Sunday, January 9, 2011

Forging Rizal, 1

To this day (30 Dec 2010), one hundred and fourteen years after Dr. Jose Rizal was executed at Bagumbayan, the myth about his retraction continues to confuse, if not obfuscate. Although the retraction strategy was hatched by Spanish Jesuits in the 19th century, soon after they were discombobulated by the NOLI ME TANGERE, Rizal's first seditious novel published in Belgium in 1837 , as late as 1961, a facsimile of the alleged retraction document, supposedly signed by the hero, was printed in the textbook PHILIPPINE HISTORY FOR HIGH SCHOOLS by Dr. Gregorio F. Zaide.

Incredibly prescient, Rizal knew he was going to be vilified after death. When he returned to Manila in 1887, he visited the Ateneo, talked to Padre Faura who told him that everything he had written in the NOLI was true, but that he may lose his head for it and if he should persist in his beliefs (Masonry) he should never again set foot in his alma mater. The Jesuits were probably alarmed because if their famous alumnus had turned his back at Mother Church, others would eventually follow suit.

In July 1892, four days after he established La Liga Filipina in Manila, Rizal was arrested and hastily deported to the wilderness of Dapitan. According to Rafael Palma, an early biographer of Rizal, the Jesuits there offered him quarters at their mission house (probably the most liveable) but only after a spiritual retreat during which he would recant his anti-religious and politically subversive ideas. Needless to say, the steadfast Rizal politely refused.

From his execution on 30 December 1896 to the 1960's six (6) retractions all ludicrous and blatant forgeries have surfaced. These are: (1) "Rizal 's Retraction", Photostat copy, in Jose M. Hernandez's, RIZAL, (Alemars, 1950); (2) "Rizal's Retraction" in "I Abjure Masonry" allegedly by Jose Rizal, San Beda College pamphlet, 1950; (3) "Rizal's holograph", in RIZAL'S UNFADING GLORY, by Fr. Jesus M. Cavanna (revised edition, 1950); (4) "Facsimile of Rizal's Retraction", SELECTED READINGS FROM RIZAL, Ricardo C. Bassig, 1959; (5) "Facsimile of Rizal's Retraction" , PHILIPPINE HISTORY FOR HIGH SCHOOLS, Gregorio F. Zaide, `1961; (6) "Facsimile of Rizal's Retraction", "Statement of the Catholic Hierarchy of the Philippines", 1956.

Absolutely no one has seen the original retraction document from where all these facsimiles were supposedly taken. Amazing, to say the least.

Source: THE FORGERY OF THE RIZAL RETRACTION AND JOSEPHINE'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, Runes, Ildefonso T. & Buenafe, Mamerto M. (Pro-Patria Publishers, 1962)

On July 1892, four days

No comments: