|24 June 1810 – 14 January 1867|
|Place of birth:||Manila|
|Place of death:||Madrid, Spain|
Juan Francisco Lecaros y Galarraga (24 June 1810 – 14 January 1867) was a lawyer and a Filipino representative to the Spanish Cortes. He was also one of the consultants of the Banco Español-Filipino which is now known as the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Early Life and Education
Juan Francisco Lecaros was a mestizo who was born in Binondo, Manila on 24 June 1810. His father, Manuel Francisco Lecaros, was of Mexican descent and was the captain of one of the galleons that took part in the Manila-Acapulco trade. There is nothing known about his mother, but his maternal grandfather was Pedro Galarraga, who was admiral of an Acapulco vessel and the owner of an estate in Makati City. His family’s mansion was located in Escolta, Manila near the Puente de España now known as Jones Bridge.
Lecaros studied law in the University of Santo Tomas. He passed the bar on 21 June 1823 and founded a law firm which made him famous in the field. Joaquin Pardo de Tavera was once his law partner before the latter set up his own firm.
Lecaros was appointed as one of the Philippine representatives in the Spanish Cortes along with Andres Garcia Camba when the legislature was reestablished in 1834. He was already living in Madrid, Spain at that time as an agent of the ayuntamiento (town council) of Manila. . They took their oath of office on 24 November 1835. However, they were not able to accomplish anything during the session as the Cortes was eventually dissolved on 27 January 1836.
Nevertheless, Lecaros and Camba were active in their roles as representatives of the Philippines in the Spanish Cortes. The two presented petitions to the Secretario del Despacho de Hacienda (Secretary of the Property Office), asking for the moderation of the excessive duties on the introduction of brandy into the Philippines and for the sending of few pensioners to the islands for the benefit of the native Philippine Spaniards. Lecaros also presented a petition to the leader of the Spanish cabinet asking for the suppression of the tobacco monopoly, but his request was not granted.
The Cortes was again reestablished and Lecaros and Cambia were reinstated through an election held on 31 July 1836. However, a new decree dated 24 May 1936 granted four representative slots for the Philippines. Lecaros and Cambia were not chosen in the election that took place from the 12th to the 14th of March 1837.
Lecaros then returned to the Philippines to resume his practice in law. One of the prominent cases he handled was the defense of his former colleague, Governor-General Camba in the latter's juicio de residencia.
During the term of Governor General Francisco de Paula from 1843 to 1844, Lecaros was appointed as the assessor of the Court of Commerce. He was also named one of the consultants of the El Banco Espanol de Filipino when it began operation in 1852.
Lecaros was an honorary oidor (hearer) of the court of Manila and honorary manager of the magistracy of Seville. He was also an examiner in the Real Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais .
Family and Personal Life
Lecaros retired to the family estate in Makati after he left public service. In 1861, he went to Madrid, where he died. He left a daughter named Maria, who married another deputy to the Cortes, Exequiel Ordonez.
- Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography, Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications, 1955.
- Mojares, Resil. Brains of the Nation. Quezon City: Ateneo Press, 2006.