January 4th, 2013 Headsman
On this date in 1897, eleven pro-independence Filipinos were shot at Manila’s Bagumbayan execution grounds.
These eleven,* together with one who was tortured to death on a prison brig and three others who died exiled to prisons elsewhere in the Spanish empire, comprise the Fifteen Bicol (or Bikol) Martyrs.
Spanish suppression of the unfolding Philippine Revolution was in full martyr-making; just days before, the same site had seen the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal. (A few days after this, it made still another batch of martyrs.)
“They died bravely,” a Filipino newspaper reported. “They died like those who are sustained by a sacred ideal.”
This date’s victims had been rounded up on September 16 at Naga City in the Bicol Region. It was the aftermath of Spain’s discovery of the anti-colonial Katipunan secret society, and mass arrests followed by torture-aided interrogation were the order of the day.
These would not, in the end, avail.
As a result, the “Quince Martires” are still commemorated in independent Philippines every January 4, which is a public holiday in Naga City … and commemorated throughout the year at that city’s Plaza Quince Martires, and its monument.
* Rev. Fr. Gabriel Prieto; Gabriel’s brother, Thomas Prieto; Rev. P. Severino Diaz; Rev. P. Inocencio Herrera; Manuel P. Abella; Manuel’s son, Domingo I. Abella; Camilo Jacob; Florencio Lerma; Macario Valentin; Cornelio Mercado; and Mariano Melgarejo.
Also on this date
- 2011: Ryu Kyong, Kim Jong-un rival
- 1721: John Stewart, pirate
- 1943: Jerzy Iwanow (Georgios Ivanof)
- 1946: The treacherous Theodore Schurch
- 838: Babak Khorramdin
Entry Filed under: 19th Century,Businessmen,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,History,Martyrs,Mass Executions,Occupation and Colonialism,Philippines,Power,Religious Figures,Revolutionaries,Separatists,Shot,Spain,Torture,Treason,Wartime Executions