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The Rizal Law
What is the Rizal Law?
The Proponents of the Law
Opponents of the Law
Reasons for Opposition
Why are Rizal’s novels anti-Catholic?
Recto’s Counter
Why is this law important?
 An Act to Include in the Curricula of All
Public and Private Schools, Colleges and
Universities courses on the Life Works
and Writings of JOSE RIZAL, particularly
his novels NOLI ME TANGERE and EL
Printing and Distribution Thereof, and for
Other Purposes.
(RA 1425 preamble)
 WHEREAS, today, more than any other period of our history, there is
a need for a re-dedication to the ideals of freedom and nationalism for
which our heroes lived and died;
 WHEREAS, it is meet that in honoring them, particularly the national
hero and patriot, Jose Rizal, we remember with special fondness and
devotion their lives and works that have shaped the national
 WHEREAS, the life, works and writing of Jose Rizal, particularly his
novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, are a constant and
inspiring source of patriotism with which the minds of the youth,
especially during their formative and decisive years in school, should
be suffused;
 WHEREAS, all educational institutions are under the supervision of,
and subject to regulation by the State, and all schools are enjoined to
develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience and to
teach the duties of citizenship; Now, therefore:
 Courses on the life, works and writings of Jose
Rizal, particularly his novel Noli Me Tangere and
El Filibusterismo, shall be included in the
curricula of all schools, colleges and universities,
public or private: Provided, That in the collegiate
courses, the original or unexpurgated editions of
the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo of
their English translation shall be used as basic
 It shall be obligatory on all schools, colleges and
universities to keep in their libraries an adequate number
of copies of the original and unexpurgated editions of the
Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as well as of
Rizal's other works and biography. The said
unexpurgated editions of the Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo or their translations in English as well as
other writings of Rizal shall be included in the list of
approved books for required reading in all public or
private schools, colleges and universities.
 The Board of National Education shall determine the
adequacy of the number of books, depending upon the
enrollment of the school, college or university.
 The Board of National Education shall cause the
translation of the Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo, as well as other writings of Jose
Rizal into English, Tagalog and the principal
Philippine dialects; cause them to be printed in
cheap, popular editions; and cause them to be
distributed, free of charge, to persons desiring to
read them, through the Purok organizations and
Barrio Councils throughout the country.
 Nothing in this Act shall be construed as
amendment or repealing section nine
Administrative Code, prohibiting the
discussion of religious doctrines by public
school teachers and other person
engaged in any public school.
Sen. Claro M. Recto
Sen. Jose P. Laurel
Emilio Aguinaldo
The Spirit of 1896
Alagad Ni Rizal
Booklovers Society
Rufino Cardinal Santos
Sen. Lorenzo Tanada
 Sen. Francisco Soc
 Sen. Decoroso Rosales
 Roman Catholic Church
Sen. Quintin Paredes
 Rizal’s novels are “anti-Catholic.”
 Rizal is a Freemason. Membership in Freemasonry
constitute an automatic excommunication from the
Roman Catholic Church.
 Compelling Catholics to read Rizal’s novels in its
UNEXPURGATED version teaches heresy and
violate their freedom of conscience.
 The Catholic hierarchy wants an expurgated
version to be taught in class while the unexpurgated
version shall be locked away in school libraries.
 If the Rizal Law shall be enacted, Catholic schools
will close their schools and threatened to “punish”
erring legislators in future elections.
 The friars are portrayed negatively.
 Padre Damaso – an abrasive friar and the father of Maria
 Padre Sibyla – a cunning yet clever friar.
 Padre Salvi – has infatuation with Maria Clara and
framed Crisostomo Ibarra in an uprising.
 Padre Camorra – lustful and attempted to rape Julî.
 Padre Irene – let Kapitan Tiago’s addiction of opium
continue and forged his last will and testament.
 Padre Millon – a professor who publicly humiliates his
students to compensate his ignorance in Physics.
 Rizal criticized the Medieval way of the
indulgences, miracles of the saints, and
 Rizal pointed out the excesses of the
Church such as lavish fiestas and
 Rizal criticized the meddling of the friars in
the affairs of the state and the lives of
ordinary people.
“You know well enough what the Indian is—just as soon as he gets a little
learning he sets himself up as a doctor! All these little fellows that go to
“But, listen, your Reverence!” interrupted the alcalde, who was becoming
nervous over the aggressiveness of such talk.
“Every one ends up as he deserves,” the friar continued. “The hand of God is
manifest in the midst of it all, and one must be blind not to see it. Even in this life
the fathers of such vipers receive their punishment, they die in jail ha, ha! As we
might say, they have nowhere—”
But he did not finish the sentence. Ibarra, livid, had been following him with his
gaze and upon hearing this allusion to his father jumped up and dropped a
heavy hand on the priest’s head, so that he fell back stunned. The company
was so filled with surprise and fright that no one made any movement to
Chapter XXXIV
The Dinner
Noli Me Tangere
“Does your Reverence think—”
The old man regarded him sadly. “Keep it clearly before
you,” he answered, gasping for breath. “Our power will last
as long as it is believed in. If they attack us, the government
will say, ‘They attack them because they see in them an
obstacle to their liberty, so then let us preserve them.’”
