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Rizals retraction: Truth vs Myth


Tomas U. Santos

October 4, 2011


THE DEBATE continues.

Since Rizals retraction letter was discovered by Father Manuel Garcia, C.M. in 1935, its content
has become a favorite subject of dispute among academicians and Catholics. The letter, dated
December 29, 1896, was said to have been signed by the National Hero himself.

It stated: I declare myself a Catholic and in this religion in which I was born and educated I
wish to live and die. I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and
conduct has been contrary to my character as son of the Catholic Church.

The controversy whether the National Hero actually wrote a retraction document only lies in the
judgment of its reader, as no amount of proof can probably make the two opposing groupsthe
Masonic Rizalists (who firmly believe that Rizal did not withdraw) and the Catholic Rizalists
(who were convinced Rizal retracted)agree with each other.

Proofs, documents

History books tell most people that the first draft of the retraction was sent by Archbishop
Bernardino Nozaleda to Rizals cell in Fort Santiago the night before his execution in
Bagumbayan. But Rizal was said to have rejected the draft because it was lengthy.

According to a testimony by Father Vicente Balaguer, a Jesuit missionary who befriended the
hero during his exile in Dapitan, Rizal accepted a shorter retraction document prepared by the
superior of the Jesuit Society in the Philippines, Father Pio Pi.

Rizal then wrote his retraction after making some modifications in the document. In his
retraction, he disavowed Masonry and religious thoughts that opposed Catholic belief.

Personally, I did not believe he retracted, but some documents that was purchased by the
Philippine government from Spain in the mid-1990s, the Cuerpo de Vigilancia de Manila,
showed some interesting points about the retraction, said Jose Victor Torres, professor at the
History department of the De La Salle University.
Popularly known as the Katipunan and Rizal documents, the Cuerpo de Vigilancia de Manila is a
body of documents on the Philippine revolutions that contains confidential reports, transcripts,
clippings, and photographs from Spanish and Philippine newspapers.

Despite this, Torres said his perception of the Filipino martyr would not change even if the
controversies were true.

Even though it would be easy to say he retracted all that he wrote about the Church, it still did
not change the fact that his writings began the wheels of change in Philippine colonial society
during the Spanish perioda change that led to our independence, Torres said. The retraction
is just one aspect of the life, works, and writings of Rizal.

But then, Torres noted that the controversy is irrelevant today.

The way Rizal is taught in schools today, the retraction means nothing, he said.

Unadorned fact

Filipino historian Nicolas Zafra considered the controversy as a plain unadorned fact of history,
having all the marks and indications of historical certainty and reality in his book The
Historicity of Rizals Retraction.

Dr. Augusto De Viana, head of USTs Department of History , also believes that Rizal retracted
and said the National Hero just renounced from the Free Masonry and not from his famous
nationalistic works.

He (Rizal) retracted. He died as a Catholic, and a proof that he died as a Catholic was he was
buried inside the sacred grounds of Paco Cemetery, said De Viana, who compared the martyr
with Apolinario Mabini, a revolutionary and free mason who was buried in a Chinese cemetery.

De Viana said it is not possible that the retraction letter had been forged because witnesses were
present while Rizal was signing it.

He added that the evidence speaks for itself and moves on to the question on Rizals character as
some argue that the retraction is not in line with Rizals mature beliefs and personality.

Anti-retractionists ask, What kind of hero is Jose Rizal? They say he was fickle-minded. Well,
that may be true, but that is human character. Rizal was not a perfect person, De Viana said.

He also mentioned that just like any person, Rizal was prone to flip-flop. He believes that Rizal
retracted because the national hero wanted to be at peace when he dies.

But would Rizals works deem irrelevant and futile because of his retraction?

De Viana answered, Rizal awakened our knowledge of nationalism. For me, that is enough. The
issue will not invalidate his works in any way.
Rizal's Retraction: Did he or did he not?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Rizals Retraction: Did he? Or Did he not?

On the year 1896, 30TH of December a history began, a man who has been a writer, a
painter, a musician, a doctor, an artist, a genius, and a martyr was killed . A man who willingly
risked his life to fight against the Spanish tyranny and emancipate his beloved fellow
countryman from the abyss of Spanish cruelty. Through his work of art, his two famous novels
the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibustirismo, did not only made his people realize the havoc of
reality at that time but as well as it paved the way for nationalism. A man who has been the
epitome of nationalistic patriotism, a man named Dr. Jose Protacio Mercado Y Alonzo Realonda.

The great Malayans life with his sayings, his perspective, and his intellect has been a
great inspiration to his countrymen. On the contrary there are controversies about Rizals life
that left us hanging flummoxed, and until now it is still debated by great historians. The issue
that I am referring to is about Jose Rizals so called retraction. Did he retract? Or did he not?
Did Dr. Jose Rizal converted to Protestantism or remained as a Catholic?

According to Father Balaguers Act of Faith Hope and Charity, On the night before
Rizals execution at ten in the evening Jesuits hoped to finally wear down his resistance. They
exerted much effort into bringing back Rizal to the Catholic Church they even told him that God
would condemn him if he wont retract which made Rizal weep and came into the realization. He
was given by Father Balaguer the long formula of retraction which had been written by order of
the Prelate but Rizal did not signed it for it was too long. Rizal asked Father Balaguer to get a
pen and jot down what he will dictate. And that was Rizals retraction document which is
considered the chief witness to the reality of the Retraction.

But wouldnt it be absurd that the original copy went missing and was found by Father
Manuel Garcia in the archdiocesan archives 39 years later? Are Jesuits that irresponsible?
Furthermore when the Jesuits reproduced a copy of the retraction document, Dr. Ricardo
Pascual Ph.D who was granted the opportunity to inspect and study the document by the
archbishop. This caused him doubt while he was comparing Rizals manner of writing against
the retraction paper that was given to him. He then came to the conclusion which he wrote
through his book Rizal beyond the grave that the existing document was a forgery.

Moreover, as what Father Balaguers stated as an additional evidence to prove that Rizal
really retracted. Is Rizals marriage to Josephine Bracken, but that had just caused more
confusion when he was asked to show their Certificate of Marriage. He showed nothing.

Besides in his last poem Mi Ultimo Adios if Rizal really was married to Josephine
Bracken why did he only stated her as a sweet stranger? And didnt wrote as his sweet wife?
Also according to his poem which expresses 'Adis', I go where there are no slaves, no
hangmen or oppressors, where faith does not kill It is evident that his referring to the Catholic
Church, it is clear that there is bitterness behind those phrases

Additionally if Rizal really died as a catholic .Why did they bury him wherein Fr. Burgos
had been positioned, which is evidently the cemetery for anti-Catholic Church? Why havent
they buried Rizal at Paco Cemetery in which good Samaritans are supposed to be placed? And
the worst part is, he have been buried without any coffin! Wouldnt it be Ironic? If Jesuits wants
to prove that Rizal himself had retracted why did they buried him collectively where heretics and
infidels are laid? They didnt even offered a mass in church for Rizal who died as a penitent

To finish,. Even if we havent met Jose Rizal personally it is evident that Rizals character
gives you an idea in the course of his writings. Numerous of his works was all about the cruelty
and tyranny of Spaniards .All of those include friars ,all of those submit directly to the Catholic
Church. Just think about it, would Rizal just simply abandon all his work of art that took most of
his time and hard work in just an exchange of a great sum of money and a an estate if he
retract ?the answer is NO, It would be like vomiting of what you just had eaten and swallow it
again. We can see right through his works, Rizal is a man of one word; he had never distorted
his thoughts, and never will be. With this, I conclude that Rizal did not retract to Catholicism.

Whatever Rizals religion may be whether he is a protestant or a Catholic, Rizal is still

Rizal himself.

A true Filipino, the true National Hero.

Did Jose Rizal Retract?

No, Rizal did not retract. Although there were many opinions and evidences presented by various
authors as to whether Rizal did or did not retract. Nonetheless, until now there is no proof or any
justification to end the debate.

The following assertions bring about the testimonies that Rizal did not retract before his

First was the copy of the retraction paper that was allegedly signed by Rizal that was even kept
secret and was only published in newspapers. When Rizals family requested for the original
copy, it was said that it was lost. Could the Jesuits be this irresponsible to not know the value of
the paper? Or was it just hidden?

Thirty-nine years later the original copy was found in the archdiocesan archives. Ricardo Pascual
Ph. D who was given permission by the Archbishop Nozaleda to examine the document and later
concluded in his book, Rizal beyond the Grave that the documents presented was a forgery.
The common rebuttal of this argument was either Father Balaguer or Father Pi had made errors
in reproducing another copy of the original.

Another evidence as to Rizal did not retract is that when Father Balaguer came to terms that he
married Jose and Josephine, after Jose had signed the retraction paper, however, there were no
marriage certificate or public record shown that could prove Father Balaguers statements.

Why would Rizal retract when he knows for a fact that even if he signs the retraction paper he
would still be executed? Since the Archbishop and Jesuits cannot do anything to mitigate his
penalty because the judicial process involved was purely a military tribunal where civilian or
church interference was uncommon and not allowed. Rizal was accused of participating in
filibusterous propaganda where the penalty as provided by the Spanish Code is death. The same
of what happened to the three priests who were garrotted years earlier, even though they were
still a part of the church; they were still treated as rebellious and were also not given a proper

Furthermore, way back when Rizal was still exiled in Dapitan, Father Sanchez- Rizals favourite
teacher from Ateneo- was sent by the Jesuits superiors to try to convince his former students
allegation towards the Catholic religion and Spanish religious in the Philippines. Father Sanchez
told him to retract in exchange of a professorship, a hundred thousand pesos and an estate
(Laubach, 1936) however Rizal rejected the offer.

