Cavite Mutiny 1872

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1872 Cavite mutiny was an insurgence of military personnel of Fort San Felipe, the Spanish arsenal in Cavite, Philippines that occurred on January 20, 1872. Around 200 discontented soldiers and workers stepped up with the conviction that it would lead to a national insurrection. They rose and killed theirs Spanish officers. In just two days the mutiny was broken by the government troops. The mutiny failed and the government soldiers executed many of those who joined the unsuccessful mutiny.

This caused the burgeoning nationalist movement to break down. A lot of scholars believe that the Cavite Mutiny of 1872 was the starting point of Filipino nationalism that would eventually result to the Philippine Revolution of 1896.



It is believed that the principal reason of the mutiny could be attributed to the order made by Governor-General Rafael de Izquierdo to subject the soldiers of the Engineering and Artillery Corps to personal taxes. The soldiers were formerly exempted from such responsibilities.

The taxes required the soldiers to pay a monetary sum including the task to perform forced labor. On January 20, the mutiny was set in motion when the workers received their pay and found out that the taxes plus the "falla", the fine one paid to be exempt from forced labor, were already deducted from their salaries.


La Madrid, a mestizo Sergeant led them. The mutineers believed that the soldiers in Manila would join them in a collaborative upheaval. They agreed that the signal would be the firing of rockets from the city walls on the evening of January 20. The mutineers mistook the burst of fireworks in celebration of the feast of St. Loreto, the patron of Sampaloc as the signal.


The local revolt was viewed as a plan aimed at the separation of the colony from Spain because of evidence pointing that the mutineers formed collaborative forces with soldiers in Manila. The suspected leaders were those believed to be nurturing liberal ideas. Many suspected people were arrested, punished and exiled.

Among those arrested in that dreadful event of 1872 were three Filipino priests namely Mariano Gómez, Apolonio Burgosand Jacinto Zamora. Father José Burgos was a Philippine-born Spaniard and had been a student of the brilliant Filipino priest, Dr. Pedro Pelaez who advocated the rights of the Filipino clergy. Father José Burgos became the champion of the rights of the Filipino clergy after Father Pelaez’ death in 1863. In 1864 he anonymously published a manifesto, which appealed the righting of wrongs done to Filipino priests with unquestionable moral and intellectual qualities who had proved loyal to Spaniards.

A Reform Committee of laymen and priests was organized in the mid 1860’s in Manila and Madrid to push for secularization of the parishes. It was Father Burgos who led the the sub-committee of the clergy. Father Mariano Gomez and Father Jacinto Zamora were also a part of it. Father Burgos was 35 years old when he was arrested. He was serving on the staff of the Manila Cathedral. The Spanish colonial government used the mutiny incident to implicate the three Filipino priests who were collectively known as GOMBURZA and other Filipino leaders. Their executions, had a significant effect on people because of the unsubstantial results of the trials. Jose Rizal dedicated his work, El filibusterismo for the slain priests.