Additions to My Defense
by José Rizal
Notes submitted by Rizal to his Lawyer as part of his defense.
"Additions to My Defense" was
taken from the following site:
It was carefully compared with, and corrections made from two sources:
“Data for My Defense” found in José Rizal’s Political & Historical Writings (Manila, Philippines: the National Historical Institute, 2007, ISBN: 971-538-148-0), pages 350-354.
Pride of the Malay Race by Rafael Palma, trans. Roman Ozaeta (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1949), pages 311-314.
Don Jose Rizal y Alonso respectfully requests the Court Martial to consider well the following circumstances:
First — Regarding the rebellion. From July 6th, 1892, I had absolutely no connection with politics until July 1st of this year when, advised by Don Pio Valenzuela that an uprising was proposed, I counseled against it, trying to convince him with arguments. Don Pio Valenzuela left me convinced apparently; so much so that instead of later taking part in rebellion, he presented himself to the authorities for pardon.
Second — A proof that I maintained no political relation with any one, and of the falsity of the statement that I was in the habit of sending letters by my family, is the fact that it was necessary to send Don Pio Valenzuela under an assumed name, at considerable cost, when in the same steamer were travelling five members of my family besides two servants. If what has been charged were true, what occasion was there for Don Pio to attract the attention of any one and incur large expenses? Besides, the mere fact of Sr. Valenzuela's coming to inform me of the rebellion proves that I was not in correspondence with its promoters for if I had been then I should have known of it, for making an uprising is a sufficiently serious matter not to hide it from me. When they took the step of sending Mr. Valenzuela, it proves that they were aware that I knew nothing, that is to say, that I was not maintaining correspondence with them. Another negative proof is that not a single letter of mine can be shown.
Third — They cruelly abused my name and at the last hour wanted to surprise me. Why did they not communicate with me before? They might say likewise that I was, if not content, at least resigned to my fate, for I had refused various propositions which a number of people made me to rescue me from that place. Only in these last months, in consequence of certain domestic affairs, having had differences with a missionary padre [priest -rly],  I had sought to go as a volunteer to Cuba. Don Pio Valenzuela came to warn me that I might put myself in security because, according to him, it was possible that they might compromise me. As I considered myself wholly innocent and was not posted on the details of the movement (besides that I had convinced Sr. Valenzuela) I took no precautions, but when His Excellency, the Governor General, wrote me announcing my departure for Cuba, I embarked at once, leaving all my affairs unattended to. And yet I could have gone to another part or simply have staid in Dapitan for His Excellency's letter was conditional. It said — "If you persist in your idea of going to Cuba, etc." When the uprising occurred it found me on board the warship "Castilla", and I offered myself unconditionally to His Excellency. Twelve or fourteen days later I set out for Europe, and had I had an uneasy conscience I should have tried to escape in some port en route, especially Singapore, where I went ashore and when other passengers who had passports for Spain staid over. I had an easy conscience and hoped to go to Cuba,
Fourth — In Dapitan I had boats and I was permitted to make excursions along the coast and to the settlements, absences which lasted as long as I wished, at times a week. If I still had had intentions of political activity, I might have gotten away even in the vintas  of the Moros  whom I knew in the settlements. Neither would I have built my small hospital nor bought land nor invited my family to live with me.
Fifth — Some one has said that I was the chief. What kind of a chief is he who is ignored in the plotting and who is notified only that he may escape? How is he chief who when he says no, they say yes?
Sixth — As to the “Liga,”  it is true that I drafted its By-Laws whose aims were to promote commerce, industry, the arts, etc, by means of united action, as have testified witnesses not at all prejudiced in my favor, rather the reverse.
Seventh — The "Liga" never came into real existence nor ever got to working, since after the first meeting no one paid any attention to it, because I was exiled a few days later.
Eighth — If it was reorganized nine months afterwards by other persons, as now is said, I was ignorant of the fact.
Ninth — The "Liga" was not a society with harmful tendencies and the proof is the fact that the radicals had to leave it, organizing the Katipunan  which was what answered their purposes. Had the "Liga" lacked only a little of being adapted for rebellion, the radicals would not have left it but simply would have modified it; besides, if, as some allege, I am the chief, out of consideration for me and for the prestige of my name, they would have retained the name of "Liga". Their having abandoned it, name and all, proves clearly that they neither counted on me nor did the "Liga" serve their purposes, otherwise they would not have made another society when they had one already organized.
Tenth — As to my letters, I beg of the court that, if there are any bitter criticisms in them, it will consider the circumstances under which they were written. Then we had been deprived of our two dwellings, warehouses, lands, and besides all my brothers-in-law and my brother were deported, in consequence of a suit arising from an inquiry of the Administration the Hacienda (tax-collecting branch of the government), a case in which, according to our attorney (in Madrid), Sr. Linares Rivas, we had the right on our side.
Eleven — That I have endured exile without complaint, not because of the charge alleged, for that was not true, but for what I had been able to write. And ask the politico-military commanders of the district where I resided of my conduct during these four years of exile of the town, even of the very missionary parish priests despite my personal differences with one of them .
Twelve — All these facts and considerations destroy the little-founded accusation of those who have testified against me, with whom I have asked the Judge to be confronted. Is it possible that in a single night I was able to line up all the filibusterism,  at a gathering which discussed commerce, etc., a gathering which went no further for it died immediately afterwards? If the few who were present had been influenced by my words they would not have let the "Liga" die. Is it that those who formed part of the "Liga" that night founded the Katipunan? I think not. Who went to Dapitan to interview me? Persons entirely unknown to me. Why was not an acquaintance sent, in whom I would have had more confidence? Because those acquainted with me knew very well that I had forsaken politics or that, realizing my views on rebellion, they must have refused to undertake a mission useless and unpromising.
I trust that by these considerations I have demonstrated that neither did I found a society for revolutionary purposes, nor have I taken part since in others, nor have I been concerned in the rebellion, but that on the contrary I have been opposed to it, as the making public of a private conversation has proven.
Fort Santiago, Dec. 26, 1896.
 The priest is Father Antonio Obach, S.J. He had refused to perform the Roman Catholic rites of marriage between Rizal and Josephine Bracken because Rizal refused to recant his writings which he considered to be anti-clerical.
 The vinta is a traditional boat found in the Philippine island of Mindanao.
 The word Moro is a colloquial term for Muslim (from the Moors that invaded Spain.
 La Liga Filipina. A short-lived society formed by Rizal.
 Katipunan (Tagalog for Society) whose full name is Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation). It was founded by Andrés Bonifaco and others as a revolutionary group with intentions of armed rebellion against Spain.
 In this context, not the practice of giving a protracted speech in order to stall legislation but rather the practice of unauthorized warfare against a country with which his own country is at peace or the homeland; specifically, any of the 19th-century adventurers who led armed expeditions in the Philippines and Latin American countries.