Rizal Law

Republic Act No. 1425, known as the Rizal Law, mandates all educational institutions
in the Philippines to offe couses about !os" Rizal. #he full name of the law is An Act to
$nclude in the %uicula of All Public and Pi&ate 'chools, %olle(es and )ni&esities %ouses
*n the Life, +oks and +itin(s of !ose Rizal, Paticulal, -is No&els Noli .e #an(ee and /l
0ilibusteismo, Authoizin( the Pintin( and 1istibution #heeof, and fo *the Puposes. #he
measue was ston(l, opposed b, the Roman %atholic %huch in the Philippines due to the
anti2cleical themes in Noli .e #an(ee and /l 0ilibusteismo.
History
'enato %lao .. Recto was the main poponent of the then Rizal 3ill. -e sou(ht to
sponso the bill at %on(ess. -owe&e, this was met with stiff opposition fom the %atholic
%huch. 1uin( the 1455 'enate election, the chuch cha(ed Recto with bein( a communist
and an anti2%atholic. Afte Recto5s election, the %huch continued to oppose the bill
mandatin( the eadin( of Rizal5s no&els Noli .e #an(ee and /l 0ilibusteismo, claimin( it
would &iolate feedom of conscience and eli(ion.
$n the campai(n to oppose the Rizal bill, the %atholic %huch u(ed its adheents to
wite to thei con(essmen and senatos showin( thei opposition to the bill6 late, it
o(anized s,mposiums. $n one of these s,mposiums, 0. !esus %a&anna a(ued that the
no&els belon(ed to the past and that teachin( them would misepesent cuent conditions.
Radio commentato !esus Paedes also said that %atholics had the i(ht to efuse to ead
them as it would 7endan(e thei sal&ation7.
8oups such as %atholic Action of the Philippines, the %on(e(ation of the .ission,
the 9ni(hts of %olumbus, and the %atholic #eaches 8uild o(anized opposition to the bill6
the, wee counteed b, :eteanos de la Re&olucion ;'piit of 1<4=>, Ala(ad in Rizal, the
0eemasons, and the 9ni(hts of Rizal. #he 'enate %ommittee on /ducation sponsoed a bill
co2witten b, both !ose P. Lauel and Recto, with the onl, opposition comin( fom 0ancisco
'oc Rodi(o, .aiano !esú s %uenco , and 1ecooso Rosales.
#he Achbishop of .anila, Rufino 'antos, potested in a pastoal lette that %atholic students
would be affected if compulso, eadin( of the une?pu(ated &esion wee pushed
thou(h. Asenio Lacson, .anila5s ma,o, who suppoted the bill, walked out of .ass when
the piest ead a cicula fom the achbishop denouncin( the bill.
Rizal, accodin( to %uenco, 7attack@edA do(mas, beliefs and pactices of the %huch.
#he assetion that Rizal limited himself to casti(atin( undese&in( piests and efained fom
citicizin(, idiculin( o puttin( in doubt do(mas of the %atholic %huch, is absolutel,
(atuitous and misleadin(.7 %uenco touched on Rizal5s denial of the e?istence of pu(ato,,
as it was not found in the 3ible, and that .oses and !esus %hist did not mention its
e?istence6 %uenco concluded that a 7maBoit, of the .embes of this %hambe, if not all
@includin(A ou (ood fiend, the (entleman fom 'ulu7 belie&ed in pu(ato,. #he senato
fom 'ulu, 1omocao Alonto, attacked 0ilipinos who poclaimed Rizal as 7thei national heo
but seemed to despise what he had witten7, sa,in( that the $ndonesians used Rizal5s books
as thei 3ible on thei independence mo&ement6 Pedo Ló pez , who hails fom %ebu, %uenco5s
po&ince, in his suppot fo the bill, easoned out that it was in thei po&ince the
independence mo&ement stated, when Lapu2Lapu fou(ht 0edinand .a(ellan.
*utside the 'enate, the %atholic schools theatened to close down if the bill was
passed6 Recto counteed that if that happened, the schools would be nationalized. Recto did
not belie&e the theat, statin( that the schools wee too pofitable to be closed. #he schools
(a&e up the theat, but theatened to 7punish7 le(islatos in fa&o of the law in futue
elections. A compomise was su((ested, to use the e?pu(ated &esion6 Recto, who had
suppoted the eCuied eadin( of the une?pu(ated &esion, declaedD 7#he people who
would eliminate the books of Rizal fom the schools would blot out fom ou minds the
memo, of the national heo. #his is not a fi(ht a(ainst Recto but a fi(ht a(ainst Rizal,7
addin( that since Rizal is dead, the, ae attemptin( to suppess his memo,.
*n .a, 12, 145=, a compomise inseted b, %ommittee on /ducation chaiman
Lauel that accommodated the obBections of the %atholic %huch was appo&ed
unanimousl,. #he bill specified that onl, colle(e ;uni&esit,> students would ha&e the option
of eadin( une?pu(ated &esions of cleicall,2contested eadin( mateial, such as Noli .e
#an(ee and /l 0ilibusteismo. #he bill was enacted on !une 12, 145=, 0la( 1a,.
Content
'ection 1 mandated that the students wee to ead the no&els as the, wee witten
in 'panish, althou(h a po&ision odeed that the 3oad of National /ducation ceate ules
on how these should be applied. #he last two sections wee focused on makin( Rizal5s woks
accessible to the (eneal publicD the second section mandated the schools to ha&e 7an
adeCuate numbe7 of copies in thei libaies, while the thid odeed the boad to publish
the woks in maBo Philippine lan(ua(es.
Aftermath
Afte the bill was enacted into law, thee wee no ecoded instances of students
appl,in( fo e?emption fom eadin( the no&els, and no known pocedue fo such
e?emptions. $n 1444, Pesident 0idel :. Ramos odeed the 1epatment of /ducation,
%ultue and 'pots to full, implement the law as thee had been epots that it has still not
been full, implemented.
#he debate duin( the enactment of the Rizal Law has been compaed to
the Repoducti&e -ealth bill ;R- bill> debate of 2E11. Akba,an epesentati&e 9aka 3a(2ao,
one of the poponents of the R- bill, said, Cuotin( the %atholic hieach,, that 7.oe than 5E
,eas a(o, the, said the Rizal Law &iolates the %atholic5s i(ht to conscience and eli(ion,
inteestin(l,, the same line of easonin( the, use to oppose the R- bill.7

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