H3 C04The Moro Wars The First Four Stages 1565-1663
The Moro Wars: The First Four Stages (1565-1663)
The First Phase
-conflict between the Spaniards and the Muslims in the Philippine Archipelago began around the time of Legazpi’s arrival and ended with the Spanish invasions of Brunei in 1578 and 1581
-a Spaniards who were out to transform the Philippines into a colony of Spain and Christianized its inhabitants, and the Borneans who were accelerating their political, economic, and religious influence over the archipelago
-Spaniards were able to check the increasing Bornean political influence and commercial activities in Luzon and the Visayas by capturing the Bornean settlement Manila in 1571and destroying Muslim fortified outposts in Mindoro
-To ensure further their hold on conquered territories, it became expedient for the Spaniards to interfere in the Brunei dynastic quarrels of 1578
The first encounter between the fleet Legazpi and the Muslims took place in March 1565, capturing a Bornean trading vessel in the vicinity of Bohol and killed about 20 Borneans. In 1569, nine Spanish vessels successfully engaged twenty vessels manned by Borneans and Sulus in Visayan waters. Four of the latter with their crews were captured by the Spaniards for they thought that they are pirates.
The Brunei Sultan was fomenting rebellion against the Spaniards by writing to members of the Bornean aristocracy in manila and offering them his protection and not enough, encouraging them also to preach Islam. March 4, 1578, governor general Francisco de Sande sailed for Brunei with 40 vessels and a force of 400 Spaniards, 1500 natives from the Philippines and about 300 Bornean followers of the Pangiran. Thirty days of covering few miles, Spanish fleet arrived near the mouth of the river of Brunei where they defeated the Brunei fleet sent to meet them.
The letter of the Spanish governor to the Brunei Sultan reveals what the Spaniards feared of the Borneans. It told the Sultan to forbid Borneans from collecting tribute from natives of Spanish-held in the Philippines, for this was the sole right of the Spanish King as their sovereign.
On April 20, 1578, after the Spanish naval victory, the subsequent capture of Brunei, the capital of the Sultanate, and the flight of Seif ur-Rijal, Governor Sande declared Brunei a vassal state of spain.
The significance of the Borneo expedition lies in the assumptions which formed the basis for which the expedition was undertaken. In this phase, the Spaniards were successful in eliminating the Borneans from the Archipelago.
The Second Phase
- The conflict between the Spaniards and Muslims extends from the first Spanish attempts in 1578 to make vassals of the chiefs of Sulu and the Maguindanao to the failure of the Spaniards to establish a permanent colony in Maguindanao in 1596-1597
- The second phase saw the Spanish exert efforts to reduce the peoples of Sulu and Maguindano into vassalage
- The significance of this stage was the plan for the formation of a colony in Maguindanao and its intimate relation with Spanish attempts to conquer the Moluccas
In 1578, captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, one of the captains who participated in the first Brunei expedition, arrived in Jolo and exacted tribute from the Sulu Sultan in accordance with instructions of Governor Sande. From Jolo, Captain Esteban de Figueroa went to the Pulangi River in Mindanao. But because of the insufficient provisions and the strong river currents, the Captain was not able to explore or to establish contacts with the paramount chief of the river.
The next year, the Governor instructed Captain Gabriel de Rivera to establish contact with the Maguindanao chiefs. He ordered the Captain to make the Muslims pay tribute, to induce them not to accept Muslim preachers, to inform them that the Brunei mosque had been burned, to gather information about their products and to find out whether they had contacts with the Moluccas. The expedition arrived at the Pulangi on March 13, 1579, but failed to establish direct contact with Datu Dimansankay of Maguindanao. By May, the expedition was back in Cebu from where it was sent.
In 1578, a conspiracy led by Tondo chieftains, some of whom were related to the Burnean Sultan, was planned. One of the leaders, Magat Salamat, was chosen to go to the Calamianes to seek the help of the Sultan. But his mission was failed because he was arrested in the Calamianes after he was revealed to the Spanish authorization by a native Christian.
In 1591, the Spanish government in Manila decided to colonize Maguindanao. For the purpose, an agreement was entered into with Captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa whereby the latter was to pacify the island of Mindanao and establish a colony in the area of the Pulangi River at his own expense. In return for some material benefits, the Captain was to be designated governor of the island for life, a position to be inherited by a son or heir.
