Fort Bonifacio

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Fort Andres Bonifacio
Kuta Andres Bonifacio
Metro Manila, Philippines
Philippine Army Headquarters Heroes Gate.jpg
Main gate of the Headquarters Philippine Army
TypeMilitary Base
Site information
Controlled byRepublic of the Philippines
Site history
In use1901–present
MaterialsConcrete, steel
Garrison information

Fort Andres Bonifacio (formerly named Fort William McKinley) is the site of the national headquarters of the Philippine Army (Headquarters Philippine Army or HPA) located in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is located near the national headquarters of the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The camp is named after Andres Bonifacio, the revolutionary leader of the Katipunan during the Philippine Revolution.


Philippine Scouts at Fort McKinley firing a 37-mm. antitank gun in training.

American colonial era[edit]

Aerial view of Fort William McKinley, 1933

Fort William McKinley, now Fort Bonifacio, was established during the Philippine–American War in 1901. The land is situated south of the Pasig River, down to the creek Alabang, in Manila. It was declared a U.S. military reservation by U.S. Secretary of War Elihu Root, expropriating the land owned by Captain Juan Gonzales without compensation.[citation needed] This expropriation was later challenged by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos and the US agreed to compensate, through him, in trust deposits.[citation needed][relevant?]

In 1916, the 3rd Battalion of the 31st Infantry Regiment was formed here. Until December 1920, this was the home of the 31st Infantry Regiment. During World War II, the USAFFE headquarters for the Philippine Department and the Philippine Division were at the fort. The bulk of the Philippine Division was stationed there and this was where, under the National Defense Act of 1935, specialized artillery training was conducted.[citation needed]

Postwar era[edit]

Psu-2031 depicting the extent of the Military Reservation of Fort Bonifacio (formerly Fort McKinley)

After Philippine independence on July 4, 1946, the US surrendered to the Republic of the Philippines all rights of possession, jurisdiction, supervision, and control over the Philippine territory except for the use of their military bases. On May 14, 1949, Fort McKinley was turned over to the Philippine government. The facility became the home of the Philippine Army and later the Philippine Navy and was renamed Fort Bonifacio. It lies in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque, Pasig and Taguig.[1]

Martial law[edit]

When Ferdinand Marcos placed the Philippines under martial law in 1972, Fort Bonifacio became the host of three detention centers full of political prisoners - the Ipil Reception Center (sometimes called the Ipil Detention Center), a higher sercurity facility called the Youth Rehabilitation Center (YRC),[2] and the Maximum Security Unit where Senators Jose W. Diokno and Benigno Aquino Jr. were detained.[3]

Ipil was the largest prison facility for political prisoners during martial law. Among the prisoners held there were some of the country's leading academics, creative writers, journalists, and historians including Butch Dalisay, Ricky Lee, Bienvenido Lumbera, Jo Ann Maglipon, Ninotchka Rosca, Zeus Salazar, and William Henry Scott. After Fort Bonifacio was privatized, the area in which Ipil was located became the area near SNR and Home Depot, near 32nd Street and 8th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City.[4]

The YRC was a higher security prison which housed prominent society figures and media personalities, supposed members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and some known criminals. Journalists imprisoned there included broadcaster Roger Arienda, Manila journalists Rolando Fadul and Bobby Ordoñez, and Bicolano journalist Manny de la Rosa. Society figures Tonypet and Enrique Araneta, Constitutional Commission delegate Manuel Martinez, poet Amado V. Hernandez, and Dr Nemesio Prudente, president of the Philippine College of Commerce (now the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, were all also imprisoned at the YRC. So were a number of Catholic priests including Fathers Max de Mesa and Fr Hagad from Jolo, and Jesuit Fr Hilario Lim.[5] The site of YRC was later used as the Makati City Jail.[6]

Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and Senator Jose Diokno were Marcos' first martial law prisoners, arrested just before midnight on September 22, 1972, and at 1 AM on September 23, 1972, respectively. They were eventually imprisoned in Fort Bonifacio at the Maximum Security Unit separate from the YRC. They stayed there until Marcos moved them to an even higher security facility in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija on March 12, 1973. Diokno would remain in solitary confinement at Laur until September 11, 1974, while Aquino would stay in prison until May 5, 1980.

Creation of Bonifacio Global City[edit]

The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial was established there. Later, portions of it were turned into a real estate development area called Bonifacio Global City.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Proclamation No. 246, s. 1964 | GOVPH".
  2. ^ "Detention CampManila Today | Manila Today". Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  3. ^ de Villa, Kathleen (September 22, 2018). "Remnants of a dark era". Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  4. ^ Velarde, Emmie G. (September 22, 2014). "Screenwriter Ricky Lee lived 3 lives in detention". Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  5. ^ "The NPA, a tunnel, and a prison escape plot". Archived from the original on September 21, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  6. ^ Hilario, Ernesto M. "Martial Law Stories: Never Again to Martial Law". Positively Filipino. Retrieved October 22, 2022.

Coordinates: 14°31′57″N 121°02′42″E / 14.53250°N 121.04500°E / 14.53250; 121.04500