Monday, September 13, 2010

Gen. Macario Sakay's Vilification: Anatomy of the nefariousness of American Imperialism

IN the morning of September 13, 1907 at around 8:30 am, two Malay-skinned men sporting long, uncut but luxuriant hair were led out of the bartolina in Manila in the Southeast Asian archipelago now called the Republic of the Philippines. The two protagonists were escorted by pale-skinned soldiers of the Bald Eagle nation from the North American continent towards the gallows to be executed by hanging. Upon reaching the platform, one of the long-haired Filipinos, the seeming leader, shouts from the top of his lungs:
“I face the Lord Almighty calmly but we must tell you that we are not bandits and robbers as the Americans accuse us, but members of the revolutionary force that defended our country. Long live the Philippines! Adios Filipinas!”

JB poster art

Who was Sakay?

Macario Sakay y de León was a Filipino military  leader in the Philippine Revolution against Spain and in the Philippine-American War (1899-1914). He  had fought side by side with Gat Andres  Bonifacio y de Castro, Supremo of the secret-society-turned-revolutionary-government Kagalanggalangang Katipunan  nang  manga Anak nang  Bayan (KKK). Following the second  phase of the Revolution and  the capture or  surrender of most Filipino generals by the invading  Americans, he later continued resistance against the  new colonial enemy, the United States. He was initially  caught and then released following the official  declaration of the war's end in 1902.

The following year, Sakay became  President of the Republic of Katagalugan  (Philippines), the revived Katipunan during the fight  for freedom against the invading Bald Eagle nation. Gen. Sakay proved to be a big, big thorn to the  American imperialist agenda. In battling the vile  Bald Eagles, his nationalist determination and vision showed his Tagalog Republic to be the true heir to  the Katipunan government and him, the proud heir to the Supremo. A tough, determined, "organization  genius" of a Filipino patriot, Sakay defiantly and,  for a time, rather wondrously continued the anti-colonial mission of   KKK and Gat Bonifacio.

Sakay engaged in guerrilla warfare against the  imperialist Americans, utilizing crafty planning and  organizational force to accomplish military victories.  His  government utilized "a large number of rebels  against a small group of American soldiers to  guarantee a successful ambush attack [and usually  attacking] at night when most of their enemies are  asleep."  The Katagalugan freedom fighters would  seize firearms and ammunition in their raid  attacks in Cavite and Batangas and even San  Francisco de Malabon. They had a big haul of ammunition and revolvers from a U.S. military garrison--a minor feat they achieved while disguised as Philippine Constabulary men.

Gen. Sakay made it known to the enemy imperialists  that they were freedom defenders of a most patriotic  and advance order. The Katagalugan Republic had  its Katipunan-based flag, constitution and seal. The Republic's  Declaration  had the KKK character of the  equality of every person regardless of race, skin  color, wealth, intelligence and appearance as it  exalts every individual's 'essential nature'  (loob)  instead.  The Declaration also included the whole of  the archipelago:
Ang mga Nayon, bayan Hucuman nitong Filipinas ay  siyang tinatauag na Kapuluang Katagalugan, sa  macatuid baga, ay gaya ng Jolo, Mindanao,  Kabisayaan, Kailokohan iba't iba pang lupa na tunay  na Tagalog.[28]
(The villages and municipalities of this Filipinas are called Katagalugan Archipelago, which in effect, are  the likes of Jolo, Mindanao, Visayas, Ilocos and all  other different lands that are truly Tagalog.)

Unfortunately, Sakay would ultimately be conned by the vile Americans into coming down from the mountains on promise of amnesty for him and his officials, on top of the formation of Philippine Assembly composed of Filipinos that would supposedly serve as the "gate of freedom." The imperialist American Governor General Henry Clay Ide used Dr. Domingo Gomez, a Filipino labor leader and 'persuasive and charming ilustrado,' to lure Sakay into giving up their resistance.

Gomez met with Sakay at his camp and argued that  the establishment of a national assembly was being  held up by Sakay's intransigence, and that its  establishment would be the first step toward  Filipino independence. His surrender was made to  be a prerequisite for a state of peace that would  supposedly ensure the election of Filipino delegates to the (1907) American-sponsored Philippine Assembly. Sakay , in good faith, was convinced by the  smooth-tongued Gomez that the struggle has shifted to  constitutional means, with the Assembly as means  to winning Philippine Independence.  He finally  agreed on the conditions that a general amnesty be granted his men, that they be permitted to carry  firearms, and that he and his officers would be  permitted to leave the country. Gomez assured  Sakay that these conditions the would be acceptable  to the Americans, and Sakay's emissary, General  Leon Villafuerte, obtained agreement to them from  the American Governor General.

