— Jose Rizal
At 7:03AM Jose Rizal was executed by Spanish firing squad at Bagumbayan. We can confirm that Jose Rizal has been executed by the Spanish government.
Rizal has just arrived with his guards at Bagumbayan. He is dressed in a bowler hat and a black suit, with a white shirt and tie. When taken from his cell he was bound at the elbows. We are being prevented from getting close to Rizal. Spanish authorities have cordoned off Bagumbayan and are actively discouraging Filipinos from getting too close.
He is walking straight and confidently. His presence is palpable. Some of the Filipinos soldiers who have been ordered to shoot him look nervous, even scared. There is a troop of Spanish soldiers waiting to execute Rizal if the Filipinos soldiers fail to follow orders. There are rumors concerning what will happen to the Filipino soldiers if they fail to follow orders.
As of 6:00AM December 30, 1896 Jose Rizal has been removed from his cell by Spanish troops and is on the march to Bagumbayan. A crowd has formed there, mostly Spanish. A few Filipinos are in attendance. Still awaiting confirmation of which members of the Rizal clan are here.
A source within Fort Santiago tells Diario that Lieutenant Luis Taviel de Andrade joined Rizal for breakfast. Rizal was given three hard boiled eggs, he ate two. The third he threw into a corner exclaiming: “This is for the poor rats! Let them have their fiesta too!”
Fort Santiago, Manila, Islands of the Philippines - The final day of Jose Rizal has been spent busily attending to a variety of visitors. Most, sources relate, he met with equanimity and serene confidence. The only moment of anger he displayed is, in display of callousness, guards refused to allow Teodora Alonso to embrace her doomed son. Witnesses report he shouted: “Cowards, not before long, Spain will be out of the Philippines!”
Jose Rizal’s long day began at six o’clock in the morning when he was visited by Captain Rafael Dominguez, who proceeded to read the declaration of Rizal’s execution. Witnesses state that Dr Rizal reacted to the news calmly and cooly, even confidently. He signed the notification with a strong hand, sources who have seen the signature state that it is strong, confident, and even beautiful. He made two declarations prior to signing, first that he is an indio not a “mestizo Chinese” and that he maintains his innocence of the charges. Unsurprisingly, waiting in the anteroom while Rizal was served his sentence were the Jesuit priests Miguel Saderra Mata and Luis Viza.
Witnesses have indicated that Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda, O.P is obsessed with bringing Dr Rizal back into the Church. One source, on condition of anonymity, has said Archbishop Nozaleda is propelled by a ‘burning zeal.’ It appears that Archbishop Nozaleda believes that the Jesuits, based on Dr Rizal’s more positive memories of his time at the Ateneo de Manila, are in the best position to bring him back to the fold. It appears the priests also attempted to leverage Dr Rizal’s relationship with Josephine Bracken to their benefit. The Archbishop has refused to publicly comment on Dr Jose Rizal.
Sources say that Dr Rizal warmly welcomed the pair of Jesuits priests to his rooms. He even accepted a statue of the Sacred Heart that he carved while in the Ateneo. It was placed on a table. At approximately 9AM a certain Father Roselle joined the discussion, with him was a journalist from the Heraldo de Madrid named Santiago Matraix. It appears that, as access to Dr Rizal by local media is being restricted, Matraix may be the last journalist to interview Rizal. Matraix related to Diario de Filipinas that during the discussion Dr Rizal described his time at the Ateneo: “Father, you’ll remember I was never president, but secretary. I was then very small and could not preside. You will notice that I have never presided over anything in my life - I have been and I am very insignificant.” Rizal continues to tweak the Church and their obsession with him.
At 10AM the parade of priests continued with two Jesuits by the name of Father Vilaclara and Balanguer replacing Father Roselle. Father Balanguer, for a time, was the parish priest of Dapitan and was approached by Dr Rizal when he wished to wed Ms Josephine Bracken during his exile in the town. After Balanguer came Father March, then Father Faura. To Father Faura, Rizal exclaimed: “Father, does Your Reverence not recall the last time we talked and what you predicted for me? You were a prophet: I am going to die on the scaffold.”
Among the political dignitaries who paid Rizal a visit were the civil governor of Manila, Manuel Luengo, and His Majesty’s Fiscal.
It was only in late afternoon when Rizal’s family was allowed to visit. Previously, he sent a note that only the “most valiant” should visit, for he had important things to say. Rumors are running rampant that he will clandestinely hand over some of his writings to his family. Sources have previously indicated that Rizal has spent most of his free time writing. It was during that meeting that the Spanish authorities physically prevented Rizal from embracing his mother. It was one of the only times that Rizal visibly showed his anger. It was a display of callous disregard for a mother’s love and the final hours of a condemned man. The Spanish authorities have defended their actions by saying they fear relatives may pass poison to him.
