Quintin Salas (31 October 1870 – 24 January 1917) was a revolutionary leader in Panay during the American Occupation. He led the battles for independence in Dumangas and liberated the towns of Barotac Nuevo, Pototan, Passi, and Banate in Iloilo on 28 October 1898. Upon his confiscation of the weapons, ammunitions, and important documents of the Americans, he set the prisoners of the province free.
Salas was born in Dumangas, Iloilo. He was the seventh child of Nicholas Salas and Nicolasa Dicen. He was a student in his relative'ss school, later entered the Jaro Seminary, and decided to transfer to Instituto de Molo managed by the famous Visayan teacher Manuel Locsin. Before the revolution, he was the teniente mayor and capitan del pueblo of Dumangas. The Spanish government saw his potential and in 1898, he was appointed the commander of the militia to confront the American forces.
The planning for a revolution against Spain took place in Iloilo by a clique called Comite Conspirador of Molo. Salas was present at the meeting and immediately pledged his support. He was appointed to be one of the chiefs of the revolutionary forces. However, when his involvement in the revolutionary activities was discovered by the parish priest of Dumangas and the municipal captain, he had no choice but to launch the attack prematurely in the towns of the northern zone even if the long awaited arms supply from Luzon had not yet arrived. He and his men attacked sitio Kabug in Banate with arms taken from their town hall. After their attack, they immediately went to Ugasan where he set up his headquarters. The Spaniards retaliated and sent a group of guardia civil and part of the volunteers from Boratac Viejo under the leadership of Angel Tupas, who was invited to participate in the revolution but refused the offer.
On 12 October 1898, Salas and his men continued to liberate the town of San Enrique although they lack the arms to do the mission. Six days later, he attacked Dingle using guerrilla warfare tactics, and they were able to capture the timbres of the tribunal and the justice of the peace of the town. The cura managed to escape but not the Spanish appraiser of the Compania Tabacalera. On their way to Anilao, they were engaged in a fight with 94 guardia civiles, and emerged victorious in the battle, forcing the Spaniards and their captain to retreat to Anilao. The Spanish captain sent him a letter proposal, offering him pardon from General Diego de los Rios. Salas replied and invited the captain in sitio Palypay, but he did not show up. He planned to free all the prisoners in Pototan jail, and made them his soldiers. They forced the Spanish to flee to Iloilo City were they would concentrate. He was promoted to colonel at Santa Barbara convention and he was designated as chief of operations in central zone of Iloilo. He was given the order from the Manila revolutionary government to take possession of all the towns of Pototan, Anilao, Barotac Nuevo, and Dumangas. They were also successful in taking Banate, Barotac Viejo, Passi, and Mina, where they caught all the Spanish priests. All the rebels in the captured towns were formalized, including the volunteers that the Spanish government formed was obliged to put themselves in the service of the revolution. By 8 November 1898, Quintin had approximately 4,000 men under his direct command.
On 10 November 1898, he was given another order to restore order in Balantang post where troops were demoralized. He advised that all the rebels quarters should be transferred to Laganes. Salas and his 800 men were among the first to occupy Jaro, which was evacuated by General Diego de los Rios. On 2 January 1899, he was also appointed by the Federal Council of the Visayas to capture and pursue all the the bandits in Iloilo. He successfully caught several bandits and recovered many carabaos. When the Americans came, he surrendered on 4 October 1901. After his release, he enrolled in a law school in Manila, then passed the bar exam in 1912. He later became the president of the Iloilo Bar Association.
Salas died of tuberculosis in August 1917.
- Quirino, Carlos. 1995. "Who's Who in Philippine History." Manila: Tahanan Book.