THE HISTORY OF
DASMARIÑAS: AMERICAN PERIOD
With the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898 (ratified
Washington on February 6, 1899), the Philippines was ceded to America by
Spain. The Americans came, and like Ceasar, they saw and conquered.
The American regime brought to Dasmariñas, as it did to other parts of
the country, several fundamental changes in the system of government, in
language, an in educational system.
The new invaders were very much unlike their predecessor, they generally
pursued their interest and conquest though a policy of attraction. Call
it an unmitigated form of brainwashing, the fact remains that the
Americans did their colonization job thoroughly and well - so thoroughly
and well that 44 years after the grant of Philippine independence, the
country is still as dependent as ever on America for their ultimate
The Americans did not really want to help the Philippines did not really
want to help the Philippines. She wanted to colonize her. As President
McKinley said, "The Philippines is ours as much as Louisiana by
purchase, or Texas or Alaska.
In the month of February, 1899, the Philippine-American War began.
General Henry Ware Lawton's brigade operated in the south of Manila,
including the province of Cavite, in the middle of June 1899. The
Americans could not land directly at Bacoor because Zapote river was
defended by the Filipino revolutionists who built trnches forming three
sides of an angle. The Filipinos who displayed a rare intelligence in
the construction of their defenses were hardly visible. The American's
14th Infantry Batallion swam across the Zapote river, and under cover of
military artillery, charged against the FIlipinos, who then retreated to
Moving southward, the Americans encountered more Filipino revolutionists
in the town of Bacoor, Imus and Perez-Dasmariñas, a batallion of
infantry narrowly escaped annihilation. News had been brought to the
American camp that the Filipino soldiers had evacuated the town and that
the native mayor was disposed to surrender it formally tothe Americans.
The batallion thus went there to take possesion, but before reaching the
place, the Filipino revolutionists closed in on all sides, and a heavy
firefight went on for hours. The Americans were saved from destruction
by a desperate bayonet charge when they were rescued by General Weaton's
Placido Campos, who sided with General Emilio Aguinaldo since the
beginning of the Filipino-American war in 1899, was captured together
with his nephew Guillermo Campos. They were imprisoned at the Provost
Political Prison on Postigo St., Intramuros, Manila where they were kept
for six months.
The Americans established the Military Government in 1900. By an order
of the Colonel of the American Batallion stationed in Perez-Dasmariñas,
the residents of the town nominated a president and a vice-president.
Elected through the raising of hands were Francisco Barzaga, president
and Conrado Malihan as vice-president. They served their office until
the civil government was established by the Americans in 1901.
On January 31, 1901, in accordance with President McKinley's
instructions that the Filipinos be allowed to manage their own municipal
governments, the Second Philippine Commission enacted the Municipal Code
Act Number 82, placing each municipal government under the following
officials: the municipal president, the vice-president, and the
municipal council, who were elected by qualified voters every two years.
In line with this, Placido Campos was again elected as the head of the
municipality of Perez-Dasmariñas in October 1901. Francisco Barzaga then
became the Treasurer of Dasmariñas. The two were re-elected in 1903.
In 1903, the American government made the first census in the
Philippines. The treasurer, Francisco Barzaga and the secretary, Esteban
Quique, made census enumerators for Perez-Dasmariñas under the
leadership of Placido Campos. When the census was finished, the total
population of the town was only 3,500. Before the revolution of 1898,
the population was 12,000. There were 20 Cabezas de Barangay and each of
which had 200 persons with ages ranging from 18 to 59 years, men and
women, the number of children which estimated to be more or less 6,000
will give us a figure of 12,000. Comparing the population prior to the
revolution with that of 1948, we can definitely say that there has been
a decrease in the population of Perez-Dasmariñas. The 1948 census
accounted to only 9,700 while that of the pre-revolutionary period
From 1905 to 1916, the law which was passed in 1901 took effect. It
combined the municipalities of Imus, Perez-Dasmariñas and Bacoor into
one, with the seat of government located at Imus. Consequently, on
January 5, 1905, Perez-Dasmariñas became a part of Imus. The reason for
this was to punish the insurrectos for not surrendering. Besides, the
inability of the people to work outside from fear of being suspected by
the Constabulary greatly decrease the income of the municipalities to
the detriment of the employees and the policemen.
In 1917, under Governor General Francis Burton Harrison (1913-1921),
Perez-Dasmariñas was again declared a separate municipality. The
provincial governor of Cavite, Antero S. Soriano, convened the local
leaders, including Placido Campos, Francisco Barzaga, and Felipe Tirona.
Together, they agreed to delete the word "Perez" and retain "Dasmariñas"
as the new name of the town. For the second time, Placido Campos headed
the rechristened town of Dasmariñas.
The old municipio or casa tribunal during the Spanish period was
destroyed at the height of the revolution. It got burned when the rebels
used it as hideout when the Spaniards attacked the town. It was located
on the southern part of the town, about 500 meters away from the church.