Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Filipino Martyr: GABINO SUCGANG
Revolutionary Martyr from Capiz
Gabino Sucgang was one of the first recruits of the Katipunan in Panay and one of the 19
martyrs to the Philippine Revolution from Capiz.
Francisco del Castillo and Candido Iban introduced the Katipunan in Panay. These two
Capiz natives were the ones who provided the Katipunan in Luzon with the printing press it badly
needed to spread its doctrines. After the outbreak of the revolution in August 1896, they were
ordered by Andres Bonifacio to establish the secret society in Panay and lead the revolution there
at the most opportune time.
Sucgang was inducted into the Katipunan with Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus, Cornelio
Delfin, Simplicio Reyes, Isidoro Jimenez and Valeriano Dalida. The group was then instructed to
recruit new members. On March 3, 1897, one of the biggest initiation rites for the Katipunan in
Capiz was held in Ochando, a barrio in the town of Batang, with the inductees writing their names
in the Katipunan roster with their own blood.
Not long afterwards, the colonial authorities learned about the existence of the Katipunan
in Panay when they seized the Santisima Trinidad. The boat, owned by Del Castillo, was found
carrying incriminating documents. Del Castillo, who had designated himself a general, hastily
divided the newly organized rebel force between himself and Iban, whom he had named a colonel,
and prepared to lead the attack against the Spaniards in Kalibo on March 17. This first offensive
failed, with Del Castillo getting killed while trying to storm the headquarters of the civil guards.
Meanwhile, Iban, who was supposed to join up with Del Castillo’s forces, was captured in the town
While the scattered rebels were regrouping , Spanish reinforcements under Col. Ricardo
Monet landed on the coast of Dumaguit on March 19.
Monet did not have an idea of the rebels’ true strength. Not wanting to wage a prolonged
and bloody warfare, he heeded the advice of the local friars to adopt a more conciliatory measure to
quash the revolt. He proclaimed an amnesty, promising not to harm anyone who would lay down
his arms. From March 19 to 20, 50 rebels surrendered to Monet in Kalibo. From among them he
picked 20 who turned out to be Katipunan leaders. They included Gabino Sucgang. It was obvious
that Monet had been furnished information supplied to loyalist elements by native spies. Monet
subsequently released from the group Nicanor Gonzales, when the rebel’s mestiza wife pleaded
before him to spare her husband.
On March 24, Sucgang and the rest were taken to a warehouse on Amadeo Street where
they were tortured and then shot to death.
The next day, their bloody remains were paraded in the streets of Kalibo to serve as a
warning to those who wished to defy Spanish authority. The corpses were later buried in an
unmarked grave which, to this day, has not been located.
The supreme sacrifice of the 19 martyrs of Capiz contributed greatly to the eventual
overthrow of Spanish rule in Panay.
Sonza, Demetrio. Illustrious Ilonggos Volume 1. Iloilo City: Iloilo City Provincial Historical
Zaide, Gregorio F. “The Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan.” Philippines Free Press, March 22, 1952.