Biography of Pedro Manuel de Arandía y Santisteban

Governor general Spanish in the Philippines, born in Ceuta and died in Manila from May 31, 1759 (other sources point June 1), who was head of the Government of the islands between 1754 and 1759, period during which important military and economic reforms carried out.

Coming from a family of Basque origin, Arandía Pedro followed a military career in the course of which reached the graduations of Captain of the Royal Guard Spanish, valet of the King of the two Sicilies, and, finally, field marshal, in addition to gaining the distinction of Knight of the order of Calatrava. Appointed Governor of the Philippines by a decree of November 1752, he took official possession of the position in July of 1754. Following instructions from Madrid, he reorganized the colonial army with a view to improve their effectiveness
; Thus, he raised the income of officials and issued measures for stricter enforcement of the discipline. It also tried to implement a Real card that forced the teaching of the Spanish in all schools in the country, a measure that nevertheless encountered lack of sufficient teachers.

In economic terms, Arandia authorized the free use of the communal lands by the neighbors of the corresponding municipality, abolished the assignment of the collection of tributes to a third party in Exchange for a fixed percentage (July 1758) – from that moment the fundraising should be only under the authority of the authorities- and tax exempted those filipinos who voluntarily turn to the Catholic faith. With the religious justification, it also issued several provisions against the Chinese community who actually wanted to control more efficiently their commercial activities.

In spite of positive management, Arandia not enjoyed great popularity among the population of Manila due to the uncompromising spirit of mili
tary and by favoring a few loyal elements in tort of the local elite. His zeal to strengthen civilian power at the expense of the ecclesiastical power earned him further enmity from the clerical establishment of the archipelago; proof of this were their regulations of good governance (1759), which did not apply because of the fierce opposition that found by the regular orders.