Joaquin Pardo de Tavera

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Joaquin Pardo de Tavera y Gomez (1829-1884) was a reformist, liberal-minded lawyer and an early supporter of the Filipino cause in the 19th century. He is known primarily for his involvement in the events that lead to the Cavite Mutiny in 1872 and for unjustly being exile to the Marianas Islands for his beliefs.

Early Life

Joaquin Pardo de Tavera was born in San Roque, Cavite on 19 September 1829. His father Julian Pardo de Tavera was originally from Toledo, Spain and was descended from a distinguished family that included a cardinal inquisitor and the Marques de Magahon. His mother was Juana Maria Gomez, also of Spanish descent. His brother was Felix Pardo de Tavera, Sr., the father of his favorite nephew Trinidad Pardo De Tavera. Joaquin would later raise him as his own son, when the young Trinidad's father died prematurely.

He was educated at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and at the University of Santo Tomas, where he studied law. Among his professors were one of the most distinguished jurists at that that Jose M. Jugo and Don Francisco de Marcaida. He receive his license on 27 August 1857.


He was favored early on when he was appointed as a "relator" to the Real Audiencia and as lieutenant-governer of the Batanes Islands. Later he became a junior partner in the law firm of Jose M. Jugo, where he acquired prestige and connections. He was appointed as "promotor fiscal" of the city of Manila in February 1861 and elevated as the "teniente fiscal" of the Real Audiencia on 12 May 1864. Enjoying prestige he was a made a member of various institutions such as the Obras Pias, Colegio de Santa Isabel, and the Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais.

Two years later he was appointed as "catedratico" or tenured professor at the University of Santo Tomas, which he passed after a rigorous examination. It is to be noted that his contemporary at the University was Father Jose Burgos who was also taking his doctorate in canon law at the same time. Under Governor-General Jose de la Gandara he was conferred a doctorate of laws on 2 September 1865. Joaquin Pardo de Tavera had a winning manner as a university professor and attracted many disciples such as Antonio Ma. Regidor, Florentino Torres, Mamerto Natividad, and Felipe Buencamino, who were attracted to his liberal ideas and open manner.

Pardo de Tavera organized a group of like-minded intellectuals and students who openly advocated reforms in the colonial government. This group was informally known as the Comite de Reformadores, and they openly supported the arrival of Governor-General Carlos de la Torre who arrived in the Philippines after the Queen of Spain Isabella II was overthrown by the 1868 Revolution. The Comite de Reformadores was presented to the new Governor-General by the civil governor of Manila, Jose Cabezas de Herrera. The Spanish historian Jose Montero y Vidal noted that “from that moment the Filipino ‘redentoristas’ (reformists) commenced the work of propaganda against Spain.” Part of their work was to convince the Spanish authorities to extend the new rights secured by peninsular Spaniards after the 1868 revolution to the Philippines.

On 21 September 1869 the group were prominently featured at a banquet honoring the promulgation of the new Spanish Constitution and were seen toasting the liberal governor-general de la Torre. Among those present were Father Jose Burgos, Jacobo Zobel y Zangroniz, and Maximo Paterno.

Their jubilation would be short lived with the appointment of Governor-General Rafael Izquierdo because of reactionary and contradictory political developments back in the peninsula. It was Rafael Izquierdo who would implement an iron-fist policy in persecuting the reformist ilustrados. When the the Cavite Mutiny broke out on 20 January 1872, the Governor-General lost no time in laying direct blame on the reformist secular priests, who were advocating greater representation, as well as members of the Comite de Reformadores.

Joaquin Pardo de Taveras was arrested with Jose Ma. Basa, Antonio Ma. Regidor, Crisanto de los Reyes, and fathers Jose Burgos, Jacinto Zamora, Mariano Gomez. on 21 January 1872. After a hasty trial the 3 priest were sent to be executed and the rest were sentenced to exile in the Marianas for 6 years. Joaquin’s wife Gertrudis Gorricho voluntarily accompanied him on his lonely journey. However two years after he received a royal pardon on 23 November 1874.

He and his wife left for Paris, never to return to the Philippines. In Paris he would join his favorite nephew Trinidad Pardo De Tavera and his sister-in-law Juliana Gorricho.

Joaquin Pardo de Tavera died in the French capital on March 19, 1884 and was buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Joaquin had three children: Eloisa, who married Daniel Earnshaw; Beatrice, who married Manuel de Yriarte; and Joaquin, Jr., who helped establish the National Bureau of Investigation.


  • Artigas y Cuerva, Manuel. National Glories: The Events of 1872, A Historico-Bio-Bibliographical Account. Translation and Notes by O.D.Corpuz. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 1996.
  • Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography. Volume I. Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications, 1955.
  • Schumacher, John N. Revolutionary Clergy, The Filipino Clergy and the Nationalist Movement, 1850-1903. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1981.
  • Madrid, Carlos. “Beyond Distances: Governance, Politica and Deportation in the Mariana Islands from 1870 to 1877. Saipan, Mariana Islands: Northern Council for Humanities, 2006.



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