HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 51 no. 1-4 (2005)

Captain Mariano A. Pacheco: The Most Accomplished Revolutionary Leader in Leyte during the Philippine-American War

Rolando O. Borrinaga

Discipline: Philippine History



This paper presents the annotated English translation of the biographical account of Captain Mariano A. Pacheco, a native of Bulacan, who was the most accomplished revolutionary leader during the Philippine-American War in Leyte. The data for this account was apparently gathered from contemporary documents and interviews with Pacheco by Manuel Artigas y Cuerva, a Leyte born Spanish mestizo, and the biography was appended to the notes of the chapter on the revolutionary years in his book Reseña de 1a Provincia de Leyte (Manila, 1914). 

On orders of General Mariano Trias, then Lt. Pacheco escorted the only shipment of rifles and ammunition from the Aguinaldo Revolutionary Government to the revolutionaries in Leyte on board the "San Nicolas" in early February 1899. These were turned over to General Vicente R. Lukban, the political-military governor for Leyte before his relief by General Ambrocio R. Mojica. Pacheco was subsequently assigned to the Maasin-based Southern Leyte zone ofoperations. His effective leadership of this revolutionary front was highlighted by the capture of an entire team of American Scouts after a naval skirmish off Maasin, which earned him a promotion to captain, and the successful attack on the U.S. Army detachment in Malitbog, which he personally led.

After the Filipino Revolutionary Army broke up into guerrilla bands following Gen. Mojica's defeat in the Battle of Perikuhon in Burauen, Leyte, on April 26, 1900, Capt. Pacheco received more columns of revolutionary forces that moved away from the incessant persecution by American forces in Northern Leyte. He led the most creative, tenacious, and self-supporting resistance among all the guerrilla fronts in the island.

Following Gen. Mojica's surrender to the U.S. authorities on May 18, 1901, a Revolutionary Assembly in Leyte selected Capt. Pacheco as his successor. But Gen. Lukban in Samar had other plans. On August 3, 1901, he issued a proclamation assuming his command of Leyte as well, and then operated through Major Florentino Penaranda, a Leyteño revolutionary officer. Around the middle of August 1901, Pacheco surrendered alone and without weapons to Lieutenant Ansell of the U.S. Army at the military detachment in Malitbog, and buthe kept silent about the state of the Revolution.

In 1912, Pacheco was elected secretary of the Veteranos de la Revolucion, an association founded by former Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo.