Monday, June 6, 2011


Col. Francisco "Paco" Roman              -              Gen. Antonio Luna              -              Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
(Photo art: JB)

1899 - One day after his bodyguards murdered Gen. Antonio Luna y Novicio (and aide-de-camp Col. Francisco Roman), the perceived threat to his position as revolutionary leader, Dictator President Emilio Aguinaldo wires all the military chiefs in five northern provinces  to the effect that he is taking active direction of the military operations and that  he is establishing his temporary headquarters at Bamban, Tarlak four months into the bloody and protracted Filipino-American War (1899-1914); Aguinaldo would be widely blamed for setting a trap  for the assassination because he did not meet Luna despite his signed telegram calling the former to a conference and because it will be reported that his mother, looking out the window of the convent in Cabanatuan and witnessing at least part of the assassination, uttered: "Is he still breathing?"; it would later be reported that  Gen. Venancio Concepcion, then in Angeles, received a telegram from Aguinaldo at about the time of the Luna assassination informing the former that he (Aguinaldo) had taken over the control of military operations in the Central Luzon area and that, further, he  was on his way to Bamban which he will be using as his new temporary executive and military headquarters; Aguinaldo would also carry out loyalty checks and arrest of military subordinates loyal to Luna, with some being reportedly killed , including Major Manuel Bernal who would be tortured first before being liquidated.  

1898 - Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy,  issues a decree delineating the geographic and political divisions of provinces and appointing a military chief for each zone during the so-called second phase of the Philippine Revolution against Spain; one year and three weeks earlier, Aguinaldo tightly sealed his power grab against Generalissimo Andres Bonifacio y de Castro, the Supreme President of the secret-society-turned-revolutionary-government  Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan nang manga Anak nang Bayan when he ordered the 'dead or alive' seizure and kangaroo court martial and eventual  execution-cum-assassination of the Bonifacio brothers; Aguinaldo has claimed leadership of the revolution on the basis of the controversial and fraudulent March 1897 Tejeros Convention, reportedly marked by the use of pre-filled ballots and by scandalous irregularities that actually prompted its nullification by Bonifacio (who served as presiding officer) through the Acta de Tejeros the more progressive historians would condemn the Tejeros Convention as a coup and a counterrevolution, as Apolinario Mabini, who would serve as Aguinaldo's Prime Minister, would later decry the power grab from, and "assassination," of Bonifacio as constituting Aguinaldo's insubordination against the leader of the Katipunan and as the "first victory of personal ambition over true patriotism."

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