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Chapter 24: Rizal's Last HOmecoming and Trial
Transcript of Chapter 24: Rizal's Last HOmecoming and Trial
Chapter 24: Rizal's Last
Homecoming and Trial
On October 6, 1896 at 8:00 in the evening, Rizal leaves Barcelona and is bound for Manila. He was given a second class cabin in the transport ship Colon. He had a diary with him which he wrote about his homecoming journey.
Confiscation of Rizal's Diary
The Spanish authorities who were on board Colon knew that Rizal had been keeping track of the daily events in the ship on his diary. They were curious and their suspicion was aroused for they were fearful that Rizal might be writing something seditious or treasonable.
On October 11, before reaching Port Said, Rizal's diary was confiscated by the Spanish authorities and was critically scrutinized. The Spanish authorities did not find anything incriminating in Rizal's diary. The diary was then returned to Rizal on the 2nd of November.
Rescue Attempt in Singapore
News of Rizal's predicament reached his friends in Singapore and Europe. Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor and Sixto Lopez dispatched telegrams to an English lawyer in Singapore names Hugh Fort to save Rizal from the Spanish steamer.
The plan was to rescue Rizal by means of a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Unfortunately, Chief Justice Loinel Cox denied the Writ on the ground that Colon was a warship of a foreign power which was beyond the jurisdiction of Singapore authorities.
Arrival in Manila
On November 3, Colon reached Manila. On his arrival, Rizal was then transported to Fort Santiago under heavy guard of Spanish troops. While Rizal was in Fort Santiago, the Spanish authorities were fishing for evidence against Dr. Jose Rizal.
Many Filipino patriots including Deodato Arelano, Dr. Pio Valenzuela, Moises Salvador, Temoteo Paez and even Rizal's brother Paciano were arrested and brutally tortured to implicate Rizal. Paciano suffered many broken bones including his left hand.
It's more fun in the
On the 20th of November, Rizal appeared before the judge advocate Col. Francisco Olive. Rizal was subjected to a grueling five day trial. He answered all questions thrown at him but he was not allowed to confront his accusers. The court had presented two kinds of evidences against Rizal, namely documentary and testimonial. The documentary evidence consisted of fifteen exhibits.
On the 26th of November, Col. Olive transmitted the reports of Rizal's case to Gov. Gen. Ramon Blanco and the latter appointed Capt. Rafael Dominguez as special judge to take action against Rizal. Immediately, Dominguez resumed the investigation against Rizal and returned the papers to Gov. Gen. Blanco.
Gov. Gen. Blanco transmitted the documents to Judge Advocate General, Don Nicolas de la Pena for an opinion. After studying the documents, de la Pena recommended the following: (1) the accused be brought to trial, (2) he should be kept in prison, (3) an order for payment of one million pesos be issued to Rizal and (4) he should be defended in court by an army officer.
Rizal Chooses His Defender
Rizal had to make the choice for his defender. His choices were limited as the list of possible army lawyers was provided for him. On the 8th of December, Rizal was given the list of 100 lieutenants in the Spanish army. One name in the list struck his fancy, Don Luis Taviel de Andrade, who was actually the brother of his former body guard, Jose de Andrade. Don Luis Taviel de Andrade was Rizal's choice for a lawyer.
Accusations Against Rizal
On December 11, Rizal was formally given his charges. He was accused of being "the principal organizer and the living soul of the Filipino insurrection, the founder of societies, periodicals and books dedicated to fomenting and propagating ideas of rebellion." With these charges, Rizal had raised no objection but he pleaded 'not guilty' to the court. He waived the right to amend or make any further statements already made, except that he had taken no part in politics since his exile in Dapitan.
A New Governor General
On the 13th of December, Gen. Camilo de Polavieja took the seat of General Blanco as governor general of the Philippines. The withdrawal of Blanco from the position had sealed Rizal's fate as Polavieja was ruthless and was biased against Rizal.
On December 15, Rizal wrote a manifesto to his people appealing to them to stop the necessary shedding of blood and to achieve their liberties by means of education and industry.
Judge Advocate de la Pena however suppressed the release of this manifesto.
Rizal's Saddest Christmas
December 25, 1986 was Rizal's last and saddest Christmas. He was accustomed to celebrating Christmas with his family or his beloved friends. On his last Christmas, he found himself alone and depressed in a dreary prison cell. He was in despair in this particular Christmas as he had no illusions about his fate. He took time to write a letter to Lt. Taviel de Andrade. He wished to see Lt. Andrade before he makes an appearance in court.
The Trial of Rizal
On the 26th of December at 8:00am, the court-martial of Rizal started in the building called Cuartel de Espana. Seated behind the table were seven members of the military court. In their army uniforms, the officers present were: Lt. Col. Arjona, Capt. Munoz, Capt. Reguera, Capt. Osorio, Capt. Nunez, Capt. Escribrano and Capt. Rodriguez.
The trial was opened by judge Dominguez who explained the case against Rizal. After him, Atty. Alcocer arose and delivered a long speech summarizing all charges against Rizal and urged to give him a death sentence. The spectators applauded the petition for Rizal's death.
