I think Rizal was against the revolution. Rizal issued in December 1896, asking the Katipuneros to lay down their arms and condemning the violence that was planned without his knowledge and consent. I think Rizal was an American-sponsored hero, citing without any documentary proof, an alleged Philippine Commission meeting when the American colonial government chose Rizal as the foremost national hero because he was non-violent and reformist, unlike Bonifacio or Aguinaldo. the annual commemoration of Rizal’s death each year in Dec. 30, was started by Emilio Aguinaldo’s short-lived First Philippine Republic in 1898 and continues to our day. Then, the December 1896 Manifesto, used against Rizal both by the Spanish who condemned him to death for inspiring the revolution, and the pro-Bonifacio groups in our day, is not read in full. Rizal was not against the revolution but felt, rightly so, that it was premature.
Rizal is branded a mere “reformist” because they have not read his letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt from Geneva on June 19, 1887, his 26th birthday. We do not know the issue or situation that gave rise to Rizal’s words. But these words are significant if only to show that Rizal was not averse to revolution or violence if necessary. We also have to realize that when some historians and teachers of history created a gap between reform and revolution, between the campaign for reforms and assimilation in Spain and the outbreak of the Philippine revolution, they fail to see that Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar and others saw reform and assimilation only as a first step to eventual separation from Spain, the independence of “Filipinas.” Reform was a means to freedom not the destination. So I presume Rizal chose reform over revolution .