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Chapter 1

Something To Remember
 February 15, 1872- three priests guilty of treason was sentenced to death because they
were blamed as the instigators of a mutiny in Kabite.
 Jose Burgos- a Spaniard born in the PH, parish priest of the Manila Cathedral.
A man of rather valuable social graces. Appears modest but ruled by the contrary
passion, which, explains his political errors.
 Mariano Gomez- a Spaniard born in the PH, parish priest of Marikina. A
troublesome character, and had given serious offence to the authorities (mainly
Brigadier Oran, governor of Manila in 1867, to whom, on a trip he made to
Marikina was denied the honors due to any provincial governor)
 Jacinto Gamora- parish priest of Bacoor, a native of Kabite, a Chinese half-
breed and very old (>70). He aroused the suspicions of the Spanish authorities
more than once. He’s the archbishop's vicar in the province, under his
jurisdiction was a number of Dominican and Recollect friars who had parishes
in it.
 Upon hearing the sentence, Burgos broke into sobs, Zamora lost his mind and never
recovered it, and only Gomez listened impassively, an old man accustomed to the
thought of death.
 Bagumbayan- where the executions took place
 Saldua- a former artilleryman who confessed, he first died
 Order of death: Gomez, Zamora and Burgos
 In Spain, a battle of ideas, the battle between traditional absolutism and liberalism
 French "Enlightenment" – under Bourbon Carlos III; ancient realm had been subtly
infiltrated by the subversive ideas
 under Carlos IV and Fernando VII- successors of Carlos III; Spanish monarchy went
into political bankruptcy; the bewildered Spaniards were left with their destiny in their
own hands until Wellington finally brought formal victory to their guerrilla war of
 representation in the Cortes
 4 years earlier was summoned, in the historic Constitution of Cadiz of 1812 was
declared to be the sole repository of national sovereignty and the legislative
 the nation was defined as comprising all Spaniards, and a Spaniard as being any
man, not a slave, born and domiciled in the peninsula and the overseas
provinces, including the natives of the Philippines
 constant objective of the Filipino reformers and agitators
 The Philippine Revolution was thus, in a sense, made in Spain. Equal political rights
and guarantees would be the constant objective of the Filipino reformers and
agitators; justify the move for “assimilation”
 The battle would not be between Spain and the Philippines; that is an over-
simplification. In simple justice it must be said that Spain herself was an older and a
larger battlefield for the same ideas, and Spaniards had fought and would fight
Spaniards much longer and with greater devotion and ferocity for these ideas than ever
Filipinos would fight Spaniards.
 Fernando VII annulled the Constitution of 1812 in 1814.
 On New Year's Day 1820 Major Riego raised the cry for the Constitution in Cadiz and
the craven Fernando changed his tune. "Let us walk openly, and I the first, along the
constitutional path,"
 Fernando was rescued from the liberal forces by "the hundred thousand sons of St.
Louis", an army of intervention sent from absolutist France
 Riego, who had gone on to preside over the Cartes, was hanged, drawn and quartered.
 Fernando left the throne to his daughter Isabel but his brother Carlos challenged the
right of female succession and rallied the traditional forces to his support. Isabel had to
rely on the liberals, who defeated Carlos.
 Isabel herself, declared of age when only 13, was married off to an effeminate French
cousin, but was seen to be unduly fond of the son of an Italian pastrycook, Marfcri,
whom she made a marquis, a cabinet minister and governor of Madrid.
 When her trusted generals died she was helpless before one more liberal resurgence.
The Spanish navy, immediately supported by the army, came out for the Constitution
and Isabel fled, abdicating in favor of her 12-year-old son Alfonso XII.
 The crown was bestowed to Amadeo, second son of the king of 1taly. Regarded as "the
foreigner", he abdicated within a year, and the first Spanish republic was proclaimed,
itself to last scarcely a year.
