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Prime Minister:

Good morning Chairman,ladies and gentlemen. We, the government side, believe that Jose Rizal abjured
masonry and retracted his statement against the Catholic Church. The Document presented to the
public is a strong evidence that Rizal had truly withdrawn in masonry and retracted. Let us first address
the documents. First,the letter of Rizal to his mother on January 5, 1893. The letter says that Rizal have
been going to the church every Sunday in Dapitan. Doesnt this show that Rizal had truly returned to the
Church? Next the testimony of the eyewitness, Father Balaguer who was with Rizal and presented the
retraction format prepared by Father Pio Po, the superior of Jesuits society in the Philippines before
execution. He stated that on December 29, 1896, day before execution, Rizal have accepted and signed
the document. On May 13, 1935, Fr. Manuel A. Garcia found a document of Rizal's retraction. Isnt the
account of the eyewitness not enough proof of retraction?

We the opposition side, believe that the said documents were forged. According to an online source,
joserizal.ph, maintained by Jose Rizal University, the fact of document forgery was revealed by Fr.
Balaguer, himself. Fr. Balguer said that the he couldnt remember whose exact copy the document and
even Fr. Pio Pi couldnt verify it in his own statements. The copy of retraction paper that was said to be
signed by Rizal was even kept secret and was only published in newspaper who claimed to have seen
and read it. When Rizal's family requested for the original copy it was said that it was lost. But 39 years
later, the original copy was found in the Archdiocesan archives. Instead of ending doubts, it onlt caused
more arguments and questions in many people because of significant differences in the text of the
retraction documents. According to Ricardo Pascual Ph. D, who was given permission by the Archbishop
Nozaleda,to examine the document, later conclude in his book, "Rizal beyond the Grave" that the
documenrs presented was a forgery. Moreover, Rizal didnt expressly say that he retracted masonry. He
only said that he hated masonry. So how is this a strong evidence of withdrawn or retaction?And if you
say that Rizal really retracted, how come he was still executed?Wasn't the retraction enough for the
salvation of Rizal?

Deputy Prime Minister:

In your argument of the forgery of documents, it is also reasoned out in that same site that what the
archbishop and Fr. Pi saw was not the original document of retraction. And the original document,
which was almost eaten by termites, was kept by friars for preservation. Additionaly, the retraction is a
significant document because it stablished the act of marriage betwen Jose Rizal and Josephine Bracken.
In Dapitan, the condition to them to be wedded was the retraction. "No Retraction, No Marriage" in
other words, Rizal could never marry Josephine unless he retracted first. And the sworn statement of
the eyewitnesses, like Fr. Balaguer, agreed that there was a retraction and marriage between the two.
Moreover, after the marriage,Rizal dedicated a Catholic devotional book to his two sisters, Josefa and
Trinidad, as well as his wife, Josephine, which in his dedication mentioned "To my dear and unhappy
wife, Josephine" Aren't these book proof a Catholicism? In addition, he said in his letter, "I abominated
Masonry as an enemy of the church and a society prohibited by the Church" He used the word
abominate' which means to detest in the highest degree: abhor; In this case, he used a stronger
language than "I retract masonry ..." Likewise, Rizal was suspected of rebellion, sedition and illegal
association againts Spanish government. The retraction document isnt related to what he was accused
of and as a consequences it does not save him from execution.

Deputy Opposition:
It is surprsing that you speak of marriage when in fact there was no document of marriage betwren
Joshepine and Rizal. Consequently, a number of Rizals writings and letters does not mention Joshepine
as his wife. Correspondingly, Rizal did not even call Joshepine 'wife' in his last letter of Mi Ultimo Adios
which was the last wriiten text of him before his execution. In that letter, he said his farewell to her as
follow; "Adios, dulce astanjera, mi amiga, mi alegria" instead of " Adios, dulce astanjera, mi esposa, mi
alegria" More s9, if Rizal died as a Roman Catholic, as you have argued then he should have been buried
properly fitted to him. And as for us, his burial was still concealed with mystery because it is said that he
was buried in a lot out of the Roman Catholic cemetery in Paco and his name did not appear in the
registry for Roman Catholics. In these circumstances, did Rizal really die as a Roman Catholic?

Government Whip:
With regards to no documents of the marriage and having been not mentioned of Josephine in Rizal's
Writings, it is explained in Garcia's account in his book., The Great Debate: Rizal Retraction, that Frm
Manuel A. Garcia found or discovered the retraction letter including the marriage certificate of
Josephine and Rizal. It is also explained why Josephine was not mentioned in Rizal's writing as his wife, it
is because they were married before the execution or earlier, their marriage. More so, Rizal's Mi Ultimo
Adios the last official writing of Rizal was written a day or so beforw execution, in other words, before
marriage. In addition, it is possible that Rizal was not buried in a Roman Catholic Church was because he
was already accused as a traitor against the Spanish, eventhough we, Filipinos, know tjat he is not. It is
logical to think that the Spaniards didnt want an enemy to be buried with decency and Rizal was no
exeption to that. In conclusion, Rizal truly abjured Masonry and retracted his affiliations against the
Catholic Chruch for the reason that Masonry is the enemy and prohibited by the Church and Rizal was
starting to return to his church. In this case Rizal did not fight the Catholic religion, rather he fought
those abused their religion and the manner that the friars practiced during that time. All of these
reasons are proved and evidenced by documents presented and found by people as well as the
statements testified by eyewitnesses.