Soon after Rizal visited with his mother, his sisters arrived and remain with him. Reports indicate that Rizal has more visits from Jesuit priests to look forward to this evening.
Manila, Philippines - Rumors have been swirling for days about a potential rescue attempt by various wings of the Katipunan. Andres Bonifacio has made it known that he will not allow Jose Rizal to be executed by Spanish authorities. Following suit, Emilio Aguinaldo has privately declared his intention to mount a rescue attempt if Bonifacio’s either fails or does not push through. However, Paciano Rizal, injured though he may be and risking much, has privately spoken with the leadership to forgo any rescue attempt. Paciano has indicated that this is the wish of his younger brother; Jose Rizal does not want to see Filipino blood shed on his account. Indications are that Bonifacio and Aguinaldo have heeded Paciano and Jose’s wishes.
Governor-General Camilo Polavieja has ordered security in Manila and the surrounding area tightened. There is concern among the Spanish administration that Rizal’s execution will be interrupted and December 30 will be the first day in greater hostilities between the revolutionaries and the Spanish military. As well, if the execution goes through as planned, Rizal’s martyrdom will only be seen as a catalyst for further revolutionary activity.
Sources within Fort Santiago have confirmed that at 7:00AM today Jose Rizal was informed that he will be executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896. Only four days will have elapsed between his guilty verdict and execution.
Further updates as this story develops.
Sources within Malacanang Palace have told Diario de Filipinas that Governor-General Polavieja will make an announcement concerning the fate of Jose Rizal tomorrow morning, December 29, at 7:00AM. It appears that the pundits are correct and Polavieja will bow to religious and political pressures and order the execution of Jose Rizal.
Analysts have noted that executing Jose Rizal will only further inflame secessionist passions in the agitated colony, and likely embolden and anger the revolutionaries. As opposed to dampening revolutionary sentiment, his execution will strengthen the Philippine Revolution and drive Filipinos to support revolutionary goals.
Since Rizal’s guilty verdict has been handed down Manila and the surrounding area has been restive. Sources close to both Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo have indicated they will try and make an attempt to rescue Jose Rizal. While noted revolutionary agitator Paciano Rizal, who prior to his younger brother’s trial suffered horrific treatment at the hands of Spanish authorities, is rumored to be on the move. Earlier today Teodora Alonso’s motherly plea for clemency was soundly rejected by Polavieja when he refused her access to Malacanang Palace. Certain high ranking members of civil society have quietly indicated their displeasure with how the situation has been handled by the Spanish government.
Guilty Verdict of Noted Philippine Social Critic Upheld by Polavieja
In an unsurprising development on December 28, 1896, Governor-General Camilo Polavieja upheld the guilty verdict of Jose Protacio Mercado Rizal Alonso y Realondo, better known as Jose Rizal, for subversive activities and fomenting rebellion in the Spanish colony of the Philippines. This comes on the heels of a rushed and controversial trial which some local analysts deemed a guilty outcome as fait accompli from the start.
The fallout from the decision is still to be seen, but already the Spanish government is on alert for additional restiveness in Manila and surrounding areas. The revolutionary-minded Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan, or the Katipunan, led by Andres Bonifacio (a known disciple of Jose Rizal) has been active since 1892. Since August 30, 1896 the Katipunan has been in an open state of revolution against the Spanish government.
Jose Rizal burst on the Philippine intellectual scene in the 1880s with a series of stunning essays and novels deriding the Philippine Church and challenging the political and social status quo in the Spanish colony. His portrayals of friars, especially in his first novel Noli Me Tangere, drew the ire of the Church. While his stirring polemics has effectively instilled a sense of nationalism among the Filipino people of all walks of life, much to the chagrin of the Spanish government.
Rizal’s active involvement with Bonifacio’s revolution remains controversial, he has publicly stated that he does not support the current rebellion. However, analysts have noted that he has steadfastly avoided denouncing any rebellious movement which leads to Philippine independence. A close reading of his novels and essays, including his first publicly hailed poem in 1879, indicate a fervently held hope for Philippine independence and freedom. It cannot be denied that he has become the soul of the Filipino movement in the colony.
In defending the decision, Judge Advocate General Nicolas de la Pena, who wrote the guilty decision, stated, “Rizal, like all revolutionaries, has promoted the real rebellion without specifying the moment at which it was to break out.” While it was well-known that the previous Governor-General Ramon Blanco y Erenas was inclined towards leniency with Rizal, the current Governor-General does not seem to be so. Sources within the Palace indicate that Jose Rizal’s mother, Teodora Alonso petitioned the Governor-General for clemency earlier today but was denied access to Malacanang Palace.
As of writing there has been no public statement from the Rizal clan.