The religious clash of Cebu in 1907

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

On December 15, 1907, a chapel of the Presbyterian faith was to be inaugurated in the barrio of Santander in the pueblo of Oslob, Cebu. A protestant minister in Oslob with some 40 or 50 people left Oslob at or about 2 p.m. the day before to attend this ceremony at Santander on the 15th. On the morning of the 15th, Sunday, the protestants, numbering about 80, with the minister, left the chapel on the east side of the small stream which separated that part of the barrio from the principal part of the west side, where were situated the Roman Catholic Church, convent, and public buildings, crossed the bridged over this stream and reached a place near, if not within, the plaza of the Roman Catholic Church. They did to hold services in the open air, but arriving at the point, a member of the Catholic Church left a house near the church and advance toward them brandishing a lance. This resulted in the Protestant group returning to their chapel.

However, as the protestants arrived in the Catholic side, Mass was about to begin in the Roman Catholic Church and the parish priest ordered the men to go outside the church and defend it while the women stayed inside. The respective services of the two religions were finished. Then members of the Roman Catholic Church appeared upon the protestant side, followed by a band, one of whom was armed with a revolver and a saber. A tumultuous affray took place with a protestant being killed. The incident was reported to the municipal president who sent five policemen to Santander who, upon arrival there, found a body of men gathered about the church, armed. They took away from these people, who were all Catholics, some 30 weapon, including bolos and other arms.

A complaint was filed in the Court of First Instance (now the RTC) against the attackers for the crime of assassination. The principal attacker was convicted of homicide and sentenced to 17 years, four months, and a day of reclusion temporal.

The case reached the Supreme Court and Justice Willard affirmed the conviction on March 25, 1909. Oslob was erected as a parish on January 8, 1848 under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Its annex, Santander, also called Tañon, also has a church under the patronage of San Gabriel Archangel. Its original church was made of coto (wall made of lime mortar masonry). At present, Santander is now a separate town from Oslob. Those who served the town as capitanes were Andalecio Ondangan, Toribio Bureros, Crisanto Hugo, Juan Abiera, Laurencio Luzano (Lozano) Gregorio Miral, Anselmo Buscato, Sebastian Laurente, Pio Culanag, and Nicomedes Bureros.

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