Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Stamps

Bautista is best remembered as the author of the Declaration of the Philippine Independence. He was a supporter of La Solidaridad, the official organ of the Propaganda Movement in Spain. He served as political adviser to Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. He read the Declaration of Philippine independence during its proclamation in Kawait, Cavite in 1898

Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista (b. December 17, 1830-d. December 4, 1903) was a lawyer and author of the “Declaration of Philippine Independence.” A distant relative of the Rizal Family, Jose Rizal, always sought his advice during his school days in Manila.

Ambrosio was born in Biñan, Laguna to Gregorio Enriquez Bautista and Silvestra Altamira. He attended preparatory school in Biñan and studied law at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), obtaining a degree in 1865. He then practiced law in Manila by offering free legal services to poor clients. One day, Ambrosio was captured by a group of bandits, on his way to Malolos, Bulacan. The bandits learned that he was the famous "Don Bosyong" who had saved many of their friends and was the defender of the poor in court cases against greedy Spaniards and the rich Filipino, they immediately apologized and set him free.

Bautista solicited funds to finance the campaign for the reforms in the Philippines, then he became a member of the La Liga Filipina, Cuerpo de Compromisarios, and La Propaganda. In 1896, the Spaniards arrested and imprisoned him in Fort Santiago as he was suspected for being involved in the revolution. He defended himself and was later released from prison. He became the first adviser of Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898 and subsequently wrote the “Declaration of Philippine Independence.” On July 14, 1899, Bautista was elected vice-president of Tarlac's Revolutionary Congress. He was later appointed judge of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan.

The stamp was issued on September 15, 1981.