The Passing of Spanish Dominian

Forbes-Lindsay, C. H.: The Philippines under Spanish and American Rules. Philadelphia, 1906: pp. 161-200

Inadequate Reforms

We have already noticed the alcaldes-mayores, the governor-judges of provinces. A royal decree of 1844 instituted a reform in the qualiflcation and status of these officials. From that time the alcaldes were divided into three classes. Three years' service in each category was required for promotion to the next, and members of the highest grade were eligible for appointment to the post of justice. lt was provided that no person might be made alcalde unless he had practiced law for ten years, or had held an office for which a similar qualiflcation was required.

By the royal decree of 1860 the composite functions which had been performed by the alcaldes-mayores were separated, and thereafter their authority was restricted to judicial matters. All the ordinary jurisdiction and functions of a judge of first instance devolved upon an alcalde. Some governors continued to exercise similar functions. Courts of first instance, and governors exercising the functions of such, took cognizance of all criminal and civil cases arising within their territories, except such as came under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical authorities, or other special courts, and the audencias. They gave judgment in all civil cases in which the interest involved exceeded 1,000 pesetas.

[Austrian-Philippine Homepage] [Culture and History] [Top]
created: November 20, 1997
updated: November 23, 1997
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger