Gregorio S. Araneta

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Gregorio S. Araneta
Gregorio S. Araneta.jpg
Philippine Commission
In office
February 25, 1909 – October 27, 1913
Secretary of Finance and Justice
In office
July 1, 1908 – October 10, 1913
Appointed by Governor-General James Francis Smith
Preceded by Henry C. Ide
Succeeded by Victorino Mapa
Attorney General of the Philippines
In office
July 16, 1906 – July 1, 1908
Preceded by Lebbeus R. Wifley
Succeeded by Ignacio Villamor
Solicitor-General of the Philippines
In office
June 15, 1901 – July 16, 1906
Preceded by office created
Succeeded by Ignacio Villamor
Vice-President of the Assembly of Representatives
In office
September 15, 1898 – November 13, 1899
Personal details
Born April 19, 1869
Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines
Died May 9, 1930(1930-05-09) (aged 61)
Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Spouse(s) Carmen Zaragoza
Occupation lawyer and businessman

Gregorio Soriano Araneta (April 19, 1869 – May 9, 1930), also known as Don Gregorio S. Araneta, was a Filipino lawyer, businessman, nationalist and patriot, during the Spanish and American colonial periods.[1]

Early Life and Career[edit]

In 1891, he graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in law. He defended prominent Filipinos accused of financially supporting the Katipunan.

In May 1898, Araneta was appointed member of the 21-man Consultative Assembly, which the Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines Basilio Agustin formed in an attempt to rally Filipinos to the Spanish side of the Spanish-American War. This assembly, however, failed.

Aguinaldo's Cabinet[edit]

Araneta was chosen Secretary of the Malolos Congress and participated in the drafting of the Malolos Constitution. He resigned as Secretary and accepted his appointment as Justice of the Ministry of Justice.

Supreme Court[edit]

On January 25, 1899, the Diplomatic Corps of the First Philippine Republic was organized and Araneta was among those appointed as member but he chose to abandon the revolutionary government. Months after the Philippine-American War broke out, America established the civil courts in the Philippines. In May 1899, General Elwell Otis appointed Araneta as Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, the youngest to occupy the position at 30 years old. Araneta’s sympathies became clearer when he joined the Federal Party that favored America’s annexation of the Philippines.

Bureau of Justice[edit]

On June 15, 1901, he was appointed [Solicitor General (Philippines)|[Solicitor General]]. When Attorney General Libbeus R. Wifley accepted a post in China, Araneta was made his successor. He took his oath of office as Attorney General on July 16, 1906. Two years after, July 1, 1908, he was appointed to the Philippine Commission and at the same time Secretary of Justice and Finance. He was the first Filipino to hold a sensitive post, being a commissioner with portfolio. He resigned from government service on October 10, 1913. With Salvador Zaragoza, he established a law office, which attracted many clients.

Later career[edit]

During the first Senatorial election in 1916, he ran for a seat in the Senate but lost to Rafael Palma. That same year, he accepted a teaching post in the University of Santo Tomas and at the same attended to his private law practice. Araneta convinced the Supreme Court to reverse its previous decision on two cases. Araneta also gained respect for his ethical principles.[citation needed] He turned down the offer of House Speaker Sergio Osmeña to seat as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in favor of Manuel Araullo, who he thought to be more deserving for the post. He was again offered the same position during the time of Senate President Manuel Luis Quezon but he also declined, this time for delicadeza, because he was then involved in a case pending before the Supreme Court.

Personal life[edit]

Araneta married Carmen Zaragoza on March 7, 1896. Their marriage was blessed with 14 children: Carmen, Jose, Salvador, Consuelo, Paz, Rosa, Antonio, Teresa, Ramon, Vicente, Conchita, Margarita, Luis and Francisco.

Death[edit]

He died on May 9, 1930 of myocardial infarction.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GREGORIO S. ARANETA" (PDF). nhi.gov.ph.