“But if it should
“It will not listen!”
Chapter IX
Local Affairs
Noli Me Tangere
“Ay!” it moaned, shaking with affliction, “I loved a maiden, the daughter of a priest, pure as light,
like the freshly opened lotus! The young priest of Abydos also desired her and planned a
rebellion, using my name and some papyri that he had secured from my beloved. The rebellion
broke out at the time when Cambyses was returning in rage over the disasters of his
unfortunate campaign. I was accused of being a rebel, was made a prisoner, and having
effected my escape was killed in the chase on Lake Moeris. From out of eternity I saw the
imposture triumph. I saw the priest of Abydos night and day persecuting the maiden, who had
taken refuge in a temple of Isis on the island of Philae. I saw him persecute and harass her,
even in the subterranean chambers, I saw him drive her mad with terror and suffering, like a
huge bat pursuing a white dove. Ah, priest, priest of Abydos, I have returned to life to expose
your infamy, and after so many years of silence, I name thee murderer, hypocrite, liar!”
A dry, hollow laugh accompanied these words, while a choked voice responded, “No! Mercy!”
It was Padre Salvi, who had been overcome with terror and with arms extended was slipping in
collapse to the floor.
“Murderer, slanderer, hypocrite!” repeated the head. “I accuse you—murderer, murderer,
Chapter XVIII
El Filibusterismo
That was the decisive stroke. In the face of that reproach, with
wrath and desperation mingled, like one who rushes to suicide, Juli
closed her eyes in order not to see the abyss into which she was
hurling herself and resolutely entered the convento. A sigh that
sounded like the rattle of death escaped from her lips. Sister Bali
followed, telling her how to act.
That night comments were mysteriously whispered about certain
events which had occurred that afternoon. A girl had leaped from a
window of the convento, falling upon some stones and killing
herself. Almost at the same time another woman had rushed out of
the convento to run through the streets shouting and screaming like
a lunatic. The prudent townsfolk dared not utter any names and
many mothers pinched their daughters for letting slip expressions
that might compromise them.
Chapter XXX
El Filibusterismo
“Capitan Tiago is getting along about the same as usual, yes,
sir,” said the student Basilio, shaking his head. “He won’t
submit to any treatment. At the advice of a certain person he is
sending me to San Diego under the pretext of looking after his
property, but in reality so that he may be left to smoke his
opium with complete liberty.”
When the student said a certain person, he really meant Padre
Irene, a great friend and adviser of Capitan Tiago in his last
Chapter II
On the Lower Deck
El Filibusterismo
“Nakú, a metaphysician, but a rather premature one! So you can’t conceive
of it, eh? Sed patet experientia and contra experientiam negantem, fusilibus
est arguendum, do you understand? And can’t you conceive, with your
philosophical head, that one can be absent from the class and not know the
lesson at the same time? Is it a fact that absence necessarily implies
knowledge? What do you say to that, philosophaster?”
This last epithet was the drop of water that made the full cup overflow.
Placido enjoyed among his friends the reputation of being a philosopher, so
he lost his patience, threw down his book, arose, and faced the professor.
“Enough, Padre, enough! Your Reverence can put all the marks against me
that you wish, but you haven’t the right to insult me. Your Reverence may
stay with the class, I can’t stand any more.” Without further farewell, he
stalked away.
Chapter XIII
The Class in Physics
El Filibusterismo
The murmurs and whispers increased. A number of people approached
the young man and said to him, “We’re with you, don’t take any notice of
“Whom do you mean by them?” Ibarra asked in surprise.
“Those who’ve just left to avoid contact with you.”
“Left to avoid contact with me?”
“Yes, they say that you’re excommunicated.”
“Excommunicated?” The astonished youth did not know what to say. He
looked about him and saw that Maria Clara was hiding her face behind
her fan. “But is it possible?” he exclaimed finally. “Are we still in the Dark
Ages? So—”
Chapter XL
Right and Might
Noli Me Tangere
Here Sister Rufa paused to give more attention to her chewing. The women
gazed at her in admiration, but the man who was pacing back and forth
remarked with some disdain, “Well, this year I’ve gained four plenary
indulgences more than you have, Sister Rufa, and a hundred years more,
and that without praying much either.”
“More than I? More than six hundred and eighty-nine plenary indulgences
or nine hundred ninety-four thousand eight hundred and fifty-six years?”
queried Rufa, somewhat disgruntled.
“That’s it, eight indulgences and a hundred fifteen years more and a few
months over,” answered the man, from whose neck hung soiled scapularies
and rosaries.
“That’s not strange!” admitted Rufa, at last admitting defeat. “You’re an
expert, the best in the province.”
Chapter XVIII
Souls in Torment
Noli Me Tangere
When Juli opened her sorrowing eyes, she saw that the house was still dark, but the
cocks were crowing. Her first thought was that perhaps the Virgin had performed
the miracle and the sun was not going to rise, in spite of the invocations of the
cocks. She rose, crossed herself, recited her morning prayers with great devotion,
and with as little noise as possible went out on the batalan.
