TEODORO SANDIKO

 

 

  Teodoro Sandiko was born in the district of Pandacan, Manila on March 31, 1860. His parents were Miguel Sandiko and Maria Paz Santa Ana.  He held the distinction of being a signer of two Philippine Charters, the Constitution of the First Philippine Republic (1899), and the 1935 constitution of the Philippines.

 

  He first learned his alphabet at home.  He began his formal education under Capitan Manuel de Pandacan.  Later, the family moved to Pampanga where he continued the first and second years in Latin lessons at the school of Vicente Quirino.  He pursued his third year studies in the school of Quintin Salvidea and the fourth year under the Jesuits in Manila.  Subsequently, he transferred to the University of Santo Tomas where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1886.

 

  He had two years of law, but he opted to concentrate on teaching Latin in a school in Malolos rather than finish the course.

 

  With his progressive ideas, he incurred the ire of the Spaniards, particularly of the ecclesiastical authorities.  To escape persecution, he left for Hongkong and proceeded to Spain where he continued his law studies at the University of Madrid.  After three months in the Spanish capital, he joined the group of Filipinos, “young men of substance” in Barcelona who were agitating for reforms in the Philippines.  He managed La Solidaridad, a patriotic newspaper founded by Graciano Lopez Jaena on February 1889 which later became the mouth piece of the Filipino propaganda movement.

 

  Like many young Filipinos of that time, he extensively toured Germany, France, England and Spain.  Since he did not receive pension from his parents, he taught Spanish in various schools in Paris.

 

  When the Philippine Revolution broke out in August 1896, he was invited by his compatriots to return to the Philippines, but instead he stayed in Hongkong to help raise funds and buy firearms for the revolutionists.  He joined the return of the exiles in Hongkong after the failure of the Pact of Biyak-na-Bato.

 

  In the Revolutionary Government of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, he held various positions:  Director of the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, colonel of the Estado Mayor and brigadier general of the Revolutionary Army.

 

  When Gen. Aguinaldo created the Executive Board of the Hongkong Committee, Sandiko was chosen one of its members.  He played a significant role in the purchase of firearms and ammunitions through an American consul, Rounseville Wildman, at Hongkong in preparation from the renewal of the war against the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.

 

  During the early part of the American military government, he organized the revolutionary committees under the guise of “recreational clubs,” first in Trozo, Tondo, Manila and later in the various districts of the city.  Since he was employed in the American Provost Marshall General Office, he was able to relay secret and valuable military information to the revolutionary government.

 

  He resigned from his job to become the Secretary of Interior on January 2, 1899 and General of the First Philippine Republic.  Sandiko, together with Gregorio Araneta, Felipe Buencamino, Sr., and Benito Legarda, Sr., composed the commission authorized to confer with Gen. Wesley Merrit on the role of the Filipino troops in taking Manila from the Spaniards.

 

  After the capture of Gen. Artemio Ricarte in Paco, manila in the middle of 1900 and as a result of subsequent defeats of the Filipinos by the American forces, the revolutionary generals resorted to guerilla warfare thoughout the entire archipelago.

 

  Appointed as delegate to represent the province of Misamis to the Malolos Congress, he became one of the signers of the Malolos Constitution which Aguinaldo proclaimed on January 21, 1899, as the fundamental of the land.

 

  Upon the surrender of Gen. Mariano Trias on March 15, 1901 and the capture of Aguinaldo on March 24, the struggle for independence was greatly affected.  Gen. Sandiko of the Central Luzon Forces surrendered to the American authorities on March 23, 1901.

 

  Not losing his nationalistic fervor, he became one of the signers of a memorial which was presented to the United States Congress asking for the immediate independence of the Philippines.  The memorial was urged by Secretary of War William Howard Taft in 1905.  He entered politics and was twice elected governor of Bulacan.  He attended the first convention of governors in Manila on October 23, 1906.  Although he was one of the founders of the Nationalista Party, he quit and founded and became president of an opposition party known as Partido Democrata Nacional in 1914.  This small group counted as members prominent personalities:  senator Juan Sumulong, delegates Ruperto Montinola, Gregorio Perfecto, Justice Gregorio Araneta, Gen. Tomas Mascardo, and Dr. Simeon Villa.

 

  He served as senator representing the third senatorial district comprising the provinces of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Bulacan from 1919 to 1931.  He became popular in the senate for his political conviction and was dubbed “Constructive Oppositionist.”  During his term as senator, he became a member of the commissions for independence headed by Senate President Manuel L. Quezon in 1921 and Speaker Sergio Osmena, Sr. in 1992.

 

  During the 1934-35 Constitutional Convention, he was elected delegate of the first district of Bulucan, the oldest among 202 members.  He was elected Second Vice-President of the August body, in its initial meeting on July 30, 1934 at the House of Representatives.

 

  He retired from public life and spent his last years looking after his commercial and agricultural interests.  He became the manager of two cigar factories:  Katubusan and La Paz y Buen Viaje.

 

  He died, at his residence in San Juan, Rizal on October 19, 1939 at the age of 79 a victim of heart attack.

 

 

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