It was argued that Rizal retracted in order to save his family from further persecution, to give
Josephine Bracken a legal status as his wife and to assure reforms from the Spanish government.
It is more likely to be of Rizals mentality however, come to think of it, would Rizal just simply
neglect all the writing he conceived with his hard work? The same writings that brought him to
the point of being executed? No.

Rizals behaviour during his last hours in Fort Santiago does not point to a conversion- the Mi
Ultimo Adios and letters- or indicate even a religious instability. In the evening where his sister
and mother arrived, never had he mentioned about the retraction, contrary to what Father
Balaguer claimed that even in the afternoon, Rizal was oblivious and was asking for the formula
of the retraction.
Rizal was fixated of the thought that he would die for the love of his country, he, himself had
coveted death a long time ago. His character speaks so loud that even all of Rizals friends do not
believe that he have written a retraction.

Let us look at Rizals character as a man aged 33. He was mature enough to realize the
consequences of the choice he had made even before he opposed to the Jesuits; he had been
anticipating this to happen and would be unlikely if he had a behaviour showing a threat from
death. Anyone who has been studying his biography and had been acquainted with him knows
this is so, even the priests had admitted that Rizal showed a behaviour consistent of what he was
throughout his mature years.

Whatever further study that may emerge as to the truth about Rizals retraction controversy, it
detracts nothing from his greatness as a Filipino.

Analysis Rizal's Retraction

At least four texts of Rizals retraction have surfaced. The fourth text appeared in El Imparcial on
the day after Rizals execution; it is the short formula of the retraction.

The first text was published in La Voz Espaola and Diaro de Manila on the very day of Rizals
execution, Dec. 30, 1896. The second text appeared in Barcelona, Spain, on February 14, 1897,
in the fortnightly magazine in La Juventud; it came from an anonymous writer who revealed
himself fourteen years later as Fr. Balaguer. The "original" text was discovered in the
archdiocesan archives on May 18, 1935, after it disappeared for thirty-nine years from the
afternoon of the day when Rizal was shot.

We know not that reproductions of the lost original had been made by a copyist who could
imitate Rizals handwriting. This fact is revealed by Fr. Balaguer himself who, in his letter to his
former superior Fr. Pio Pi in 1910, said that he had received "an exact copy of the retraction
written and signed by Rizal. The handwriting of this copy I dont know nor do I remember
whose it is. . ." He proceeded: "I even suspect that it might have been written by Rizal himself. I
am sending it to you that you may . . . verify whether it might be of Rizal himself . . . ." Fr. Pi
was not able to verify it in his sworn statement.

This "exact" copy had been received by Fr. Balaguer in the evening immediately preceding
Rizals execution, Rizal y su Obra, and was followed by Sr. W. Retana in his biography of Rizal,
Vida y Escritos del Jose Rizal with the addition of the names of the witnesses taken from the
texts of the retraction in the Manila newspapers. Fr. Pis copy of Rizals retraction has the same
text as that of Fr. Balaguers "exact" copy but follows the paragraphing of the texts of Rizals
retraction in the Manila newspapers.

Regarding the "original" text, no one claimed to have seen it, except the publishers of La Voz
Espanola. That newspaper reported: "Still more; we have seen and read his (Rizals) own hand-
written retraction which he sent to our dear and venerable Archbishop" On the other hand,
Manila pharmacist F. Stahl wrote in a letter: "besides, nobody has seen this written declaration,
in spite of the fact that quite a number of people would want to see it. "For example, not only
Rizals family but also the correspondents in Manila of the newspapers in Madrid, Don Manuel
Alhama of El Imparcial and Sr. Santiago Mataix of El Heraldo, were not able to see the hand-
written retraction.

Neither Fr. Pi nor His Grace the Archbishop ascertained whether Rizal himself was the one who
wrote and signed the retraction. (Ascertaining the document was necessary because it was
possible for one who could imitate Rizals handwriting aforesaid holograph; and keeping a copy
of the same for our archives, I myself delivered it personally that the same morning to His Grace
Archbishop His Grace testified: At once the undersigned entrusted this holograph to Rev.
Thomas Gonzales Feijoo, secretary of the Chancery." After that, the documents could not be seen
by those who wanted to examine it and was finally considered lost after efforts to look for it
proved futile.

On May 18, 1935, the lost "original" document of Rizals retraction was discovered by the
archdeocean archivist Fr. Manuel Garcia, C.M. The discovery, instead of ending doubts about
Rizals retraction, has in fact encouraged it because the newly discovered text retraction differs
significantly from the text found in the Jesuits and the Archbishops copies. And, the fact that
the texts of the retraction which appeared in the Manila newspapers could be shown to be the
exact copies of the "original" but only imitations of it. This means that the friars who controlled
the press in Manila (for example, La Voz Espaola) had the "original" while the Jesuits had only
the imitations.

We now proceed to show the significant differences between the "original" and the Manila
newspapers texts of the retraction on the one hand and the text s of the copies of Fr. Balaguer and
F5r. Pio Pi on the other hand.

First, instead of the words "mi cualidad" (with "u") which appear in the original and the
newspaper texts, the Jesuits copies have "mi calidad" (with "u").

Second, the Jesuits copies of the retraction omit the word "Catolica" after the first "Iglesias"
which are found in the original and the newspaper texts.

Third, the Jesuits copies of the retraction add before the third "Iglesias" the word "misma" which
is not found in the original and the newspaper texts of the retraction.

Fourth, with regards to paragraphing which immediately strikes the eye of the critical reader, Fr.
Balaguers text does not begin the second paragraph until the fifth sentences while the original
and the newspaper copies start the second paragraph immediately with the second sentences.

Fifth, whereas the texts of the retraction in the original and in the manila newspapers have only
four commas, the text of Fr. Balaguers copy has eleven commas.

Sixth, the most important of all, Fr. Balaguers copy did not have the names of the witnesses
from the texts of the newspapers in Manila.

In his notarized testimony twenty years later, Fr. Balaguer finally named the witnesses. He said
"This . . .retraction was signed together with Dr. Rizal by Seor Fresno, Chief of the Picket, and
Seor Moure, Adjutant of the Plaza." However, the proceeding quotation only proves itself to be
an addition to the original. Moreover, in his letter to Fr. Pi in 1910, Fr. Balaguer said that he had
the "exact" copy of the retraction, which was signed by Rizal, but her made no mention of the
witnesses. In his accounts too, no witnesses signed the retraction.

How did Fr. Balaguer obtain his copy of Rizals retraction? Fr. Balaguer never alluded to having
himself made a copy of the retraction although he claimed that the Archbishop prepared a long
formula of the retraction and Fr. Pi a short formula. In Fr. Balaguers earliest account, it is not yet
clear whether Fr. Balaguer was using the long formula of nor no formula in dictating to Rizal
what to write. According to Fr. Pi, in his own account of Rizals conversion in 1909, Fr. Balaguer
dictated from Fr. Pis short formula previously approved by the Archbishop. In his letter to Fr. Pi
in 1910, Fr. Balaguer admitted that he dictated to Rizal the short formula prepared by Fr. Pi;
however; he contradicts himself when he revealed that the "exact" copy came from the
Archbishop. The only copy, which Fr. Balaguer wrote, is the one that appeared ion his earliest
account of Rizals retraction.

Where did Fr. Balaguers "exact" copy come from? We do not need long arguments to answer
this question, because Fr. Balaguer himself has unwittingly answered this question. He said in his
letter to Fr. Pi in 1910:

"I preserved in my keeping and am sending to you the original texts of the two formulas of
retraction, which they (You) gave me; that from you and that of the Archbishop, and the first
with the changes which they (that is, you) made; and the other the exact copy of the retraction
written and signed by Rizal. The handwriting of this copy I dont know nor do I remember
whose it is, and I even suspect that it might have been written by Rizal himself."

In his own word quoted above, Fr. Balaguer said that he received two original texts of the
retraction. The first, which came from Fr. Pi, contained "the changes which You (Fr. Pi) made";
the other, which is "that of the Archbishop" was "the exact copy of the retraction written and
signed by Rizal" (underscoring supplied). Fr. Balaguer said that the "exact copy" was "written
and signed by Rizal" but he did not say "written and signed by Rizal and himself" (the absence of
the reflexive pronoun "himself" could mean that another person-the copyist-did not). He only
"suspected" that "Rizal himself" much as Fr. Balaguer did "not know nor ... remember" whose
handwriting it was.

Thus, according to Fr. Balaguer, the "exact copy" came from the Archbishop! He called it "exact"
because, not having seen the original himself, he was made to believe that it was the one that
faithfully reproduced the original in comparison to that of Fr. Pi in which "changes" (that is,
where deviated from the "exact" copy) had been made. Actually, the difference between that of
the Archbishop (the "exact" copy) and that of Fr. Pi (with "changes") is that the latter was
"shorter" be cause it omitted certain phrases found in the former so that, as Fr. Pi had fervently
hoped, Rizal would sign it.
According to Fr. Pi, Rizal rejected the long formula so that Fr. Balaguer had to dictate from the
short formula of Fr. Pi. Allegedly, Rizal wrote down what was dictated to him but he insisted on
adding the phrases "in which I was born and educated" and "[Masonary]" as the enemy that is of
the Church" the first of which Rizal would have regarded as unnecessary and the second as
downright contrary to his spirit. However, what actually would have happened, if we are to
believe the fictitious account, was that Rizals addition of the phrases was the retoration of the
phrases found in the original which had been omitted in Fr. Pis short formula.

The "exact" copy was shown to the military men guarding in Fort Santiago to convince them that
Rizal had retracted. Someone read it aloud in the hearing of Capt. Dominguez, who claimed in
his "Notes that Rizal read aloud his retraction. However, his copy of the retraction proved him
wrong because its text (with "u") and omits the word "Catolica" as in Fr. Balaguers copy but
which are not the case in the original. Capt. Dominguez never claimed to have seen the
retraction: he only "heard".

