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CHAPTER 24

Last Homecoming and Trial

INTRODUCTION
1896 the last homecoming of Rizal and the saddest return to his beloved native land - He knew that he will be facing the supreme test, the sacrifice of his life but hes unafraid - He welcome it gladly, that he is sure that his blood will water the seeds of Filipino freedom

A MARTYRS LAST HOMECOMING


Rizals home coming in 1896,the last in his life was his saddest return to his beloved native land .He knew he was facing the supreme test, which might mean the sacrifice of his life, but he was unafraid. October 6.1896 Rizal conscientiously recorded the events in his diary. He was given a good cabin in the scrod class and although strictly guarded he was courteously treated by the army officers. The officers on duty seems amiable, refined and polite, consistent with his seriousness of his duty. October 8 a friendly officer told Rizal that Madrid news paper were full of stories about the bloody revolution in the Philippines and were blaming him for it. He wrote in his diary on the same date(October 8).

I believe that what God is doing to me is a blessing, allowing me to go back to the Philippines in order to be able to destroy such accusations. Because ,either they do me justice and recognize my innocence and when I be rehabilitated or they sentence me to death and thereby, before the eye so of society will forgive me and later , without any doubt, justice will be done me and I will be one more martyr. At any rate, instead of dying abroad or in manigua (jungle in Cuba), Ill die in my own country. I believe that what is happening is the best that can happen to me .Always let Gods will be done! I feel more calm with regard to my futureI feel that the peace has descended upon me, thank God! Thou art my hope and my consolation! Let your will be condemned or absolved. Im happy and ready.

CONFISCATION OF RIZALS DIARY


It was known to the Spanish authorities on board the colon that Rizal was keeping track of the daily events in his diary. October 11 before reaching Port, said Rizals diary was taken away and was critically scrutinized by the authorities. November 2 the diary was returned to him.

UNSUCCESFUL RESCUE IN SINGAPORE


News of Rizals predicament reached his friends in Europe and in Singapore. From London, Dr Antonio Regidor and Sixto Lopez dispatched frantic telegrams to an English lawyer in Singapore named Hugh Fort to rescue Rizal from the Spanish steamer when it reached Singapore by means of a writ of habeas corpus. Atty. Fort instituted proceedings at the Singapore Court for the removal of Rizal from the steamer. The crux of Mr. Forts legal contention was that Rizal was illegally detained on a Spanish steamer. Chief Justice Loinel Cox denied the writ the ground that the colon was carrying Spanish troops to the Philippines .Hence it was a warship of a foreign power under the international law beyond the jurisdiction of the Singapore authorities.

ARRIVAL IN MANILA
November 3, the colon reached Manila. And Rizal was transferred in Fort Santiago. Meanwhile, tha Spanish authorities fished for evidence against Rizal.Many Filipinos patriots , including Deodato Arellano , Dr Pio Valenzuela, Moises Salvador, Jose Dizon , Doroteo Franco, Temoteo Paez and Pedro Serrano Laktaw, were brutally tortured to implicate Rizal. Rizals own brother Paciano was arrested and cruelly tortured but they never signed any damaging statement incriminating Rizal. Although their body was shattered on the torture rackand his left hand crushed by the screw, their valiant Asian Spirit remained unbroken.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
November 20 the preliminary investigation began. Rizal the accused, appeared before the Judge Advocate, Colonel Francisco Olive . He was subjective a gruelling five-day investigation. 2 kinds of evidence presented against Rizal namely:
A) DOCUMENTARY 1. A letter of Antonio Luna to Mariano Ponce,(October 16,1888 in Madrid) showing Rizals connection with the Filipinos campaign in Spain. 2. A letter of Rizal to his family(August 20 1890 in Madrid) stating that the deportations are good for they will encourage the people to hate tyranny. 3. A letter from Marcelo del Pilar to Deodato Arellano (Januarry 71889 in Madrid)implicating Rizal in Propaganda campaign in Spain. 4. A poem entitled Kundiman, allegedly written by Rizal in Manila (September 12 1891).

KUNDIMAN
In the Orient beautiful Where the sun is born, In a land of beauty Full of enchantments But the bound in chains. Where the despot reigns, The land dearest to me Ah! That is my country, She is slaved and oppressed Groaning in the tyrants grips; Lucky shall be Who can give her liberty!

5. A letter of Carlos Oliver to un identified person(September 18 1891 Barcelona) describing Rizal as the man to free the Philippines from the Spanish oppression. 6. A Masonic document(February 9 1892 Manila) honouring Rizal for his patriotic services. 7. A letter signed Dimasalang (Rizals pseudonym) to Tenluz( Juan Zuluetas pseudonym) dated in Hongkong, May 24,1892 stating that he was preparing a safe refuge for Filipinos who may be persecuted by the Spanish authorities. 8. A letter of Dimasalang to un identified committee( June 1 1892) soliciting the aid of the committee in the patriotic work. 9. An anonymous and undated letter to the editor of the Hongkong Telegraph, censuring the banishment of Doroteo Cortes and Ambrosio Sa,lvador. 10. A letter of Ildefonso Laurel to Rizal (September 3 1892 Manila) saying that the Filipino people look up to (Rizal) as their saviour.

11. A letter of Ildefonso Laurel to (17,1893 in Manila) reforming an unidentified correspondent of the arrest and banishment of Doroteo Cortes and Ambrosio Salvador. 12. A letter of Marcelo H. del Pilar to Don Juan A. Tenluz(Juan Zulueta) (June 1 1893 Madrid) recommending the establishments of a special organization, independent of Masonory , to help the cause of the Filipino people. 13.Transcript of a speech of Pingkian (Emilio Jacinto) in reunion of the 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 a speech in Tik-Tik(Jose Turiano Santiago) in the same Katipunan reunion, where in katipuneros shouted Long live the eminent Dr Rizal! Death to the oppressor 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.

B) TESTIMONIAL The testimonial evidence consisted of the oral of Martin Constantino, Aguedo del Rosario, Jose Reyes, Moises Salvador, Jose Dizon, Domingo Franco, Deodato Arellano, Ambrosio Salvador , Pedro Serrano, Laktaw, Dr Pio Valenzuela, Antonio Salazar, F rancisco Quison, and Timoteo Paez. On November 26, after the preliminary investigation, Colonel Olive transmitted the records of the case to the Gov. Gen. Ramon Blanco, and the letter appointed Capt. Rafael Dominguezas special Judge Advocate to institute the corresponding action against Rizal. Dominguez made a brief resume of the charges and returned the papers to Gov. Gen. Blanco who thereupon ,transmitted to the Judge Advocate. Don Nicolas de la Pena for an opinion.

After studying the papers, Pena submitted the following recommendations: 1. The accused be immediately brought to trial. 2. He should be kept in prison. 3. An order of attachment be issued against his property to the amount of 1 million pesos as indemnity. 4. He should be defended in court by an army officer, not by a civilian lawyer.

RIZAL CHOOSES HIS DEFENDER


The only right given to Rizal by the Spanish authorities was to choose his defence council out of 100 presented to him. The name was familiar to him. Luis Taviel de Andrade , was the brother of Lt. Jose Taviel Andrade his former body guard in Calamba.

READING OF INFORMATION OF CHARGES TO THE ACCUSED


On Dec 11 the information was formally read to Rizal in his prison cell. He was accused of being the principal organizer and the living soul of the Filipino insurrection, the founder societys periodicals and books dedicated to fermenting and statements already made, except that he had taken no part in politics since his exile in Dapitan.

RIZALS MANIFESTO TO HIS PEOPLE


On Dec 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. Fortunately for Rizal, Judge Advocate Gen. N colas de la Pena recommended to Gov. Gen. Polavieja that the manifesto be suppressed. The latter heeded the recommendation so that Rizals manifesto was not issued to the people. Thus Rizal was saved from the shame of his manifesto being misinterpreted and disobeyed by the Filipinos in arms.

Dec 25, 1896 his last on earth, was the saddest in Rizals life. He was despair for he had no illusions about his fate. It was a dark and cheerless Christmas for Rizal as he found himself alone and depressed in a dreary prison cell. Brooding over his hopeless case, he wrote a letter to Lt. Taviel de Andrade, as follows: Fort Santiago, December 25, 1896 My Very Distinguished Defender: The Investigating Judge has informed me that tomorrow my case will be heard before the court. I was waiting for you this morning to tell you of an important matter, but undoubtedly the pressure of your work did not permit you to come as expected by the Investigating Judge. If you have time, I should like to speak to you before I appear the court; I shall be grateful if you come this afternoon, this evening, or tomorrow. Wishing you Merry Christmas I reiterate, Always your attentive and affectionate servant and client, Jose Rizal

RIZALS SADDEST CHRISTMAS

THE TRIAL OF RIZAL


The trial of Rizal was very eloquent proof of Spanish injustice and misrule. His case was pre judge he was considered guilty before the actual trial. The military court met not to give justice but to condemn him. At 8:00 am Dec 26,1896 the court-martial of Rizal stated in the military building called Cuartel de Espana. Lt. Col. Jose Togores Arjona (president) Capt. RicardoMunoz Arias, Capt. Manuel Reguera, Capt. Santiago IzquirdoOsorio, Capt. Braulio Rodriguez Nunez, Capt. Manuel Diaz Escribano, and Capt. Fermin Perez Rodriguez. Also present at the courtroom were Dr Rizal (accused) Lt. Taviel de Andrade ( his defence counsel) Capt. Rafael Dominguez (Judge Advocate) Lt Enrique de Alcocer(Prosecuting Atty.) and the spectators. Among the spectators were Josephine Bracken, some news paper men, and many Spaniards.

When Lt. Taviel de Andrade took his seat, the court asked Rizal whether he had anything to say. Rizal when read a supplement to his defence which he wrote in his prison cell. In this supplementary defence he further proved advised his innocence by twelve points: 1. He could not be guilty of rebellion, for he advised Dr. Pio Valenzuela in Dapitan to rise revolution. 2. He did not correspond with the radical, revolutionary elements. 3. The revolutionists used his name without his knowledge. If he were guilty he could have escaped n Singapore. 4. If he had a hand in the revolution, he could have escaped in a Moro vinta and would not have built a home, a hospital, and bought land Dapitan. 5. If he were the chief of the revolution, why was he consulted by the revolutionists? 6. It was true he wrote the by-laws of the La Liga Filipina but this is only a civic association-not a revolutionary society.

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, other wise they would not have supplanted it with the Katipunan. 10. If it were true that there were some bitter comments in Rizals letter,it was because they were written in 1890 when his family was being persecuted, being dispossessed of houses,warehouse,lands,etcand his brother and all his brothers-in-law were deported. 11. His life in Dapitan had been ewxemplary as the politico-military commanders and missionary priests could attest. 12. It was not true that the revolution was inspired by his one speech at the house of Doroteo Ongjungco,as allegedly witnesses whom he would like to confront. His friends knew his opposition to armed rebellion. Why did the Katipunansend an emissary to Dapitan who was unknown to him? Because those who knew him aware that he would never sanction any violent movement.

The military court, prejudiced as it was remained indifferent to Rizals pleading. After a short deliberation, the military court unanimously voted for the sentence of death. December 26th the court decision was submitted to Governor General Polavieja. Immediately, Polavieja sought the opinion of Judge Advocate General Nicolas de la Pea on the court decision. The latter affirmed the death verdict.

POLAVIEJA SIGNS RIZALS EXECUTION


On Dec 28,1896 approved the decision of the courtmartial and ordered Rizal to be shot at 7:00 oclock in the morning on Dec 30 at Bagumbayan Field (Luneta).
The decree runs like this:

Manila, December 28, 1896: Comfortably to the foregoing opinion. I approve the sentence dictated by the Court Martial in the present case, by virtue of which the death penalty is imposed on the accused Jose Rizal Mercado, which shall be executed by shooting him at 7:00 oclock in the morning of the 30th of this month in the field of Bagumbayan. For compliance and the rest that may correspond, let this be returned to the Judge Advocate, Captain Don Rafael Dominguez.

Camilio G. de Polavieja
For signing the fatal document ordering the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal, Governor General Polavieja won the eternal odium of the Filipino people. He and other Spanish officials who were responsible for the death of Rizal will evermore remain as obnoxious villains in the Philippine history.

The End
Thank you for listening!!!

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