 These revolutions and civil wars divided the Spanish people into "liberals" and
"serviles", "progressives" and "apostolics", absolutists and constitutionalists, the Left
and the Right.
 Men do not always choose freedom. They often prefer security, tradition, faith.
 When Fernando VII left "the constitutional path" for the second time the Madrid mob
cheered him: "Long live the absolutely absolute king! Long live our chains!"
 Carlos VII, the third traditionalist pretender, aspired to put on the crown of the Catholic
Kings; he wanted to be king of all the Spaniards. He found his political philosophy on
Catholic unity, community representation and social order. He offered Spain the liberty
which she knows only by name, not the liberalism that is born of protest; the liberty
that is the reign of laws when the laws are just, that is to say, in conformity with natural
rights and the rights of God."
 The Church was soon aligned with the forces of tradition, antagonized by the abolition
of the Inquisition and the sale of the estates of the religious Orders. The friars in the
Philippines naturally sympathized with their brethren in Spain, scorned, derided,
dispossessed, often murdered in the streets; the Jesuits, once again expelled from Spain,
also lost all their properties, which were confiscated by the State. These measures were
not enforced in the Philippines.
 The governments of Spain were united in their desire to· preserve the remnants of their
overseas empire, and the declaration of equality among all free men born in Spanish
territory was interpreted to apply only to those whose skins were white.
 The generals who were sent to govern the Philippines for a term of four years were to
depend on the advice and assistance of the Spanish friars, the only element of stability
and continuity in the colony. The friars had such huge Spanish authority, their moral
domination over the Filipinos, saved the Spanish State!
 The first flush of the revolution a new governor, General Carlos Ma. de la Torre y
Nava Cerrada, a rich Andalusian from Seville, who had entered politics as a deputy
to the Cortes of 1854, flaunted his liberalism. He was seen walking about the city
unescorted. The general invited the local liberals in, an unprecedented gesture, and they
drank toasts to "Liberty". The partisans paraded through the city wearing red ties and
waving banners and colored lanterns.
 The governor abolished censorship of the press, encouraged freedom of speech and
assembly, substituted imprisonment for flogging as a punishment in the army, and
settled an agrarian revolt in Kabite by pardoning the rebels and organizing them into a
special police force.
 He also turned a kindly ear to the protesters. They were outraged over the redistribution
of parishes to compensate the Recollects for the parishes which they had handed back
to the Jesuits, the former had been given a number of benefices held by the Filipino
seculars. The latter had appealed the Trentine canons which declared that no priest
might exercise the "cure" of souls without being subject to the authority of the bishop
of the jurisdiction, an obligation which the friars disputed because they held themselves
under the sole discipline of their Order's Rule and provincial superior.
 The Spanish kings, in consideration of their military and political support of the
conversion of the Indies, had been given almost complete authority, subject only to the
Pope himself, over the Church of the Indies. Perhaps General de la Torre would have
done something for his friends, but he· did not stay long enough in the Philippines.
 In 1871, he was replaced by Lieutenant General Rafael de Izquierdo, who declared
as he took office that he would "govern with the cross in one hand and a sword in the
other". He was a tough veteran who had enlisted at fourteen. He had suppressed popular
risings in Valencia, Tarragona and Lerida in the peninsula.
 He suspended the opening of a new school of arts and trades, dismissed high-ranking
half-breeds and Filipinos in the civil and military administrations, combined the
Spanish and native artillery regiments, reserving for Spaniards alone the vacancies for
non-commissioned officers. He also abolished the exemption from tribute and forced
labor then enjoyed by workers in the Kabite navy-yard and in the workshops of the
artillery and corps of engineers. These workers were drafted from the marine corps.
