Subversive Historian – 01/20/09

The Cavite Mutiny

One-hundred and thirty-seven years ago on this day in people’s history, more than 200 hundred Filipino soldiers and laborers mutinied at Fort San Felipe. On January 20th 1872, the uprising at a Spanish colonial arsenal in Cavite, Philippines commenced following Governor-General Rafael de Izquierdo’s decision to discontinue certain tax exemptions enjoyed by the would-be mutineers. Ostensibly an expression of discontent with Spanish colonial rule, the uprising would, however, cause a ripple effect that increased Filipino nationalism. Expediting this historical consequence was the Spanish colonial authority’s response to the mutineers. Troops were sent to Cavite from Manila to retake the Fort and quell the rebellion. In the aftermath, numerous participants in the uprising were executed with the approval of Governor-General Izquierdo while others were imprisoned and exiled. Beginning a reign of terror, three priests, Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora collectively known as GOMBURZA, were arrested the night after the mutiny began. The Spanish colonial authorities tried and executed them saying that they were conspiring to start a national uprising beginning in Cavite.

The deaths of the priests ultimately did not terrorize Filipinos into submission. In fact, in 1896, they responded with an anti-colonial independence revolution!


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