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  1. 1. Biography of Father Jose Burgos Father Jose Burgos was one of the three Gomburza priests executed by Spanish authorities in the Philippines after being accused of treason. He was born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, in 1837, and was garroted on February 17, 1872, at Fort Santiago in the middle of Bagumbayan field (now Luneta Park). Dakilang Pilipino , Ilokos Sur. , ay sinikapnialingFlor Letrán. . - . Sa Páaralan , «Doctor en DerechoCanónico» at «Doctor en Teologia». - - . . - madlâniSto. Tomás. M
  2. 2. karapatán, a . José A. Burgos. 'ynagta 1870 n . . . ; sam 1872. : : .» . Burgos : . bumuhos. . .
  3. 3. 'tdîsilá . 'yiginawad: . . Padre Jose Ma. Burgos  priest-reformist  one of the GOMBURZA martyrs executed by Spain, on suspicion of rebellion  taught Rizal at the Ateneo de Manila  born February 9, 1837  died February 28, 1872 at Bagumbayan by execution Padre Jose Ma. Burgos studied in San Juan de Letran. He sought equal treatment for browns and whites. He was busy seeking reforms when theCavite Revolt broke out in 1872. Padre Burgos was suspected to be one of those inciting the people to revolt. On February 15, 1872, during a secret trial, three Filipino priests were sentenced to die at the gallows. The three priests, Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were executed at the gallows in Bagumbayan on February 28, 1872. The three martyred priests were collectively called theGOMBURZA. Excerpts from TalambuhayngmgaBayani by Rene Alba The GOMBURZA priests were executed in Bagumbayan in 1872, and buried in an unknown location at the Paco Cemetery. This Centennial year, bones believed to be the missing bones of theGomburza martyrs were accidentally found at the Paco Park Cemetery by the Manila City Engineers Office. The youngest among the three Filipino Martyr Priests(Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora), Father Jose Burgos was born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on February 9, 1837. His parents were Jose Burgos and Florencia Garcia. Young Jose's first teacher was his mother who taught him to read and write. After finishing his elementary grades in Vigan in 1849, he went to Manila and enrolled at the San Juan de Letran College where he excelled in all subjects. At the age of 17, he finished Bachiller en Artes with honors. He studied priesthood at the University of Santo Tomas and said his first mass at theParroquia del Sagrario de Intramuros. For his courageous defense of the cause of Filipino priesthood, Father Burgos earned for himself the name "Champion of the Cause of the Filipino Clergy" but incurred the hatred of the Spanish friars. Thus, when the Cavite mutiny broke out in 1872, the Spanish authorities arrested him together with Father
  4. 4. Gomes and Father Zamora, charging them of having incited the revolution. After a mock trial at Fort Santiago on February 15, 1872, they were sentenced to die by means of the garrote, a Spanish strangulation by an iron collar tightened by a screw. On February 17, 1872, they were executed in Bagumbayan, now the Luneta. Father Mariano Gomez (1799-1872) Father Mariano Gomez was born in Sta. Cruz, Manila on August 2,1799 to parents Francisco Gomez and Martina Custodio. After studying at San Juan de Letran he proceeded to take up Theology at the University of Sto. Tomas. June 2, 1824 was a memorable date for him. It was on this date when he was designated as the head priest of Bacoor, Cavite, Aside from taking care of the town church's spiritual needs, he also taught the townfolks agriculture and cottage industry. He also helped in maintaining a harmonious relationship with his co-priests. He fought for the Filipino priests' rights against the abuses of the Spanish friars. The Spanish authorities got mad at him and ordered for his arrest. He was sent to jail along with Fr. Jose Burgos, Fr. Jacinto Zamora, Joaquin Pardo de Tavera and Maximo Paterno. Fr. Gomez along with Fr. Burgos and Fr. Zamora were executed on February 17,1872. They were later known as the three Filipino martyrs Gomburza. Fr. Gomez was responsible for publishing the newspaper La Verdad, meaning The Truth. This paper served as the voice of the Filipino propagandists against the Spanish colonizers. JOSE A. BURGOS (1 83 7-1 272) Jose Bugos, one of the "Martyrs of 1872" was born in Vigan,