On April 1, 1596, the Captain left for Mindanao with fifty vessels of different sizes, 214 spaniards and 1500 native allies. In about three weeks, the fleet reached the mouth of the Pulangi.
However the Spaniards succeeded in establishing a fort in Tampakan. Juan de Xara, the master-of-camp, was chosen to take over t he command. Juan Ronquillo was sent to Mindanao in February 1597to consolidate whatever gains had been made and, if possible, to carry on the colonization scheme started by the late Figueroa.
Because Datu Mansankay died, Datu Buisan, a younger brother took his position as a chief of Maguindanao and Raja Muda the son of past Datu took place as the chieftain of both Maguindanao and Buayan. Datu Buisan went to Ternate to get help. A Ternatan fleet with 800 warriors came under the command of Katchil Baba, an uncle of the Sultan of Ternate. The Muslim attempt to capture the Spanish fort at Tampakan thus ended with failure.
To seal in order, Datu Buisan tried to arrange marriage between the Raja Muda and a sister of Sultan Said Din Berkat of Ternate. While the spaniards tried to proposed that Raja Muda will marry the sister of Datu in Tampakan which was already already accepted Spanish sovereignty.
Ronquillo proposed that another fort will be built and a garrison be maintained in La Caldera, a few miles from Zamboanga. Consequently the fort of Talampakan was destroyed and abandoned.
The Ternatans in Maguindanao assumed a vital role in the resistance of the Muslims against attempts to colonize and Christianize them. Before the Ternatan aid in 1597, there had been at least three Spanish attempts to conquer Moluccas; namely 1582, 1585, and 1593. The first two which saw some fighting failed and of fierce Ternatan resistance as well as some help given by the European rivals of the Spaniards. The third expedition did not even reach the Moluccas on account of a mutiny of Chinese rowers who killed some spaniards, including governor general Gomez Perez Dasmarinas. Dr. Antonio de Morga, a royal official in Manila reveal revealed the conquest of Mindanao was vital to the realization of Spanish objectives in the Moluccas.
In a letter on July 6, 1596, to the Spanish King he said that the pacification of Mindano was essential for “the conquest of Maluco and other countries”. According to Juan de Ronquillo of his report to the governor General Francisco Tello, that it was necessary for Spanish interests that the Maguindanaos “break the peace and confederation made with the people of terrenate, and must not admit the latter into their country”.
As Ronquillo noted, that the Muslim Chief, unlike those in Luzon, were used to “power and sovereignty”, with some of them collecting as much as five or six thousands tributes. Muslims in the Philippine South had been chastened enough and so weakened that they could no longer challenge the Spaniards again. The Muslims pooled their resources not only for their defense but also for an offensive against Spanish-held settlements in other parts of the Philippines.
The third phase
- The conflict between Spaniards and the Muslims began in a Muslim offensive against the Spanish presence in the Philippines and ended in a Spanish counteroffensive
- At this stage, the significant fact is that the Maguindanaos under Buisan actually tried to compete with the Spaniards over the collection of tribute in the Visayas
- Besides, the Spaniards exerted vigorous efforts to consolidate their position in the Archipelago and sent retaliatory expeditions to weaken the Muslims in their home base
- An important factor at this stage was the presence in neighboring areas of the Dutch , rivals of the Spaniards in commerce and religion
- This phase begins in 1599 with the Maguindanao and Buayan raids on the Visayas and ends with the success of the Spaniards in establishing a strong fortress at Zamboanga in 1635, about 35 years
In 1597, the Spaniards withdraw their garrison from the strategic port of La Caldera. It was from the La caldera that Captain Joan Pacho had set forth with sixty Spaniards on a punitive expedition to Jolo.
In 1599, Datu Salikula (Sali) of Maguindanao and Datu Sirungan, the Rajah of Buayan, with fifty sails and about 3000 warriors and rowers attacked coasted coastal towns in Panay, Negros, and Cebu, carrying back with them 800 captive Visayans. In 1602, a fleet consisting of about 145 war vessels was assembled by the Muslims. Consisting of fifty boats from Ternate, Sangil, and Tagolanda, sixtyfrom Maguindanao, and thirty-five from Basilan, it was under the joint command of Datu Buisan, the Rajah Muda of Maguindanao, and Rajah Sirungan. Important point of this is that the Muslim raids at this time were personally led by their highest political leaders.