 In 1872, about two hundred Filipinos, most of them from the marine battalion at the
Kabite arsenal, joined by some sailors and artillerymen, rose in mutiny, seizing the
arsenal and the fort and killing seven Spanish officers. But the Kabite garrison of native
infantry remained loyal and, with re-enforcements hurriedly marched out of Manila,
the fort was taken two days later. What might have been a purely local disturbance was
now transformed into a general catastrophe with the arrest of hundreds of Filipinos,
half-breeds and Creoles/
 The Manila correspondent of La Iberia summarized the theory of the prosecution: three
groups, he averred, were involved in the mutiny. The military group, in charge of
seducing the soldiery, was in direct communication with a second group, the native
seculars, who in turn were in sole contact with a third group, wealthy liberals and
progressives led by four lawyers. Their common objective was said to be the
proclamation of an independent republic in the Philippines.
 The three priests were executed because they were seen as a threat to Spain. To many
in the Philippines the executions of 1872 must have seemed, not the end of an
insurrection, but a declaration of war.
 Paciano Mercado, a young student at the Colegio de San Jose who had been a
housemate of the unfortunate Burgos. He was the eldest son of Francisco Mercado and
Teodora Alonso, an affluent family of Kalamba in the province of La Laguna. The
Mercados would have tended to sympathize with the seculars. Kalamba was served by
Filipino parish priests.
 Jose, had been baptized by a Batanguefio, Father Rufino Collantes, who had been
succeeded by another Filipino, Father Leoncio Lopez. The latter was on the closest
terms with the family, and his nephew Antonino, a schoolmaster from Morong, would
in fact marry their second daughter, Narcisa. A third Filipino priest, a townmate, Father
Pedro Casanas, had stood as godfather at Jose's baptism, and one of his nephews,
Mariano Herbosa, a farmer, would in turn marry another sister, Lucia.
 The family fortunes were entirely dependent on the Dominican friars. Don Francisco
leased from the Order's great estates in the lake region the lands which he cultivated
with such skill, energy and success. Even ten years later Paciano would warn his brother
against offending the Dominicans for the good that they have done to them.
 In 1872, therefore, the Mercados would have concealed their natural sympathies as a
matter of self-interest, if not self-preservation. Dona Teodora herself had been arrested
and thrown into the common jail. According to Jose, Don Jose Alberto, returned from
Europe. His wife had committed grave breaches of her obligations both as a mother and
as a wife during his absence, and he found his home deserted, his children abandoned.
The poor man wearied himself out seeking her whereabouts; when at last he found her,
he wanted to divorce her, but my mother managed to persuade him to take his wife
back. The wife together with a lieutenant of the Civil Guard who had been a friend of
the family, accused him of trying to poison her, and named my mother as his
 Teodora was seized and marched off on foot some fifty kilometers to the jail in the
provincial capital of Santa Cruz. She was forced to admit what they wanted her to
admit, promising that she would be set free and re-united with her children if she said
what they wanted her to say. She submitted to the will of her enemies for her children.
The mayor himself begged my mother's forgivenesswhen the case had already reached
the Supreme Court. My mother's cause was defended by Don Francisco de Marcaida
and Don Manuel Marzano, the most famous lawyers in Manila. In the end she secured
an acquittal and was vindicated in the eyes of her judges, her accusers, and even her
enemies after two years and a half.
 Rizal was never to forget it. It influenced his whole life. His mother unjustly and cruelly
imprisoned, his only brother a suspect and a fugitive! He lost confidence in friendship
and mistrusted his fellow-men," he was to write the lieutenant and the mayor etched in
acid, while a boy's remembered anguish and humiliation in his description of Sisa, also
the mother of two sons, being marched to jail under guard.
 When it came to rationalizing his hatred of the regime he preferred to cite a less intimate
grievance, the contemporaneous execution of Burgos, G6mez and Zamora, perhaps as
vivid a memory because of his brother's peril, but not so agonizing or so personal as his
beloved mother's shame. Thus, it was to the three priests that he dedicated his second
novel, and it was their fate that he gave as the justification of his career. "Had it not
been for the events of 1872, Rizal would have been a Jesuit.” But the three priests had
not been the only ones who had been shamefully imprisoned, unfairly tried and unjustly