The Republic of Zamboanga officially known as The Independent Republic of Zamboanga (Zamboangueño Chavacano and Spanish: La Independiente República de Zamboanga) was a short-lived revolutionary republic, founded after the collapse of Spanish colonial rule in Zamboanga in 1899.
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.
General Álvarez' term was cut short when the commander of Tetuan, Isidro Midel, cooperated with the Americans in exchange for the presidency. He then ordered the assassination of Major Melanio Calixto, acting commander of Zamboanga because Alvarez 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.:532 In December 1899, Captain Pratt of the 23rd U.S. Infantry arrived at Zamboanga and took control of Fort Pilar. Thereafter, the nascent republic became a U.S. protectorate and Midel 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.:533 However, Arquiza's government did not exercise effective authority over Zamboanga and finally in March 1903, the Republic of Zamboanga was dissolved. 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.
^ Foreman, J., 1906, The Philippine Islands, A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
History of the 23rd U.S. Infantry
"History of The Republic of Zamboanga (May 1899 – March 1903)". Zamboanga City, Philippines: Zamboanga (zamboanga.com). July 18, 2009. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2010.