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The Philippine Islands by John Foreman

General at once ordered Andres Novales


Almost

each generation has called forth the strong arm of the conqueror to extinguish the flame of rebellion in one island or another, the revolt being sometimes due to sacerdotal despotism, and at other times to official rapacity.

In the last century, prior to 1896, several vain attempts to subvert Spanish authority were made, notably in 1811 in Ilocos, where the fanatics sought to establish a new religion and set up a new god. An attempt was then made to enlist the wild tribes in a plot to murder all the Spaniards, but it was opportunely discovered by the friars and suppressed before it could be carried out.

In June, 1823, an order was received from Spain to the effect that officers commissioned in the Peninsula should have precedence of all those appointed in the Colony, so that, for instance, a lieutenant from Spain would hold local rank above a Philippine major. The Philippine officers protested against this anomaly, alleging that the commissions granted to them in the name of the Sovereign were as good as those granted in Spain. The Gov.-General refused to listen to the objections put forward, and sent Captain Andres Novales and others on board a ship bound for Mindanao. Novales, however, escaped to shore, and, in conspiracy with a certain Ruiz, attempted to overthrow the Government. At midnight all Manila was aroused by the cry of "Long live the Emperor Novales!" Disaffected troops promenaded the city; the people

sympathized with the movement; flags were waved as the rebels passed through the streets; the barrack used by Novales' regiment was seized; the Cathedral and Town Hall were occupied, and at 6 o'clock in the morning Andres Novales marched to Fort Santiago, which was under the command of his brother Antonio. To his great surprise, the brother Antonio stoutly refused to join in the rising, and Andres' expostulations and exhortations were finally met with a threat to fire on him if he did not retire. Meanwhile, the Gov.-General remained in hiding until he heard that the fort was holding out against Andres' assault, when he sent troops to assist the defenders. Hemmed in between the fort and the troops outside, Andres Novales and Ruiz made their escape, but they were soon taken prisoners. Andres Novales was found hiding underneath the drawbridge of the _Puerta Real_. The Gov.-General at once ordered Andres Novales, Ruiz, and Antonio Novales to be executed. The Town Council then went in a body to the Gov.-General to protest against the loyal defender of Fort Santiago being punished simply because he was Andres Novales' brother. The Gov.-General, however, threatened to have shot any one who should say a word in favour of the condemned.

In a garden of the episcopal palace, near the ancient _Puerta del Postigo_, the execution of the three condemned men was about to take place, and crowds of people assembled to witness it. At the critical moment an assessor of the Supreme Court shouted to the Gov.-General that to take the life of the loyal defender of the fort, solely on the ground of his relationship to the rebel leader, would be an iniquity. His words found a sympathetic echo among the crowd, and the Gov.-General, deadly pale with rage, yielded to this demonstration of public opinion. Antonio Novales was pardoned, but the strain on his nerves weakened his brain, and he lived for many years a semi-idiot in receipt of a monthly pension of 14 pesos.

In 1827 the standard of sedition was raised in Cebu and a few towns of that island, but these disturbances were speedily quelled through the influence of the Spanish friars.

In 1828 a conspiracy of a separatist tendency was discovered, and averted without bloodshed.


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