The killing of Gen. Antonio Luna
"Here is the second part of my piece on General Emilio Aguinaldo. "Last week, I wrote about why I agree with President Duterte’s declaration of March 22, 2019 as Emilio Aguinaldo Day to commemorate the country’s first president’s 150th birth anniversary. I also began to respond to an article on Interaksyon entitled, “With new declaration, questionable hero Emilio Aguinaldo now has a day” written by Catalina Ricci S. Madarang. Ms. Madarang painted Gen. Aguinaldo as a villain and used three important historical events to besmirch him: the Tejeros Convention, Gen. Antonio Luna’s and Supremo Andres Bonifacio’s deaths. My last piece discussed why Aguinaldo could not have manipulated the Tejeros Convention (as claimed by the writer) because it was the Magdiwang, not Aguinaldo’s group, Magdalo, that organized and controlled the event with Bonifacio himself as the presiding officer. The Magdiwang dominated the convention as there were were only a handful of Magdalos (eight or nine) there. It was also held in Tejeros, a Magdiwang territory. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was manning the battlefield in Pasong Santol so he was NOT in Tejeros for the convention. In fact, when he was summoned to take his oath after being elected as president, he refused to leave the battlefront because the Spaniards were already upon them. The second group that summoned him was led by his brother Gen. Crispulo Aguinaldo who promised Miong that the enemies would only be able to claim the territory “over his dead body.” Miong relented, took his oath as president BUT Crispulo perished in the battle of Pasong Santol. Such was Aguinaldo’s personal tragedy in relation with Tejeros. Ms. Madarang, in her piece said, “Intriguing details surrounding Aguinaldo’s heroism resurfaced recently thanks to Tarog’s film … wherein Aguinaldo was tagged in the killing of Antonio Luna”. Obviously, she failed to recognize that the film Heneral Luna is not a documentary. As said at the beginning, it is FICTION based on historical facts. Therefore, an intelligent viewer will not fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Recently also, a telegram alleged to have been sent by Aguinaldo to Luna has been making the rounds online. Said telegram is going to be auctioned off by the Leon Gallery. The piece “Aguinaldo’s deadly telegram to Heneral Luna emerges in auction” by Amierielle Anne Bulan features a picture of the telegram. Immediately Ms. Bulan called the paper “Aguinaldo’s deadly telegram to Heneral Luna,” which, intentionally or not, revealed her bias against Aguinaldo. She did not question the authenticity of the document which is crucial. She immediately concluded that “…It’s the telegram historians have been looking for for more than a century…” Further, Ms. Bulan said, “Luna was committed to protecting the people during the war with the “urgent matters” he wanted to discuss with the president. Aguinaldo, on the other hand, was committed to silencing Luna.” What judgment! I daresay that the writer did not do her research well, and perhaps does not know much about the circumstances surrounding Luna’s death. A most important thing is for the telegram to be authenticated. There is no proof that it was indeed from Aguinaldo. On this, I hope that the Aguinaldo descendants will move and demand that the telegram be subjected to authentication process. If the telegram was supposed to be in the handwriting of Gen. Miong, it can easily be ascertained if the penmanship was his. While I am no expert, I am quite familiar with Gen. Miong’s handwriting because I have been transcribing some of his unpublished notes. The one on the telegram attributed to him is very different from his existing self-written records during the period. Moreover, even if the telegram is authentic, it could have been sent by anybody, especially Luna’s enemies (and he had many) without the knowledge of Aguinaldo to make sure that Luna would go to Cabanatuan.
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