Lezo is the smallest municipality in Aklan Province’s seventeen (17) municipalities. Prior to its incorporation as a municipality, Lezo was a part of the Municipality of Kalibo. It is a barrio called “Guicod,” which is derived from the word “Guicab,” which means a cavern in a creek where eels were abundant, and it is located behind the Lezo Elementary School. This area was also known as “Tierra Alta,” which translates as “high land,” because the town’s center did not flood during the great flood of the early nineteenth century.
In 1865, Don Juan Legaspi and Benedicta Geronimo led a group of the most influential people in Lezo to petition the Spanish government for independence from Kalibo.
The request was granted, and the new town was named Lezo after a valiant Spanish naval officer who was present throughout the negotiations. The Municipality was established on July 6, 1865, following the signing of a decree on March 21, 1865. Don Anacleto Ramos was the first elected Capitan Basal.
Capitan Basal’s title was changed to Captain Municipal, then to Presidente Local, and finally to Presidente Municipal.
The American Military Forces led by Captain Charles Gould Morton, Sixth Infantry, Commanding Troops of the Province of Capiz, and the Filipino Revolutionary Unit in Aklan led by General Ananias Diokno signed a peace treaty on September 26, 1900. The Honorable Simeon Mobo Reyes, Lezo’s son, served as the primary mediator. Each municipality in the Aklan Region provided witnesses.
When the Americans arrived in 1899, the military government appointed Felix Kimpo as the leader of the Calivo (which included the current territories of Kalibo, Numancia, and Lezo). He was elected president from 1901 to 1903 during the 1901 election. There were 34 towns in the province of Capiz at the time, but these were reduced to 24 by a law passed by the Civil Commission after it was discovered that some towns were unable to meet their financial obligations and maintenance. So, on April 4, 1903, through Philippine Commission Act No. 720, Lezo, along with Numancia and Banga, was annexed to Kalibo for reduced revenue collections.
The civil commission issued Executive Order No. 58 on July 31, 1909, separating Lezo (which included Numancia) from Kalibo and making Lezo the seat of government. Numancia was later incorporated into the municipality of Lezo.
Lezo became part of the province of Capiz’s second district on December 31, 1916, thanks to Act No. 2657. Lezo became part of Capiz’s third district on March 10, 1917, thanks to Act No. 2711. In terms of the status of Lezo and Numancia, the situation was reversed in 1920.
The first municipal election was held in 1911, and Cipriano Fernandez was elected Presidente Municipal until 1913, when he was re-elected but suspended for another term. Marcos B. Cochiengco was appointed by the Provincial Board as the new Presidente Municipal, and he served until 1918.
The seat of government was transferred to Numancia by Executive Order No. 17 of the Series of 1920 and Act No. 3086 of the Philippine Legislature on March 16, 1923, and Lezo became a barrio of Numancia.
Lezo became an independent municipality on August 28, 1941, as a result of President Manuel Luis Quezon’s Executive Order No. 364, after several petitions from residents over the years.
The establishment of Lezo as a separate municipality was planned for 1942, but due to the outbreak of World War II, it was postponed until January 1, 1945. The celebration was small during the municipality’s founding and was led by Captain Prudencio Fernandez, a Lezo native and guerilla leader.
From 1942 to 1943, Atty. Moises F. Morado was the first elected mayor. At the time, he was the only lawyer in town.
Source: Lezo MPDC