Ramon Blanco was a Spanish brigadier and colonial administrator. He served as a governor of Cuba and Sto. Domingo, and as a governor-general of the the Philippines from 9 December 1893 to 13 December 1896.
He first entered the Philippine shores in 1866 and left in 1871 to render military service at the Third Carlist War.
In the year 1893, Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo has sent Blanco in the Philippines and made him the Governor-General of the colony.
It was during his time when the electricity service reached Manila and was made available.
Blanco announced in the 1895 Philippine Exposition that a great future is predestined in the archipelago.
It was during Blanco's tenure as Governor-General when the Philippine revolution broke out; starting with the birth of the independence movement Katipunan. This challenged his conciliatory stance, seeking to improve Spain's image in the face of world opinion.
In 25 May 1895, Blanco ordered the exile of nine citizens of Malolos, Bulacan, whom mostly friends and relatives of Marcelo H. Del Pilar, for conspiracy against the Church. This was due to a complaint sent by Father Bernardino, the parish priest of Malolos, to the Archbishop of Manila about the presence of illegal Masonic associations and the state of indiscipline and insubordination of his parish.
In 30 August 1896, two days after the outbreak in Balintawak, Blanco placed eight provinces of Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija under martial law and declared “state of war.” The said provinces later became a representation figure as the eight rays of the sun in the Philippine flag.
During the year, Blanco permitted to Rizal, then a political exile in Dapitan and aims to disassociate himself from the Philippine Revolution, to serve as a volunteer doctor in Cuba, wherein a similar revolution was also taking place.
On 1 August 1896, Rizal and his wife Josephine Bracken left the country with letter of recommendation from Blanco. But he was arrested in Spain and sent back to Manila to face charges of rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy, which later found him convicted and sentenced to death. It was a decision that Blanco himself object.
When Rizal was executed on 30 December 1896, Blanco presented his sash and sword to the Rizal Family as an apology.
The governor-general had been attacked by conservative forces for being too conciliatory towards the independence-seeking Filipinos. This resulted into a series of complaints sent by the parties to Madrid, seeking to oust the liberal Blanco.
Blanco was forced out of office in 13 December 1896 by the power of a royal decree. He was replaced by Camilio Polavieja, Jr.
Birth and Death
Ramón Blanco Erenas Riera y Polo, 1st Marquis of Peña Plata was born in San Sebastian on 1833. He died in 1906.
- "Today in History" Presidential Museum and Library.(Accessed 25 May 2016)