Biography of Macario Sakay de León (1870-1907)

Philippine independence revolutionary, born in Tondo (Manila) in 1870 and died in Manila on September 13, 1907, considered a martyr of the Tagalog nationalism, which participated in the Philippine Revolution (1896-1898), and later spearheaded an armed movement of resistance against the US authorities between 1904 and 1907.

Coming from a lower class family, Macario Sakay worked in his youth of several trades Apprentice: Editor of car, tailor and trimmer. Then he/she enlisted as an actor in a theatre company, which apparently began to acquire awareness of the problems of the filipino people. Put in contact with some members of the Katipunan, Sakai decided to join this pro-independence secret society in 1894, by actively participating in the preparation of the hoist Assembly August 1896 by Andrés Bonifacioand Emilio Jacinto , and then in the war unleashed against the Spanish forces. After exploding the strife with the United States in February 1899, Sakai was arrested and sentenced to prison for subversive activities, not getting freedom until after the official surrender of the Philippines forces commanded by the President Emilio Aguinaldo and the granting of a general amnesty (1902).

Decided not to accept the foreign domain and continue the struggle for independence, Sakay met along with other ex-katipuneros - Francisco Carreón, Cornelio Felizardo or León Villafuerte, - among others in the mountains of the southwest of Luzon to found the Tagalog Republic (Republic of Katagalugan), of which he/she himself was appointed President or Generalissimo. This Republic was organized according to the parameters of the old Katipunan in order to avoid being caught by the authorities, and the experience of combat of its members achieved important successes against U.S. troops by employing skilled espionage and guerrilla tactics; also counted with the support of local farmers, supplying them food and information on the movements of the enemy.

At the end of 1904 Sakai and his men, dressed in government uniforms, attacked by surprise the American garrison of Parañaque and managed to take control of large numbers of weapons and ammunition. However, the strategy of Sakai began to lose efficiency when the authorities, given the difficulty of ending the rebellion by conventional means, took more drastic measures: destruction of crops and villages, population concentration in few people being watched or use of dogs trained in the persecution.

Finding himself cornered, with very small forces, Macario Sakay decided to accept offers of peace of the new American Governor Henry Clay Ide (1844-1921), who promised to leave them at liberty and access to some of the demands of the anarchically rebels in Exchange for accountability. However, all responded to a deception maneuver in order to seize him: when Sakai and his followers arrived at the meeting with representatives of the Government, soldiers proceeded to disarm them and lock them up in prison (July 1906). Judged by banditry, Macario Sakay was sentenced to death and hanged a year later.