SULTANATE HISTORY 1904: Panglima Hassan


BaronessAnne de Bretagne 2:22am Aug 31
SULTANATE HISTORY 1904: Panglima Hassan (Central figure in picture), killed in action against the Americans on March 4, 1904 at Bud Bagsak (“Mount Bagsak”).

Hassan was the district commander of Luuk, Sulu, under the Sulu Sultanate. He was the first Tausug leader to defy the sultan’s order, that, in the interest of peace, the people should acknowledge American sovereignty. As an Imam (roughly translates to “prayer leader”), Panglima Hassan looked at the intrusive American “infidels” as threats to Islam and Moro society . The Tausug Moros had allowed the Spaniards to build a garrison in Siasi and a church in Jolo by virtue of the 1878 peace pact, but that was all. After 300 years of almost continuous warfare, the Spanish had known better than to try and impose their authority over the fiercely independent Sulu people. But the Americans — backed by utterly lethal modern weapons — had no such reservations.

In early November 1903, Hassan and about 3,000 to 4,000 warriors besieged the American garrison in Jolo. Armed only with krises (wavy-edged swords) and some old rifles, they bottled up the Americans for a week before being forced to withdraw. Following a battle, Hassan was captured while bathing near his camp at Lake Seit in late November 1903, but he soon escaped. He resumed the war in February 1904 when, together with Datu (“Chief”) Laksamana and Datu Usap, they attacked the pro-American Sultan Kiram and his forces in the battle of Pampang. He lost in the battle, and was later killed with his two companions along the crater of Bud Bagsak. Hassan had 17 wounds in his body, but died game, crawling with his kris in his mouth toward the nearest wounded American soldier when the last bullet dispatched him.

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