The Execution of Gomburza

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After the events of January 20, 1872, led by Sgt. Fernando La Madrid along with 200 troops & laborers which is known as the beginning of Filipino Nationalism and to oppose Governor-General Izquierdo's reforms, on this day (February 17) a month later after the uprising, the 3 Filipino priests: Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, better known for the acronym Gomburza were executed by garrote in connection with the Cavite Mutiny.

The Three Filipino Martyrs executed on February 17, 1872.

Before their execution, they used that event as they organized mass arrests to Ilustrados, wealthy businessmen, and other collaborators. Izquierdo approved the death sentences of those who participated in the mutiny on January 27, 1872. 11 were sentenced to death, but their sentence was changed to life imprisonment on February 6, 1872, others were exiled in other colonies handled by the Spaniards. These priests were prominent figures as they fight for equal rights among priests and leading the campaign in the secularization movement which is to take Church influence away from the Spanish and give our fellow people increased roles in Church affairs.

That moment when Fort San Felipe in Cavite was seized by Sgt. La Madrid and his fellow mutineers cued the perfect opportunity, but it was a failed operation when a regiment was sent from Manila to handle the situation. Governor-General Izquierdo took advantage of the event to spread fear to our people, as Spain relied on Gen. Izquierdo's report and no more attempts to investigate the incident. It is believed that the mutiny was a well-planned conspiracy to dissolute Spanish Sovereignty in the Philippines. The Filipino priests were not involved in the mutiny, and they even knew each other the moment they would become servants of Catholicism. The military tribunal bribed a witness to testify against the priests as they were charged with treason and sedition, and publicly executed by garrote at Bagumbayan (now Luneta Park), Manila.

Noli Me Tangere (Touch me not) & El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) written by Dr. Jose Rizal

With the death of Gomburza it left an impact on us Filipinos, the Ilustrados exiled in Spain studied in other parts of Europe so they can continue their studies, while they write articles for the propagandist group La Solidaridad (The Solidarity) with notable members who used their pen-names like Antonio Luna (Taga-Ilog), Jose Alejandrino, Juan Luna, Mariano Ponce, and Dr. Jose Rizal (Laong Laan & Dimasalang). Rizal witnessed their execution along with his brother Paciano, and he wrote 2 novels in memoriam to the Filipino Martyrs that would trigger the Spanish Government and declaring him as an enemy of the state. Rizal returned to the Philippines but was captured after organizing La Liga Filipina (The Filipino League) and exiled in Dapitan until December 30, 1896, where Rizal was sentenced to death by musketry. Before Rizal's execution, the revolution started following a series of battles, as the government declared martial law on the 8 provinces after the attack of the Katipunan, and executed the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite on September 12, 1896. Another series of executions organized by the Spaniards 4 days after Rizal's death, On January 4, 1897, Eleven were executed in Bagumbayan while 4 of them were exiled or died in prison. 7 days after the Fifteen martyrs' execution, On January 11, 1897, Thirteen were executed also in Bagumbayan as the people were executed on both events collaborated with the Katipunan.

The revolution continues, but Spain doesn't want to surrender to our ancestors instead they sold the country to the United States and the Treaty of Paris was signed as the Americans are now ready to claim their new colony. Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora didn't give up to fight for their cause, but that cause managed to change our history and to create our own identity as we understand it today.

Sources:

Lead Image from https://philippineculturaleducation.com.ph/pag-aalsa-sa-cavite/

https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/death-of-gomburza-church-a2212-20200217-lfrm

http://malacanang.gov.ph/7695-the-martyrdom-of-the-gomburza/

https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/937/today-in-philippine-history-february-17-1872-fathers-mariano-gomez-jose-apolonio-burgos-and-jacinto-zamora-were-executed

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