Dec 31, 1896. 9:45AM
The trial courts of the Spanish government continued cracking down on alleged revolutionary activities this week when they sentenced thirteen men from Camarines to death. The guilty verdicts and subsequent orders of execution were rendered almost immediately after noted indio social critic and writer Dr Jose Rizal was executed on December 30.
Among the eleven men are three priests alleged to actively support the Philippine Revolution in Camarines. They are Inocencio Herrera, Severino Diaz, and Gabriel Prieto. The eight other men sentenced to death are from leading provincial families in Camarines. They stand condemned of being complicit in the Revolution. They are Manuel Abella, Domingo Abella, Florencio Lerma, Mariano Melgarejo, Macario Valentino, Cornelio Mercado, Tomas Prieto, and Camilo Jacob. No official date has been set for their execution, but it will take place sometime in the first week of January. Diario was not able to reach the families of the convicted for statements.
Open hostilities between revolutionary forces and Spanish authorities broke out earlier this year with the discovery of the Katipunan led by Andres Bonifacio, a native of Manila. Since August there have been a number of skirmishes and battles between the Revolution and Spanish forces. The province of Cavite is almost completely under the control of revolutionary forces led by Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio. The Revolution is active in the following provinces: Laguna, Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Morong, Batangas, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Tayabas. Analysts believe that Zambales, Pangasinan, Camarines Sur, Albay, Iloilo, Cebu, and Negros will soon follow.
The Spanish government has refused to give an official statement concerning the on-going trials and the rapidly spreading revolutionary sentiments among Filipinos. However, sources within the government indicate that the court martial courts will continue until the Crown is satisfied that revolutionary sentiments have been rooted out and suppressed.
Correspondents from Camarines and writer O.D Corpuz contributed to this report.