In Defense of Rizal
After all accusations have been read, Lt. Taviel de Andrade took the floor and read his eloquent defense for Rizal. He ended his defense with a noble but futile statement for the members of the court: "The judges cannot be vindictive; the judges can only be just." However, his defense proved to be of not much use as the Spanish officers had already prejudged Rizal guilty of all accusations.
When Lt. Andrade was seated, the court asked Rizal if he had anything to say. Rizal then read his defense for himself which he had prepared in his prison cell.
Polavieja Signs Rizal's Execution
On the 28th of December, Polavieja approved the decision of the court-martial and ordered that Rizal be shot at 7:00am on December 30 at Bagumbayan Field (Luneta). His approval for the death penalty was then forwarded to Judge Advocate Capt. Don Rafael Dominguez for compliance. This fatal document signed by Capt. Dominguez sealed the fate of Dr. Jose Rizal Mercado.
1. A Letter of Antonio Luna to Mariano Ponce, dated Madrid, Oct. 16 1888, showing Rizal's connection with the Filipino reform campaign in Spain.
2. A letter of Rizal's to his Family, dated Madrid, Aug. 20, 1890, stating that the deportations are good for they will encourage the people to hate tyranny.
3. A letter from Marcelo H. del Pilar to Deodato Arellano, Dated Madrid Jan. 7, 1889, implicating Rizal in the Propaganda campaign in Spain.
4. A poem Entitled Kundiman, allegedly written by Rizal in manila on Sept. 12, 1891.
5. A letter to Carlos Oliver to an unidentidified person, dated Barcelona, Sept. 18, 1891, describing Rizal as a man to free the Philippines from Spanish oppression.
6. A Masonic document, dated Manila Feb. 9, 1892, honoring Rizal for his patriotic services
7. A letter signed Dimasalang ( Rizal pseudonym) to Tenluz ( Juan Zulueta's pseudonym) dated Hong Kong, May 24, 1892, stating that he was preparing a sage refuge for filipinos who may be persecuted by the spanish authorities.
8. A letter to Dimasalang to unidentified committee, dated Hong Kong, June 1, 1892, soliciting the aid of the committee in the "patriotic work".
9. An anonymous and undated letter to the Editor of Hong Kong Telegraph, censuring the banishment of Rizal to Dapitan.
10. A letter to Ildefonso Laurel to Rizal, dated Manila Sept. 3, 1892, saying that the filipino people look up to him (Rizal) as their savior
11. A letter to Ildefonso, Laurel to Rizal, dated Manila, 17, 1893, informing unidentified correspondent of the arrest and banishment of Doroteo Cortes and Ambrosio Salvador.
12. A letter to Marcel H. del Pilar to Don Juan A. Tenluz ( Juan Zulueta ), dated Manila, June 1, 1893, recommending the establishment of a special organization, independent of masonry, to help the cause of the filipino people.
13. Transcript of a speech of Pingkian ( Emilio Jacinto ), in a reunion of katipunan on July 23, 1893 in which the following cry was uttered " Long Live the Philippines! Long Live Liberty! Long live Doctor Rizal! Unity!"
14. Transcript of speech of Tik-Tik ( Jose Turiano Santiago ) in the same katipunan reunion where in the katipuneros shouted: "Long live the eminent Doctor Rizal! Death to the oppresor nation!".
15. A poem by Laong Laan (Rizal), Entitled A talisay in which the author makes the dapitan schoolboys sing that they know how to fight for their rights.
1. He could not be guilty of rebellion, for he advised Dr. Pio Valenzuela in Dapitan not to rise in revolution.
2. He did not correspond with the radical, revolutionary elements.
3. The Revolutionist used his name without his knowledge. If he were guilty he could have escaped in Singapore.
4. If he had a hand in the Revolution, he could have escaped in a moro vinta and would not built a home, a hospital, and bought lands in dapitan.
5. If he were the chief of the revolution, why was he not consulted by the revolutionists?
6. It was true he wrote the by-laws of the Liga Filipina, but this is only a civic association - not a revolutionary society.
He further proved his innocence by twelve points:
7. The Liga Filipina did not live long, for after the first meeting he was banished to dapitan and it died out.
8. If the Liga was recognized nine months later, he did not know about it.
9. The Liga did not serve the purpose of the revolutionists, otherwise they would not have supplanted it with the katipunan.
10. If it were true that there were some bitter comments in Rizla's letters. it was because they were written in 1890 when his family was being persecuted, being dispossessed of houses, warehouse, lands, etc. and his brother and all his brothers-in-law were deported.
11. His life in dapitan had been exemplary as the politico-military commanders and missionary priest could attest.
12. It was not true that the revolution was inspired by his one speech at the house of Doroteo Ongjunco, as alleged by witnesses whom he would like to confront. His friends knew his opposition to armed rebellion. Why did the Katipunan send an emissary to Dapitan who was unknown to him? because those who knew him aware that he would never sanction any violent movement.