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Political Freedom

Long before Oroquieta was established as a city, the historical "make-up" of its political system was very broad. According to history, in 1861 before Misamis was divided into two provinces, Layawan (Oroquieta) was under the legal auspices of the Governor of the Province of Misamis. At that time the capitol building where the provincial governor held his office, was located in Cagayan (the now so-called Cagayan de Oro City). The provincial governor appointed the municipal officials and headed by what was then called "Capitan" (Mayor). Since then, many Capitans were appointed as years went by.

Oroquieta Dawn

As Philippines struggled for independence, Oroquieta had shared its countryís sacrifices. The Philippine independence from the Spanish rule was short-changed due to the invasion by the Americans, which led to another war that Oroquietanians have to endure. According to historical reports, the invasion involved the arrival of approximately 200 American soldiers in a military transport vessel. The vessel was reportedly anchored at the bay near the public Plaza. As soon as the soldiers landed, they occupied the vacant Catholic convent located just across from the Plaza and prepared to execute their plan to conquer Oroquieta and capture its people.

Holy Rosary Church

While the Americans were preparing for their battle plan, the Filipino soldiers were also busy preparing for their plan of attack. The fearless Filipino soldiers fought with so much courage and bravery in hopes to keep their independence. However, the Americanís mighty war power gave the Filipino soldiers no choice, but withdrew from the battle and retreated to the mountains leaving their fallen comrades behind. According to reports, there were approximately one hundred seventeen (117) Filipino soldiers who have died during this battle. Many of them were reportedly being buried behind the Catholic Church as evident by some worn out crosses found behind the church in the early 1930s. The war ended with the total surrender of the Philippine Army and its government to the Americans. The Philippine surrender brought peace within the country, as well as marked the beginning of the American rule and presence in the Philippines.

The American rule brought significant changes among the lives of Oroquietanians in such a way that an era of new learning had emerged. This era gave a way for Oroquietanians to have education, learn new livelihood, and most of all creating a good government to provide the people their rights as citizens.

Ging Mutia


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Saturday, April 19, 2003 (Revised)