The truth is that, almost two years before his execution, Rizal had written a retraction in Dapitan.
Very early in 1895, Josephine Bracken came to Dapitan with her adopted father who wanted to
be cured of his blindness by Dr. Rizal; their guide was Manuela Orlac, who was agent and a
mistress of a friar. Rizal fell in love with Josephine and wanted to marry her canonically but he
was required to sign a profession of faith and to write retraction, which had to be approved by
the Bishop of Cebu. "Spanish law had established civil marriage in the Philippines," Prof. Craig
wrote, but the local government had not provided any way for people to avail themselves of the

In order to marry Josephine, Rizal wrote with the help of a priest a form of retraction to be
approved by the Bishop of Cebu. This incident was revealed by Fr. Antonio Obach to his friend
Prof. Austin Craig who wrote down in 1912 what the priest had told him; "The document (the
retraction), inclosed with the priests letter, was ready for the mail when Rizal came hurrying I to
reclaim it." Rizal realized (perhaps, rather late) that he had written and given to a priest what the
friars had been trying by all means to get from him.

Neither the Archbishop nor Fr. Pi saw the original document of retraction. What they was saw a
copy done by one who could imitate Rizals handwriting while the original (almost eaten by
termites) was kept by some friars. Both the Archbishop and Fr. Pi acted innocently because they
did not distinguish between the genuine and the imitation of Rizals handwriting.


Eugene A. Hessel

This is a debate in which this lecturer hesitates to take part. For one thing, I believe there
are aspects in the life and thought of Dr. Jos Rizal which are of far greater significance. I have
already expressed this view in my book The Religious Thought of Jos Rizal, (01) and I shall
have more to say about it in the concluding part of this lecture. It is most unfortunate that some
people speak and write about the Retraction without really knowing what Rizal did or did not
retract, i.e., not sufficient attention has been given to the mature, quite uniform and systematic
religious thought of Dr. Rizal. Only when this has been done first can one evaluate the
meaningfulness of the Retraction. For some people to retract would mean little, for they have so
little to retract. This was not so of Rizal, and I have tried to make this clear in my previous
lectures and writing. It is the life and thought of Rizal during his mature years which are of
primary interest to me, and not what happened during the last day of his life.

Another reason I hesitate to enter the debate is that some of the protagonists have
generated more heat than light. There has been a great deal of argumentum ad hominem, i.e.,
vitriolic attacks upon opponents in the debate. I do not wish to engage in such. I have respect for
a number of Roman Catholic defenders of the Retraction. I treasure a letter received recently
from one who has written four books defending it. He says, after reading my book, I wish to
congratulate you for your . . . impartial appraisal of the man [Dr. Rizal]. Father Manuel A.
Garcia, the discoverer of the Retraction Document, has been most gracious in personally helping
me with my research.

Recently, however, I have been looking into the question of the Retraction with some
interest and I intend to continue my research. I find that there are four common attitudes toward
the Retraction and its bearing on the life and character of Dr. Rizal:

1. There are those who insist that the Rizal to be remembered and honored is the
converted Rizal. This is the official Roman Catholic position. In the only official book
dealing with all aspects of the Retraction (official in the sense that it bears the Imprimatur of
Archbishop Santos), Rizals Unfading Glory, Father Cavanna says in the Preface:

Rizals glory as a scholar, as a poet, as a scientist, as a patriot, as a hero, may some day
fade away, as all worldly glories, earlier or later do. But his glory of having found at the
hour of his death what unfortunately he lost for a time, the Truth, the Way, and the Life,
that will ever be his UNFADING GLORY. (02)

This same sentiment is echoed in the statement issued by the Catholic Welfare Organization in
1956 and signed by the Archbishop with regard to the Noli and the Fili:

. . . We have to imitate him [Rizal] precisely in what he did when he was about to crown
the whole work of his life by sealing it with his blood; we ought to withdraw, as he
courageously did in the hour of his supreme sacrifice, whatever in his works, writings,
publications, and conduct had been contrary to his status as a son of the Catholic Church.

2. There are those who have argued that Rizal throughout his mature life was a free thinker and
unbeliever; thus the Retraction is of necessity a lie. This is the extreme opposite of the Roman
Catholic position. My previous writing has tried to demonstrate that the major premise on which
this thesis is based is not true.

3. A third implied view may be summarized as follows: the Rizal that matters is the pre-
Retraction Rizal; therefore one can ignore the Retraction. The fundamental assumption here is
held by many students and admirers of Rizal, including myself, but the conclusion does not
necessarily follow. This brings us to the fourth possible attitude towards the Retraction.
4. Scholarly investigation of all facets of Rizals life and thought is desirable. In the interest of
truth, the truth to which Rizal gave such passionate devotion, we have every right, and also an
obligation, to seek to know the facts with regard to the Retraction. If scholarly research
continues, fancy may yet become acknowledged fact.

Before we proceed further it would be well to say something about bibliography and
method. More than twenty books and pamphlets, in addition to numerous articles have been
surveyed in the course of this study. A number of writings on the Retraction merely repeat the
arguments of earlier ones and add nothing new. Others are more sarcastic and sentimental than
enlightening. But something of value has been gained from almost all of them. The literature
belongs to two general categories: biography, and works dealing specifically with the Retraction.
Among the biographers, Guerrero, (03) Laubach, (04) and Palma (05) have given the most
adequate treatment of the Retraction, the first accepting it and the other two rejecting it. Of
works dealing specifically with the Retraction, the most objective, scholarly and complete are
those by Pascual, (06) arguing against the Retraction, and Father Cavanna (07) in its favor. As an
almost complete compendium of information and arguments pro and con there is no book to date
which is the equal of that of Father Cavanna. The second edition has 353 pages of text,
appendices, and bibliographical entries totaling some 123 items. (A new edition just off the press
is enlarged further but could not be utilized. Incidentally, Father Cavanna draws heavily upon the
documents and information supplied by Father Manuel A. Garcia.) Amongst other writers
consulted, special indebtedness to Collas, (08) Ricardo Garcia, (09) and Runes and Buenafe (10)
should be mentioned. Garcia is a prolific popular writer in defense of the Retraction; the other
two oppose it. All tend to chiefly summarize what has previously argued although Runes
introduces several new arguments which will be examined in due course. Much research time has
been spent in running down various versions of the Retraction Document appearing in books,
articles, newspapers, etc. in writing letters to clarify or verify certain points, and in conferring
with individuals. Unfortunately, many documents were destroyed during the war.

The story of the Retraction has been told and retold. Various newspaper reports of the last
hours of Rizal were published on Dec. 30, 1896 or the days shortly thereafter. However, the first
detailed account came out in a series of anonymous articles in the Barcelona magazine, La
Juventud, issues of January 15 and 31 and Feb. 14, 1897, republished some months later in a
booklet entitled La Masonizacin de Filipinas --Rizal y su Obra. Some thirteen years later,
Father Vicente Balaguer, S.J., the Jesuit priest who claimed to have secured Rizals Retraction,
asserted that this account was his work which he originally wrote that very same night of
December 29, 1896. (11) Subsequently, on August 8, 1917, Father Balaguer repeated his story in
a notarial act sworn to by him in Murcia, Spain. The only detailed account is that by Father Pio
Pi Y Vidal, S. J., Superior of the Jesuits in the Philippines in 1896, who published in Manila in
1909 La Muerte Cristiana del Doctor Rizal and confirmed his account in a Notarial Act signed in
Barcelona, April 7, 1917. In brief, the Jesuit account is this: On the 28 th of December (the very
day Governor General Polavija ordered the death sentence) Archbishop Nozaleda
commissioned the Jesuits to the spiritual care of Rizal, indicating that it would probably be
necessary to demand a retraction and suggesting that both he and Father Pi would prepare
formulas. Thus, about 7:00 a.m. of the 29th, two of the Jesuits arrived at the temporary chapel
where Rizal was to spend his last 24 hours. During this day various Jesuits came in and out
together with other visitors, including members of his own family. Rizal also took time to write
letters. Arguments with Rizal, with Father Balaguer taking the leading part, continued until dusk,
by which time, according to the Fathers account, (12) Rizal was already asking for the formula
of retraction. That night Rizal wrote out a retraction based on the formula of Father Pi and signed
it about 11:30 p.m. The Retraction contains two significant points: (1) the rejection of Masonry
(I abominate Masonry) and (2) a repudiation of anything in my words, writings, publications,
and conduct that has been contrary to my character as a son of the Catholic Church, together
with the statement I believe and profess what it teaches and I submit to what it demands.
During the night there followed, according to the Jesuit accounts, several Confessions (some say
five), several hearings of Mass, a number of devotional acts, the asking for and signing of
devotional booklets intended for various members of his family, and finally at 6:00 a.m. or
thereabouts, some fifteen minutes before he was marched out of Fort Santiago to his execution, a
marriage ceremony performed by Father Balaguer for Rizal and Josephine Bracken. So much for
the story in outline. Details, including the text of the Retraction, will be presented and discussed

Before assessing the validity of the account a brief word should be said about the history
of the controversy concerning the Retraction. One way to arrive quickly at an overall view of the
course of the debate is to read the titles and dates of pamphlets and books dealing with the
subject such as are contained in any good bibliography of Rizal. A seemingly accurate
description of the history of the struggle in convenient form is found in Part II of Cavannas book
which reports the various attacks down to the publication in 1949 of Ozaetas translation of
Palmas biography of Rizal. Cavanna seeks to answer the various arguments against the
Retraction, and in doing so makes reference to the chief works defending it. The first stage of the
Debate lasted for some twelve years after Rizals death, and at least overtly was wholly one-
sided. Cavanna aptly calls this period one of Concealed Attacks. The newspapers published the
reports given to them presumably by the Jesuits. Within the first year the Jesuits published a
quite complete story, for the time being anonymous in authorship. In successive years other
books and booklets were devoted in whole or in part to repeating the same story, culminating in
the famous full length biography in Spanish by Wenceslao Retana who incorporates the Jesuit
account. Yet even in the early years of this first period there were a few small voices raised in
objection, quite surprising since a totalitarian regime combining Church and State was in control.
Cavanna himself lists a leaflet dated Manila, December 31, 1896 and several letters questioning
the retraction. (13) Their main point, stated or implied, is that the Retraction is not in keeping
with the character of Rizal. It is of interest that at the end of the period, just a year after the
publication of his own biography of Rizal, Retana has something similar to say in an article
dated Dec. 29, 1908. Although still not denying the retraction, he adds:

. . . The fact is that influenced by a series of phenomena, or what is the same, of abnormal
circumstances, Rizal subscribed that document, which has been so much talked about, and which
no one has seen . . . The conversion of Rizal . . . was a romantic concession of the poet, it was
not a meditated concession of the philosopher. (14)

We may accept Cavannas dating of the second period as covering from 1908-1935. This
is the time of vigorous open attacks, many of them by Masons. Ever since, somewhat
unfortunately, an active battle has been waged between Roman Catholic and Masonic
protagonists. Early in the period, in 1909 to be exact, Father Pi published his booklet La Muerte
Cristiana del Doctor Rizal. This was answered three years later in a long article by
Hermenegildo Cruz in which several arguments often repeated subsequently were presented,
chief of them being: Where is the Retraction Document? The debate drew forth in 1920 the most
serious Roman Catholic answer until recent times, namely Father Gonzalo Ma. Pianas Murio
el Doctor Rizal Cristianamente?Which is chiefly significant because it reports a series of
notarized accounts made in the years 1917-1918 by the chief witnesses. The period seemingly
closes with victory for the defenders of the Retraction, for after many challenges to show the
actual Document of Retraction on May 18, 1935 it was discovered by Father Manuel A.
Garcia, C.M., while he was archdiocesan archivist [and] was busily sorting through a pile of
documents [so] that they might be arranged in orderly fashion in their new fireproof vault. On
June 16th the news was released by The Philippine Herald.

I would date the last period of the Debate from 1935 until the present. This is the time
when, in the light of the Retraction Document discovery, major and minor works have been
written on the subject of Rizals life and thought as a whole and on the Retraction in particular.
This leads us naturally to an assessment of the chief argumentspro and con which have been
raised over the years and systematically dealt with in the last thirty years.

As one examines the issues brought forth in the debate, a tabulation of the chief ones
raised since 1935 (the year of the discovery of the alleged Retraction Document) indicates that a
sort of impasse has been reached. Similar points are now made over and over again. In what
follows I shall not devote myself to presenting detailed answers to detailed arguments. This has
been done in book after book. Furthermore, as any college debater or trial lawyer knows, it is
possible to present an objection to almost any statement, and the effect so far as the audience is
concerned is often the result of a subtle turn of phrase or an appeal to a bit of loyalty or
sentiment. Rather, we shall be concerned with the thrust of certain main positions which taken
individually and in their accumulative significance serve to swing the weight of unbiased
conviction from one side to the other. Finally, we shall offer some suggestions for escaping from
the present stalemated debate.

What, then, are the major arguments for the Retraction? Although the arguments had been
presented by others before him, Father Cavanna (15) gives a well organized summary which is
adopted by most subsequent defenders. The points which follow are based on Cavanna with
some minor modifications:

1. Since the discovery in 1935, the Retraction Document is considered the chief
witness to the reality of the Retraction, itself. In fact, since then, by words or
implication, the defenders have said: the burden of proof now rests with those
who question the Retraction.

2. The testimony of the press at the time of the event, of eye-witnesses, and other
qualified witnesses, i.e. those closely associated with the events such as the
head of the Jesuit order, the archbishop, etc.

3. Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity reportedly recited and signed by Dr. Rizal as
attested by witnesses and a signed Prayer Book. This is very strong testimony if
true, for Rizal was giving assent to Roman Catholic teaching not in a general way
as in the case of the Retraction statement but specifically to a number of beliefs
which he had previously repudiated. According to the testimony of Father
Balaguer, following the signing of the Retraction a prayer book was offered to
Rizal. He took the prayer book, read slowly those acts, accepted them, took the
pen and saying Credo (I believe) he signed the acts with his name in the book
itself. (16) What was it Rizal signed? It is worth quoting in detail the Act of

I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son, I believe in

God the Holy Ghost, Three distinct Persons, and only One True God. I
believe that the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity became Man,
taking flesh in the most pure womb of the Virgin Mary, suffered, died,
arose again, ascended into Heaven, and that He will come to judge the
living and the dead, to give glory to the just because they have kept his
holy commandments, and eternal punishment to the wicked because they
have not kept them. I believe that the true Body and Blood of Our Lord
Jesus Christ are really present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. I
believe that the Blessed and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was in the
first moment of her natural life conceived without the stain of original sin.
I believe that the Roman Pontiff, Vicar of Jesus Christ, visible Head of the
Church, is the Pastor and Teacher of all Christians; that he is infallible
when he teaches doctrines of faith and morals to be observed by the
universal Church, and that his definitions are in themselves binding and
immutable; and I believe all that the Holy, Roman Catholic, and Apostolic
Church believes and teaches, since God who can neither deceive nor be
deceived, has so revealed it; and in this faith I wish to live and die.

The signed Prayer Book was amongst the documents discovered by Father Garcia along with the

4. Acts of Piety performed by Rizal during his last hours as testified to by


5. His Roman Catholic Marriage to Josephine Bracken as attested to by

witnesses. There could be no marriage without a retraction.

These arguments are impressive. Many think of them, as Cavanna does, as irrefutable
facts. But to call them facts is to prejudge the case or to misuse the word. That a Retraction
Document was discovered in 1935 is probably a fact but that is a document actually prepared and
signed by Rizal is the question at issue. AS we shall soon see, many opponents of the Retraction
use the Document as their chief argument. So also, there is a signed Prayer Book. But a number
have asked, is this really Rizals signature? Granted, for sake of argument, that it is, what is the
significance of a mere signature apart from the testimony of Father Balaguer as to why Rizal

What about the testimony of the witnesses? We may dismiss the newspaper reports as
being less significant though of corroborative value. Their news was secured from others. One
reporter got into the chapel during part of the twenty-four hours. He states that studies, frolics of
infancy, and boys stories, were the subject of our chat. (17) As for the actual eye witnesses,
some eight testified to having seen one or more of the acts mentioned above. Only three testify to
having seen the signing of the Retraction. The major witnesses are priests or government
officials at a time when Church and State worked hand in hand. The bulk of the testimony comes
from notarized statements in 1917 or later. Having made these remarks, it is none the less true
that the testimony is impressive. It cannot be dismissed, as some have tried to do, with a few
sarcastic comments. The argument from testimony as well as the arguments as a whole can be
better judged only after weighing this evidence over against the arguments rejecting the

What is the case against the Retraction?

1. The Retraction Document is said to be a forgery. As we have noted, the Document

plays a significant part on both sides of the debate. There are four prongs to the
case against the document itself.

a. First of all there is the matter of the handwriting. To date the only detailed,
scientific study leading to an attack upon the genuineness of the
document is that made by Dr. Ricardo R. Pascual of the University of
the Philippines shortly after the document was found, a study which he
incorporated in his book Rizal Beyond the Grave. Taking as his
standard some half dozen unquestioned writings of Rizal dating from
the last half of December 1896, he notes a number of variations with the
handwriting of the Retraction Document, the following being the most
significant ones according to the present lecturer: (1) the slant of the
letters in the standard writings gives averages several points higher than
the average yielded by the Retraction Document, and perhaps more
significantly, the most slanted letters are to be found in the Document;
(2) there are significant variations in the way individual letters are
formed; (3) with reference to the signature, Pascual notes no less than
seven differences, one of the most significant being indications of
stops which, says the critic, are most naturally explained by the fact
that a forger might stop at certain points to determine what form to make
next; (4) there are marked similarities in several respects between the
body of the Retraction and the writing of all three signers, i.e. Rizal and
the two witnesses, thus serving to point to Pascuals conclusion that this
is a one-man document.

The only scholarly answer to Pascual is that given by Dr. Jos I. Del
Rosario as part of the thesis which he prepared for his doctorate in chemistry
at the University of Sto. Tomas, 1937, although most of the details are the
result of a later study which Father Cavanna asked him to specifically prepare.
(18) Dr. del Rosarios main criticism may be said to be that Pascual does not
include enough of Rizals writings by way of comparison. On the basis of a
larger selection of standards he is able to challenge a number of Pascuals
statements although this lecturer has noted mistakes in del Rosarios own data.
Dr. del Rosarios conclusion is that the hand-writing is genuine.

Me declare catlico y en esta Religion Me declare catlico y en esta religin

en que nac y me eduqu quiero vivir y en que nac y me eduqu quiero vivir y
morir. morir. Me retracto de todo corazon de
cuanto en mis palabras, escritos, impresos y
Me retracto de todo corazon de cuanto conducta ha habido contrario a mi cualidad
en mis palabras, escritos, impresos y de hijo de la Iglesia. Creo y profeso cuanto
conducta ha habido contrario mi cualidad ella ensea; y me someto cuarto ella
de hijo de la Iglesia Catlica. Creo y manda. Abomino de la Masonera, como
profeso cuanto ella ensea y me someto enemiga que es de la Iglesia, y como
cuarto ella manda. Abomino de la Sociedad prohibida por la misma Iglesia.
Masoneria, como enemiga que es de la Puede el Parelado diocesano, como
Iglesia, y como sociedad prohibida por la Autoridad superior eclesistica, hacer
Iglesia. Puede el Parelado Diocesano, como pblica esta manifestacin, espontnea ma
Autoridad Superior Eclesistica hacer para reparar el escndalo que mis actos
pblica esta manifestacin espontnea mia hayan podido causar y para que Dios y los
para reparar el escndalo que mis actos hombres me perdonen.
hayan podido causar y para que Dios y los
hombres me perdonen. Manila, 29 de Deciembre de 1896.

