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THE PHILIPPINIES OF RIZAL'S TIME

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Kim Louie Revano

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of THE PHILIPPINIES OF RIZAL'S TIME

It was hard to get the judgement executed as it
A specific instance of Spanish maladministration of justice was the infamous case of Juan de la Cruz in 1886-1898. On the night of June 7,1886, two men were brutally killed in their sleep at the waterfront of cavite.The next day a coxswain of a motor launch named Juna de la cruz was arrested on mere suspicion of having perpetrated the murderer. Without premiliminary investigation proper trial, he was jailed in cavite, where he languished for twelve years. When the American landed in cavite after the battle of manila bay (May 1,1898), they found him in jail still awaiting trial.
Dr. Rizal and his family were victims of Spanish injustice. One example of it was in 1871 when Dona Teodora Alberto de Alonzo (Rizal’s mother) was accused to attempted murder when she was allegedly tried to kill her sister-in-law in poison.
MALADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
The courts of justice in the philippines during Rizal’s time were
notoriously corrupt
. Verily, they were courts of “
injustice
” , as far as blown Filipinos were concerned. The Spanish judges, fiscals (prosecuting attorneys) and other court officials were inept, venal and offentimes ignorant of law.
THE PHILIPPINES OF RIZAL'S TIME
Justice
was
costly, partial and slow
. Poor Filipinos had no access to the courts because they could not afford the
heavy expenses of ligitation
.
Wealth
,
social prestige
, and
color of the skin
were
preponderant factors in winning a case in court
. Irrespective of the wealth of evidence, a rich man or a Spaniards, whose skin was white, easily achieved victory in any ligitation.

To the Filipino masses, a ligitation in a court was a
calamity
. The expenses incurred even in a simple lawsuit often exceeded the value of the property at issue, so that in many instances the letigance found themselves impoverished at the end of the long tussle. Criminal cases dragged on for many years during which period either the delinquents took to flight, or the documents were lost.

The judicial procedure was so slow and clumsy that it was easy to have justice delayed. And justice delayed, as a popular maxim states,’ is justice denied “ thus related John Foreman, a british eye witness of the last years of Spanish sovereignty in the Philippines.
was to win the case. Even when the question at issue was supposed to be settled, a defect in the sentence could always be concocted to reopen the whole affair. If the case had been tried and judgement given under the civil code, away was found to convert it into a criminal code, a flaw could be discovered under the laws of the indies, or th city partidas or the Roman Law, or the Novisima Recopilacion, or the Antigous Fueros, Decrees, Royal Orders, Ordenzas del Buen Gobierno, and so forth, by which the case could be reopen.
RACIAL DISCRIMIATION
Spain introduced
Christianity
the Philippines with it’s beautiful egalitarian concept of the brotherhood of all men under God the father. The Spanish authority civil as well as ecclesiastical, zealously propagated the Christian faith, but seldom practised it’s sublime tenets. They regarded to converted Filipinos not as brother Christians, but as inferior being who were infinitely undeserving of the rights and privileges that the white Spaniards enjoyed.
With this unchristian attitude, many Spaniards and their mestizo satellites derisively called the brown skinned and flat nose Filipinos “Indios” (Indians). In retaliation, the Filipino jealous dubbed their pale-complexioned detractors with the disparaging term “bangus” (milkfish). During Rizal’s time a white skin, a higged nose, and Castilian lineage were a badge of vaunted superiority. Hence, a spanriad or a mestizo, no matter how stupid or mongrel born he was, always enjoyed political and social prestige in the community.
Racial prejudice
was prevalent everywhere in government offices, in the courts of justice, in the armed forces, in the social circles, and even in the educational institutions and in the eccleastical hierarchy. One of he shining stars of the Filipino clergy, father
Jose Burgos
(1837-1872)
bewailed the Spanish misconception that a man’s merit depended o the pigment of his skin, the height or his nose, yhe color of his hair, and the shape of his skull; and complained of the lacked of opportunities for educated young Filipinos to rise in the service of God and country.


“Why for instance,” he lamented, “shall a young man strive to rise in profession of law or of theology, when he can vision no future for himself save that of obscurity and jaunty unconcern? What Filipino were aspire to the seats of the wise and will devote sleepless nights to such an ideal, when he clearly sees that his noblest feelings are crushed down in the unwelcome atmpsphere of contumely and oblivion, and when he knows that among the previliged few only are dispensed the sinecures of honor and profit.

Frailocracy
Owing to the Spanish Political philosophy of union of Church and State, there arose a unique form of government in Hispanic Philippines called "
frailocracy
",so named because it was "
a government of friars
".

History discloses that since the days of the Spanish conquest, the friars( Augustinians,Dominicans, and Fransiscans) controlled the religious and educational life of the Philippines, and later in the 19th century they came to acquire tremendous political power, influnce, and riches.
The friars practically ruled the Philippines through a facade of civil government. The colonial authorities, down to the alcaldes mayores were under the control of the friars. Almost every town in th archepelago, except in unpacified Islamic Mindanao and Sulu and in the pagan hinterlands, was ruled by a friar curate. Aside from his priestly duties, the friar was the supervisor of local elections, the inspector of schools and taxes, the arbiter of morals, the censor of books and comedias (stage plays), the superintendent of public works, and the guardian of peace and order.
Rizal, M.H. del Pilar, G. Lopez Jaena, and other filipino reformist assailed frailocracy, blaming it for the prevailing policy of obscurantism, fanatism, and oppression in the country. Rizal, for instance, denounced the friars as the enemies of liberal reforms and modern progress in the Philippines.
FORCE LABOR
Known as the
polo
.
It was the compulsory labor imposed by the Spanish colonial authorities on adult Filipino males in the construction of churches, schools, hospitals; lding and repair of roads and bridges; the building of ships in the shupyards; and other public works.
Originally, Filipino males from 16-60 years old were obliged to render forced labor for 40 days a year. Later, Royal decree of July 12, 1883, implemented by the New Regulations promulgated by the Council of State of February 3, 1885, increased the minimum age of the polistas (those who performed the forced labor) from 16-18 and reduced the days of labor from 40-15.

The same Royal Decree provided that not only natice Filipinos, but also male Spanish redidents from 18 years old to 60must render forced labor., but this particular provision was never implemented in the Philippines for obvious reasons.
So actually the brown Filipinos did the dirty job of building or repairing the public works.
The Guardia Civil
The last hated symbol of Spanish tyranny was the Guardia Civil (Constabulary) which was created by the Royal Decree of February 12, 1852), as amended by the Royal Decree of March 24, 1888, for the purpose of maintaining internal peace and order in the Philippines. It was patterned after the famous and well-disciplined Guardia Civil in Spain.
While it is true that the Guardia Civil in the Philippines had rendered meritorious services in suppressing the bandits in the provinces, they later became infamous for their rampant abuses, such as maltreating innocent people, looting their carabaos, chickens, and valuable belongings, and raping helpless women.

Both officers (Spaniards) and men (Natives) were illtrained and undisciplined, unlike the Guardia Civil in Spain who were respected are well-liked by the populace.
Rizal actually witnessed to atrocities committed by the Guardia Civil on the Calamba folks. He himself and his mother had been victims of the brutalities of the lieutenant of the Guardia Civil.
It was natural that Rizal directed his stinging satire against the hated Guardia Civil. Through Elias in Noli Me Tangere, he exposed the Guardia Civil as a bunch of ruthless ruffians good only "for disturbing the peace" and "persecuting honest men".

He proposed to improved the military organization by having it be composed of good men who possessed education and good principles and who were conscious of the limitations and responsibilities of the authority and power.
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