Biography of Manuel Abella (1828-1897)

Filipino Patriot, born in Catanuan (province of Tayabas, Luzon) in 1828 and died in Bagumbayan (Manila) on 4 January 1897, famous for being one of the martyrs of Bikol, executed by the Spanish authorities shortly after the outbreak of the independence revolution of 1896.

Coming from a wealthy family, Manuel Abella spent his youth in Naga, a city that was sent with his brothers for seminarian studies. Around 1870, he/she decided to leave the priestly career, and thanks to the acquired training practised then Secretary of court in new Cáceres, which served until the time of his retirement in 1896, although the considerable family fortune allowed him to establish himself as one of the richest of the Bikol region landowners. During this time he/she married and had three children: Ramon and Mariano Domingo, who also occupied a prominent social position; in fact, Mariano was appointed Governor of the province of Camarines in 1898.

After the patriotic uprising of August 1896 the Abella became in the eyes of the Spanish authorities suspected of belonging to the Katipunan, a secret society which organized the rebellion; Although the suspicion could be true in the case of his son Sunday, who had attended meetings of the society, does not seem to be so in the case of don Manuel, but was also arrested (September 16, 1896) on charges of having found a shipment of firearms hidden in the grounds of his property.

Moved to manilense Bilibid prison, where among other Filipino Patriots José Rizalwas also imprisoned, Manuel Abella was tried on 29 December by a military court along with other defendants coming of Bikol and Camarines. Apparently, the process was riddled with irregularities - false evidence and be tortured some of the defendants to obtain a confession - and despite pleas to the Court don Manuel hardly had chance to defend his innocence. A week later he/she was shot together with his son Sunday and eight other inmates: all of them would be known as the martyrs of Bikol. Another of his sons, Ramon, was spared the death penalty but was sentenced to banishment, who met in the African colony of Fernando Poo.