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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Moises Ilicito: The Assasin of Francisco del Castillo

Moses Ilicito: The Assasin of Francisco del Castillo

Melchor F. Cichon

Who is Moises Ilicito?
He was born in Barangay Bigaa, Malinao, Aklan.
But what made him famous or infamous?
He was the assassin of the leader of Katipunan in Aklan, Francisco del Castillo.
Before that incident happened, Moises was an altar boy in Malinao, Aklan.
But later a fortune teller told his parents that someday, Moises would kill a man. To lessen his penalty in case such an incident would happen, his parents decided that he work in a Spanish government.
At the age of 21, he worked as a Guardia Civil in Capiz. By constant practice, he became a sharpshooter.
Then one day, a drunkard Spanish officer, a certain Lt. Olivares drew his sword and threaten to kill Moises. To defend himself, he fatally stabbed the Spaniard. Moises drew his sword and fatally staff the Spaniard. He was jailed in a bartolina, inside the headquarters.
Meanwhile, Francisco del Castillo, Candido Iban and other Aklanon Katipuneros were very busy recruiting new members for the secret revolutionary society. Unfortunately, Candido Iban, his close friend, was apprehended by the guardia civil in Bagto, Lezo, while he was on his way home from Kalibo. Later, Iban was jailed in a garrison in Kalibo. Another incident that triggered del Castillo to attack the garrison in Kalibo was when he learned that his sailboat was towed away by the Spaniards. That incident slashed away their chance to get more help from their fellow Katipuneros.
When Moises learned that the Spanish authorities were looking for somebody to capture Francisco del Castillo, dead or alive, Moises volunteered. Because of his reputation as sharpshooter, he was released from prison and was transferred to the garrison in Kalibo.
Francisco del Castillo and his leaders decided to attack the garrison in Kalibo on March 17, 1897. From Mabilo, they Katipuneros marched to Kalibo. Upon reaching the place, Francisco del Castillo saw Moises Ilicito at the slightly opened window. He asked for Tan Juan Azarraga. But he was told that Tan Juan was in the church convent. Moises asked del Castillo to surrender, but the later did not heed him. Moises fired at del Castillo. Although it was said that del Castillo was hit with a bullet, he was not wounded. Angered, Del Castillo shouted at Ilicito:”otro mas fuego! (Fire some more!). Del Castillo wanted to fire back, but Moises had hidden from del Castillo’s view. So he was not able to fire back. While del Castillo was thinking of his anting--anting, a white stone embedded his skin and a red hankerchief that would bring back to life in case he is fatally shot at, Ilicito was also thinking of his counter attack on del Castillo’s anting-anting. Ilicito remembered the suggestions given to him by his co-prisoner in Capiz to counter-act an anting-anting. He should put a cooked rice at the mussle of his gun and then fire at his enemy. He did this, and he fatally fired at del Castillo. Del Castillo fell from his white horse. Upon seeing, this assistant ran away, forgetting the instruction given him by his superior to put the red handkerchief on his superior’s face in case he is fatally shot.
That historic date in Kalibo temporarily stopped the Revolution in Aklan. Later, Col. Ricardo Monet proclaimed amnesty to the remaining Katipuneros in Aklan. Through the intercession of the parish priest and the wives and mothers of the Katipuneros, some of them surrendered thinking that the amnesty was real. Unfortunately, the said amnesty was fake. Twenty one of those who surrendered were detained. Two of them were later released through the intervention of their wealthy families. So 19 of them were left behind. The 19 Katipunan members were later assassinated by the Spanish authorities to warn others not to rebel against the Spanish authorities. But the revolution continued.
After the revolution, Moises Ilicito was appointed as a judge of Malinao. Later, he married Nicolasa Mabasa of Banga. He then decided to stay in that town. They had seven children: Jose, Angustia, Pedro, Beatriz, Paciico, Paciencia and Ester. Moises had another son from a certain Joaguina also of Banga, Aklan.
Moises died in Banga on December 1, 1963 at the age of 106.
If one goes to Kalibo, he would see the Castillo Shrine, and if he goes to Banga Municipal Cemetery, he would see the modest tomb of Moises Ilicito.

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