In February 1602, Spanish authorities in manila sent an expedition to Sulu to counteract these devastating raids. Led by Juan Gallenato, about 200 spaniards and an equal number of native allies attacked the settlement of Jolo.
In January 1603, with five war vessels he left for the Moluccas to help the Portuguese capture Ternate. But the stubborn resistance of the Ternatans helped along by their Dutch allies in the end caused the Spanish-Portuguese forces to lift their siege. Gallinato returned to Manila in July 1603.
On October 29, 1603, with more than fifty war vessels and about a thousand men, he attacked the town of Dulag, Leyte. He sailed away to destroy other nearby ports and put their churches to the torch. Then returning to Dulag, he and Bwisan had the same thought of sweeping the Spaniards. They had the blood compact as a sign of their brotherhood. The significance of it was despite of the pre-Islamic and pre-Christian character of this ceremonial, the Muslims and the
Christianized natives participated apparently without hesitation in this ritual.
In 1604, the Spanish governor Pedro Bravo de Acuna was granted royal permission to fight the Dutch and conquer the Moluccas. On September 8, 1605, an agreement was concluded between the Spanish ambassador and the Raja Buayan in which the Spaniards promised to recognized Raja Sirungan as the paramount chief of Maguindanao in return for his allegiance to Spain.
Under the personal command of the Spanish Governor General, the fleet outfitted for the conquest of the Moluccas left Iloilo on January15, 1606. Consisting of 36 vessels, 1423 Spaniards, 59 Portuguese, and 1613 natives from the Philippines, it must have been the biggest fleets ever sent out by the Spaniards in the Philippines. The Maguindanaos foresaw the possibility that the fleet might be used against them and, therefore, had retired into the interior as they had always done before in the face of similar threats. News of the Spanish victory in the Moluccas and the capture of the once powerful Ternate Sultan must have both impressed and disconcerted the Maguindanao and Buayan chiefs. Thus, on July 22, 1606, the lords of the Pulangi – Sirungan, Buisan, and the Rajah Muda- sent a letter to the Spanish Governor, asking in so many words, forgiveness for their previous alliance with Ternate.
But, no longer after, around April 1608, an armanda of 67 caracaos, led by Buisan and his nephew, the Rajah Muda, attacked Leyte and Samar. Another report mentioned that during this same year, Sirungan went to the Moluccas to solicit some help from to Dutch. After a year the lords of Pulangi had the peace agreement with Gallinato, giving the Visayas peace for at least two years. This event took place in March 1609, witnessed by 2000 armed Muslim warriors.
For about 25 years after the peace agreement, it seems that no major raid as made on Spanish-held territories in the Philippines led by any chief datu of the Pulangi. The 1613 attack on Leyte and Samar under the Datu Pagdalanum was actually made by a motley group people from Maguindanao, Caraga, Sangil, and some persons from Ternate, fighting the foothold in Caraga, Dapitan, and some other parts of Mindanao of the Spaniards.
The Maguindanao and Buayan expeditionary raids to Spanish-held territories in Mindoro, the Calamianes, and the Visayas from 1599 to 1604 represented a determined effort on the part of the muslims to wean these areas. If Spanish sources are correct on the matter, it may be stated that the captives averaged about 800 year. This captives was used as rowers, warriors, slaves, and workers. Muslim chiefs also sold slaves of each other.
Maybe the Maguindanaos were inclined to keep peace so long as the Spaniards made no move to consolidate their positions in Mindanao or even the non-Muslims to belong to their sphere of influence.
On October 1616, while the Spaniards were making preparations to meet a Dutch squadron sent to attack them at Manila, the Sulu, with 80 caracaos, took advantage of the situation by attacking the shipyard at Pantao and Camarines.
The ensuing dynastic wars between the rulers of buayan and Maguindanao and with the former were trying to exercise political control over young Qudarat, the son of Buisan. This war began around January 1619. July 2, 1619, the ex-king of Sarangani, who was envoy of Qudarat, was similarly informed in writing. In 1621, the Dutch ship De Hond under the command of Christiaan Franz came to Mindanao to trade and try to bring peace among the warring factions, but failed to the latter effort.
