Cayetano S. Arellano
Born: March 2, 1847
Died: December 23, 1920
This is the greatest jurist in the Philippines had ever produced. According to President Harding, Arellano could be matched to the best jurists in the world.
Tulad ni Rizal at iba pang magigiting na kababayan natin, si Don Cayetano S. Arellano ay kilala sa apat na sulok ng daigdig. Ang kaniyang katalinuhan ay kinikilala ng mga taga ibang bansa.
Ang kaniyang amang si Servando Arellano ay isang Kastilang nanirahan sa lalawigan ng Bataan at nakapag-asawa ng isang tagaroon na nagngangalang Cristina Lanzon.
Si Don Cayetano S. Arellano ay ipinanganak sa Udiong, Bataan, noong ika-2 ng Marso ng 1847.
Si Cayetano ay nagsimulang nag-aral sa gulang na limang taon. Pagkatapos ay pumasok siyang
agraciado (nag-aaral at naglilingkod nang walang bayad) sa kolehiyo ng San Juan de Letran. Nang makatapos siya rito ay lumipat siya sa Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas, bagaman sa kolehiyo rin ng San Juan de Letran nanirahan. Ginampanan niya ang tungkuling
Mayor de Salon at
Decano de San Juan de Letran.
Nakatapos siya ng batsilyer ng pilosopiya sa Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas noong 1862 at batsilyer sa teolohiya noong 1867. Ipinagpatuloy niya ang pag-aaral sa pagkamanananggol at nakatapos noong 1876.
Lahat ng kapanahon ni Cayetano ay pawang humahanga sa kaniyang katalinuhang ikinatangi niya sa iba. Totoong madali siyang magsaulo ng anumang bagay na pinag-aaralan. Wala siyang kapana-panahon sa pag-aaral ng liksyon dahil sa karamihan ng kaniyang gawain ngunit nasasagot ding lahat ang tanong na ibinibigay sa kaniya ng kaniyang guro.
Pagkatapos niyang makasulit sa pamahalaan sa pagkamanananggol ay nagbukas siya ng sariling tanggapan. Kinuha siya ng mga paring Dominiko na magturo ng
codigo civil sa Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas bilang pagkilala sa kaniyang katalinuhan.
Ang pagiging mabuting guro sa batas ni Don Cayetano ay siyang pinagkakautangan ng pagiging mabuting manananggol ng marami sa kaniyang mga tinuruan, tulad nina Ortigas Palma, de los Santos, Sumulong, Orense, Quezon, Osmeña at marami pang iba na ngayo’y may malaking bilang na tagahanga.
Noong 1886 ay nahirang siyang
Mahistrado Suplente. Noon namang 1893, siya ay nahirang na kagawad sa
Asemblea Provincial at sa kaniya ipinagkatiwala ang pagsulat ng batayan at tuntunin nito. Pagkaraan ng ilang panahon, siya’y nahirang na
Mahistrado Suplente de la Audiencia Territorial de Manila.
Sa panahon ng himagsikan, si Don Cayetano ay naging Kalihim Panlabas. Naging konsehal din siya ng siyudad ng Maynila noong 1897. Noong 1898 ay muli siyang nagbukas ng sariling tanggapan. Nahalal siyang Pangulo ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman ng Pilipinas noong ika-29 ng Mayo ng 1899. Siya ang kauna-unahang Pilipinong humawak ng tungkuling ito.
Nang magdaos ng pulong ang mga huriskonsulto buhat sa iba’t ibang panig ng daigdig noong 1904, siya ang naatasan ng Pangulong Theodore Roosevelt na kumatawan sa Estados Unidos at sa Pilipinas.
Ayon sa Pangulong Harding, si Don Cayetano ay naipapantay sa lalaong magagaling na huriskonsulto sa daigdig. Siya’y pinagkalooban ng Unibersidad ng Yale ng karangalang
doctor en leyes. Pagkaraan ng sampung taon ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ay nagbigay rin sa kaniya ng ganitong karangalan.
Si Don Cayetano ay isang tunay na katoliko. Ang araw ng linggo ay inalaan niya sa pananalangin at pagbabasa ng mga banal na aklat.
Namatay si Don Cayetano noong ika-23 ng Disyembre ng 1920. Bago siya nalagutan ng hininga ay itinagubiling huwag tumanggap ng mga alay na bulaklak at ilibing siya ng isang pangkaraniwang libing lamang.
Don Cayetano S. Arellano was known in the four corners of the world. Like Rizal and other well-known countrymen of ours, his intelligence was recognized by foreign people.
His father, Servando Arellano, was a Spaniard living in Bataan province and who married somebody from there, whose name was Cristina Lanzon.
Don Cayetano Arellano was born in Udiong, Bataan, on March 2, 1847.
Cayetano started studying at the age of five. Afterwards he went to study at San Juan de Letran as a working student. After finishing here he transferred to Sto. Tomas University, although he was still living in San Juan de Letran. He was doing the work of
Mayor de Salon and
Decano de San Juan de Letran.
He finished Bachelor of Philosophy in Sto. Tomas University in 1862 and Bachelor in Theology in 1867. He continued studying and took law which he finished in 1876.
All of Cayetano’s colleagues had a high regard for his intelligence that differentiated him from the others. It was easy for him to commit to memory anything that he was studying. He hardly had time to study his lessons as he had much work to do, but in spite of that he could answer all the questions of his professor.
After passing the bar examination, he ran his own law office. He was hired to teach Civil Code at the University of Sto. Tomas by the Dominican fathers as a token of their high regard for him, and recognition of his unusual ability.
Cayetano’s ability to teach law made many lawyers like him. Some of them were Ortigas, Palma, de los Santos, Sumulong, Orense, Quezon, Osmeña, and many others. They felt that they owed him a debt of gratitude.
In 1886 he was made
Magistrado Suplente. In 1893 he was appointed member of the Provincial Assembly and to him was entrusted the basis and rules of his assembly. After a few years, he was made
Magistrado Suplente de la Audiencia Territorial de Manila.
During the war Don Cayetano was made Secretary of Foreign Affairs. He was also councilor of the city of Manila in 1897. In 1898 he reopened his law office. He was made Head of the highest court in the Philippines on May 29, 1899. He was the first Filipino to hold this high position.
When the jurists who came from the different parts of the world in 1904 had a meeting, President Theodore Roosevelt made him represent the United States and the Philippines.
According to President Harding, Don Cayetano could be matched to the best jurists in the world. He was honored with a Doctor of Laws degree by theUniversity of Yale. After 10 years the University of the Philippines also gave him that honor.
Don Cayetano was a devoted Roman Catholic. His Sundays were spent in praying and reading religious books.
Don Cayetano died on December 23, 1920. Before he died he gave instructions that they should receive no flowers and that he should have a simple funeral and should be interred simply.