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majoy wagan

on 7 March 2015

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 While living in Spain, Rizal would be a combatant in the fight to retain fair rents, equitable taxes and civil rights for his parents and the people of Calamba. In many respects this fight was a prelude to Rizal’s emergence as a national hero.

 During the greater part of the Calamba hacienda controversy, Rizal was out of the country.

 Rizal gave his intellectual support on this issue and also challenged the integrity of the church. This incident brought him back to Manila and was one of the determining factors in the Spanish persecution of his ideas.

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 Upon reaching Manila on November 3, Rizal confined in Fort Santiago and on November 20 began to be subjected to a preliminary investigation, without benefit of counsel or the right to confront his accusers.

 The probe produced a summation that the case worthy of trial with all possible speed; “it appears that the accused, Jose Rizal Mercado, is the principal organizer and the very soul of the Philippine insurrection.

 On December 11, Rizal was formally charged with the crime of rebellion and the crime of forming illegal associations.

 There was no substantive evidence but the investigation had turned up some key arguments.

 Rizal’s differences with Del Pilar were investigated and used to show that Rizal had conspired with Katipunan.

 Rizal was brought to trial before a military court and was even denied the right of counsel, for he was only permitted to choose his advocate from a list of strange Spanish officers who were untrained in the law.

 Jose Rizal returned home for “a justice of his cause.”

 The persecution of the innocent pre-occupied him, he would like to save them from further suffering, and he was willing to risk his life. In his letter to family, Rizal said:
I know that I have made you suffer greatly but I am not repenting for what I have done, and if I had to begin anew, I would again do the same thing I did, because that is my duty.

 Further, Rizal exclaimed:
Man ought to die for his duty and his convictions. I maintain all the ideas that I have expressed concerning the state and the future of my country, and I will die gladly for her, and to obtain justice and tranquility for you.

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 By speaking out against the inequalities of the hacienda program, Rizal won the respects and admiration of Filipinos throughout the archipelago, but he also gained the undying enmity of the friars and government.
 Troops were sent to evict 30 families, including the Rizals, from the Calamba lands, and six months later more than 300 families were landless.
 The significance of the Calamba hacienda controversy was that it forced Rizal to return to the Philippines and take a strong stand against the friars and local Spanish authorities.

 By speaking out again
st the inequalities of the hacienda program, Rizal won the respects and admiration of Filipinos throughout the archipelago, but he also gained the undying enmity of the friars and government

 Troops were sent to evict 30
families, including the Rizals, from the Calamba lands, and six months later more than 300 families were landless.

 The significance of the Calamba hacienda controversy was that it forced Rizal to return to the Philippines and take a strong stand against the friars and local Spanish authorities.

 In September 1890, a small company of Spanish troops entered Calamba and the Rizals were forced out of their house.

 The Spanish deported Paciano to Mindoro. Then as Spanish authorities learned about Rizal’s return to Manila, Paciano was once again relocated and this time was sent to the remote Sulu islands.
 The four years prior to Rizal’s execution were filled with intrigue, exile to a small island and the appearance of the controversial lover. From 1892-1896, Rizal’s life took its final course toward complete martyrdom.
 In Dapitan, he became a symbol of all that was unjust about Spanish rule.

 Rizal was loved by the local people; he was able to influence the thinking of the commandant sharing the view that Rizal needed his personal freedom; Rizal’s books and ideas became more popular; he was able to practice medicine and made a nice living.

 He wrote to Blumentritt, that “he had made thousands of dollars.”

 Rizal also formed an agricultural land fishing commune to improve the local economy.

 A school was also founded and Rizal taught the European ideas for which he was condemned.

 When George Taufer brought his adopted daughter, Josephine Bracken, to Dapitan, Rizal fell in love.

 On July 17, 1892 sailed into Dapitan and Rizal began his four-year exile.

 For Rizal, Dapitan was a prison with a beautiful garden, and elegant town square and friendly local people.

 The incarceration of Rizal coincided with the rise of the revolutionary Katipunan.

 When Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, he did so because he believed that Rizal was no longer an effective revolutionary. But Rizal was still an important patriot, so Bonifacio listed Rizal as honorary president of the Katipunan.

 Rizal’s exile ended his chances to partake in the coming revolution. He would remain the ideological head of the Philippine nationalism and the catalyst to the independence movement.

 Rizal was doomed by his writings, his speeches and his refusal to recant his nationalistic ideas.

 The trial of Jose Rizal began 40 days before his execution with a preliminary investigation on November 1896.

 Colonel Francisco Olive—the investigator-Juez de Instruccion

 The questioning on the first day of investigation centered on two points:

o Whether Rizal knew certain individuals and what his relations were with them;

o Rizal’s subversive activities in Madrid and in the Philippines.