In December 1624, the Governor General in Batavia inforomed Jacques Le Febure, the Governor General in Batavia informed Jacques Le Febure, the governor of Moluccas, that the Dutch then were not in a position to give direct aid to either the Sulus or the Maguindanaos to wage war against the Spaniards.
In 1624, a Sulu embassy led by the redoubtable Datu Ache arrived in Manila, and by all indications it was for commercial purposes. In 1627, a Sulu fleet composed of more than 30 caracoas and about 2000 men, led by Rajah Bongsu himself, attacked the new Spanish shipyard in Camarines.
The Spaniards were able to fit out two squadrons for their expedition loaded in about 35 caracoas, 200 Spaniards, and more than 1600 native allies, the expedition arrived in Jolo on April 22, 1628. About 60 large joangas and more than a hundred smaller boats that they found either anchored or beached were burned or destroyed. The Spaniards were able to rescue some captives but not so many, since many of them had already been sold to distant kingdoms. The Spanish who fleet preceded to Basilan to fight Datu Sampay but no contact was made with the Datu who had made fled earlier with his men to the mountains. The fleet lifted anchor and sailed for Maguindanao where a letter was sent to Qudarat asking him to come to the La Caldera to see the Spanish commander but Qudarat just made excuses. But not later, Qudarat sent an ambassador to Manila offering the Spaniards the opportunity to build a fort in and, send priest to his territory, adding astutely that the people of Sulu were his enemy. The Spaniards failed to take advantage of this offer.
March 17, 1630, another Spanish fleet led by the commander Lorenzo de Olaso consisting of one galley, a few junks, and about 50 caracoas, with 400 Spaniards and 2500 native allies, left Dapitan for Jolo. The Sulus were apparently very well prepared. They defended themselves ably, killing and wounding some of the enemy. But again, the Olaso expedition failed due to the violent storm. Qudarat forged an alliance with the latter by a marraiage between one of his sons and a daughter of the Sulu Rajah which probably took place around 1632.
The first three decades of the 17th century had been frictions between the Sulus and the Maguindanao, some of them due to the interdynastic interferences. The 1634 attack of the Maguindanos, principally on the Visayas, was not made on the spur of the moment. Rather, it was the cumulative result of the planning and preperations by Qudarat.
In 1628, Dutch authorities sent Captain Daniel Ottens as ambassador to Sangil, Maguindanao, Buayan, and Sulu, for the dual purpose of discussing with the chiefs problem of presenting a united stand against Spain and of studying the commercial situation in these places.
More slaves were turned to therefore; it was one of the problems of the Sultan. Afraid of the Spaniards disdainful of the Dutch, Qudarat sought to play them one against the other, hoping to neutralize tem and thus leave his people undisturbed and free to keep their political and religious integrity. Qudarat had always been unhappy and looked with growing suspicion over the existence of Christian missions in the non- Muslims areas in Mindanao.
The early 17th century raids had been a traumatic experience for both Spaniards and their newly acquired subjects in the colony, especially in the Visayas. In spite of objections by other religious orders that appeared to have been jealous of the Jesuits’ increasing missionary activities and consequent influence, the government set a fort in Zamboanga. On June 23, 1635, the fort commenced and that open a new gates for the entry of Christianity to Western Mindanao.
- Approximately Moro Wars in this stage began 1635, the establishments of Zamboanga fort and ended with its abandonment in 1663
- The war was between Qudarat and the Spaniards and was in effect a contest for the control of the whole island of Mindanao
- Through series of campaign, the Spaniards tried to impose their rule over the Muslim chiefs of Sulu and Mindanao- attempts to converts the Muslims or the non- Muslims tributary into Christianity
On June 17, 1636, Qudarat wrote to the Dutch informing them about the establishment by the Spaniards of a garrison around La Caldera (Zamboanga) and that consequently he needed guns and the assistance of the Dutch.
A letter from the Manila Archibishop, for instance, claimed that in a space of 30 years, no less than 20,000 captives were taken by the muslim From Spanish- held territories. Governor General Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera plan plan was clear: defeat and capture Qudarat in Mindanao and temporarily put a Spanish puppet as ruler in Maguindanao, destroy the cottaof the Sulu ruler, capture him, put strong garrisonin Jolo, and thn attack Borneo. Landing in Lamitan with an advanced forceon March 13, 1637, Corcuera captured the settlement and mosque without much difficult and destroy a few minor cotta. The Governor General discovered later that the main force of the Sultan, about 2000 warriors, including the Iranun Datus had retired to the neighboring Ilihan heights where the cottas had been constructed.
