Assassination of a Naga leader 1899


Don Pablo Ruiz Mejia was a Spanish mestizo who settled and married in Naga, produced two sons who became mayors of Naga, and became caretaker governor when the Spaniards left Cebu for good on December 24, 1898. The following is a passage from my draft on the history of Naga town.

——

Katipuneros knew him only as “Blas” with the nickname “Bula” of Pagina (Pahina) in San Nicolas,[1] the hotbed of the revolution in Cebu.

An earlier account identified the dukut[2] as Pedro Abella. But no, former Katipunero Jovito S. Abellana asserted that he was “walay labot (not involved)” contrary to an earlier account he wrote in 1960. Based on an interview with Abellana in 1976 however, Blas or Bula could have been a certain Pedro Abarca.[3]

Bula eyed Don Pablo Ruiz Mejia and Don Julio Llorente in the evening of June 11, 1899. The two members of Cebu’s ruling aristocracy, leading conservatives of the Cebu provincial government, leisurely walked from the Mejia casa in Magallanes Street to the house of Mejia’s daughter at the foot of the Pahina (Forbes) Bridge. Bula knew Don Pablo was familiar with him being a neighbor in Pagina. The don did not mind the presence of Bula, accompanied by his friends Miguel Cabarrubias also of San Nicolas and Norberto Gonzales, as the three conducted ocular surveillance.

Bula was a dukut of Segunda Columna under Pantaleon del Rosario who ordered the secret mission for the Katipunan.[4] Gregorio Abellana had met the dukut and his two lookouts several days before to relay the order and draw the tactical plan.[5]

At around 8 in the evening,[6] Don Pablo and Don Julio were already at the porch of his house. That day, the rest of the Mejia family went to their hacienda in Naga leaving Don Pablo alone with the maids. Bula thought the moment has come.

The dukut approached. With an unlighted cigarette in hand, he asked for a light. The ruse worked, he deemed. Boldly moving closer to within striking distance, Bula swiftly drew his knife and stabbed Mejia on the chest.[7]

Llorente escaped unhurt. Mejia died the next day.


[1] Emeterio Abellar of Mambaling, Cebu in an interview with Mike Cullinance on Februry 26, 1976.

[2] Katipuneros called a member assigned with assassinations as dukut.

[3] Jovito S. Abellana in an interview by Mike Cullinane on February 20, 1976.

[4] Emeterio Abellar of Mambaling, Cebu in an interview with Mike Cullinance on Februry 26, 1976.

[5] Jovito S. Abellana in an interview by Mike Cullinane on February 20, 1976.

[6] Resil Mojares, “The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu 1899-1906,” Ateneo de Manila University Press, p. 26.

[7] Jovito S. Abellana, “The Katipunan in Cebu” in Bisaya Patronymesis Sri Visjaya, 1960, 136

2 responses to “Assassination of a Naga leader 1899

  1. Pingback: Recent Links Tagged With "assassination" - JabberTags

  2. Pingback: Rizal during the days of social media | In Between Columns

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