Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Filipino Martyr: ISIDORO DAYAO TORRES
ISIDORO DAYAO TORRES
Known as “Mating Lawin” (Hawk Eye), Isidoro Torres was one of the few formally
educated generals of the Katipunan.
He was born April 10, 1860 in Matimbo, Malolos, Bulacan. He finished his Bachelor of
Arts degree in the University of Santo Tomas.
Torres showed his radical sense of social justice early. When he was only 16, he was
implicated in a plot to kill the parish priest who had imposed unreasonably high-church fees.
He joined the Katipunan and helped plant its seed in Bulacan. He organized the militias of
the towns of Pandi (Kutang Kakarong), Paombong (Kutang Binakod), and San Miguel (Kutang
At Biak-na-Bato, he was promoted to colonel and, later, to brigadier general by Emilio
Torres was the general of the famed Apoy Provincial Council of Bulacan.
Torres was a signatory to the pact of Biak-na-Bato with the Spaniards. In keeping with its
provisions, he merged his troops with those of the Spaniards under Gov. Gen. Basilio Agustin, and
headed the “Militia Filipina” in Malolos as part of the defense against the Americans. But this was
only a ploy, a tactical move to preserve the unity of the revolutionaries left behind by Aguinaldo,
who had gone on self-exile to Hong Kong with most of the high-ranking members of his military
When Aguinaldo joined the Americans in the war against Spain, General Torres ordered
the whole “Militia Filipina” to renounce its loyalty to Spain and once again fight for independence.
During the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution, and the inauguration of the
Philippine Republic, Torres was at the head of the 6,000-man Filipino army that marched in the
parade, being the appointed chief of Central Battalion No. 2, as well as director de armas, heneral
de plaza, and undersecretary of war.
With the American invasion, Torres was appointed governor-general of Bulacan with
juridical power. He launched a guerrilla warfare against the new enemy. Although recorded by
American military chroniclers as ferocious, his guerrillas were no match against the better-armed
and well-organized American troops.
During the American regime, he settled with his wife in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, where
he became justice of the peace, municipal councilor, and finally, a delegate to the Philippine
He died on December 5, 1928.
Balite, Rafael D. Hen. Isidoro D. Torres ng Malolos. 1990.
Manuel, Arsenio E. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume II. Quezon City: Filipiniana
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
Zaide, Sonia F. Zaide, Gregorio. Documentary Sources of Philippine History Volume VIII.
Manila: National Bookstore, 1990.