Corcuera announced his vicory over the other Datus and Rajah and ordered them to recognized him as the Lord of Pulangi and to welcome missionaries, pay tribute and accept Spanish sovereignty.
On January 1, 1638, 80 vessels loaded with 600 Spaniards and 1000 native allies left Zamboanga. Four days later they landed in Jolo but found it abandoned cause the Datus, Rajahs, Sultan, and warriors were already in their new cotta in nearby hills.
On April 17, after more than three-month struggle, the cotta was finally occupied by the invaders whereupon a great deal of artillery and property were confiscated.
In this campaign, 192 captives were taken in Sulu and most were sold as slaves in public auction, netting 20,815.00 in peso for the Spanish government. Added to receipt due from the sale of slaves, the value of the artillery, and other captured things, the total amount of was 28,315.00 in peso.
In spite of the big loss of Lamitan and personal treasure, Qudarat remained unconquered, more resolute to regain his lands. A few years before Qudarat’s defeat at Lamitan in 1637, he was able to extend his political sway not only over the Maranao inhabitants around the lake but over the pagan natives north of the Lake and even up in the Cagayan de Oro. Qudarat with 2000 Maranaos attacked one day of some of the settlements in Cagayan.
The conquest of the Lake people was entrusted to Captain Francisco Attienza, the alcalde-mayor of Caraga. With 50 Spaniards and 500 Caragans, the Captain landed at Bayug and then proceeded to Maranao territory, reaching the Lake on April 4, 1639. Governor almonte dispatched Major Pedro Fernandez del Rio with a part of the garrison of Sabanilla consisting of 70 Spaniards and 500 Visayans to join the forces of Atienza advantaging that Maranaos was lack of firearms. The expedition was not without hazards since it had to pass through the Burig area under the command of Nuni Amantunding. The Spaniards would make one more try to conquer the Maranaos. For a second time uner Atienza, the Spaniards and their natives’ allies appeared in the Lake in 1640, but then again Maranaos retired the place. Spanish attempts to colonize and Christianize the Maranaos had utterly failed. In payment for their freedom, the Maranaos lost two harvest.
Around the middle of 1638, in accordance with the peace treaty earlier entered into by Corcuera and the rajah of Buayan, the Spaniards asked for tribute from Datu Maputi, the right to send missionaries as well as the right to build a fort in the settlement of Buayan. A new element appeared to the advantage of the Spaniards in their relations with Datu Maputi, Kdaw, a sister of Datu Maputi and married to Makadula, the chief of Taulan, whose followers inhabited the mountains some miles upstream northeast of Buayan, had a son called Balantamay.
It will be recalled that Sabanilla was occupied by the Spanish troops on March 2, 1639, under an expeditionled by Major Pedro del Rio. On March 21, Almonte appeared in Sabanilla. The cotta of Datu Maputi , which as not far away and situated on the shore of a lake, was surrounded. After the cotta was abandoned by the Datu in May, it was destroyed by the Spaniards. All along Manakior with about 2000 of his men was helping the Spaniards.
Datu Maputi was not daunted by the loss of his cotta. He went deeper into the interior where he collected the customary tribute. Meanwhile, Qudarat had the Spanish garrison atenticed into the Sabanilla surrounded or at least prevented from sallying forth into the neighboring area. There was a time when two Spanish brigs were enticed into the river adjoining the fort where they were captured by Qudarat and his warriors. However, Qudarat released them all after entering into a sort of peace treaty with the Spaniards through the meditation of the priest. From another view, the peace treaty was also convenient to the Spanish who feared to the friendly juncture between Qudarat and Datu Maputi with whom they were still having problems.