 The first name mentioned was Pio Valenzuela.

o Rizal answered that Don Pio had brought him a patient with eye trouble. Rizal had not known Valenzuela before, but he considered him a friend in view of the courtesies he had shown to members of Rizal’s family during the voyage from Manila.

o Don Pio had brought Rizal a gift: a portable medicine chest.

 The investigator then mentioned 21 other names, asking the same questions as in the case of Pio Valenzuela. The majority of the individuals mentioned were unknown to Rizal.

 In most cases he had not even heard of them but did not know personally.
o Apolinario Mabini, Alejandro and Venancio Reyes

 The left six individuals whom Rizal admitted knowing and with whom he had some dealings.
o Moises Salvador
o Arcadio Del Rosario
o Deodato Arellano
o Pedro Serrano
o Timoteo Paez

 The investigator then returned to the first name: Pio Valenzuela. Obviously the authorities considered him as the most suspicious.

 Rizal answered: Don Pio Valenzuela mentioned to him an uprising was in the offing, and they were concerned about what might happen to Rizal in Dapitan. To which (Rizal said) his reply was that an uprising would be disastrous. He gave several reasons:
o The various elements f the Filipino people were not yet united.
o They did not have the necessary resources—arms and ships.
o The people were not sufficiently educated.

 Moreover, Rizal said, he believed that it was to the interest of Spain to grant concessions and institute reforms. Therefore, it would be better to wait.

a Lieutenant Luis Taviel de Andrade—brother of Rizal’s bodyguard during his first homecoming. He did all that intelligence and devotion could do to get a fair trial for the stranger dependent on his chivalry. It took real courage to make such a defense as he did in so unpopular a cause.

 In his address for the prosecution Alcocer rested his case principally on Rizal’s “admissions” regarding the Liga and on the perhaps rather fanciful connection between the Liga and Bonifacio’s insurrection which he derived from the statements made at the inquiry.

 At the preliminary investigation, Rizal had indeed admitted that he might have told, although he was not sure that he had actually told the meeting of the Liga at Ongjungco’s house that through the Liga, the arts, the commerce and industry would make progress, and that “the country, once the people were well-off and united, would attain its own freedom and even independence.”

 Alcocer was referring to Rizal’s propaganda activities in his books and other writings.

 Had Rizal ever been brought before a British court he would have gone free for only in Spain of all nations changing to be civilized did the charges against him constitute a crime, “carrying on an anti-religious and anti-patriotic campaign of education.”

 Three times had England tried to aid him; with the Consul General’s protest against his imprisonment without trial: when an English-woman sought an interview in Madrid with the Queen Regent and on being refused waylaid the Queen’s carriage in her drive to cry out, “justice, madam, for poor Rizal”; and this third time when the greatest safeguard of Anglo-Saxon liberty was invoked in his behalf.

 His oral argument of the 26, and his answers to Olive’s interrogation are here contrasted with the case for the prosecution, as presented by Leon Ma Guerrero:

Subversive Propaganda
—While in Madrid Rizal founded as an association of Filipinos which supported the subversive newspaper, La Solidaridad.

—Rizal was one of the leaders of Philippine Masonry, and sent Pedro Serrano back to the archipelago to organize lodges for the purpose of disseminating subversive propaganda.

 Taviel de Andrade’s main argument rested on a rule of evidence, in the law applying the Penal Code of Spain in the Philippines, which provided that its penalties could be imposed only when guilt had been established through the following means: ocular inspection, confession of the accused, credible witnesses; expert opinion, official documents, or conclusive circumstantial evidence.

 Rizal himself had confessed to nothing but writing the statutes of the Liga and there was nothing illegal to be found there.

 The official reports submitted against him were equally worthless; they might be admissible in the administrative proceedings but not at a trial to prove a criminal offense punishable by death.

 Only his life, his past works and writings, his previous record as agitator for reforms, but all these were known before the present insurrection.

The Liga
—Rizal wrote the statutes of the Liga and sent Moises Salvador to the Philippines to organize it, its purpose being to supply means for the attainment of the Philippine independence. Upon his return to the Philippines in 1892, Rizal called a meeting in the house of Doroteo Ongjungco at which he explained the need for the Liga.

The Katipunan
—Rizal was the honorary president of the Katipunan, which was the same thing as the Liga, and those whose purposes were to proclaim the independence of the Philippines, make Rizal supreme leader, and kill the Spaniards. His photograph was displayed in the Katipunan’s headquarters.

 A trial with all possible speed was demanded to terrorize the insurrectos.

 Cavite’s blows had panicked the government, which knew it had to deliver some blow as shockingly spectacular.

 So his trials and executions were efforts of the state to restore awe in the public and obedience to the mutinous.

 Rizal was the one man who had to die so the entire nation might not perish.

 As the trial approached, Rizal asked to address a manifesto to the Philippine people. His request was approved.

