Republic of Zamboanga

Republica de Zamboanga
República de Zamboanga
Unrecognized state
Capital Zamboanga City
Government Republic
President Vicente Alvarez
Isidro Midel
Mariano Arquiza
Historical era Philippine–American War
   Established May 18, 1899
   Disestablished March 1903
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Spanish East Indies
United States Military Government of the Philippine Islands#U.S. military government
Today part of  Philippines
Zamboanga City (previous actual control)
Mindanao, Sulu, and Basilan (claimed territory)

The Republic of Zamboanga, officially known as La Independiente República de Zamboanga, was a short-lived sovereign republic, founded by General Vicente Alvarez with his Zamboangueño Revolutionary Forces after the Spanish government in Zamboanga officially surrendered and turned over Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza to Gen. Vicente Álvarez in May 1899. On 28 May 1899, Gen. Vicente Álvarez proclaimed independence and became the first and last genuinely elected president of the republic.[1]



On February 28, 1899, in a house in Sta. Maria, a revolutionary government was organized and General Vicente Alvarez was elected provisional president and commander-in-chief. He then planned to take Fort Pilar[2] which was the last Spanish stronghold in the Philippines.

End of Spanish rule

The republic was formally established on May 18, 1899, with the surrender of Fort Pilar to the Revolutionary Government of Zamboanga under the leadership of General Alvarez. On May 23, 1899, the Spaniards finally evacuated Zamboanga, after burning down most of the city's buildings in contempt of the Zamboangueños' revolt against them.[3]

American occupation

General Álvarez's term was cut short when the commander of Tetuan, Isidro Midel, cooperated with the Americans in exchange for the presidency with his cohort Datu Mandi. He then ordered the assassination of Major Melanio Calixto, acting commander of Zamboanga, because Álvarez was on a trip to Basilan to recruit more forces. On November 16, 1899, Midel flew the white flag over Fort Pilar to signal the occupying American forces to enter the fort which led to the overthrow of Álvarez's government. Álvarez and his allies were forced to flee to the nearby town of Mercedes then to the island of Basilan and went into hiding.[4]:532 In December 1899, Captain Pratt of the 23rd U.S. Infantry arrived at Zamboanga and took control of Fort Pilar.[5] Thereafter, the nascent republic became a U.S. protectorate or puppet government and Midel as puppet leader of U.S. was allowed to continue as president of the republic for about sixteen months.

Decline and aftermath of the Republic

In March 1901, the Americans allowed the republic to hold elections and elected Mariano Arquiza to succeed Midel as the new president of the Zamboanga Republic.[4]:533 However, Arquiza's government did not exercise effective authority over Zamboanga and finally in March 1903, the Republic of Zamboanga was dissolved.[6] After, the American colonial government designated Zamboanga as capital of the newly established Moro Province which served as the provincial entity of Mindanao with Brigadier General Leonard Wood as its governor.


The Republic of Zamboanga during President Álvarez's term claimed its territorial rights over the islands of Mindanao, Basilan, and Sulu, encompassing all of the southern Philippines in the midst of war against the Spanish, Americans, and natives of the said islands. However, Zamboanga's accordingly actual sovereignty extended only to the current boundaries of Zamboanga City.

See also


  1. Malcampo, Hermenegildo (2006). Historia de Zamboanga.
  2. The former name of Fort Pilar.
  3. Zamboanga City History
  4. 1 2 Foreman, J., 1906, The Philippine Islands, A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
  5. History of the 23rd U.S. Infantry
  6. "History of The Republic of Zamboanga (May 1899 – March 1903)". Zamboanga City, Philippines: July 18, 2009. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2010.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/12/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.