The peace treaty, however, must have disturbed Datu Maputi as may be inferred from his friendly overtures to Qudarat around September 1639. The Sultan’s answer was that it was first of all necessary for the Rajah of Buayan to mend his broken relations with Mnakior. And
While the warriors of the Rajah of Buayan kept the garrison busy Qudarat and his Iranun allies left the lands of the Iranuns and trekked southward towards the Pulangi. The Spanish expedition of 1639 to conquer the people of the Lake was an utter failure. With the help of Datu Nuni Amatunding and other Iranun allies, Qudarat settled on the banks of the river Simuay. This site was about ten miles from the old settlement of Maguindanao, close to Salangan, the capital of father Buisan. This old settlement had great strategic value, since at this point they could easily cut the supply lines of Buayan which was situated about thirty two miles upstream.
Meantime, Mnakior, who had disappeared from Buayan and deserted his Spanish allies, appeared in Simuayto finalized his marriage arrangements with a sister of Qudaratin two ways: the weaning of Manakior away from the Spaniards and gaining him as a possible ally against the Rajah of Buayan.
With one champan and two smaller boats heavily loaded with fifty Spaniards, a chaplain, an undetermined number of native servants or allies, and six artillery pieces, Agustin de Marmolejo left Zamboanga for the Sabanilla fort. On June 1, close to a bend of the river, the Spaniards caught a glimpse of the Sultan’s settlement. The champan soon found itself surrounded by two caracoas, one commanded by the Sultan and the other by Manakior, as well by more than a hundred boats of various sorts and sizes. Qudarat was directing operations when one of the sons of Manakior waskilled by the Spaniards.
In Zamboanga, the brave but luckless Marmolejo was publicly executed following his conviction at a court martial. The Muslims who went to the public plaza to witness the execution and who, presumably, always had an admiration for bravery, whether that of a presumably, always had an admiration for bravery, whether that of a believer or a believer or an enemy, must have left the plaza probably both impressed and wondering at the strange ways of Spanish justice.
In 1640, the Dutch renewed their drive to consolidate their colonial possession in Malaysia and extend them. They poured more power into their military offensive against Spanish and Portuguese possession in the area. In 1641, Malacca fell to them and in the next year they took over Formosa where all Spanish missionaries were expelled. It was then that the Spanish colony in the Philippines appeared in danger of being completely isolated by the Dutch. Francisco Atienza, governor of Zamboanga and famous veteran fighter against Muslims, found the draft satisfactory to the Spanish government, probably in terms of the criteria previously given to him by Fajardo. On June 24, 1645, Atienza himself went to Simuay to have the treaty ratified. In this treaty, the Spaniards recognized that the whole territory from the river Sibugay to the Tagalook Bay was tributary to Qudaratt. Datu Manakior was to be considered friend by the Spaniards. The treaty was signed by the Sultan, Atienza, Lopez, and some other Spanish officials.
A certain Major Luis de Guzman, on instruction from Almonte, and supported by some naval forces scoured the island, burned coastal settlements and carried away captives. In the meantime, the Spanish Admiral Pedro de la Mata went with a squadron to different islands in Sulu Archipelago, burning, pillaging, and capturing Sulus, including Samals, destined for the oars or the slave market. It was during this occasion that the Spanish squadron was able to destroy a newly formed fleet by Pangiran Bakhtiar, a son of the Sulu ruler.
On July 16, Major Luis de Guzmanwas sent on a punitive expedition against the Buranuns. In on fierce battle where, according to reports, about two hundred Buranuns were killed, eight Spaniards, including Guzman, who was speao pusue thred twice, died. Cepeda, who was second in command, took over and continued to pursue the policy for the extermination of the Buranuns. In other expedition, it is said that another 400 Buranuns were killed considering the Jolo campaign closed, Almonte left for the Zamboanga on the last week of July. Agustin de Cepeda, now governor of the Jolo, decided to avenge the death of his former fellow officer, Morales. With 30 Spaniards and 300 native allies, he led another expedition to Parang in December 1643.
On March 25, 1644, the Pangiran Saricula (Salicala), the Rajah Mudah and older sonof Rajah Bongsu, arrived in Batavia where he asked for a conference with the Dutch Governor General. In July 1645, a Dutch squadron appeared in Jolo. The Dutch landed some troops and bombarded the Spanish fort by land and sea on the 27th, helped along by the Sulus.
The Jesuit Alejandro Lopez was once more sent to Jolo to negotiate a peace treaty with the Sulu ruler. He tried to communicate with Rajah Bungso but the latter, aware of the presence of the Dutch fleet in the Philippine waters, was not so naïve as to conclude that this had not disturbed the Spaniards. The Sulu Rajah, who had opposed the Spaniardsfor about 30 years, and who had considerably suffered from their attacks, refused to have anything to do with, not even to see the hated face of any Spaniards.
