QUINTIN SALAS

(1870 - 1917)

 

 

  A colonel of the Revolutionary army, lawyer, hacendero, and philanthropist, Quintin Salas was born on October 31, 1870 in Dumangas, Iloilo. He was the seventh of the eleven children of Nicolas Salas and Nicolasa Dicen. After enrolling at the school of his relatives, he attended the Jaro Seminary and later the Instituto de Molo, managed by the famous Manuel Locsin.

 

  Before the outbreak of the Revolution, Salas was the teniente mayor and then capitan municipal of Dumangas. In 1898, he was appointed by the Spanish government as commander of the militia to confront the American forces.

 

  However, when Philippine Revolution against Spain had been planned in Iloilo by the conspiratorial clique called Comite Conspirador of Molo, he immediately pledged his support.

 

  On September 15, the committee ratified in a meeting held in Jaro his appointment as one of the chiefs of the revolutionary forces. When he was appointed by Roque Lopez as the second chief of the northern zone of Iloilo, he organized a battalion. He enlisted the help of the Pulahan leader, Hermenegildo Maraingan, and his 350 men. During the baptismal party for his daughter, all the men in Dumangas who committed themselves to the revolution re-affirmed their vow, including the militia and the company of volunteers organized by the Spaniards.

 

  When the underground activities of Salas was discovered by the Dumangas parish priest and municipal captain, he decided to launch the revolution in the towns of the northern zone, even if the long awaited arms from Luzon had not yet arrived. His forces that included his brother Jose attacked sitio Kabug in Banate with arms secretly taken from the Dumangas town hall.

 

  From Kabug, they went to Ugasan where he set up his headquarters. Here, they were attacked by the guardia civil and part of the volunteers from Barotac Viejo under Angel Tupas, whom he invited to join the revolution. He repulsed them.

 

  On October 12, 1898, his forces although inadequately armed, captured the town of San Enrique. On the 18th, using guerilla warfare tactics, he attacked Dingle an caught the timbres of the tribunal and justice of the peace of the town. The cura escaped but not the Spanish appraiser of the Compania Tabacalera.

 

  The next day, on their way to Anilao, his forces engaged in two-hour fight against 94 guardia civiles led by the Spanish captain. The Spaniards fled to Anilao from where the captain sent a letter proposal to him a pardon he obtained from General Diego de los Rios. In reply, Salas invited the Spaniard for a conference in sitio Palypay, but the latter did not show up.

 

  When the Spaniards retook Dingle, he was named in the command of all the troops gathered in sitio Lingod: three companies from Dingle, a company from San Enrique. With these forces, he was able to hold on to the rebel post at Lingkod and strengthen and protect Dueñas from the fire threatened by the Spanish engineers.

 

  Under the plans drawn up by him, all the prisoners in the jail of Pototan were able to escape, forcing the Spanish forces in the town to flee and concentrate to Iloilo City.     

 

  Form the latter part of October to November 7, 1898, he complied with the orders of the Manila revolutionary government, to take possession of the towns of Pototan, Anilao, Barotac Nuevo and Dumangas.  He caught the Spanish priests in these towns. The rebels also formalized the capture of Banate, Barotac Viejo, Passi and Mina. After their occupation, he obliged all the volunteers created by the Spanish government to put themselves at the service of the Revolution. By November 8, Salas had 4000 men under his command.

 

  On November 10, he was sent to Balantang outpost to put order to the demoralized troops there. Upon his advice, the rebel quarters were transferred to Leganes, where he proposed the enforcement of the Spanish military ordinances and the duty to guard the district and the headquarters. By this act, spies were caught.

 

  He and his 800 men were among the first to occupy Jaro, which was evacuated by General Diego de los Rios. He then met with foreigners like the second chief of the house of Joskin and representatives from the Casa Lizarraga and received letters of thanks for having preserved order in the town.

 

  On January 2, 1899, he was appointed by the Federal Council of the Visayas to pursue evildoers and put a stop to banditry in Iloilo. He secured the surrender of several bandits and gathered many carabaos, which came from doubtful sources.

 

 

 

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