There was no miracle—the sun was rising and promised a magnificent morning, the
breeze was delightfully cool, the stars were paling in the east, and the cocks were
crowing as if to see who could crow best and loudest. That had been too much to
ask—it were much easier to request the Virgin to send the two hundred and fifty
pesos. What would it cost the Mother of the Lord to give them? But underneath the
image she found only the letter of her father asking for the ransom of five hundred
pesos. There was nothing to do but go, so, seeing that her grandfather was not
stirring, she thought him asleep and began to prepare breakfast. Strange, she was
calm, she even had a desire to laugh! What had she had last night to afflict her so?
She was not going very far, she could come every second day to visit the house,
her grandfather could see her, and as for Basilio, he had known for some time the
bad turn her father’s affairs had taken, since he had often said to her, “When I’m a
physician and we are married, your father won’t need his fields.”
Chapter XIII
Merry Christmas
El Filibusterismo
“But let us now see where Catholicism got this idea, which does not
exist in the Old Testament nor in the Gospels. Neither Moses nor
Christ made the slightest mention of it, and the single passage which
is cited from Maccabees is insufficient. Besides, this book was
declared apocryphal by the Council of Laodicea and the holy
Catholic Church accepted it only later. Neither have the pagan
religions anything like it. The oft-quoted passage in Virgil, Aliae
panduntur inanes, which probably gave occasion for St. Gregory the
Great to speak of drowned souls, and to Dante for another narrative
in his Divine Comedy, cannot have been the origin of this belief.
Neither the Brahmins, the Buddhists, nor the Egyptians, who may
have given Rome her Charon and her Avernus, had anything like this
Chapter XIV
Tasio: Lunatic or Sage
Noli Me Tangere
The fiesta is over. The people of the town have
again found, as in every other year, that their
treasury is poorer, that they have worked, sweated,
and stayed awake much without really amusing
themselves, without gaining any new friends, and, in
a word, that they have dearly bought their
dissipation and their headaches. But this matters
nothing, for the same will be done next year, the
same the coming century, since it has always been
the custom.
Chapter XLII
The Espadañas
Noli Me Tangere
“Unfortunate saint!” muttered the Sage Tasio, who was watching the procession
from the street, “it avails you nothing to have been the forerunner of the Good
Tidings or that Jesus bowed before you! Your great faith and your austerity avail you
nothing, nor the fact that you died for the truth and your convictions, all of which
men forget when they consider nothing more than their own merits. It avails more to
preach badly in the churches than to be the eloquent voice crying in the desert, this
is what the Philippines teaches you! If you had eaten turkey instead of locusts and
had worn garments of silk rather than hides, if you had joined a Corporation—”
But the old man suspended his apostrophe at the approach of St. Francis. “Didn’t I
say so?” he then went on, smiling sarcastically. “This one rides on a ear, and, good
Heavens, what a car! How many lights and how many glass lanterns! Never did I
see you surrounded by so many luminaries, Giovanni Bernardone! And what music!
Other tunes were heard by your followers after your death! But, venerable and
humble founder, if you were to come back to life now you would see only
degenerate Eliases of Cortona, and if your followers should recognize you, they
would put you in jail, and perhaps you would share the fate of Cesareus of Spyre.”
The Procession
Noli Me Tangere
The curate arose and approached Don Filipo, with whom he began
an animated conversation. The former spoke in a nervous manner,
the latter in a low, measured voice.
“I’m sorry that I can’t please your Reverence,” said Don Filipo, “but
Señor Ibarra is one of the heaviest contributors and has a right to be
here as long as he doesn’t disturb the peace.”
“But isn’t it disturbing the peace to scandalize good Christians? It’s
letting a wolf enter the fold. You will answer for this to God and the
“I always answer for the actions that spring from my own will, Padre,”
replied Don Filipo with a slight bow. “But my little authority does not
empower me to mix in religious affairs. Those who wish to avoid
contact with him need not talk to him. Señor Ibarra forces himself on
no one.”
“But it’s giving opportunity for danger, and he who loves danger
perishes in it.”
“I don’t see any danger, Padre. The alcalde and the CaptainGeneral, my superior officers, have been talking with him all the
afternoon and it’s not for me to teach them a lesson.”
“If you don’t put him out of here, we’ll leave.”
“I’m very sorry, but I can’t put any one out of here.” The curate
repented of his threat, but it was too late to retract, so he made a
sign to his companion, who arose with regret, and the two went out
together. The persons attached to them followed their example,
casting looks of hatred at Ibarra.
Chapter XL
Right and Might
Noli Me Tangere
 Recto will pass a bill nationalizing all
Catholics schools in the Philippines
should they all close because of the
Rizal Law.
 Also, he added that the opponents of
the law are now “killing” Rizal’s
memory in the consciousness of the
Filipino people.
 Honouring our heroes with special fondness and
devotion their lives and works that have shaped the
national character.
 No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press, or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble and petition the Government
for redress of grievances. (Art. 3, Sec. 8. 1935
 “There is a need for a re-dedication to the ideals of
freedom and nationalism for which our heroes lived
and died.” – RA 1425
 “A constant and inspiring source of patriotism
especially the youth.” – RA 1425