ON DECEMBER 6, 1896, the trial of Dr. Jose Rizal by a Spanish military court for sedition, rebellion and conspiracy, began. This leads to his execution and martyrdom.
Rizal, who was imprisoned first in Barcelona and later in Fort Santiago, was implicated in the revolution which was launched in August 1896 by the Katipunan led by Andres Bonifacio, whose aim was to liberate the country from Spanish colonization.
At the time of his arrest, Rizal was supposed to leave for Cuba after he was allowed by Spanish Governor-General Ramon Blanco, who was sympathetic to him, to serve as a military surgeon in Cuba, where there was also a revolution against Spain.
Before he left from his exile in Dapitan for Manila and then for Spain, Rizal had issued a manifesto disavowing the revolution and declaring that the education of Filipinos and their achievement of a national identity were prerequisites to freedom.
Rizal was arrested while en route to Spain, imprisoned in Barcelona and sent back later to Manila to stand trial. He was charged with being a traitor to Spain and the mastermind of the revolution.
He pleaded his innocence but he was still convicted on all three charges of rebellion, sedition and conspiracy and sentenced to death.
Earlier, Rizal was already considered as an enemy of the state by the Spanish authorities with the publication of his two great novels — Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
Thus, Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896 in Bagumbayan (Luneta), which has been renamed Rizal Park in his memory.