Jos Rizal Esta retractacin la firmaron con el Dr.

Rizal, el Sr. Fresno Jefe del Piquete y el
El Jefe del Piquete El ayudante uplaze seor Moure, Ayudantede la Plaza.

Juan del Fresno Eloy Moure * Cf. Gonazlo Ma. Piana, Muri el
Doctor Rizal Cristianamente? (Barcelona:
* Based on a photostat of the Retraction in Editorial Barcelonesa, S.A., 1920), p. 155
the files of Rev. Manuel A. Garcia, C.M.
seen by this lecturer.

b. A second prong directed against the authenticity of the document itself is

based on the principles of textual criticism. Several critics, beginning so
far as I know with Pascual, have noted differences between the text of
the document found in 1935 and other versions of the Retraction
including the one issued by Father Balaguer. (19) Since this kind of
criticism is related to my work in Biblical studies I am now engaged in a
major textual study of my own which consists first of all in gathering
together all available forms of the text. To date, it is clear from my own
studies that at least from the morning of December 30, 1896 there have
been, discounting numerous minor variations, two distinct forms of the
text with significant differences. The one form is represented by the
Document discovered in 1935 and certain other early records of the
Retraction. Two phrases in particular are to be noted: in line 6, Iglesia
Catolica, and in line 10 la Iglesia. The other form of the text is
much more common beginning with the text of Balaguer published in
1897. In place of Iglesia Catolica in line 6 there is the single
word Iglesiaand in place of la Iglesia there appears la misma
Iglesia. There also tend to be consistent differences between the two
types of the text in the use of capital letters. The second form also
claims to be a true representation of the original.

The usual explanation of these differences is that either Father

Balaguer or Father Pi made errors in preparing a copy of the original and
these have been transmitted from this earliest copy to others. Father
Cavanna makes the ingenious suggestion that Father Balaguer made
corrections in the formula which he supplied to Rizal according to the
charges which he supplied to Rizal writing out his own, but he didnt
accurately note them all. On the other hand, it would have seemed that the
copy would have been carefully compared at the very moment or at some
other early date before the original disappeared. It is not surprising that
some have wondered if the Retraction Document was fabricated from the
wrong version of a retraction statement issued by the religious

c. A third argument against the genuineness of the Retraction Document

which also applies to the Retraction itself is that its content is in part
strangely worded, e.g. in the Catholic Religion I wish to live and die,
yet there was little time to live, and also Rizals claim that his retraction
was spontaneous.

d. Finally, there is the confession of the forger. Only Runes has this story.
He and his co-author report an interview with a certain Antonio K. Abad
who tells how on August 13, 1901 at a party at his ancestral home in San
Isidro, Nueva Ecija (when Abad was fifteen) a certain Roman Roque
told how he was employed by the Friars earlier that same year to make
several copies of a retraction document. This same Roque had been
previously employed by Colonel Funston to forge the signature of the
revolutionary General Lacuna on the document which led to the capture
of Aguinaldo. Runes also includes a letter dated November 10, 1936
from Lorenzo Ador Dionisio, former provincial secretary of Nueva
Ecija, who was also present when Roque told his story and confirms it.

On the basis of the above arguments taken as a whole it would seem that there is
reasonable ground to at least question the Retraction Document.

(2) The second main line of argument against the Retraction is the claim that other acts
and facts do not fit well with the story of the Retraction. Those most often referred to by writers
beginning with Hermengildo Cruz in 1912 are as follows:
a. The document of Retraction was not made public until 1935. Even members of the
family did not see it. It was said to be lost.

b. No effort was made to save Rizal from the death penalty after his signing of the

The usual rebuttal is that Rizals death was due to political factors and with this
the religious authorities could not interfere.

c. Rizals burial was kept secret; he was buried outside the inner wall of the Paco
cemetery; and the record of his burial was not placed on the page for entries of Dec.
30th but on a special page where at least one other admitted non-penitent is recorded
(perhaps others, the evidence is conflicting).

It is asked by the defenders of the Retraction, how else could an executed felon be
treated? Perhaps the ground outside the wall was sacred also or could have been specially
consecrated. To top the rebuttal, Rizals Christian Burial Certificate was discovered on
May 18, 1935 in the very same file with the Retraction Document! The penmanship is
admitted by all to be by an amanuensis. Whether the signature is genuine is open to

d. There is no marriage certificate or public record of the marriage of Rizal with

Josephine Bracken. To say that these were not needed is not very convincing.

e. Finally, Rizals behavior as a whole during his last days at Fort Santiago and during the
last 24 hours in particular does not point to a conversion. Whether written during the
last 24 hours or somewhat earlier, RizalsUltima [Ultimo] Adios does not suggest any
change in Rizals thought. The letters which Rizal wrote during his last hours do not
indicate conversion or even religious turmoil. In the evening Rizals mother and sister
Trinidad arrive and nothing is said to them about the Retraction although Father
Balaguer claims that even in the afternoon Rizals attitude was beginning to change
and he was asking for the formula of retraction. It is all well and good to point out
that all the above happened prior to the actualretraction. A question is still present in
the minds of many.

(3) The third chief line of argument against the Retraction is that it is out of character.
This argument has been more persistently and consistently presented than any other. Beginning
with the anonymous leaflet of Dec. 31, 1896 it has been asserted or implied in every significant
statement against the Retraction since that time. It has seemed to many, including the present
lecturer, that the Retraction is not in keeping with the character and faith of Rizal as well as
inconsistent with his previous declarations of religiousthought.

First let us look at the character of the man. Rizal was mature. Anyone acquainted with
the facts of his life knows this is so. Thirty-five is not exactly young and Rizal was far more
mature than the average at this age. It is not likely, then, that he would have been shocked into
abnormal behavior by the threat of death. He had anticipated for some time that the authorities
would destroy him, and even the priests admit that during most of his last 24 hours Rizal
manifested a type of behavior consistent with all that was previously exhibited during his mature
years. I worked closely with prisoners for some ten years and accompanied two of them to the
scaffold. Their behavior was restrained and consistent. I would have expected Rizals to be the
same. Furthermore, in the deepest sense of the word Rizal was already a believer. In my book
and elsewhere I have argued strongly that Rizal was not a free-thinker in the usual sense of the
word. History is full of the unchallenged reports of real conversions, but the most significant
meaning of true conversion is the change from unbelief to belief, not mere change of ideas.

Rizals conversion is also out of keeping with his mature religious thought. It is not as
though Rizal had been bowled over by confrontation with the new thought of Europe (and by
antagonism towards religious authorities who had injured his family and who worked hand-in-
hand with a restrictive colonial regime) but had never fully thought through his religious
convictions. As I have written elsewhere: The fact that similar views are found from writing to
writing of his mature years and that they made a quite consistent whole suggest that such
theology as he had was fully his own . . . . (21) Rizal had a consistent and meaningful system of
Christian thought, and it is therefore harder to think of his suddenly exchanging it for another.

So much for the debate up to the present. I have tried to state fairly the arguments, and it
is perhaps evident on which side the lecturer stands. Nonetheless, I do not feel that the question
is settled. What, then, remains to be done? Is there a way out of the impasse? Are there areas for
further investigation?

(1) Let a new effort be made to keep personalities and institutional loyalties out of future
discussion. It is time for honest investigators to stop speaking of the Protestant, the Masonic,
or the Roman Catholic view towards the Retraction. Let the facts speak for themselves.

(2) Let the Retraction Document be subject to neutral, scientific analysis. This suggestion
is not new, but in view of the present state of the debate and appropriate to the approaching
30th year since its discovery it would be fitting to at last carry this out. Furthermore, it would be
an act of good faith on the part of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. If the document is genuine,
those who favor the Retraction have nothing to lose; in either case the cause of Truth will gain. I
would suggest for this analysis a government bureau of investigation in some neutral country
such as Switzerland or Sweden.

Should neutral experts claim that the Document discovered in 1935 is a forgery this of
itself would not prove that Rizal did not retract. But it would prompt further study.

(3) As a third step, then, to be undertaken onlyafter a new evaluation of the Retraction
Document, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy should feel bound to allow its other documents
pertaining to Rizals case to be investigated, i.e. the burial certificate, the signature of the
Prayer Book, and perhaps also certain other retraction documents found in the same bundle with
that of Dr. Rizals.

(4) The story concerning the forger should be investigated further.

(5) If assurance can be given that the above steps are being undertaken then let there be a
moratorium on further debate and greater attention given to the rest of Rizals life and thought, in
particular to his mature religious faith and thought. Let me close with the words of Senator Jos
Surely whether Rizal died a Catholic or an apostate adds or detracts nothing from
his greatness as a Filipino. It is because of what he did and what he was that we revere
Rizal. . . Catholic or Mason, Rizal is still Rizal: the hero who courted death to prove to
those who deny our patriotism that we know how to die for our duty and our beliefs . . .


(01) Manila: Philippine Education Co., 1961.

(02) Jesus Ma. Cavanna y Manso, C. M. Rizals Unfading Glory, a Documentary History of
the Conversion of Dr. Jos Rizal. 2nd. Ed. Rev. and improved (Manila: n. n. 1956), p.
vi. Subsequently referred to as Cavanna.

(03) Leon Ma. Guerrero, The First Filipino (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1963).
Subsequently referred to as Guerrero.

(04) Frank C. Laubach, Rizal: Man and Martyr(Manila: Community Publishers, 1936).
Subsequently referred to as Laubach.

(05) Rafael Palma, The Pride of the Malay Race.Translated Roman Ozaeta. (New York:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1949). Subsequently referred to as Palma.

(06) Ricardo R. Pascual, Rizal Beyond the Grave, Revised Edition (Manila: Luzon
Publishing Corp., 1950). Subsequently referred to as Pascual.

(07) Jesus Ma. Cavanna y Manso, op cit. in footnote 1.

(08) Juan Collas, Rizals Retractions (Manila: n.n. 1960). Mr. Collas was of great help in
preparation of my book on Rizals religious thought. He handles both Spanish and
English with consummate skill and has opened up to many English readers much of
Rizals thought by translating Rizals most important minor writings.

(09) Ricardo P. Garcia, The Great Debate, The Rizal Retraction (Quezon City: R. P. Garcia
Publishing Col, 1964). Subsequently referred to as Garcia. Starting with a little
booklet in 1960, this former school principal turned publisher has since published
three enlargements of his original attempt to answer a number of works written
against the Retraction, including those by Palma, Collas, Juan Nabong, Judge
Garduo, and Runes using as his defense chiefly Cavanna.

(10) Ildefonso T. Runes and Mameto R. Buenafe,The Forgery of the Rizal Retraction and
Josephines Autobiography (Manila: BR Book Col, 1962). Subsequently referred
to as Runes.

(11) Cavanna, p. 24.

(12) Ibid, p. 8. Cavanna has conveniently included in his book most of the pertinent Jesuits
(13) Cavanna, pp. 144ff.

(14) Ibid, p. 153.

(15) Cavanna, pp. 1-108.

(16) Cavanna, p. 54. A Photostat of the Acts is found facing page 57 of Cavanna and the
translated text on pp 57f.

(17) Don Santiago Mataix, correspondent of theHeraldo de Madrid, quoted by Palma, p. 325.

(18) Cavanna, pp. 176ff.

(19) See accompanying page [inserted columns above] for the two texts.

(20) Runes, pp. 107ff. As a first check of my own on his evidence I wrote to a professor
friend of mine whom I have known intimately for eighteen years. Since he comes
from the North I thought he might be able to make some comments on the persons
involved. To my surprise I found that my friend is himself a native of San Isidro,
knew personally all three men mentioned above, and vouched strongly for their
respectability and truthfulness. All had been civic officials. My informant had not
heard the above story nor read the book by Runes, but he knows the author personally
and vouches for his reliability and honesty.

(21) Eugene A. Hessel, The Religious Thought of Jos Rizal (Manila: Philippine Education
Co., 1961), p. 255.

(22) From the Preface to Garcias The Great Debate. It is surprising and heartening that the
senator would write this in a book defending the Retraction.




Martyrs are rare stars in the vast firmament of humanity. Every

Instance of martyrdom is distinct in magnitude and direction.
Indeed martyrs are the meteors of history, they flash across the
sky and light the world and in the process consume themselves .
They are the person who is put to death or made suffer greatly or
other beliefs because of religion. Other elements of martyrdom
are usefulness of life and dedication to a high purpose.

Rizals death was an emotional event in our history as it produced

A martyr and resulted in some form of social change or transformation in our lives as a people.
Rizal was put to death for
subversion by the dominant political forces. He presented a sector
Of society which had begun to trouble and therefore constituted a real
Threat to the existing social order.


The spanish colonial government accused Rizal of three crimes:

(a) The founding of La Liga Filipina, an illegal organization
Whose single aim was to Perpetrate the crime of rebellion.
(b) Rebellion which he promoted through his previous activities.
(c)ILLegal association

-The penalty for for those accusation is life imprisonment to death

And correctional imprisonment and a charge of 325 to 3,250 Pesetas.

The prosecution drew information from the dossier on Rizal which

Detailed his subervise activities some of which are the following:
1.The writing and publication of Noli me Tangere, the Annotations
to Morgas History of the Philippines, El Filibusterismo, and the
various articles which criticized the friars and suggested their
expulsion in order to win independence. The El Filibusterismo was
dedicated to the three martyr priests who were executed as traitors
to the Fatherland in 1872 because they were the moving spirit of the
uprising of that year.

2.The establishment of masonic lodges which became the propaganda

and fund raising center to support subvervise activities and the
establishment of centers in Madrithe ,Hongkong and Manila to propa-
gate his ideas.

After finishing as much evidence as possible on November 20, 1896

the preliminary on Rizal began. During the five-day investigation,Rizal
was informed of the charges against him before Judge advocate Colonel Francisco Olive.

Two kinds of Evidences Endorsed By Colonel Olive to Governor

Ramon Blanco:
-fifteen exhibits
-Provide by Martin Constantino, Aguedo del Rosario, Jose Reyes,
Moises Salvador, Jose Dizon,Domingo Franco, Deodato Arellano,
Pio Valenzuela , Antonio Salazar, Francisco Quison, and Timoteo Paez.
The Judge Rafael Dominguez advocate assigned with the task of deciding what corresponding
action should be done.After a brief

Review transmitted the records to Don Nicolas de la Pena.

Penas recommendations were as follows:

- Rizal must be immediately sent to trial
He must be held in prison under necessary security
His properties must be issued with order of attachment
And as indemnity,Rizal had to pay one million pesos
Instead of a civilian lawyer,only an army officer is allowed
To defend Rizal.
The lawyer of Rizal is Lt. Luis Taviel de Andrade Brother of Lt. Jose
Traviel de Andrade who worked as Rizals personal body guard in
Calamba in 1887.In the presence of his Spanish Counsel on December
11, 1896, charges against Rizal were read in the presence of his Spanish counsel.
When they asked regarding his sentiments or reaction on the charges,
Rizal replied that in his defense.
-He does not question the jurisdiction of the court.
-He has nothing to amend except that during his exile in Dapitan in
1892, he had not dealt in political matters.
-He has nothing to admit on the charges against him.
-He had nothing to admit on the declarations of the witnesses,he had not met nor knew,against

The Execution Of Dr.Jose Rizal

Despite all valid pleadings the military court,vindictive as it was
Unanimous voted for the sentence of death. Polavieja affirmed
The decision of the court martial and ordered to be shot at
7:00 in the morning of December 30 1896 at Bagumbayan field.
Rizal was heavily guarded and was accompanied by the Jesuits as
He walked from Fort Santiago to Bagumbayan. He wore a black woolen suit and a derby hat and
his arms were tied behind him.
During the walked, he recalled his youth and his student days
At the Ateneo. And in Bagumbayan itself, the Spanish troops held
Back the crowd while the artillery group stood on alert to prevent any attempt to rescue Rizal.
His brother Paciano who had joined the
Revolution forces was said to have discouraged groups who might
Want to save Rizal since thay would not be able to match Spanish
Firepower. The captain in charge of the execution instructed Rizal
Were to position himself, to turn his back against the squad and the

Face the sea. However, Rizal requested to face the firing squad, as such position instructed was
only taken by traitors and he was not one of them. The captain could not do anything for he was
only following orders.Hence, failing to have his request granted, he asked to be shot at the back
instead of the head so that he may, at the end , turn his head and body sidewise and fall with his
face upward.The captain agreed,he also asked if he would like to kneek but Rizal refused nor did
he agree to be blindfolded. A Jesuit priest now came running and
Asked Rizal to kiss the cruffix that he held.Rizal turned his back on the cruffix and thus,against
the firing squad. He was ready for the execution.


Rizal spent his 24 hours in his death cell where he received members
Of his family and writes his letter,the first one to his second brother
Ferdinand Blumentritt. He gave his sisters,Trinidad and old petroleum
lamp and whispered to her in English that there is something inside
The lamp .Thus is Rizals famous Farewell poem. Ultimo Adios, (Last Farewell was found.
Rizal was said to have married his Irish girlfriend
according to Catholic rited in the very last hours of his life, after living
with her for sometime in Dapitan. They were previously married civilly. On the morning of
December 30,1896.Rizal set on his walk from
Fort Santiago to the Bagumbayan square, the same place where the three priest had been killed in
1872, now Luneta Park, in the center of

Manila at 6:30 Oclock. And when the time to march to Bagumbayan Rizal he was ready to face
his ultimate death came, he was seen as
A man of peace and bravery. At exactly 7:03 am RIZAL shouted Consummatum Est before the
shot run out. The heros life ended. In
In the background could be heard, Viva Espna! Death to traitors!.
Rizals Family was not able to take old of his body. The military had
secretly buried the body of Rizal at the Paco cemetery. Her sister
Narcisa looked for the cadaver everywhere but could not find it.
She passed by the unused Paco cemetery and saw through the open
Gate some civil guards. Finding this uncommon, she entered the cemetery and searched the
place. She saw a grave with freshly turned

earth and knew at once his was her brothers body. With a little money,she asked the gravedigger
to place a plaque on it with her
brothers initial reverse.That is R.P.J. for Protacio Jose.That afternoon the books, letter, and
alcohol burner were delivered

To Rizals family. At the base of the alcohol burner they found Rizals
last masterpiece the MI ULTIMO ADIOS. The copies were given to each family member and
some are to the Cavite insurgents.
After the Americans had taken Manila, Narcisa requested the new government to grant her
permission to exhume the body of his brother.
They found out that the body was never placed in a coffin, nor even
Wrapped by anything. Rizals family had possession of the body the remains were instituted at
the base of the Rizal monument which was
erected at the center of the Luneta.

Philippine Commentary

To thine own self be true--that to no one canst thou be false!

Friday, December 11, 2009

On the Death of JOSE RIZAL and the Retraction Lies, Scandal, and Deceptions
On the Death of JOSE RIZAL and the Retraction Lies, Scandal, and Deceptions
by Poch Suzara


The secret why other Asian neighbors are economically ahead of the Philippines is no secret at
all. They have been substantiating to the fullest extent possible what Jose Rizal, our nations
chief hero, was precisely saying to fellow-Filipinos more than a hundred years ago: Wake up!
Embrace science! Utilize the scientific way of thinking! Start to emulate the freethinkers!
Knowledge is the heritage of mankind, but only the courageous inherit it! We can only serve our
country by telling the naked truth. However bitter it may be!

