The Philippines has been governed by the Spaniards based on its discovery giving Spain a title to the Philippines. The discovery was made by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Magellan landed on the island of Cebu, claiming the lands for Spain and naming them Islas de San Lazaro. Ferdinand Magellan converted some of the Filipinos to Roman Catholics. Magellan was killed by a local chief named Lapu-Lapu, who fought against foreign domination. Over the next several years, other Spanish expeditions were sent off to the islands. From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was indirectly governed by the King of Spain through Mexico because of the distance of the Philippines from Spain then in 1898 the Philippines was directly ruled from Spain because Mexico obtained their independence. The Council of the Indies in Spain is the one responsible for the administration of the Philippines. The council was the most important administrative organ of the Spanish Empire for the American and Asian colonies. It was placed at start as a section under the jurisdiction of the Council of Castile and it had legislative, executive and judicial functions. In 1837, the Council of Indies was abolished and legislation for the Philippines was temporarily performed by the Council of Ministers. From 1863, the Ministry of Ultramar exercised general powers of supervision over Philippine affairs. Three times during the Spanish era, the Philippines was given representation in the Spanish Cortes, the legislative body of Spain. A basic principle introduced by Spain to the Philippines was the union of the Church and state.
The Spain established in the Philippines a Unitary form of government which was centralized in structure and national in scope. A unitary system of government is one in which all power is derived from a central and single source, such that all levels of administration defer to ...