Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Filipino Martyr: POLICARPIO TARLA
Policarpio Tarla was one of the members of the Katipunan who were connected with the
Diario de Manila. His code name in the secret organization was “Pagsanjan,” after the picturesque
town in Laguna.
Tarla was the superintendent of the lithographic and printing plant of Ramirez y Cia,
publishers of the Diario. He was probably the top man in the Katipunan operations there. Tarla
was also the treasurer of the organization’s Tondo council, whose leader was Braulio Rivera.
Upon the discovery of the Katipunan, incriminating documents and other paraphernalia
were found in the drawer of Apolinario de la Cruz, another Katipunero who was the foreman at the
printing plant. The discovery occurred after a raid on August 19, 1896. One of the items taken was
a member’s list, which had Tarla’s name on it. Tarla was arrested and his drawer ransacked,
yielding materials such as documents on the rules of the Katipunan and a dagger. He was jailed,
sometimes put in solitary confinement. Eventually, he and some of his co-workers in the Diario de
Manila were exiled to penal colonies for hard labor. Tarla was sent to Iligan on March 28, 1897.
However, fate was kinder to him unlike some “inmates” like Rivera and Dela Cruz, who were
executed by firing squad at Nagumbayan (now Luneta).
What happened to Tarla afterwards is not documented, including his early personal
Agoncillo, Teodoro. Revolt of the Masses: the Story of Bonifacio and the Masses. Quezon
City: U.P. Press, 1956
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biographies Volume 1. Quezon City:
Filipiniana Publications, 1955.