Indeed, as the only Catholic country in Asia , we would rather have more faith in prayer and
theology than take advantage of the power of knowledge, science, and technology. Poch Suzara

If Rizal had retracted from his attacks against the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church,
and if, according to his Catholic biographer Leon M. Guerrero, Rizal had gone to confession four
times, heard mass in his death-cell, and received holy communion before he was executed, then
Rizal should be branded a traitor to all freedom fighters. He deserve not to be respected or
admired as a hero. He should, instead, be canonized a saint of God. But then again, if Rizal had
retracted, why then should the church feel dedicated to get Rizals true character expunged out of
the Filipino psyche? The truth of the matter was that the Church did everything possible to
counteract Rizals honest-to-goodness scientific temper of mind. Indeed, in his Noli and Fili,
Rizal exposed the Philippine damaged culture caused by organized superstition otherwise
popularly known as Christianity. Thus, the story of his retraction was nothing more than a
theological concoction to sanitize, if not to neutralize considerably the volume of Rizals
humanistic and scientific messages to the Filipino as a people. Poch Suzara


Rizals biographer Leon M. Guerrero, clearly notes that Rizal returned to the Church of his
youth in extremes of self-abasement, frenziedly in childlike fashion, spending the remaining
hours of earning indulgences from purgatory by confessing four times, and obsequiously
attending to Fr. Balaguer and Villaclaras wishes. In brief, according to this biographer, Rizal
died as a timid coward. Indeed, according to this official government commissioned biographer,
our national hero in the end turned out to be a turncoat, a creepy-crawly coward.

But then again, four years before his death, Rizal in 1882 wrote a letter to Gregorio Aglipay: . . .
It is probable that I will be executed then they will try to bring along my moral death by
covering my memory with slander. Poch Suzara


The shame in Rizals life is not the retraction of his deeds, writings or personal conduct. Such
retraction was only a frailocratic figment of the impoverished priestly imagination. The real
shame comes from the Filipino historians and other Catholic writers, not to mention the Knights
of Rizal themselves who believed not in Rizals power of intellect, but believed instead his
enemies the friars who invented sacred lies about this great man. Via the control of the
system of education in the Philippines , these friars have and still are blocking, expediently and
consistently, Rizals qualified and legitimate entry into the world stage as one of mankinds
greatest thinkers. But then again how can the world learn of Rizals intellectual power if the
Filipinos themselves know so little of the health and wealth of this great 19th century Filipino
scientists, humanist, thinker, and writer? Poch Suzara

Rizal was a product of Ateneo and Santo Thomas; yet both Catholic universities continue to
assassinate the character of this great humanist thinker. Rizal had learned on his own initiative,
outside academic wall, how to think deeply and how to embrace intellectual honesty valiantly.
Indeed, to this day, all Catholic universities still teach that during his last day on this earth, just
hours before he was executed for his principles, noble values, and rational beliefs, Rizal retracted
and went back to embrace the Catholic Church and its teachings. What brazen lies! It is no less
than a tall story. A cheap shot at a great man. Otherwise, after his death, he should have been
given a Catholic burial and his bodily remains not just put inside an old sack and thrown in the
Paco Cemetery in the corner where heretics are stashed away like dead animals. Poch Suzara


Jose Rizal pointed out that evolution in education, ( not reliance on foreign investments ), is the
best hope of the nation to enjoy the highest standard of living and thinking. The system of
education for the Filipino must be based on science and technology, and not on prayers and
theology. Indeed, according to Rizal, a free nation can rise no higher than the standard of beliefs
and values set in its schools, colleges, and universities. In there hope for the Philippines ? Yes,
there is! But first its system of education must be radically revamped. No more silly prayers to
support a stupid theology. Only more science and more technology via more scientific method of
thinking. Poch Suzara


Rizal struggled not only against Spanish authority, but against superstition. He fought not in the
battlefield, but in the minds of men and in the hearts of women. Rizal was Asia s first scientific-
humanist thinker put to death a century ago by musketry as authorized by theocracy. The same
Catholic theocracy today that is keeping the Filipino youth via education to live in guilt and to
fear new and fresh ideas; indeed, to keep away from the free market of ideas, and to hate, at the
same time, the freethinkers, especially the books written by freethinkers. Blotting out their
brains, Rizal wrote, in faith, prayers, masses, novenas, superimposed these onto native
superstition. Poch Suzara


After a hundred years, how influential has Jose Rizal been on the Filipino as a people? Millions
today would readily give credence by listening to the words of a Mike Velarde of El Shaddai
preaching pastoral nonsense derived from the bible a book written not by Filipinos but by
foreigners. Only a handful of scholars would care to read and understand the real Rizal and carry
out his principles and ideals for the achievement of pride, dignity, intellectual and scientific
honesty for the Filipino as a nation. And to think, the Jews, the Chosen People of God, never
considered the bible as a holy book at any time in their history. In fact, the Jews live in a Jewish
State. They do not live in a Christian country the land where Jesus Christ was presumed born.
Poch Suzara


Ninoy Aquino said: The Filipino is worth dying for. Well, Ninoy is a hero today. Filipinos
killed him. Imagine Jose Rizal having said too: The Catholics are worth dying for. Rizal today
would be a saint. The Catholics had him killed. And this is exactly how sick we all are today as
the Sick Man of Asia . Thanks to Filipino catholic theologians, like Father Jose S. Arcilla, S.J.,
and his gang who have not ceased writing brazen lies about Jose Rizals soul saved in heaven.
What a crock of religious hypocrisy! Poch Suzara


Rizal, indeed, was a great thinker. He clearly saw in his day what we vaguely see around us
today: religion and diseases flourishing hand in hand under ignorance, filth, hate, and poverty.
What irked the friars against Rizal was his refusal to continue to believe in Christianity; for, he
learned to be on the side of humanity. For my part, if theres life after death, its great thinkers
like Rizal that I should wish to be with. Otherwise, if I will just find myself in the company of
Filipino theologians, or among the Opus Dei gang the kind of people who had Rizal put to
death, please Lord spare me the sacred horror. I would rather be forever in hell. Poch Suzara


If the Spanish friars had only introduced the concept of humanism instead of establishing in the
Philippines religious barbarism and other forms of supernaturalism, Filipino priests like Gomez,
Burgos, and Zamora need not have been garroted to death for wanting reforms within the
Catholic Church in their time. Moreover, great thinkers like Jose Rizal need not have been
executed by firing squad for writing to promote common human decency amongst Filipino to
learn to enjoy throughout the land national pride and Asian dignity. Poch Suzara


Rizal never said or wrote: It was my pride that ruined me. Those words were put into the
mouth of Rizal by his official prize-winning biographer Leon Maria Guerrero who believed, as a
Catholic, the Rizal retraction story as concocted by the sciolistic friars. Moreover, Rizal never
got rid of his political appetite, moral perplexities, and intellectual pride. On the contrary, Rizal
chose to die proudly. After the superstitious friars stripped him of his dignity, it was no longer
possible for Rizal to go on living as a decent man and as a thinking Filipino. Poch Suzara


Rizal called for the revolution of the mind to throw off the exploitation of man by man under the
inspiration of superstition. This was a century ago. But due to our fear of the Lord and our love
for that pie in the sky, Rizals call for that revolution of the human intellect ended up to what is
recognized today in the history of the Filipino people as the unfinished revolution. Rizal wrote:
I am not writing for this generation, but for those yet to come. If this one could read what I
have written, it would burn my books, my whole lifes work. But the generation that deciphers
these characters will be a learned generation; it will understand me and say: Not everyone slept
during the night of our forefathers! These strange characters the sense of mystery they will
create will save my work from the ignorance of men, just as strange rites and the sense of the
unknown have preserved many truths at the hands of priests. Poch Suzara


What kind of men needed to see Rizal dead, discarded and forgotten? Were they men of reason,
logic, science or philosophy? Were they avid readers, critical thinkers, or scientific investigators?
Were they men at home with civilized humanity? No! On the contrary, Rizals enemies were the
friends of blind faith: - the superstitious primitives, the sanctimonious hypocrites, and those
indeed who were selfish, greedy, corrupt, stupid, and insane. Rizals enemies of a hundred years
ago, are still the same enemies we have today. They are the ones insisting that it makes no
difference whether Rizal retracted from his religious, political and philosophical principles or
not. What a silly conclusion to bestow upon the greatest of Filipino seminal thinker who died for
the liberation of the Filipino mind and heart, and indeed, for all mankind. Shame on you cowards
- you so-called Knights of Rizal. Poch Suzara


A great Filipino is one who has had the intellect and the courage to put more sense where the
theologians and the politicians in cahoots together have put only nonsense making for our sick
society. In the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines , only one rare Filipino had the
courage and the intellect to stand up against great odds to be a great Filipino - Jose Rizal - a
truth-seeker, a scientist, and a humanist. To keep the Filipino frightened of the truth, however,
Rizal was publicly executed by those in church authority - the ecclesiastical liars gifted with a
free will from divinity to promote in the Philippines social insanity. Poch Suzara


In his official biography of Rizal, Guerrero disclosed that the Spanish Catholic friars made a firm
offer to Rizal the amount of 100,000 pesos and a chair to teach philosophy at the University of
Santo Thomas on the condition that he signed the retraction document. It has been reported by
the friars that Rizal did sign his retraction papers. And yet, after Rizal was shot to death at the
Luneta by a firing squad, not even a mass in church was said for Rizal who died as a penitent
Catholic. In fact, Rizal was not even given a proper Catholic burial. His remains were just
thrown in a little corner in Paco cemetery where heretics and infidels were buried.

The trouble with Guerrero as the Rizal biographer, he was more interested in defending the
business of the Catholic Church and its teachings than defending truthfully the subject of his
biography Jose Rizal and his teachings.

Rizal never threatened me with eternal hellfire if I did not believe or spread any of his words. In
the fight therefore between Rizal and the Catholic Church, I will always be on the side of Rizal.
Never will I abandon such a great man even if it means losing my silly soul to end up in a silly
hell as managed by a silly devil in cahoots with a silly Supreme Being. Poch Suzara


After six months of stay, he left for Europe for the second time on February 3,1888 to pursue the
task he had set for himself. His brief stay enabled him to judge the effect of his Noli Me Tangere.
He knew he was a marked man for writing the book which not only shook the Spanish rule, but
precisely rattled more the foundation of authority in the Philippines - the Catholic church and its

The military trial of Rizal was not meant to administer justice throughout the land. It was done
purposely to execute him in public so that the Filipinos would be frightened to death and
subsequently to stop dreaming of freedom under free and humanistic thought. Thus, when the so-
called Spanish rule was thrown out with the interference of the US naval forces, what stayed
behind to continue controlling Filipino minds and dominating Filipino hearts was the Catholic
Church. Via Catholic schools, colleges, and universities Catholic teachings prevailed in the
Philippines . Consider the average Filipino in this 21st century. He is more conversant about the
fantastic life and times of Jesus Christ than he knows anything about the realistic life and times
of Jose Rizal. And to think Jose Rizal was born in the Philippines - a Christian country. Jesus
Christ was born, if at all, in Israel that is today not even a Christian country. It is a Jewish State.
Catholic friars claimed that before he was executed Rizal retracted and asked for the forgiveness
of his sin against God and for the pardon of his crime against the Filipino people. These
developments, however, are based upon religious hogwash. The Rizal retraction scandal was
concocted by the religious cowards. Just as much as the religious cowards of our day the
Knights of Rizal - continue to be afraid to stand up to defend Rizals great intellectual capacity as
a rare Filipino gifted with the capacity not only to think but also to die with self-respect and
dignity. Poch Suzara


France had Voltaire. Germany had Nietzche. Austria had Freud. China had Sun Yet Sen. England
had Bertrand Russell. Italy had Galileo and Bruno. America had Tom Paine and Ingersoll. Cuba
had Jose Marti and Fidel Castro. These were some of the great men who, with courage and
intellect, put more sense into the minds of men and the hearts of women where nature has put
only nonsense.

We Filipinos could have had Jose Rizal. The greatest and rarest Filipino this country has ever
produced. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church cut him down to size. Millions of Filipinos still
have no inkling why Rizal was one of mankinds greatest heroes. Indeed, college professors,
historians, biographers, including his own descendants have been frightened by the Catholic
Church authority to believe that Rizal was executed while repentant of his sins against God and
regretful of his crimes against his own people. What brazen lies to tell about the greatest Filipino
thinker who ever lived. The greatest Filipino who died sober and not drunk with sacred lies.

In the meantime, pontifical fear and ecclesiastical ignorance are the recycled garbage dished out
in our schools, colleges, and universities. Especially those owned and managed by the Catholic
Church and other religious organizations in the Philippines . Consider the average Filipino in this
21st century: he is more comfortable with stupid prayer under a theology than he is at home with
intelligent science producing technology to enhance our freedom and democracy.

Indeed, if yesterday Rizal locally was the pride of the Malay race, today globally he should
already be the pride of the human race. Poch Suzara


Great spirits have always found opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it
when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and
courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in
clear form. Indeed, Einstein had in mind men like our own Jose Rizal when he wrote: It keeps
repeating itself in this world, so fine and honest: The parson alarms the populace, the genius is
executed. Poch Suzara


A man who has once perceived, however, temporarily and however briefly, what makes
greatness of spirit, can no longer be happy if he allows himself to be petty, self-seeking, troubled
by trivial misfortunes, dreading what fate may have in store for him. A man capable of greatness
of spirit will open wide the windows of his mind, letting the winds blow freely upon it from
every portion of the universe. He will see himself and life and the world as truly as our human
limitations will permit; realizing the brevity and minuteness of human life, he will realize also
that in individual minds is concentrated whatever of value the known universe contains. And he
will see that the man whose mind mirrors the world becomes in a sense as great as the world, In
emancipation from the fears that beset the slave of circumstance he will experience a profound
joy, and through all the vicissitudes of his outward life he will remain in the depths of being a
happy man. Poch Suzara


As a consequence of the enormous social and technological changes of the last few centuries,
the world is not working well. We do not live in traditional and static societies. But our
governments, in resisting change, act as if we did. Unless we destroy ourselves utterly, the future
belongs to those societies that while not ignoring the reptilian and mammalian parts of our being,
enable the characteristically human components of our nature to flourish; to those societies that
encourage diversity rather than conformity; to those societies willing to invest resources in a
variety of social, political, economic and cultural experiments, and prepared to sacrificed short-
term advantage for long-term benefit; to those societies that treat new ideas as delicate, fragile
and immensely valuable pathways to the future. Poch Suzara


We are the final judges of what is good, just as we remain the final judges of what is logical.
And on neither front has our conversation with one another reached an end. There need to be no
scheme of rewards and punishments transcending this life to justify our moral intuitions or to
render them effective in guiding our behavior in the world. The only angels we need to invoke
are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those
that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil\s
masterpiece. Poch Suzara

Fraud, illusion, trickery, hallucination, honest mistake or outright lies the combination adds up
to such a probable alternative that I shall always doubt casual observations or second hand
stories that seem to suggest the catastrophic overthrow of existing science. Existing science will
undoubtedly be overthrown; not, however, by casual anecdotes or performances on television,
(or by public execution of scientists like Rizal) but by rigorous research, repeated, dissected and
repeated again. Poch Suzara


"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply
because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after
observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the
good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it. Siddharta Buddha


Wherever you are, I have the highest respect for you as a man, and I have the deepest love for
you as a Filipino. In this connection, I shall continue, to the end of my days, to struggle against
those who had you, publicly, put to death. They are still existing, alive and kicking doing more
harm, more damage, more evil than ever. Indeed, in this 21st century, your enemies are still in
control of our schools, colleges, and universities twisting the mind of the Filipino to remain
spiritually poor as a people, and still distorting the heart of the Philippines to remain morally
bankrupt as a nation!

Sir: in the God-forsaken country, you are about the one and only Filipino, with dignity and self-
respect, worthy to be called Filipino! The rest are trying only to save themselves the trouble of
having to think. As the Sick Man of Asia , we only love to believe. Thus, instead of appeals to
principles and logic and philosophy, our public spirit is only aroused by personalities and
celebrities. Indeed, instead of being the mature masters of our ideals and principles as a society,
we only continue to be the childish victims of a foreign Jewish deity. Poch Suzara


How do we summarize it? The poem was completed on Dec. 29, 1896 hours before he was
executed. He was able to smuggle out the finished poem. He placed it inside a lamp and gave to
his visitors, among whom was his sister and whispered to her: look inside. There is something
inside it. He made an extra copy by putting it inside his shoe for insurance purpose.

The Ultimo Adios was Rizals last poetic defiance against those who continue to be childish
believers instead of being intelligent thinkers. The Ultimo Adios is a strong message to the
Filipino as a people: to begin to think that we all share only one common enemy together. No,
not the Spaniards or the Americans or the Japanese, or what have you, etc. But our enemy is
stupid religion. Indeed, religion that encourages individual stupidity that culminates into social
insanity. Poch Suzara


My dream, wrote Rizal to a Spanish governor-general, was my countrys prosperity . . . I

would like the Filipino people to become worthy, noble, and honorable.

On another occasion Rizal also wrote: I would like the Filipinos to be Brilliant, Enlightened,
Intelligent, and Progressive.

Ever since Rizal was executed by the religious morons in the 19th century, the same religious
morons carried on with power and authority to be in charge especially of the system of education
in the Philippines . Indeed, we were taught in our schools, colleges, and universities to believe
and to have faith in the holy bible that clearly states: Love not this world, neither the things that
are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not with him. John 2:15.
Jesus, the loving son of God also preached: If any man come to me and hate not his father, and
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be
my disciple. Luke 14:26

Thus, as the Sick Man of Asia , even the Knights of Rizal continue to ignore what Rizal was
saying to all Filipinos more than a century ago. Only people in foreign countries believed,
followed, and substantiated what Rizal was saying. After Rizals execution, the president of the
Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Pre-history, - Dr. Rudolph Virchow, said: In
him we lose not only a true friend of Germany and German science but also the man who had the
knowledge and the energy to introduce modern ideas and thinking into the Philippines. Poch


Where are the youth who will consecrate their golden hours, their dreams, and their enthusiasm
to the welfare of their native land? Where are the youth who will generously pour out blood to
wash away so much shame, so much crime, so much abomination? Pure and spotless must the
victim be! Where are you youth, who will embody in yourselves the vigor of life that has left our
veins, the purity of ideas that has been contaminated in our brains, the fire of enthusiasm that has
been quenched in our hearts? We await you, O Youth! Come, for we await you!

Ever since the death of Rizal by public execution in 1896, the history of the Filipino people has
been the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly struggle to deny the power of the human mind with
knowledge, and to reject the beauty of the human heart with wisdom. Indeed, to be not happy,
not sane, and culturally constructive; but only to be unhappy, insane, and traditionally

Thanks to our teachers in school and professors in our colleges, and universities millions of
Filipinos have yet to learn to substantiate the words of Jose Rizal: I would like the Filipinos to
be brilliant, enlightened, intelligent, and progressive.

Sadly, even the Knights of Rizal have been busy promoting social and political insanity in this
God-forsaken country. Especially for the sake of preserving in this faith-soaked 21st century
the beliefs and values of Christianity.

In this country, when one Pinoy suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When millions of
Pinoys, however, suffer from a delusion complicated by a confusion, it is called Christianity.
Poch Suzara