Arsenio Cruz Herrera

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Arsenio Cruz Herrera
Arsenio Cruz-Herrera.jpg
Mayor of Manila
In office
August 7, 1901 – September 18, 1905
Vice Mayor Ramón J. Fernández (1901-1904)
Preceded by Don Eugenio del Saz-Orozco de la Oz (last Spanish Mayor)
Succeeded by Félix Roxas
Member of the 3rd Philippine Legislature from Rizal's First District
In office
October 16, 1912 – February 24, 1916
Preceded by Jose Lino Luna
Succeeded by Arcadio Santos
Assistant Secretary of Interior of the First Philippine Republic
In office
President Emilio Aguinaldo
Personal details
Born (1863-12-14)December 14, 1863
Tondo, Manila, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died April 8, 1917(1917-04-08) (aged 53)
Political party Progresista Party (1907-1914)
Other political
Democrata Party (1914-1916)
Spouse(s) Julita Alejandrino (1888-1912), Bernarda Sastre (1912-1917)
Children Jose, Rosario, Miguel, Concepcion, Augustin, Natividad, Augusto, and Emmanuela Cruz-Herrera
Alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran, (AB, 1880); University of Santo Tomas, (1889, 1892)
Profession Lawyer
Military service
Allegiance  First Philippine Republic
Battles/wars Philippine Revolution

Arsenio Cruz Herrera (December 14, 1863 – April 8, 1917) was considered the first Filipino mayor of Manila. He was also the leader of the Progresista Party from 1907 to 1914.

Early life[edit]

Arsenio was born on December 14, 1863 in Tondo, Manila. His parents were Tomás Cruz and Ambrosia Herrera. He studied in a school under Fortunato Jacinto, then at Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he received a degree of bachiller en artes (Bachelor of Arts) in 1880. He later enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas to attain a licentiate in canon law (1889) and jurisprudence (1892). At the University of Santo Tomas, he studied while working at the university library. He was able to start his own law office right after graduating, a firm where Juan Sumulong and Rafael Palma were later able to work as young lawyers. His law practice earned as much as eighty thousand pesos per year.

Philippine Revolution[edit]

Little was known about his activities during the Philippine Revolution. According to Manuel Artigas, he advised General Maximo Hizon on the capture of Angeles, Pampanga. After the return of Emilio Aguinaldo in the Philippines, Cruz Herrera together with Ambrosio Rianzares and Felipe Buencamino.

First Philippine Republic[edit]

Cruz Herrera was offered the post as War Director of the new revolutionary government, a responsibility he refused to take. Antonio Luna was made War Director instead. Cruz Herrera rather chose to manage the official government newspaper, the El Heraldo de la Revolución. His efforts made the revolutionary government to establish the Universidad Cientifico-Literaria de Filipinas in 1899, where he taught law. During the Malolos Congress, he was elected as one of the four congress members of Manila. He was also part of the commission that drafted the Malolos Constitution, which was enacted on January 21, 1899. He later realized that the armed struggle for independence was vain, so he decided to cooperate with the Americans.

American period[edit]

Cruz Herrera was convinced on the peace plans of the Schurman Commission, and later joined a group that supported American autonomy in the Philippines. During the Taft Commission, he was appointed President of the Municipal Board of Manila. However, he did not enjoy any influence in the city legislation. He resigned on September 18, 1905. During the First Philippine Assembly elections and the Second Philippine Assembly elections, he led the Progresista Party and ran for the First District of Rizal. He lost in both occasions, but he won the seat for Rizal's First District in the Third Philippine Assembly elections. His Progresista Party, however, never had the majority wrested from the Nacionalista Party from 1907 to 1912. On April 2, 1914, he moved to the Democrata Party.

Personal life[edit]

Cruz Herrera was first married on September 9, 1888 to married Julita Alejandrino, sister of the revolutionary general, José Alejandrino. They had eight children namely: José, Rosario, Miguel, Concepción, Augustín, Natividad, Augusto, and Emmanuela. On March 4, 1912, Julita died. Later, he married Bernarda Sastre. They did not have any children. Cruz Herrera died on April 8, 1917.


Political offices
Preceded by
New office
Mayor of Manila
Succeeded by
Félix M. Roxas