The Trial and Execution of Dr Jose Rizal


Martyrs are rare stars in the vast firmament of humanity. Every
Instance of martyrdom is  distinct in magnitude and direction.
Indeed martyrs are the meteors of history, they flash across the
sky and light the world and in the process consume themselves .
They are the person who is put to death or made suffer greatly or
other beliefs because of religion. Other elements of martyrdom
are usefulness of life and dedication to a high purpose.

Rizal’s death was an emotional event in our history as it produced
A “martyr” and resulted in some form of social change or transformation in our lives as a people. Rizal was put to death for
“subversion” by the dominant political forces. He presented  a sector
Of society which had begun to trouble and therefore constituted a real
Threat to the existing social order.


The spanish colonial government accused Rizal of three crimes:
(a) The founding of La Liga Filipina, an “illegal organization”
Whose single aim was to “Perpetrate the crime of rebellion”.
(b) Rebellion which he promoted through his previous activities.
(c)ILLegal association

-The penalty for for those accusation is life imprisonment to death 
And correctional imprisonment and a charge of 325 to 3,250 Pesetas.

The prosecution drew  information from the dossier on Rizal which
Detailed his” subervise activities” some of which are the following:
1.The writing and publication of “Noli me Tangere”, the Annotations
to Morga’s History of the Philippines, “El Filibusterismo”, and the
various articles which criticized the friars and suggested their
expulsion in order to win independence. The El Filibusterismo was
dedicated to the three martyr priests who were executed as traitors
to the Fatherland in 1872 because they were the moving spirit of the
uprising of that year.

2.The establishment of masonic lodges which became the propaganda
and fund raising center to support subvervise activities and the
establishment of centers in Madrithe ,Hongkong and Manila to propa-
gate his ideas.

After finishing as much evidence as possible on November 20, 1896
the preliminary on Rizal began. During the five-day investigation,Rizal
was informed of the charges against him before Judge advocate Colonel Francisco Olive.

·Two kinds of Evidences Endorsed By Colonel Olive to Governor

Ramon Blanco:
-fifteen exhibits
-Provide by Martin Constantino, Aguedo del Rosario, Jose Reyes,
 Moises Salvador, Jose Dizon,Domingo Franco, Deodato Arellano,
 Pio Valenzuela , Antonio Salazar, Francisco Quison, and Timoteo Paez.
The Judge Rafael Dominguez advocate assigned with the task of deciding what corresponding action should be done.After a brief Review transmitted the records to Don Nicolas de la Pena.

Pena’s recommendations were as follows:
– Rizal must be immediately sent to trial
·He must be held in prison under necessary security
· His properties must be issued with order of attachment
And as indemnity,Rizal had to pay one million pesos
·Instead of a civilian lawyer,only an army officer is allowed
To defend Rizal.
The lawyer of Rizal is Lt. Luis Taviel de Andrade Brother of Lt. Jose
Traviel de Andrade who worked as Rizal’s personal body guard in
Calamba in 1887.In the presence of his Spanish Counsel on December
11, 1896, charges against Rizal were read in the presence of his Spanish counsel.
When they asked regarding his sentiments or reaction on the charges,
Rizal replied that in his defense.
-He does not question the jurisdiction of the court.
-He has nothing to amend except that during his exile in Dapitan in
 1892, he had not dealt in political matters.
-He has nothing to admit on the charges against him.
-He had nothing to admit on the declarations of the witnesses,he had      not met nor knew,against him.

            The Execution Of Dr.Jose Rizal
Despite all valid pleadings the military court,vindictive as it was
Unanimous voted for the sentence of death. Polavieja affirmed
The decision of the court martial and ordered  to be shot at
7:00 in the morning of December 30 1896 at Bagumbayan field.
Rizal was heavily guarded and was accompanied by the Jesuits as
He walked from Fort Santiago to Bagumbayan. He wore a black woolen suit and a derby hat and his arms were tied behind him.
During the walked, he recalled  his youth and his student days
At the Ateneo. And in Bagumbayan itself, the Spanish troops held
Back the crowd while the artillery  group stood on alert to prevent any attempt to rescue Rizal. His brother Paciano who had joined the
Revolution forces was  said to have discouraged groups who might
Want to save Rizal since thay would not be able to match Spanish
Firepower. The captain in charge of the execution instructed Rizal
Were to position himself, to turn his back against the squad and the

Face the sea. However, Rizal requested to face the firing squad, as such position instructed was only taken by traitors and he was not one of them. The captain could not do anything for he was only following orders.Hence, failing to have his request granted, he asked to be shot at the back instead of the head so that he may, at the end , turn his head and body sidewise and fall with his face upward.The captain agreed,he also asked if he would like to kneek but Rizal refused nor did he agree to be blindfolded. A Jesuit priest now came running and
Asked Rizal to kiss the cruffix that he held.Rizal turned his back on the cruffix and thus,against the firing squad. He was ready for the execution.


Rizal spent his 24 hours in his death cell where he received members
Of his family and writes his letter,the first one to his “second brother”
Ferdinand Blumentritt. He gave his sisters,Trinidad and old petroleum
lamp and whispered to her in English that there is something inside
The lamp .Thus is Rizal’s famous Farewell poem. “Ultimo Adios”, (Last Farewell” was found. Rizal was said to have married his Irish girlfriend
according to Catholic rited in the very last hours of his life, after living
with her for sometime in Dapitan. They  were previously married civilly. On the morning of December 30,1896.Rizal set on his walk from
Fort Santiago to the Bagumbayan square, the same place where the three priest had been killed in 1872, now Luneta Park, in the center of

Manila at 6:30 O’clock. And when the time to march to Bagumbayan Rizal  he was ready to face his ultimate death came, he was seen as
A man of peace and bravery. At exactly 7:03 am RIZAL shouted “Consummatum Est” before the shot run out. The hero’s life ended. In
In the background could be heard, “Viva Espna! Death to traitors!.
Rizal’s Family was not able to take old of his body. The military had
secretly buried the body of Rizal at the Paco cemetery. Her sister
Narcisa looked for the cadaver everywhere but could not find it.
She passed by the unused Paco cemetery and saw through the open
Gate some civil guards. Finding this uncommon, she entered the cemetery and searched the place. She saw a grave with freshly turned

earth and knew at once his was her brother’s body. With a little money,she asked the gravedigger to place a plaque on it with her
brother’s initial reverse.That is R.P.J. for Protacio Jose.That afternoon the books, letter, and alcohol burner were delivered

To Rizal’s family. At the base of the alcohol burner they found Rizal’s
last masterpiece the MI ULTIMO ADIOS. The copies were given to each family member and some are to the Cavite insurgents.
After the Americans had taken Manila, Narcisa requested the new government to grant her permission to exhume the body of his brother.
They found out that the body was never placed in a coffin, nor even
Wrapped by anything. Rizal’s family had possession of the body the remains were instituted at the base of the Rizal monument which was
erected at the center of the Luneta.

Published on: March 29, 2023 02:57 PM PST