government. He was sworn into office along with other elected officials, most of whom were Cavitenos. Bonifacio was not present.
Bonifacio refused to recognize Aguinaldo’s government. He thought he was still the Supremo of the Katipunan government. In fact, he formed a new government wholly separate and independent from the one formed at the Tejeros convention. The following month he drafted a military agreement in Naic, Cavite. It was signed by about forty men.
Bonifacio and his men left Naic for barrio Limbon in the nearby town of Indang. On April 26, 1897, Bonifacio was arrested by two loyal officers of Aguinaldo – Colonel Agapito Bonzon and Aguinaldo’s brother-in-law Major Jose Ignacio Paua. Bonifacio and his men put up a fight. Andres’s brother Ciriaco was killed. The Supremo himself was shot in his left arm. Major Paua jumped at Bonifacio and stabbed the left side of his neck with a dagger.
From Indang, a half-starved and wounded Bonifacio was carried by hammock to Naic, which had become President Aguinaldo’s headquarters.
Andres Bonifacio was tried by the military court in Maragondon, Cavite. He was charged with treason and trying to overthrow the new president and his government. One witness even swore that he was paid ten pesos by Bonifacio to kill Aguinaldo. By some accounts Andres was not given a fair chance to defend himself.
On May 8, 1897, Andres and Procopio Bonifacio were sentenced to death. However, according to Aguinaldo, he changed their sentence and asked for them to be exiled instead. But Aguinaldo was advised by his generals to go ahead with the death sentence. They reasoned that Bonifacio’s death was necessary to protect the best interests of the revolution. Alive, Bonifacio would only threaten and divide the revolutionary forces.
On May 10, 1897, four days after his trial, Andres Bonifacio and his brother, Procopio, were fetched from their prison by soldiers led by Lazaro Macapagal. They were to be taken to Mt. Tala, where Macapagal would then open a letter of instruction given him by Gen. Mariano Noriel on what to do with his prisoners.
On the way to their destination, the brothers, sensing something tragic would befall them, asked Macapagal if they would be shot. Macapagal denied this. Andres, heavily wounded in his neck and arm, suggested then that Macapagal open the letter, as he was not sure that he could travel the whole distance.
As they neared Mt. Tala and with Mt. Buntis behind them, Macapagal finally opened the letter given him and read aloud the command of the Council of War to shoot the Bonifacio brothers.
Procopio was shot first.
The wounded Andres allegedly ran to the woods, but was eventually found by Macapagal and his soldiers. Macapagal claimed that Bonifacio was shot, and then buried by his men.
Another eyewitness account, however, states that the Supremo was not shot. He was said to have been hacked to death with bolos and bayonets by Macapagal’s soldiers.
Source: Cristobal, Adrian E. 1997. The Tragedy of the Revolution. Makati: Studio 5 Publishing.
Pagkaraan ng mahigit 50 taon, sinulat ni Aguinaldo na ipinabitay niya si Bonifacio:
“Ito, ng matanto nina General Mariano Noriel, General Pio del Pilar, na mga Kagawad ng Consejo de Guerra ay dali daling tinawagan ang aking pansing at sinabing, ‘Kung ibig po ninyon magpatuloy ang kapanatagan ng ating Pamahalaan sa Paghihimagsik, at kung ibig ninyong mabuhay po tayo, ay inyo pong bawiin ang iginawad na indulto sa magkapatid na iyan.’ Dahil ditoy aking binawi at iniatas ko kay General Noriel na ipatupad ang kahatulan ng Consejo de Guerra, na barilin ang magkapatid, alang-alan sa kapakanan ng Bayan.”
Kawit, Kabite, 22, Marso, 1948”