The licentiate Manuel de Madrid y Luna
[Endorsed: “Philipinas: to his Majesty; the Audiencia, July 2, 1603. Examined June 30, 604; provided within.”]
LETTER FROM THE FISCAL
The licentiate Geronimo de Salazar y Salcedo, fiscal for his Majesty in the royal Chancilleria of the Philipinas Islands. The most important reason why the said royal Audiencia is necessary is to redress the wrongs which the governor and captain-general may commit. Although he who is now in the office acts in a prudent manner, he may be succeeded by another who will not do so, and, if this were the case, nothing could be so suitable as that he who was governor and captain-general should not be president; for if he is so, he will be present at the hearings and meetings, in which case neither the auditors in decreeing, nor the fiscal in petitioning, use the power which they hold. An easy remedy for this would be that the archbishop of Manila should be the president of the Audiencia, his salary being somewhat increased, and that of the governor and captain-general decreased. He would be glad to do this and would not neglect the affairs of his archbishopric, which are not so pressing as to make it impossible for him to take up the duties of the presidency. I might well cite some things which I have seen, which appear to me to demonstrate the inconveniences which might follow from all three offices being joined in one person, but I prefer to pass them over. It is especially so as we are five thousand leagues from your Majesty, and those of us who are imprudent proceed under the impression that what we do here will not be known there. It is evident that the presidency would be better filled by the archbishop than by the governor; for when the latter is president he has means, if he so desire, to keep the auditor from judging and even the fiscal from petitioning, if they be lacking in courage. Your Majesty will order this to be examined, and provide in regard to it as may be most expedient. May God protect your Majesty according to His power and the needs of Christendom. Manila, July 4, 1603.
The licentiate Hieronimo de Salazar y Salcedo
[Endorsed: “Manila, to his Majesty; the fiscal, Hieronimo de Salazar, July 4, 1603. No answer to be given to this letter; June 30, 1604.”]
LETTERS FROM VARIOUS OFFICIALS AND ECCLESIASTICS
On the fourth of the present month there left this port the ship “Nuestra Senora de la Antigua,” one of the two from Peru that I brought in the convoy last year, with the reenforcements of troops, arms, and military supplies which came to these islands. On the morning of the next day the other ship, called the “San Alifonso,” left; and in the afternoon arrived the advices and despatches from General Andres Hurtado de Mendoca, who has in charge the armed fleet