During the American occupation through 1946, Aguinaldo continued to pursue his goal of a free and independent Philippines. He supported groups that advocated immediate independence, and helped veterans of the struggle.
Aguinaldo and two of his children in a world-touring Hupmobile auto near their home in Kawit, Cavite Province. Photo taken in early 1911 . In mid-December 1910, three Americans set off on an around-the-world journey by automobile. The trip was intended to publicize the durability of the Hupmobile and help stimulate export sales. The men toured Hawaii, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and spent five weeks driving through the Philippines. They pushed on to Japan, China, India, Egypt, Italy, Germany, France, England, and Ireland. They returned to New York in time for the 1912 auto show. In the end, the Hupmobile was driven 41,000 miles and transported by steamship another 28,000.
In 1912, Aguinaldo (LEFT, IN 1914 PHOTO) organized the Asociacion de los Veteranos de la Revolucion (Association of Veterans of the Revolution).
He allowed his cousin, Baldomero Aguinaldo, to become its first president.
The Asociacion secured pensions for its members and made arrangements for them to buy land on installment from the government.
Aguinaldo himself acquired possession of 1,050 hectares of choice friar lands in Imus, Cavite Province, under a lease with an option to purchase; he ended up buying 300 hectares.
On March 6, 1921, Aguinaldo’s first wife, Hilaria, died.
On July 14, 1930, at age 61, Aguinaldo married Maria Agoncillo, 49, niece of Felipe Agoncillo, the pioneer Filipino diplomat.
[In its July 6, 1931 issue, the Time Magazine commented on Aguinaldo: “Until General Frederick Funston captured the insurrectionary chief 30 years ago in the steamy jungles of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo was a bloody name with which to frighten U. S. children after dark.”]
In 1935, when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in preparation for Philippine independence, he ran for president but decisively lost the election to fiery Spanish mestizo Manuel L. Quezon. Aguinaldo protested his defeat.
The two leaders formally reconciled in 1941, when Quezon moved Flag Day to June 12, to commemorate the proclamation of Philippine independence.
During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II (1942-1945), Aguinaldo was used by the Japanese as an anti-American tool, forced to make speeches, sign articles, and make infamous radio addresses in support of the Japanese including a radio appeal to Gen. Douglas MacArthur on Feb. 6, 1942 to surrender in order to spare the flower of Filipino youth.
On Oct 14, 1943, he and Gen. Artemio Ricarte raised the Filipino flag during the inauguration of the Japanese-sponsored “Second Philippine Republic”.
After the Americans retook the Philippines in 1945, Aguinaldo was arrested and accused of collaboration with the Japanese. He was held in Bilibid prison for months until released by presidential amnesty from President Manuel Roxas. In his trial, it was determined that his broadcasts and cooperation were made under great duress (the Japanese had threatened to murder his entire family), and his name was cleared.
Aguinaldo lived to see his lifelong goal of independence for his nation achieved on July 4, 1946 (ABOVE), when the United States Government marked the full restoration and recognition of Philippine independence. (LEFT, Official program for the July 4, 1946 Independence Day ceremonies at the Luneta).
General Douglas MacArthur politely shook hands with 77-year-old Aguinaldo, who, for independence, fought MacArthur’s father in 1899.
During the independence parade at the Luneta, Aguinaldo carried the flag he said was the one he raised in Kawit on June 12, 1898, the date he believed to be the true Independence Day.
However, 21 years earlier, on June 11, 1925, in his letter to Capt. Emmanuel Baja, Aguinaldo mentioned that in their Northward retreat during the Filipino-American War, the original flag was lost somewhere in Tayug, Pangasinan Province; the Americans captured the town on Nov. 11, 1899.
In 1950, as a token vindication of his honor, President Elpidio Quirino appointed Aguinaldo as a member of the Council of State, where he served a full term. He returned to retirement soon after, dedicating his time and attention to veteran soldiers’ interests and welfare, and the promotion of nationalism and democracy in the Philippines.
President Ramon Magsaysay and Aguinaldo celebrating the 58th anniversary of the Malolos Congress, Sept. 15, 1956. Magsaysay, the 7th Philippine President, died six months later in a plane crash on March 17, 1957. He was a renowned guerilla leader during World War II, and as president was known for his unscrupulous honesty and integrity.President Carlos P. Garcia, left, with Aguinaldo. Garcia assumed the presidency upon Magsaysay’s death and served from 1957 to 1961.
On May 9, 1962, the US House of Representatives rejected Philippine claims for an additional $73 million payment for the destruction wrought by American forces in World War II. In retaliation, President Diosdado Macapagal (LEFT, in 1962) changed the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Aguinaldo regarded this as the greatest victory of the Revolution of 1896. He rose from his sickbed to attend the celebration of independence 64 years after he declared it.
Macapagal recalled, “While we were seated at the grandstand during the ceremonies, General Aguinaldo thanked me again for the rectification of an erroneous historical practice and then asked: ‘When will there be an Aguinaldo monument at the Luneta like that of Rizal?’ I could not answer the question. The next generation might have the answer.” [Aguinaldo’s personal responsibility in the execution of Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio and the assassination of Gen. Antonio Luna is still controversial].
On Feb. 6, 1964, less than a year after the death of his second wife, Aguinaldo died of coronary thrombosis, at the age of 95, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City.
His remains are buried at the Aguinaldo Shrine (ABOVE) in Kawit, Cavite Province.