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El Filibusterismo: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 31 (The High Official)

A high official, who believes Basilio is innocent, attempts to convince the governor-general to release the youth.  His efforts, however, are in vain.  The governor-general responds, insisting that it is necessary for innocent people to suffer to restore order and to teach the people to submit to authority once and for all.  Because of this, the high official lets go of his office and returns to Spain.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Why do people call Kabesang Tales “Matanglawin”?
Answer: They say that the lawin (hawk) has very sharp eyes.  Tales’s eyes are likened to those of the lawin; whever he spots, he shoots without missing.

Question: Who is the first student to go free?  Who is the last?  Who didn’t make it out?  Why?
Answer: Because of his wealth, the first to get out of prison before everyone else is Macaraeg.  Isagani gets out last because it takes quite some time for his uncle (a priest) to make it to town.  Basilio is the only one left in prison.  He has nobody to vouch for him.

Question: Why does the high official seem to be pro-Filipino?
Answer: First of all, he is a man of honor.  Second, he believes that giving justice to the Filipino people would be an honorable act of Spain.

Question: Is Rizal totally opposed to the justice brought about by a revolution?
Answer: No, he is not.  Rizal agrees that a revolution is in order if the nation already suffers from too much abuse and maltreatment from the government.


  1. I believe it's "Macaraig" not "Macaraeg"

    1. Thank you for pointing this out. "Macaraeg" is an alternate spelling, used in some English translations of the novel (in the same way that some versions use "Tasio" instead of "Tasyo" for the old philosopher's name).


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