CARLOS MARIA DE LA TORRE, Philippines' Most Beloved Governor General [History]
Written by Gil Dela Torre
Sunday, 30 August 2009 02:01
Carlos María de la Torre y Nava Cerrada is considered the most beloved of the Spanish Governors-General to serve in the Philippines (1869-1871). He was the assigned Governor-General after the Spanish Revolution of 1869. He was considered a liberal Governor-General for imposing liberal laws. His supporters had done a Liberal Parade in front of the Malacañang Palace. He was ousted when the monarchy in Spain was re-established by the Spanish Cortes. He was also very close to the ilustrados, a group of Filipinos who understood the situation of the Philippines under Spanish rule.
“ The fall of Queen Isabel II and the rise of liberalism in Spain brought a new Spanish governor-general to Manila. He was General Carlos Maria de la Torre, an able soldier and a true diplomat. The Filipino people and the Spanish liberals welcomed him. They cheered him gladly as he took office on June 23, 1869.
“On the evening of July 12, 1869, the Filipino leaders, priests, and students serenaded Governor de la Torre to express their gratitude for his liberal policies.x x x
“Governor de la Torre entertained the Filipino leaders at a magnificent reception in his palace. Mrs. Sanchiz acted as hostess, because the governors wife was an invalid. She was attractively dressed. She wore a red ribbon on her hair containing the words Viva La Libertad (Long Live Liberty), and on the other end, Viva el General La Torre (Long Live General La Torre)”. (Zaide, Philippine History and Government, pp.210-212).
In 1869, after the victory of the liberal political movement in Spain, a new governor, General Carlos Maria de la Torre was appointed the governor of the Philippines, who introduced several reforms in the colony. After the monarchist forces restored their power, General Rafael de Izquierdo was sent to replace de la Torre in the April of 1871. The new governor recalled all reformist acts and decrees (including the revival of press censorship, curtailing political discussions, and declaring himself unsympathetic to secularization) and suppressed the opposition with brutal actions; his troops crushed the rebellion of Filippino recruits, who had preliminarily killed their Spanish officers (Cavite mutiny); he also had Fathers Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora, three reformist priests executed on the false accusation of being the masterminds of the Cavite mutiny. Its result was that religious and secular refomists fought together onwards for restoring the legal and democratic achievements. He was recalled from his position at the beginning of 1873.
------ The Masonryhe influence of Masons and Masonry on nationalism was not confined in Spain. Once the Filipinos were allowed access to lodges established under the Grand Spanish Orients, Masonry flourished and nationalistic fervor grew. Filipino Masons found support and protection even from colonial governors and Spanish government officials.
The history of Masonry in the Philippines tells us of the liberal regime of a Mason, Governor General Carlos Maria dela Torre, who was sent to the country in 1869 during the age of liberalism in Spain. It was after Queen Isabela II was deposed and King Amadeus of Savoy, a fellow Mason was installed. Dela Torre became a friend of the Filipinos; encouraged free speech, abolished censorship of the press and fostered free discussion of political problems. He displayed benevolence by pardoning rebels who spearheaded an agrarian uprising in Cavite. He supported the Filipinization of the parishes.
Governor General Carlos dela Torre implemented the educational decrees of another Mason, Minister of the Colonies Segismundo Moret, providing for the secularization of education and government control over certain educational institutions in the Philippines. Fearing that his attitude would promote nationalist tendencies among the Filipinos, and encourage the duplication of the Masonically led revolt in Spain, the friars conspired to remove him in 1871.
In 1885 Emilio Terrero y Perinat a 33rd degree Mason, was appointed Governor General to the Philippines. He revived the liberal measures started by Governor General dela Torre and together with fellow Masons Jose Centeno, acting Civil Governor of Manila and Benigno Quiroga, Director General for Civil Administration, tried to cleanse the government of friar dictates and influence.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 13:07