Thereafter, Sakay and Villafuerte traveled to  Manila, where they were welcomed and invited to  receptions and banquets. One invitation came from  the Constabulary Chief, Col. Harry H. Bandholtz.  That invitation was a colonial trap and Sakay and  his principal lieutenants were disarmed and arrested  while the party was in progress. Sakay's group were naturally taken aback, with Gen. Villafuerte shouting: “We have been betrayed and we are trapped. Doctor, what is the meaning of this?” As Guerrero further recounts, Gomez could only reply with: “There’s no use fighting.”  For his part, Sakay, with bloodshot eyes, exclaimed: “Tell the Americans to face us in the open field, in honorable battle.” Sakay also asked how the Filipino Constabularios managed to have no shame betraying their fellow Filipinos and being subservient to the colonizers.

American Colonizers Hang Filipinos
Sakay and company were then forcibly brought to the Hotel de Oriente in Binondo before being incarcerated in Bilibid Prison. Captain Rafael Crame presided over their preliminary investigation before being charged of bandolerismo under the Brigandage Act  of Nov. 12, 1902 that construed all acts of  armed resistance to American colonial rule as banditry. The Katagalugan President and his men were defended by Attys. Felipe Buencamino and Ramon Diokno (father of  the noted human rights lawyer Jose Pepe Diokno) but the colonial Supreme Court of the Philippines would upheld the  decision.
In between, the nefarious Americans did not bother keeping their promise even towards the lower ranked men of Sakay. Inside the Bilibid prison, the North American colonizers secretly killed, nay, murdered 400 of Sakay's men by hanging and by lethal serum. As Guerrero notes, the prison atrocities perpetrated by the Americans against the Tagalog Republic patriots can be likened to the recent Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib scandals.

As for the Filipino traitor character that was Dominador Gomez, it turned out that he allowed himself to be an imperialist tool of treachery in order to save his own skin. Gomez was a doctor who had been convicted of sedition and fined and sentenced to four years of hard labor. He had taken over the leadership of the labor federation Union Obrera Democratica de Filipinas and having participated in a big rally, he was arrested by the colonial authorities. He had his case under appeal when he negotiated for Sakay's surrender. Two weeks after Sakay was hanged, Gomez won the appeal as the Appeals Court judged the evidence against him insufficient no matter the "much suspicious proof."

 Late A Hero Recognized

This author is among those who were virtually taught  the American propaganda as to Sakay's identity. I remember that in my elementary or high school years, the history books' slant pictured Sakay as a Filipino bandit more than a hero. For about half a century after the US granted the Philippines "independence," imperialist propaganda against a valiant patriot who continued the anti-colonial mission of the "Father of Philippine Revolution," Supremo Bonifacio well persisted.

Carmen Guerrero Nakpil perhaps well describes  Sakay's patriotic military career:
Sakay became the scourge of all his country's  oppressors - the Spaniards, the Americans, the  misguided half-bloods and compatriots - trying in  every way he knew to secure freedom from injustice  for his people. He was more determined than Rizal,  more fortunate than Bonifacio, purer than  Aguinaldo, more lyrically mysterious than Mabini. If  Filipinos had won the war with America, he would  probably have been our Simon Bolívar or our Ho Chi  Minh.

It took a century and a year before the official recognition of the heroism, valor, and patriotism of Sakay and the Tagalog Republic cabinet and soldiers were made by his compatriots. Or a half a century and two years after the American invaders supposedly granted independence to the Filipinos on July 4, 1946.

It took long before it came--that rightful recognition to strike off the lingering American "bandit" smear campaign and  to finally elevated Sakay to the pantheon of Philippine heroes, but came it finally did. In 1998, the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission unveiled a life-size status of Gen. Sakay at Plaza Morga in Tondo, his birthplace. Earlier, the University of the Philippines and the National Historical Institute unveiled a marker at the foot of Mr. Banahaw, part of the region where the Republika ng Katagalugan freedom fighters operated amidst the American Occupation of the archipelago.

On September 16, 1998, a sweet statement of a recognition was passed by the Philippine Senate of the 14th Congress when it passed Resolution No. 121 "HONORING THE SACRIFICE OF MACARIO SAKAY AND ALL OTHER FILIPINOS WHO GAVE UP THEIR LIVES IN THE PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR FOR OUR FREEDOM."

The "Whereas" clauses of the resolution sets straight the facts of the circumstances of Gen. Sakay's activities and execution. Sakay <issued a manifesto declaring the Filipinos' right to self-determination at a time when calling for "independence", espousing and advocating the same, was considered a crime by the American occupation forces in the Philippines;> He established the freedom-fighting or defiant <"Republika ng Katagalugan", of which he was the president and Francisco Carreon as the vice president.>

It was but natural for the imperialist American authorities not to have recognized Sakay's Republic. The Bald Eagle people, after all, did not even recognize the fledgling 1898 Philippine Republic led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the man they conned into cooperating in the war against Spain and letting them freely enter the archipelago as they positioned themselves for the Mock Battle of Manila and eventual invasion/occupation.

