Domingo Abella has a monument in his honor
at the town plaza of Naga, Camarines Sur. At 25, he was the youngest of the
fifteen martyrs of Bicolandia. He was born in Nueva Caceres (now Naga City) of
an affluent family. His father, Manuel, a landowner and businessman, was
executed with him at Bagumbayan.
Endowed with a handsome complexion and
taller than most of the Fjlipinos of his day, he excelled both in mental and
physical activities. Because of his stature, he was the envy of the Spanish
male populace. He was versatile in fencing, sipa, amis, horseback riding and
other sports. Domingo, a bright man, was a surveyor by profession.
When the Katipunan raised the call for
revolution, the young Abella attended secret meetings in Nueva Caceres to
discuss ways and means of supporting the movement. He was active in recruiting
Negritoes from Mount Isarog.
When his political activities became known
to the Spanish authorities, an order of his arrest was issued and young Abella
was included among those accused of rebellion and the plan to assassinate all
the Spaniards in Nueva Caceres. Despite the insufficiency of evidence, Domingo
and his co-accused boarded the ship Isarog and were brought to Manila in chains
in September of 1896. Taken to Fort Santiago, Domingo was locked up in a filthy
cell where he was whipped, insulted and buffeted by the Spanish soldiers. In a
nearby cell, another political prisoner, Jose Rizal, was awaiting trial.
On the 29th of
December, a military commission tried the case against the Bikolrebels. It was
alleged that Domingo aided Florencio Lerma, the disputed leader of the movement
was said to have received a shipment of arms from Tomas Prieto of Cavite. The
shipment, however, could not be located. The arms. it was alleged, were to be
used in the planned general massacre of Spaniards. The military court promptly
found all the accused guilty of rebellion, a crime punishable by death in
accordance with article 230 of the Spanish Penal Code.
On January 4, 1897, the sentence was carried
out. Domingo, together with his father and the other Bikol martyrs, faced the
firing squad in Bagumbayan, just five days after Jose Rizal was martyred.
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