HomeGovernmentThe Chief ExecutiveFormer MayorsHon. Christopher Fredrick Bader

Hon. Christopher Frederick Bader (1912-1914)

Frederick Bader had the distinction of being the first appointive mayor of Zamboanga when it became a commissioned city under the American regime. Bader was of German-American descent. He came to the Philippines during the Spanish-American war in 1889 together with a group of Americans and was detailed in Zamboanga as part of a construction brigade tasked to build bridges, roads and other infrastructure projects.

On June 1, 1903, the Philippine Commission passed Organic Act No. 787 which was known as the Moro Province Act. This act of the American Colonial Government brought about the creation of the “Moro Province,” which provided for a semi-military government. It was under such a decree that a large portion of Mindanao and Sulu was placed under American governance, comprising five districts. One of these five districts was to be Zamboanga, with Zamboanga proper made into a municipality. It was under this regime that Zamboanga municipality became the capital and seat of government of the Moro Province.

Under General John J. Pershing, the most famous of the three military governors of Mindanao, Zamboanga was recommended to be commissioned as a city. The Legislative Council approved the Pershing recommendation through Legislative Council Act 272, which was passed on January 1, 1912. Hence Zamboanga for the very first time became a city.

Mayor Frederick Bader’s administration recorded no significant accomplishment except that it paved the way for the transition to civil governance. Bader’s term was after all limited to just slightly more than a year. By the end of 1913, the Moro Province was abolished and replaced with the Department of Mindanao and Sulu. Under this new setup, Zamboanga reverted to the status of municipality until the signing of the charter which established it as a city in 1936.