History of the Provincial Government of Cavite

The provincial government of Cavite has a colorful history. During the greater part of the Spanish regime, the provincial administration was handled by the alcalde mayor, who was the representative of the governor and captain-general in Manila. As the alter ego of the Chief executive of the country, the alcalde mayor exercised over all executive, judicial, and legislative functions within his jurisdiction. He was a petty captain-general because he held under his orders the armed forces of the province for purposes of defense and maintenance of peace and order. By the Decree of June 25, 1847, the title of alcalde mayor in Cavite was changed to a politico-military governor. He was also tripped of judicial functions.

Col. Fernando Pargas was the last Spanish politico-military governor of Cavite. The government was then headquartered in the cabecera of Cavite, now Cavite City. Emilio Aguinaldo, the captain municipal of Cavite el Viejo, presently Kawit, asked Col. Pargas for a detachment of soldiers to protect his town from bandits on the morning of August 31, 1896. Aguinaldo planned to ambush the government troops on their way to Kawit and seize their arms, which his Magdalo followers needed urgently to start the armed uprising against Spain.

While waiting for his turn to talk to Pargas in his office, Aguinaldo learned that only one company of soldiers was left in Cavite, as all available infantrymen had been sent to Manila upon urgent summons from Governor and Captain- General Ramon Blanco. Governor Blanco had placed eight Luzon provinces (Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite) under martial law, following the discovery of the Katipunan secret society.

With this valuable information, Aguinaldo returned posthaste to Kawit. With the help of two councilmen, Candido Trias Tirona and Santiago Daño led the assault and capture of the town’s tribunal (municipal building). Earlier that day, the towns of San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias) and Noveleta had risen in arms and taken over the control of the local government. It was this cry of Cavite on August 31, 1896, that signaled the beginning of the revolution that engulfed the whole country. The revolutionists overthrew the Spanish sovereignty in the Philippines. Historical documents show that during the revolutionary regime, Cavite had three politico-military governors: Mariano Trias, Emiliano Riego de Dios, and Ladislao Diwa.

The American regime succeeded in the revolutionary regime. Cavite had nine provincial governors from the start of the American regime until the establishment of the Commonwealth government in 1935. These governors were Mariano Trias (1901-1905); Louis J. Van Schaick (1906-1907); Leonardo R. Osorio (1908-1909); Tomas Mascardo (1910-1912); Antero S. Soriano (1912-1919); Luis O. Ferrer, Sr.; (1919-1921); Raymundo Jeciel (1922-1925); Fabian Pugeda (1925-1931) and Pedro F. Espiritu (1931-1934).

The Commonwealth regime lasted from 1935 to 1946. It was interrupted by the Pacific war and the subsequent Japanese occupation of the country. Three governors served during the first phase: Ramon Samonte (1935- 1939), Emilio P. Virata, the acting governor (1939), and Luis Y. Ferrer, Jr. (1940-1944). Mariano N. Castañeda succeeded Ferrer and served from May to November 1944. The Japanese-sponsored Second Republic under Dr. Jose P. Laurel was proclaimed in October 1943. Dominador M. Camerino was appointed governor from December 1944 to the early part of February 1945. On February 13, Castañeda was recalled as governor by the commander of the advancing Allied forces.

The Commonwealth government was re-established towards the end of February 1945 with Rafael F. Trias as the governor. Francisco T. Arca succeeded after he served for only a few months.

The Third Republic was established on July 4, 1946, by the Tydings-McDuffie Act. Manuel Roxas, the last elected president of the commonwealth, continued as president of the Third Republic. During that time, Dominador Camerino was appointed governor. During the end of his term, Mariano B. Villanueva and Horacio Rodriguez took turns in replace of Camerino’s position.

Camerino was elected governor in 1952. However, toward the latter part of his term, Dominador Mangubat replaced him and acted as governor from 1954 to 1955. Delfin Montano followed and elected as governor for four consecutive terms from 1956 to 1971. Lino D. Bocalan succeeded him in 1972. Dominador M. Camerino followed and served as acting governor from October 1, 1972, until his death on July 24, 1979.

Juanito R. Remulla was appointed as acting governor on September 25, 1979. Under the Third Republic, he was elected governor on January 30, 1980. President Marcos proclaimed the Fourth Republic in 1981. and still, Remulla was in his service as governor until May 1986. Fernando C. Campos succeeded him from 1986 to 1987. Remulla was reelected for a long term (1987-1995). Epimaco A. Velasco succeeded from 1995 to January 1998. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. was appointed in place of him when Velasco was given a position as Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Revilla served from February 2, 1998 to 2001. Erineo “Ayong” S. Maliksi replaced him in 2001. Maliksi served for three consecutive terms (2001 – 2010).

Juanito Victor “Jonvic” C. Remulla took his oath as the new governor of Cavite on June 26, 2010, at Holy Cross Parish in Tanza, Cavite. During the turn-over ceremony on June 30, 2010, held at the Cavite Provincial Capitol’s Ceremonial Hall, Gov. Remulla vows to continue the programs of the last administration and promise to prioritize public service to the Caviteños. His flagship program is to bring the province on higher ground by making “Cavite: First Class, World Class.” Gaining the trust of his constituents during his first term, he was re-elected in May 2013 for his second term of office.

In the 2016 election, Gov. Jonvic decided not to run for office, and his brother Atty. Jesus Crispin “Boying” C. Remulla, a three-termer representative of the province, substituted him. Governor Boying’s administration started on June 30, 2016 until June 30, 2019. Governor Boying’s administration focused on the needed road infrastructures and initiated programs and projects to remedy persistent issues and concerns such as traffic and water management. The Provincial Government enhanced its ISO Registration to ISO 9001:2015. His program thrusts center on the battle-cry Cavite: One, Strong, Competitive.

In 2019, Gov. Jonvic Remulla replaced his elder brother as the governor of the province. He promised to continue cultivating a culture of good governance in the province, where its guiding platform is a safer Cavite and being the new international gateway, logistics, and investment hub of the greater capital region.

(Source: Cavite Ecological Profile 2019 / PPDO-Cavite)