Francisco Espina, patriarch of Espina clan of Cebu
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - April 22, 2019 - 12:00am

The first Espina to come and live in Cebu was Francisco Grosso Espina. He was born on September 26, 1858 in Puerto de Santa Maria, Madrid, Spain. He came to the Philippines when he was 16 years old.

The father of Francisco was Miguel Angel Duarte Espina who was born in Sevilla, Spain and became a lieutenant colonel of the Infantry of the Spanish Army. He was appointed political-military governor of Isabela. He died in 1889 and his remains buried at the Manila Cathedral.

Francisco became a surveyor for the Manila-Dagupan Railways, which was owned by the British. He was drafted by the Spanish Army and became a lieutenant of the “Voluntarios de San Miguel.” Francisco took the Bar Examinations when the Americans established the Philippine Supreme Court. He was admitted to the Bar on October 22, 1906.

Francisco moved to Cebu and became Justice of the Peace at the Municipality of Cebu. He had an extensive law practice, his cases reaching the Supreme Court, among them was the case of Austin Craig versus Servulo Leuterio decided by the Supreme Court on June 30, 1908.

Francisco married Paz Nadal Robledo Webb, a British-Filipina who was born in Manila on January 8, 1875. Francisco and Paz had the following children: Rafael, Jose Maria, Miguel, Julio, Carmen, Joaquin, Anita, Gabriel, Maria and Antonio.

Rafael the eldest son was born on February 17, 1890. Rafael bought (from the Cabanas family) 300 hectares coconut hacienda in Kalubian, Leyte. His brother, Jose “Pepe” Maria, became a lawyer on October 18, 1919. Rafael married Tarcila Veloso Gandiongco of Minglanilla, Cebu and lived at 272 F Ramos Street, Cebu City.

Rafael and Tarcila had an only child by the name of Rene who grew to become a bar topnotch lawyer, youngest administrator of the Social Security System, Governor of Cebu and Senator. The youngest son of Governor/Senator Rene Espina, named Erik Miguel, was appointed by President Duterte last July 2018 as Cebu City councilor and is now running for election in the city’s south district.

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