According to the Senate Resolution, the <the Philippine Commission passed the Bandolerism Act which proclaimed all captured resistance insurgents to be tried in court as bandits, ladrones and robbers.> Sakay was then declared an outlaw under the Bandolerism Act.>

However, Sakay was such a tough freedom fighter and an "organization genius."  The resolution continues: <Despite the establishment of concentration camps by the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Scouts in Cavite, Batangas and Laguna, this did not stop Macario Sakay and his companions to expansively fight in the Southern Luzon area.>

Original seal of President Macario Sakay/Katagalugan Republic
(with photoshop coloring/art)

Bald Eagle No Mercy

A day before the execution of Sakay and de Vega, a big, emotional crowd demonstrated before Malacanang, then the seat of American colonial power. The people wished to convince the imperialist Gov.-Gen. Henry Clay Ide not to push through with the execution. They pleaded for clemency; however, Ide coldly refused to even see the people.

A day after the execution of the virtual second Supremo of the Katipunan government, the fourth de facto President of the Philippines (after Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, and Gen. Miguel Malvar), a larger crowd appeared before the Bilibid prison vociferously asking that they be allowed to wrap his and de Vega's bodies with the flag of the Katipunan. Again, the native supporters and sympathizers of Sakay and the Tagalog Republic were heartlessly turned down.

The subjugated Filipinos could make no such demand. The imperialist Americans won't allow honor of any kind to be conferred to the Filipino who defied and battled their immoral dominion and prolonged the non-Muslim component of the Philippine-American War.

Wicked, vilification propaganda to project a patriot  as bandit was certainly not enough for the Bald  Eagle. Blatant deception by the colonial  governor-general and the exploitation of another native in dire straits were not not enough either.  The US Army's dishonorable violation of its own safe conduct pass was not enough as well. Not even the  legalized murders of the leaders of the Tagalog  Republic would suffice. Even in Sakay's death,  North American imperialism showed no mercy.

Greatest and Last Filipino General, President

 But why is that? Why so much hate against Sakay, "Uncle Sam"? Sakay's history seems to show that the pale-skinned North American  imperialists let out all their brand of wicked  ammunition on him and the Tagalog Republic  patriots.

Hard to imagine the powerful, Bald Eagle invaders vilifying a sagacious and determined freedom fighter like Sakay. Imagine democracy-touting Americans committing genocidal-level Guantanamo/Abu-Ghraib precedents on the Katagalugan patriots some 100 years before the  administration of George W. Bush, the  war-freak "Idiot Heir."

But con, vilify and murder the "bandit" Republic of Katagalugan freedom fighters they did. Imperialist American nefariousness, circa 1900s. A portent of Agent Orange, circa Vietnam War, and sheer imperialist terrorism, circa Iraq War.

Why so? The terroristic Americans ain't saying it but they seemed to have found Gen. Sakay the last and the greatest Filipino general to have challenged their bald-hearted imperial might.

By the way, merely seven weeks following their execution of President Sakay, the imperialists passed Act No. 1696, or the Flag Law that prohibits the public display of all Philippine and  Katipunan flags, banners, emblems, and symbols....



Guerrero, Milagros, Emmanuel Encarnacion, and Ramon Villegas. Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution. In Sulyap Kultura. National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 1996. NCCA Site. 16 June 2003.

Guerrero Nakpil, Carmen. "The mark of Sakay: The vilified hero of our war with America." Philstar. Updated 8 September 2008.


Macario Sakay. Global Pinoy.

Pomeroy, William J. The Philippines: colonialism, collaboration, and resistance. Publisher International Publishers Co, 1992.

Transcript from Philippine Senate Resolution No. 121, September 16, 2008,

Photo credits:

(Sakay seal):;

103rd Anniversary of the Treacherous Death of Macario Sakay, President of the Revived Katipunan during the Fil-Am War

TODAY is the 103rd Anniversary of the Death of Gen. Macario Sakay, President of the Republic of Katagalugan (Philippines), the revived Katipunan during the Philippine-American War (1899-1914).

Gen. Sakay was deceived into giving up fighting the invaders on promises of independence for the Philippines and amnesty for him and his officers made by the American Governor-General. It turned out to be a trap as he and Col. Lucio de Vega were arrested and eventually taken from the bartolina to the gallows by the imperialist soldiers on September 13, 1907.

Reaching the platform at around 8:30 a.m., Sakay shouted at the top of his lungs:
“I face the Lord Almighty calmly but we must tell you that we are not bandits and robbers as the Americans accuse us, but members of the revolutionary force that defended our country. Long live the Philippines! Adios Filipinas!”

Original seal of President Macario Sakay/Katagalugan Republic
(with photoshop coloring/art)

Sakay's treacherous death came quite early at age 37. For more details about this valiant Filipino hero who continued the anti-colonial aspirations and revolutionary movement of Gat Andres Bonifacio, please check the following links:

Senate Resolution honoring Gen. Macario Sakay & Co.

The mark of Sakay: The vilified hero of our war with America

Check out the trailer of Raymond Red's Sakay film here:

Macario Sakay, heir to Bonifacio's Tagalog Republic


Photo credit (Sakay seal):;

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