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Monday, June 29, 2009

Macario Sacay

Macario Sácay y de León (or Macario Sakay) was a Filipino general in the Philippine Revolution against Spain and in the Philippine-American War. He continued resistance against the United States following the official American declaration of the war's end in 1902.

Sacay was a native of Tondo, Manila where he worked as a barber. An original member of the Katipunan movement, he fought alongside Andres Bonifacio throughout the Philippine Revolution of 1896. In 1899 he continued the struggle for Philippine independence against the United States. Near the end of the Philippine-American War Sacay was captured and jailed by the Philippine Constabulary.

After the surrender of the last Filipino commanding general Miguel Malvar in April 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt officially ended the Philippine-American War on July 4, 1902. With the end of the war, Sacay was granted amnesty and released from prison.

Sacay was one of the founders of the Nacionalista Party, which strove for Philippine independence though legal means. The party appealed to the Philippine Commission. However, the Commission passed the Sedition Law, which banned the party. (An unrelated Nacionalista Party which survives to the present day was founded in 1907.) Sacay thus took up arms again.

On November 12 1902 the Philippine Commission passed the Bandolerism Act which proclaimed all captured resistance fighters or insurgents to be tried in court as bandits, ladrones, and robbers. In April 1904, Sacay issued his own manifesto proclaiming himself President and established his own government called the Repúblika ng Katagalugan (Tagalog Republic) in opposition to U.S. colonial rule. The U.S. Government did not recognize Sacay's government and through the Bandolerism Act labeled him an outlaw.

The Governor General, the U.S. Government, and the U.S. military left the pursuit of Sacay in the hands of the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Scouts. In 1905 concentration camps, often referred to as Zonas, were re-established in parts of Cavite, Batangas, and Laguna. This had little effect on Sacay and his fighters. Extensive fighting continued in Southern-Luzon for months.

On July 14, 1906, after receiving a letter from the American governor-general promising amnesty for himself and his men in exchange for surrender, Sacay, one of the last remaining Filipino generals, finally surrendered.

Three days later, he was arrested nevertheless and imprisoned. Convicted as a tulisan or bandit, Sacay was executed on September 13, 1907 by hanging.