  5. 5. Ilocos Sur on February 9, 1837. His Father, Don Jose Tiburcio Burgos, a Spaniard, was an officer of the army (First Lieutenant of the BatallonMilicias de Ilocos 5 de Linea, His mother, Florencia Garcia, was a Spanish-Filipina mestiza noted for her beauty and intelligence. Burgos' Christian name was Jose Apolonio, but when he grew up he usually signed his name as plain Jose Burgos. Nicknamed Pepe, he was the youngest in the family with two sisters, Antonia and Maria. Jose learned his first letters front his mother. Since early boyhood, he wanted to become a priest. This was contrary to his mother's wish because she wanted him to become a lawyer. At age ten and an orphan Jose enrolled at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran on August 1 i, 1847. A brilliant student, he excelled in academic works and in extra curricular activities. He took up physical education seriously and became an adept swordsman and pugilist. On February 11, 1855 at age 18, Burgos obtained his Bachiller en Filosofiasobresaliente. He immediately started his theology course and obtained the Bachiller en Teologia degree, his second, on January 21, 1859, graduating at the top of the class. After finishing his course for the Priesthood he sang his first Mass in Intramuros. He eventually became a parish priest of the Sagrario de Intramuros, and soon found himself in trouble with his superiors as a result of his liberal ideas. On August 11, 1860 more than a year after his ordination, the young cleric enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas to pursue his studies. Because of his experience with the Spanish students who looked down on the Filipino whom they called Indios and creollos, it was only natural for Burgos to prove that the Filipinos were as good as the white men, if the Spaniards, he thought, could see that a creole
  6. 6. could excel in advanced studies, they would begin to respect the Filipinos. Burgos finished his master's degree, Licenciado en Teologia on February 21, 1862 and his Bachliller en Canones on February 8. 1866. He continued his studies and obtained a Doctor en Teologia on April 14, 1868, and a Licenciado en Canones on Oct. 29, 1868. He went on studying until he obtained the Doctor enCanones degree in April, 1871. This was the highest academic degree he could obtain as a priest. He received these last four degrees while acting as a curate of the Parish of St. Peter which comprised the Walled City. Having taken all these courses he became a member of the examining board for priests. At the Sagrario de Intramuros, he became an ecclesiastical fiscal, a canonical magistrate of the Cathedral of Manila and finally the master of the claustral ceremony in the University of Santo Tomas. Despite these enviable positions, Burgos was neither content nor happy. As an eyewitness to the ill-treatment and apathy shown by the Spanish ecclesiastical officials to his countrymen, he felt aggrieved. To fight the injustice, he became a staunch and vigorous advocate for reforms in the country and a strong crusader for the rights and welfare of the secular clergy. In a manifesto he wrote in La Verdad on Jury 27, 1864, Burgos expounded his views and liberal ideas and extolled the ability of the Filipinos. During the height of the secularization controversy when Burgos had become widely known as the vigorous champion of the cause of the Filipino clergy, the Cavite Mutiny broke out on January 20, 1872. The outbreak of the mutiny afforded the Spanish authorities and the ecclesiastical authorities a very good opportunity to get rid of him. Thus, through the influence
  7. 7. and machination of the friars, Burgos, together with Father Mariano Comes and Father Jacinto Zamora were implicated in the mutiny. They were arrested and charged with conspiring against the state and organizing the mutiny in Cavite on the night of January 20. On February 15, 1872, the three priests were formally tried by the military court headed by Col. Francisco Moscoso. As the members of the court were all their enemies, the three priests were denied a fair trial. After the prosecutors had presented the charges and their evidences, Jose Arrieta, counsel for Burgos, offered no defense for his client. Instead he stated that Burgos had confessed his guilt. Protesting the action of his lawyer, Burgos stood up to face the Council of War, and said, "I have not confessed any guilt and I am not guilty; that is not my defense; that gentleman (pointing to Arrieta) had changed it. I deny all the charges against me. They have no foundation in fact or in law." Between 5 and 6 o'clock a.m., February 16, 187? the priests were gathered at the guardroom at Fort Santiago and there Major Boscasa read their sentence: death by garrote. At sunrise of that fateful day, February 17, the three priests met their death at Bagumbayan. Prior to their execution, Governor-General Rafael de Izquierdo requested the Archbishop of Manila to degrade the three priests by removing their priestly habits. His Grace, Gregorio Meliton Martinet, who was then the Archbishop of Manila, stubbornly refused this unholy request, for he was inclined to believe that the three condemned priests were innocent. They were therefore allowed to wear their habits. Of the three priests, Burgos was the last to be executed. As he ascended the stairs, his glance met that of Major Boscasa. Fr. Burgos stopped a while and said:
  8. 8. "I forgive you, and may God forgive you as I have forgiven you," He proceeded and sat down on the execution bench. Suddenly he got up and spoke in a loud voice: "But what wrong have I done? Shall I die without reason? My God, is there no justice at all on earth?" Before doing his work, the executioner approached Burgos. "Father", said he, "forgive me for what I am about to do." "I forgive you my son," was the quiet reply. "Do what is your duty." Then he turned to the people who were present and who were down on their knees. Father Burgos then extended his hands and gave them his blessings. As he was being strangulated, Father Burgos prayed: "My Lord Father of mine, receive into Your Bosom, the soul of an inno..." Death cut short his last prayer. Burgos died at 8:00 a.m. as a patriot and martyr for the cause of the Filipinos. JACINTO ZAMORA (1835 - 1872) Fr. Jacinto Zamora was born in Pandacan, Manila, on August 14, 1835. His parents were former capitan of Pandacan, Don Venancio Zamora and Dona Hilaria del- Rosario. He obtained his early education in Pandacan and later transferred to the Real Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he finished his Bachiller en Artes. He continued his
  9. 9. studies at theUniversity of Santo Tomas, graduating on March 6, 1858, with the degree of Bachelor of Canon and Civil Laws. Like his fellow student Jose Burgos, he kept on working for his doctorate in Canon Laws. With Burgos, Juan Dilig and eight other student leaders, he headed a student demonstration in the night of January 24, 1860 demanding the removal of the newly appointed Mayor. Dissent from the students was considered an insult to the authorities. This was brought to the attention of the Vicar General. He was punished with two months confinement in his quarters. Two years after receiving his tonsure, he was ordained a presbyter. He served in the parishes of Marikina, Pasig, then of Lipa, Batangas. After a competitive examination in which he placed second, he was appointed to the Manila Cathedral effective December 3, 1864. He was appointed, together with Burgos and Gomez as members of the Committee on Reforms and Seculares group. He worked for the secularization of the Filipino clergy and fought for their rights. Two groups of Filipino priests and laymen were founded. The priests sought the secularization of all legislation tending to discriminate against Filipinos. Having been an examiner of new priests, both Filipinos and Spaniards, he had a first hand knowledge of their competence. He had the habit of playing cards after saying mass. Once he was invited by another priest with a mysterious invitation: “Grand Reunion… Our friends are well provided with powder and
  10. 10. munitions.” Unfortunately this invitation fell into the hands of the Spanish authorities. “Powder and munitions,” of course, in the card players’ language meant money with which to gamble throughout the night. This incident and the Cavite Revolt in 1872 that happened o the same day were enough to convict him to death. This “revolt” was merely the uprising of the laborers at the Cavite Arsenal by veteran soldiers who felt aggrieved because despite their long services, they were required to pay tributes.January 20, 1872, was payday at the Arsenal and the workers received their wages reduced by the amount of the tributes. The mutiny spread to the Fort of San Felipe, Cavite where it received sympathetic response among the soldiers under the leadership of a Filipino soldier, Sgt. Lamarid. However, the rebels were defeated and Lamarid was killed. Accused of sedition for having allegedly instigated the Cavite Mutiny, Zamora, Burgos and Gomez were tried at Fort Santiago on February 15, by a military tribunal. After the mock trial, they were found “guilty” and sentenced to death by garrote. No defense on their behalf was put up. Gov. General Izquierdo approved the decision of the military court and fixed the execution on the morning of February 17, 1872. To further disgrace the three priests, he requested Archbishop Gregorio Meliton Martinez to deprive them of their priestly habits so that they would no longer be ministers of God at their execution. The Archbishop spurned this unholy request
  11. 11. because he believed in the innocence of the three priests. At sunrise of February 17, 1872, the field of Bagumbayan (now Luneta) was already overflowing with spectators – Spaniards, Filipinos and foreigners. Shortly before 8:00 o’ clock, the death march from Fort Santiago started. Zaldua went ahead of the three priests who were dressed in black habits. He was smiling, for he was anticipating last minute pardon and money that was promised him for testifying falsely against them. As the execution was about to begin, Zaldua realizing too late that the promised pardon and reward were not forthcoming, protested violently. Of the three priests, Fr. Zamora was the second to be the garroted. His last moments were described by Salvador Pons y Torres. “On hearing his name called, Fr. Zamora went up the scaffold, without saying a word and seated himself in the place pointed out to the executioner, because, days before, his soul had grown used to the death penalty…. He was insane!” To these martyrs, Rizal dedicated his El Filibusterismo: “The Government, by surrounding your trials with mystery and shadows, causes the belief that there was some error, committed in the fatal moments; and the whole Philippines by worshiping your memory and calling your martyrs in no sense recognizes your culpability.”
  12. 12. In his honor, two elementary schools have been named after him, one in Manila and another in Pasay.