Sr. Mariano Chiyuto: The truth and the myth

Much has been said for the past days regarding a certain Sr. Mariano Chiyuto, thus, as a student of our great Capiznon history, I am compelled to write something that would shed light on the matter.

I am writing not to promote the business of a single person or to find popularity among his avid supporters but with the sole purpose of enlightening our fellow Capiznons.

I invite everyone to get to know more about the polarizing figure, Sr. Mariano Chiyuto, who was long dead to answer your questions on whether or not he was a Governor or Municipal President of Capiz at a certain time in our history.

Sr. Mariano Chiyuto was born in Manila. He was an immigrant to Capiz like Don Eleuterio Acuña from Manila, Don Jose Hernandez (Bataan), the father of Governor Gabriel “Kuroki” Hernandez, Capt. Francisco Dinglasan of Batangas and the countless Tagalogs, who found the province as the best place to earn their fortune and success.

Mariano was a learned man and was one of the few subscribers of Gaceta de Manila, the Official Publication of the Captaincy General of the Philippines.

There were books and claims that Chiyuto was an appointed Municipal President of Capiz when Simplicio Jugo Vidal was appointed as the Civil Governor by Governor William Howard Taft right after the passage of Commission Act No. 83 (A General Act for the Organization of Provincial Governments in the Philippines).

The assertion’s that he was the first Municipal President of Capiz, now Roxas City, is simply not true since historical accounts and records suggest otherwise.

It was Governor Antonio Habana Sr. who was elected in 1901 and reelected in 1903 who served as the first-ever Municipal President of Capiz.

It is in this period of 1900 that Municipal elections for Alcalde were held that paved the way to the like of Angelo Hidrosollo of Dumarao, the father of Governor Ludovico Hidrosollo.

During the administration of Habana, on September 24, 1901, Sr. Mariano Chiyuto was appointed as the first Justice of Peace of Capiz.

This Court as provided Act No. 136 has original jurisdiction for the trial of all misdemeanors and offenses arising within the municipality of which he is a justice, in all cases where the sentence might not by law exceed six months imprisonment or a fine of one hundred dollars; and for the trial of all civil actions properly triable within his municipality and over which jurisdiction has not herein been given to the Court of First Instance and has also jurisdiction in all ejectment cases regardless of the amount.

Moreover, a person does not need to be a lawyer to be appointed as a Justice of Peace.

Later on February 4, 1903, he was appointed as a member of the Provincial Board of Tax Revision.

The following year, on February 1, 1904, he was appointed as the Municipal Treasurer of Capiz, now Roxas City, under the administration of Antonio Habana Sr.

With so much information about Sr. Mariano Chiyuto, may this clarified certain issues.

My only hope is that the local governments in Capiz should begin a review of the historical accounts of their localities using the primary data, if possible in order to avoid this kind of conflicting views in the future.

To end, Sr. Mariano Chiyuto was never a governor of Capiz but it does not diminish his legacy, after all, we would never be a proud community today without the help of these prestigious individuals. Let the dead rest in peace.

There are so many things we have to make and unmake in our history. But if we summarize the meta-narrative of our rich history and diverse culture, Capisnons’ values are beyond the currency of money or gold.*