November 3, 1896 – Rizal arrived at Manila aboard the Streamer Colon. Rizal was quietly transferred to Fort Santiago. Spanish authorities gather evidences against Rizal while many Filipino patriots who had been recognized at his side were brutally tortured to implicate Rizal. Rizal’s brother, Paciano, was also arrested and brutally tortured but never said anything against his brother *Preliminary Investigation
November 20, 1896 – Judge Advocate Colonel Francisco Olive summoned Rizal to appear before him. Rizal was subjected to a grueling five-day investigation and was informed of the charges against him.
Two kinds of evidence presented against Rizal:
1. Documentary – consisted of 15 exhibits, most of it are his letter to his friends and some poems confiscated by Spanish authorities.
2. Testimonial – consisted of oral testimonies of his close friend who were tortured. The only right afforded to Rizal was the right to choose his defence lawyer. He chose Don Luis Taviel de Andrade, 1st Lieutenant of the Artilleru. November 26, 1896 – After the preliminary investigation, the Judge Advocate General Don Nicolas de la Peña 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 one million pesos as indemnity; and
4. He should be defended in court by an army officer, not by a civilian lawyer. December 11, 1896 – The information of charges was formally read to Rizal in his prison cell, with his counsel present. December 15, 1896 – Rizal wrote a manifesto in his prison cell at Fort Santiago. The manifesto was suppressed by the Spanish authorities. Thus, was never issued to the people. December 26, 1896 – The court-martial of Rizal started in the military building called Cuartel de España. *Rizal proved his innocence by twelve points:
1. He could not be guilty of rebellion, for he advised Dr Pio Valenzuela in Dapitan not to rise in 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 in 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 lands in Dapitan. 5. If he were the chief of the revolution, why was he not consulted by the revolutionists? 6. It was true he wrote the by-laws of the 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 reorganized nine months later, he did not know about it. 9. The Liga did not serve the purpose of the revolutionists, otherwise they would not have supplanted it with the Katipunan. 10. If it were true that there were some bitter comments in Rizal’s letters, it was because they were written in 1890 when his family was being persecuted, being dispossessed of houses, warehouses, lands, etc and his brother and all brothers-in-law were deported. 11. His life in Dapitan had been exemplary 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 Ongjunco, as alleged by witnesses whom he would like to confront. His friends knew his opposition to armed rebellion. Why did the Katipunan send an emissary to Dapitan who was unknown to him? Because those who knew him were aware that he would never sanction any violent movement
December 28, 1896 – Governor General Camilo Polaveija approved the decision of the court-martial and ordered Rizal to be shot at 7:00 o’clock in the morning of December 30 at Bagumbayan Field (now known as Luneta). *Last Hours of Rizal
December 29, 1896
Rizal spent his last 24 hours in his death cell where he was visited by his loved ones and wrote his farewell poem, “Mi último adiós” (My Last Farewell) which he hid in the alcohol cooking stove and was given to Trinidad during their visit. December 30, 1896
5:30 AM – Rizal wrote two letters, first addressed to his family and second to his only brother Paciano. First Letter:
Rizal was asking for forgiveness for all the pain that he has cause his family. A message to his sisters to love their parents so as to be treated the same by their children in time. He wanted to be buried in the ground, with a stone cross over it, with his name, birth and death. Have pity on Josephine
He told his brother how much he misses him. Not seeing him for 4 years and a half. He was sorry for leaving his brother burdened with the weight of the family and their old parents. His gratefulness on how hard his brother worked to give him a career, believing that he tried not to waste time. About 6:30 AM – a trumpet sounded at Fort Santiago, a signal to begin the death march. Rizal set on his walk from Fort Santiago to the Bagumbayan Field. Beside him walked Lt. Luis de Andrade and Fathers Jose Vilaclara and Estanislao March. Before and behind him were armed soldiers. Rizal was dressed elegantly in a black suit, black derby hat, black shoes, white shirt, and a black tie. His arms tied from elbow to elbow. He was blessed by one of the priests and offered him a crucifix to kiss. Rizal reverently bowed his head and kissed it.
He requested the commander of firing squad that he be shot facing them. He was denied. The death ruffles of the drums filled the air. The command “Fire” was heard, and the guns of the firing squad barked. And even at the moment of his fall, Rizal turns his body to the right with supreme effort with face upward facing the morning sun. His last words were those of Jesus Christ: “Consummatum Est.” – It is completed. After he was executed, the Spanish spectators shouted “Long live Spain! Death to the traitors!”. *Rizal died at exactly 7:03 am aged 35 years, five months and 11 days.
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