Carlos María de la Torre y Navacerrada

Carlos María de la Torre y Navacerrada (1809–1879) was a Spanish soldier and politician. He served as Governor-General of the Philippines from 1869 to 1871, and is considered to be the most beloved of the Spanish Governors-General ever assigned in the Philippines.

Carlos María de la Torre
Carlos Maria de la Torre.jpg
82nd Governor-General of the Philippines
In office
23 June 1869 – 4 April 1871
MonarchAmadeo I of Spain
Succeeded byRafael de Izquierdo
Personal details
Born(1809-02-27)27 February 1809
Died2 December 1879(1879-12-02) (aged 70)

Governor-General of the PhilippinesEdit

A Carlist army officer, he was sent from Spain by Francisco Serrano after the ouster of Queen Isabel II as result of the La Gloriosa revolution. He was considered a liberal Spaniard who practiced the liberal and democratic principles for imposing liberal laws.[2] He wanted to have the bronze statue of Isabel II, first unveiled in 1860, melted so that it would be put to better use. However, the Manila City Council saved it by declaring the statue municipal property.[3]

He established the Guardia Civil in the Philippines and gave amnesty to rebels,[4] of which the most prominent was Casimiro Camerino (El tulisán), the leader of bandits in Cavite.[5] He organized the bandits given amnesty into an auxiliary force of the Guardia Civil. He abolished flogging, relaxed media censorship, and began limited secularization of education.[3] He was also very close to the ilustrados, a group of Filipinos who understood the situation of the Philippines under Spanish rule. His supporters had done a Liberal Parade in front of the Malacañan Palace.[6]

Only two weeks after the arrival of de la Torre as governor-general, Burgos and Joaquín Pardo de Tavera led a demonstration at the Plaza de Santa Potenciana. Among the demonstrators were José Icaza, Jácobo Zobel, Ignacio Rocha, Manuel Genato, and Máximo Paterno. The cry was "Viva Filipinas para los Filipinos!". In November 1870, a student movement, denounced as a riot or motín, at the University of Santo Tomas formed a committee to demand reforms on the school and its curricula. It later announced support of Philippine autonomy and recognition of the Philippines as a province of Spain. The committee was headed by Felipe Buencamino.[7]

De la Torre was single and he had a mistress who had great influence on him. His mistress, Maria del Rosario Gil de Montes de Sanchiz, flared up friar opposition because of many reasons. One of the reasons was she authored a book entitled El Hombre de Dios. It was criticized because a woman wrote it.[3]

Another is during a festivity in Malacañang Palace that was mainly attended by Philippine creoles, who are now definitely called Filipinos. She arrived at the place wearing a ribbon which said Viva la Libertad (English: Long live liberty) and Viva el Pueblo Soberano (English: Long live the sovereign nation).[3]

In March 1872, de la Torre wrote to Madrid concerning his decision to get relieved from his post. However, his patron in Spain was assassinated the previous month and orders for his relief was given nine days before his letter was written.[5] He was succeeded by Governor-General Rafael de Izquierdo, whom was described as the opposite of his liberal-mindedness.[who?]


  1. ^ Short obit in ''La Illustracion Espanola y Americana 24, 22 January 1880, p. 54 (fifth from last on the page)
  2. ^ "The Liberal Regime of Governor de la Torre" (pdf). Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Ocampo, Ambeth (2010). Looking Back. Anvil Publishing. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-971-27-2336-0.
  4. ^ "Kaharian Ng Español Sa Pilipinas Ang Huling Sandaan Taon, 1800 - 1898". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b Corpuz, Onofre. "Roots of the Filipino Nation". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  6. ^ Dela Torre, Gil. "CARLOS MARIA DE LA TORRE, Philippines' Most Beloved Governor General". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012.
  7. ^ Joaquin, Nick (1990). Manila, My Manila. Vera-Reyes, Inc. pp. 97–100.
Government offices
Preceded by
Manuel Maldonado
Governor-General of the Philippines
23 June 1869 – 4 April 1871
Succeeded by
Rafael de Izquierdo