 On December 15, 1896, Rizal presented his “Manifesto to Certain Filipinos.” This document read in part:
“Fellow Countrymen: Upon my return from Spain I learned that my name was being used as a rallying point by some who had taken up arms. This information surprised and grieved me; but thinking that the world affairs were finished, I refrained from commenting on something that could no longer be remedied. Now, rumors reach me that the disturbances have not ceased. It may be that persons continue to use my name in bad faith; if so, wishing to put a stop to this abuse and to deceive the gullible, I hasten to address these lines to you that the truth may be known. From the very beginning, when I first received information of what was being planned, I opposed it, I fought against it, and I made clear that it was absolutely impossible. This is the truth, and they are still alive who can bear witness to my words. I was convinced that the very idea was wholly absurd; it was disastrous. I did more than this. When later on, in spite of my urgings, the uprising broke out, I came forward voluntarily to offer not only my services but my life and even my good name in order that they may use me in any manner they may think opportune to smoother rebellion. For I was convinced of the evils which rebellion would bring…


What is anomalous about the trial of Jose Rizal is that violated a basic tenet of justice: the prohibition on double jeopardy, which stipulates that nobody can be made to face charges on which he has already been tried and found innocent, or found guilty and already penalized.

In July 1892, Rizal had been arrested on the charges of being Anti-Spanish because of his anti-church writings, of having smuggled to Manila anti-friar leaflets, and of having dedicated his second novel to three traitor priests.

Thus was he forced to undergo penal servitude: those four years in Dapitan.

In December 1896, he was brought to trial, again on charges that he was an anti-Spanish writer that he had smuggled into Manila anti-friar propaganda that he had dedicated one of his books to the three-traitor priests, and that he had organized illegal associations.

Like the Proust epic, the Rizal trial was a remembrance of things past.

He was tried retroactively and penalty being a firing squad on Bagumbayan. The bullets that killed him were unlawful.

 Continuing a pattern of harassment, the Spanish arrested Teodora Alonzo. After a farcical trial, she was convicted of the charge of stating her name improperly. Spanish authorities in an outrageous act forced her to walk to the prison in Sta. Cruz. When she arrived in Sta. Cruz, she was in such poor health that she was released from prison. She then sailed into exile in Hong Kong because the family feared for her safety.
 The “Manifesto to Certain Filipinos” was along and rambling document, but the message was a simple one: Rizal did not support Bonifacio and the Katipunan.

 Yet, within the manifesto there is implicit recognition of Philippine nationalism and the right to revolution.

 He had written a manifesto declaring that he ha nothing to do with the present revolt, and that his name was being used as its leader without knowledge or consent.

Add as a friend
 After hearing Rizal in his own defense, the court martial found him guilty as charged and condemned him to death.

 The decision was signed by Jose Togores, president of the court, and Braulio Rodriguez Nuñez, Ricardo Muñoz, Fermin Perez Rodriguez, Manuel Reguera, Manuel Diaz Escribano, and Santiago Izquierdo.

 Peña adopted Alcocer’s arguments wholesale and found Rizal guilty as a principal by induction through his propaganda activities. He recommended that Rizal be executed by firing squad at the place and time designated by the Governor General.

 December 28, 1896—Polavieja approved the recommendation and ordered Rizal to be shot at seven o’clock in the morning of the 30th of December in the field of Bagumbayan.

December 30, 1896—the day that dawned over Fort Santiago, was one of the balmiest in the Philippine history. It was a special day. The day of Rizal’s execution. On this day, there was restlessness. A sense of calm yet a feeling of change were in the air, there was a sense of tragedy that embraced the anticipated public execution.

 Manila’s Fort Santiago—the execution area was surrounded by the largest crowd.

 Finally, the condemned man marched toward the lawn. What Rizal realized as he marched to his execution was his appearance, his bearing and his final words would create a new revolutionary consciousness. He was aware that his execution would lay the foundation for a new Philippines.

 At the cleared grass area where the firing squad assembled, Rizal made his way to the execution spot. Then the shots were fired, and Jose Rizal fell to his death. He turned to face the firing squad as if to say “I am innocent.”

 In a letter to Blumentritt, Rizal remarked that he was innocent of the charges against him but would accept execution for larger purpose.

 His death pricked the last strand of human reservation for patience, that every Filipino native soul, whether living or yet unborn, had moral, political and national struggle to die for.

 It was the death of Rizal that turned many formerly a political Filipinos into nationalists.

 Rizal had criticized the Spanish for their insensitive treatment of the Filipino, and his voice had the most dramatic impact upon the resurgent Philippine Nationalism.

 As a result, his execution was a special one and it inflamed the Filipino people against Spanish rule.

From the day of Socrates, who was put to death by the citizens of Athens for teaching the young men to think for themselves, down to that morning in December 30, 1896, when Rizal was done to death by the firing squad at Bagumbayan, the pages of history have run red with the murder of men of science.

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