The Life of Jose Rizal: Philippine Patriot HTML version

Despujol's Duplicity
As soon as he had set in motion what influence he possessed in Europe for the relief of
his relatives, Rizal hurried to Hongkong and from there wrote to his parents asking their
permission to join them. Some time before, his brother-in-law, Manuel Hidalgo, had been
deported upon the recommendation of the governor of La Laguna, "to prove to the
Filipinos that they were mistaken in thinking that the new Civil Code gave them any
rights" in cases where the governor-general agreed with his subordinate's reason for
asking for the deportation as well as in its desirability. The offense was having buried a
child, who had died of cholera, without church ceremonies. The law prescribed and
public health demanded it. But the law was a dead letter and the public health was never
considered when these cut into church revenues, as Hidalgo ought to have known.
Upon Rizal's arrival in Hongkong, in the fall of 1891, he received notice that his brother
Paciano had been returned from exile in Mindoro, but that three of his sisters had been
summoned, with the probability of deportation.
A trap to get Rizal into the hands of the government by playing upon his affection for his
mother was planned at this time, but it failed. Mrs. Rizal and one of her daughters were
arrested in Manila for "falsification of cedula" because they no longer used the name
Realonda, which the mother had dropped fifteen years before. Then, though there were
frequently boats running to Kalamba, the two women were ordered to be taken there for
trial on foot. As when Mrs. Rizal had been a prisoner before, the humane guards
disobeyed their orders and the elderly lady was carried in a hammock. The family
understood the plans of their persecutors, and Rizal was told by his parents not to come to
Manila. Then the persecution of the mother and the sister dropped.
In Hongkong, Rizal was already acquainted with most of the Filipino colony, including
Jose M. Basa, a '72 exile of great energy, for whom he had the greatest respect. The old
man was an unceasing enemy of all the religious orders and was constantly getting out
"proclamations," as the handbills common in the old-time controversies were called. One
of these, against the Jesuits, figures in the case against Rizal and bears some minor
corrections in his handwriting. Nevertheless, his participation in it was probably no more
than this proofreading for his friend, whose motives he could appreciate, but whose plan
of action was not in harmony with his own ideas.
Letters of introduction from London friends secured for Rizal the acquaintance of Mr. H.
L. Dalrymple, a justice of the peace-which is a position more coveted and honored in
English lands than here-and a member of the public library committee, as well as of the
board of medical examiners. He was a merchant, too, and agent for the British North
Borneo Company, which had recently secured a charter as a semi-independent colony for
the extensive cession which had originally been made to the American Trading Company
and later transferred to them.