HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 60 no. 1 (2014)

The Fort Victoria Mutiny

Greg Hontiveros



Some little-known events occurred in Mindanao at the outset and during the course of the Philippine Revolution that would add to our understanding of the historical dynamics of those times. One event was the Fort Victoria Mutiny in Iligan, Lanao in 1896 that spread to the northern section of the island of Mindanao. Another was the aborted Regiment 68 Mutiny in Cotabato in 1898, and obviously a lot more that still need historical research to bring them to the knowledge and understanding of our people. This paper will focus its attention on the former, the Fort Victoria Mutiny, which the Jesuit missionary and historian, Fr. Pablo Pastells, described as “an extraordinary event” the probable consequence of which would have upended the Spanish colonial regime much earlier than expected. Had not a Spanish officer got wind of the plot before it erupted, Pastells related after the fact that “a combined action by deportees and prisoners would have been capable of gathering some one thousand men, armed and equipped, who could have attacked Iligan, Cagayan and other places and finished off all the Spaniards, after which the revolt would have ignited other areas.” In fact, some 350 disciplinarios had achieved their initial objective if subjugating their Spanish officers and grabbed a substantial cache of armaments, and moved further eastward to Misamis and Bukidnon, and finally reached Agusan where much of the fighting occurred. This paper brings to light the fraught strategic implications in the Spanish camp whose forces in Mindanao were being shifted to Luzon to cope with the brewing unrest in the capital, and how the local communities in northern Mindanao coped with this unexpected eruption.