The peace treaty proclaimed perpetual friendship between Sulu and Spain and provided for an offensive and defensive alliance. The jurisdiction of the Sulu Ruler was to include the island of Jolo and the islands between it and Tawi-tawi. The Spaniards were to have certain rights in Siassi, Tapul, Balangigngi, and Pangutaran. The Raja’s successor was to be Pangiran Bakhtair who was to be protected by the Spaniards.
On January 11, 1649, a Spanish squadron attacked the Camucones on the Northeast coast of Borneo. The Spaniards were able to capture 200 of those professional pirates, free some Christian captives, destroy about three hundred boats of different sizes, and return with much booty. In a desperate move, the Spanish government, once again, commissioned Alejandro Lopez to seek the Sultan and explain matters to him. A new peace pact was concluded which had as one of its signatories the new Rajah of Buayan. Lopez had been on friendly terms with the sultan for about 15 years and he had received many personal favors from the Sultans who often called him “brother”. Instead of the usual welcome the Maguindanaos met him with request that he turn over to them the letter of the Governor, but the priest insisted on delivering them personally to the Sultan.
Warriors of Balatamay proceeded to the caracoa of the priest, lured the captain to the shore, and finished him off. Only two Spaniards managed to escape with their lives on this occasion which took place on December 13, 1655. The lives of the Samal oarsmen were spared since they were probably vassals of the Sultan.
Sultan Qudarat immediately wrote the Governor of Zamboanga, disclaiming responsibility for the killing even as he laid the blame on Balantay whom he said was beyond his capacity to punish since this man was powerful.
In 1657, Balatamay again raided Mindoro, Marinduque, and other nearby places. Laden with many captives and rich with spoils, he proceeded to Sulu where he married a sister of Sultan Bakhtiar, thus fostering closer relations between the Maguindanao and the Sulus.
In 1655, a couple of Sulu datus emboldened by the state of affairs, fitted 13 vessels, went to Bohol, Masbate, and Leyte to get captives and spoils. They successfully eluded the Spanish squadron sent to catch them.
In early May 1662, an event with great consequences for the Muslim sultanates in the Philippines took place in Manila. An embassy of Chinese accompanied by a Dominican, Vittorio Ricci, arrived fromFormosa carrying a letter from Koxinga, the conqueror who wrested Formosa from the Dutch.
On January 4, 1663, the Zamboanga governor received anew the instructions to abandon the fort this time without any delay or excuse. Three days later the job of pulling out the garrison began. It had been reported that just before it was dismantled, the Zamboanga fort had a garrison of 600 soldiers, of whom about 400 were Spaniards, while the other were mostly Pampangos. The fort was also equipped with sixty pieces of artillery.
It can be clearly seen that the so called Moro Wars from the coming of Spaniards in1565 to 1663 passed through at least four distinguishable phases.
The prominent aspects of the conflict in all the above –mentioned stages was that of imperial conquest and Christianization.
Important note in most of these phases of the conflict between the Spaniards and the Muslims is the role played by the Jesuits. The Jesuits, more than any religious corporation in the Philippines, had their minds set on converting the Muslim as well as the non-Muslims in Sulu and Mindanao. They used their influence with the Spanish Governor Corcuera to gently ease out the Recollects from Maranao territory to make it their evangelical preserve.
What is difficult to understand, much less appreciate, is that most of them had come from a country that had experienced centuries of Muslim domination and yet appeared not to have known much about Islamic temper which this religion engenders. Not just the Muslims but also to the Spaniards who are supposed to evangelized their religion Christianity. They are supposed to love.
The Moro Wars 1-5PPt
More by this Author
As earlier mentioned, differences of policies were the main reason for the division of the MNLF into factions. Hashim Salamat a Maguindanao organized his Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front...
Agrarian Unrest Agrarian problem in the Philippines started when the Spaniards set foot on Philippine soil. The numerous petty rebellions as history would show are proofs that agrarian problem is...
In spite of the advance of our civilization, there are still a lot of things that we can learn from our indigenous peoples. Take for example the use of our herbs to cure common sickness and disease, even the...