Francisco de Sande Picón (1540 – September 12, 1602) was the third Spanish governor and captain-general of the Philippines from August 25, 1575 to April 1580. He established the Royal City of Nueva Cáceres, now known as Naga City.
A native of Cáceres and a relative of Álvaro de Sande, he served as attorney, criminal judge, and auditor in Mexico. He succeeded Guido de Lavezaris, a member of the 1543 Ruy López de Villalobos Expedition from Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, México, on August 25, 1575.
One of his first acts of political advocacy was to disestablish vast encomiendas of wealthy Spaniards in the Philippines. In 1576, he issued a decree forbidding all officials appointed by the Crown to own encomiendas that were initially for Indios. He also established the city of Nueva Cáceres, province of Camarines Sur, Bicol region, Island of Luzon, the largest of the some 7,107 islands (under Spanish Administration till 1898, for some 350–370 years), Philippine Islands. A few years after, Spanish and Dominican prelate Domingo de Salazar requested to create monasteries for the Dominicans; this was granted by Sande through King Philip II's royal decree.
He also commissioned an expedition to Borneo in 1578, where the Sultan of Jolo became a vassal of Spain through a peace treaty signed at Río Grande de Mindanao. That same year, he attacked Borneo, and the sultan of that sultanate (present day Brunei) became submissive to the Spanish officials of Manila. He also showed eagerness to conquer Moluccas from the Portuguese as well as China.
In 1579, he sent an expedition again, headed by Captain Gabriel de Ribera to Mindanao and Jolo, to secure Moro submission to Spanish authority. He went to the Rio Grande to find nothing but remnants of villages abandoned by the locals. He then established a fortress for the villages and went north to pacify the rebelling Butuanons. Upon his return to Luzon, Ribera met some natives from Jolo with little tribute, saying that they had nothing to give to the Spaniards since the Portuguese Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa had recently attacked their settlements.
In the same year, he denied the Franciscan fathers their burning wishes, after some 19,000 km. travel, to enter China to spread Catholicism, the Chinese being stupefied when some of them disobeyed the Manila Spanish Civil Authorities and arrived at the highly controlled Portuguese trade city of Macao, where they found that they did not carry weapons, money or goods to exchange but only some religious liturgical ware for their own use and Catholic books.
He also became an auditor in the Audiencia of Mexico.
Guido de Lavezaris
|Governor and Captain-General of the Philippines
Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñaloza