The priests, Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were jailed in Fort Santiago before they were tried for rebellion. Priests both regular and secular were allowed to see them. Each one of them had a confessor. During the trial, the government failed to prove convincingly that the accused were really connected with the January mutiny. The governor-general promised to present documents to prove that the three priests were guilty of rebellion which to many was actually a mutiny. But he never presented any document and to this day, no document had been found to show that Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora were in any way, connected with the mutiny.
Nevertheless, they were sentenced to death by garrote. On February 17, 1872, the three priests marched from Fort Santiago to Bagumbayan Field (now Luneta). It is said that Zamora loast his mind and silently accepted to be garroted.
He, together with Burgos and Gomez maintainedtheir innocence until the end. While they were being executed one by one —first Zamora, then Gomez and lastly Burgos — the witnesses of the event took off theirhats and knelt to pray for the souls of the innocent priests.
The Spaniards who were present thinking that the Filipinos were preparing to rise in revolt,fled toward the city. The importance of the execution of the three priests rested on the fact that the Filipinos who witnessed the execution began to think and feel as Filipinos not as Ilocanos, Tagalogs, visayans Bicolanos, and others They suspected that because they belonged to a different race. the Spaniards who had always felt superior over the Filipinos took them for beasts of burden. From this time forward, they began to feel the necessity, for unity. Rizal who was eleven years ols at that time, would later dedicate his second novel El Filibusterismo ( the rebel) to the memory of the three martyred priests.
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