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With Bated Breath

28 December 2011

One hundred fifteen years ago today, the news wires were abuzz with the pending execution of Dr. Jose Rizal.  With the Spanish-American war brewing, the event provided the American machinery the opportunity to depict Spain as the oppressive colonialist of Cuba and the Philippines.

This clipping was taken from page 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle on 28 December 1896.

Leader Rizal to be Shot

Manila, Philippines, December 27 — The court-martial on Dr. Rizal, organizer of the rebellion, has ended. The prisoner denied the leadership, but admitted the authorship of the statutes of the Philippine League and having been constant in support of the active chiefs of the insurgents. Dr. Rizal was sentenced to be shot. The execution will take place Monday.

The natives have a superstitious reverence for Rizal who, they believe, is possessed of a superhuman quality giving him immunity from death. Other leaders will shortly be tried. The rebels have again appeared in the province of Bulacan, at a place called Bigan, the fifth station on the railway, but no incident of importance has occured.

Research Notes:  “Leader Rizal to be Shot“.  San Francisco Chronicle.  Page 3.  28 December 1896.  Date accessed:  21 June 2011.

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