Gomburza is an acronym for Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Apolonio Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, three Filipino priests, all brilliant men and graduates of the University of Santo Tomas, who used their education to fight for reforms to break the 300 year old dominance of the Spanish government.
They headed the secularization movement, which alleviated the plight of Filipino priests by insisting on the prior right of the native secular clergy to assignments in parishes over that of the friars newly arrived from Spain. Burgos, the youngest and most brilliant of the three, was especially vulnerable in this connection, since he was the synodal examiner of parish priests. He got into a tiff more than once with then Archbishop of Manila Gregorio Martinez in this regard.
Burgos was linked to many activities perceived as hostile towards the Spanish since he was also one of the organizers of the Committee of Reformers which campaigned for more liberal laws. The Committee was composed of two sections: the laymen and the clergy. The lay group was headed by Joaquin Pardo de Tavera, while the cleric section, which included Gomez and Zamora, was headed by Burgos.
This reform committee staged demonstrations both during the liberal administration of Gen. Carlos Ma. De La Torre, and the reactionary period under Gen. Rafael Izquierdo.
Gomez, parish priest in Bacoor, Cavite was founder of the newspaper La Verdad (The Truth) in which he described the deplorable conditions of the country and printed the liberal articles of Burgos.
The priests earned the ire of the Spanish and were called filibusteros. Thus, when the Cavite Mutiny broke out in 1872, the Spanish authorities arrested and charged them of having incited the revolution. After a mock trial at Fort Santiago on February 15, 1872, they were sentenced to die by means of the garrote, Spanish for strangulation by an iron collar tightened by a screw. They were executed on February 17, 1872 in Bagumbayan, later renamed Luneta.