Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Around 1900

In 1895, just three years before the Americans took possession of Guam, the elite of Hagåtña met to cast their consultative votes for the appointment of city officials. The Chamorro elite (principalía) meant former and standing city officials, whose vote was merely a recommendation. The Spanish authority made the actual decision, and the priest of the city or village added his voice to the process as well. In a few cases, non-Chamorros were also among the elite as, for example, long-time Filipino residents, especially those married to Chamorros.

The highest office for Hagåtña was the Gobernadorcillo, literally the "little Governor." Other positions were of the teniente (assistant), juez de sementera (superintendent of fields), alguacil (sheriff) and the juez de ganado (superintendent of farm animals), among others. The city was divided into barangays  (neighborhoods) and these were headed by a cabeza (head).

The 15 electors were as follows :

Juan de Castro
Manuel Aflague
Remigio Martínez
Justo Dungca
José Wilson
Miguel de Borja
Eulogio de la Cruz
José Laguaña
Juan Santos
Juan Aguon
Juan Torres
José Quenga
Joaquín Pérez
Justo de León Guerrero
Venancio Roberto

Nominated for the position of Gobernadorcillo of Hagåtña were :

Remigio Pangelinan Martínez
Joaquín Cruz Pérez
Justo Sánchez de León Guerrero

In the voting, Martínez received 5 votes, Pérez 4 and de León Guerrero 6, for a total of 15 votes.

So these results were sent to the Spanish Governor.

The report of the parish priest, Father Francisco Resano, also was submitted to the Governor. This is what he had to say about the three candidates. I will not name them, since the descendants of these candidates could very well be alive today.

About one of them, Fr Resano said that he was apathetic, of little activity and lacking any interest or enthusiasm.

About another, Fr Resano said he was somewhat good, but not very good.

About the third and final candidate, Fr Resano said that he had "very beautiful manners" (de bellísimas costumbres) but was not a strong character (de poco carácter), meaning he was not someone who took command of his responsibilities and duties.

In the end, the Spaniards chose Justo Sánchez de León Guerrero to be Gobernadorcillo of Hagátña.

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