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Biography of Simón de Anda y Salazar (1701-1776)


Oidor of the Royal audience of Manila, captain general and Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines, born in Subijana (Álava) from October 28, 1701 and died in Imus (Cavite) October 30, 1776. It exerted the mandate on the Islands in two different periods: 1762-1764 and 1770-1776. His Government, prolific in reforms, initiated a period of improvement in the effectiveness of Spanish colonial rule and exploitation of the resources of the Islands.

Officially named captain general of the Philippines from October 5, 1762, Anda y Salazar had to establish the capital temporarily in Bacolor (Pampanga province) to the have been occupied Manila and most of Luzon island by an English force in the context of the seven years war (1756-1763). His first and most urgent task was therefore to reconquer the archipelago to the British; for this purpose, it adopted the tactic of winning the allegiance of the native Princes and block sea Luzon, at the same time that brought troops to attack the capital. The end of hostilities between Spain and England (February 1763) was unnecessary however take the offensive. Although cesar in Office March 17, 1763 - was replaced by Francisco de la Torre-, in reward for his services was allowed to enter triumphant in Manila at the head of the Spanish troops, on March 31. Upon arrival to the peninsula (1768) he was rewarded by Carlos III with the award of the Royal order and the appointment as Director of Castilla. For his part, Anda y Salazar gave account to the King of the internal unrest in the Islands against the Jesuits from other regular.

In memory of his brilliant performance in the Islands, a Royal Decree of April 1769 appointed him general Governor replacing José Raon, whose management had left much to be desired. Anda Salazar took office on July 19, 1770, and his first act was the arrest and prosecution of Raon on charges of having committed irregularities during the execution of the expulsion of the Jesuit order. The new Governor tried to promote the Secularization of the filipino clergy with measures such as visiting canonical to the orders or the replacement of regular pastors by secular priests, but before the fierce found opposition was forced to turn back in the policy. Others of his reforms were the prohibition of the use of native languages; the promotion of agriculture; measures to prevent abuses in the collection of taxes; the reorganization of the Navy; or the repeal of laws that prohibit to then the Spaniards installed anywhere in the archipelago or marry a native. He also had to deal with rebellious Muslim tribes of the South.

Simón de Anda y Salazar died of dysentery while passing a few weeks of rest at his summer residence in Cavite.


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