Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office


    The name Agusan was derived from the Malay word meaning “where the water flows,” probably because of the Agusan River which traverses the whole area.

    Early Malay migrants from Borneo and Celebes arrived on balanghais and drove the Mamanwas into the hinterlands.

    Magellan's landing in Butuan and saying the first Mass are controversial.

    However, the later Villalobos and Legaspi expeditions did explore the coast, with Legaspi said to have traded for gold with the native chiefs in 1570.

    In 1591, the area was granted as an encomienda to the wife of Don Miguel de Loarca, a captain in Legaspi's retinue.

    Spanish missionaries were active on the lower Agusan in the 17th and 18th centuries in spite of the hill tribes' resistance and contending with Moro raids. 

    Early in the 17th century, the territory was tranferred to the Recollects who established a mission in Linao (now Bunawan).  These efforts, however, failed to develop the Agusan Valley into any kind of political or economic pre-eminence.

    In 1860, six military districts were formed in Mindanao with Surigao and Agusan forming the East District with Butuan as the military capital.

    On December 24, 1898, during the Philippine Revolution, Butuan was surrendered to the revolutionary forces

    On January 17, 1899, the Philippine flag was hoisted for the first time in Butuan by Wenceslao Gonzales, designated revolutionary governor of Surigao.

    On May 14, 1900, during the Philippine-American War, Vicente Roa valiantly defended Agusan where the Americans paid dearly for every inch of ground gained.

    In 1914, the Americans converted Agusan into a separate province by virtue of Act No. 1306 with Frederick Johnson as the first governor.

    On June 17, 1967, the province was divided into two by virtue of Republic Act No. 4979.