TRANSPORTATION Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya, a great-grandson of the country’s first President Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, does not believe that Gen. Antonio Luna, another hero of the Philippine-American War, was assassinated at the order of his ancestor.
“I’ve read enough books. There are other versions. I don’t think he was assassinated,” Abaya was quoted in a report by ABS-CBN when he was asked about his views on the critically acclaimed biopic “Heneral Luna.”
Abaya did not say what version he was referring to, but he has always defended Aguinaldo, who has been linked to the assassination of Luna and the controversial execution of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio.
The Department of Transportation and Communications chief was asked about his opinion of the biopic “Heneral Luna,” which has been chosen as the country’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of next year’s Oscars.
The film, which has been reaping rave reviews, was directed by Jerrold Tarog and is set during the Philippine-American war, from the time Luna was assigned to head the revolutionary army to his assassination.
Antonio Luna, a Europe-educated chemist, was the younger brother of the acclaimed painter Juan and physician Jose, another leader of the Masonic movement that started the Philippine Revolution of 1898.
Antonio’s younger brother, Joaquín, also fought in the Philippine-American War and later served as governor of La Union from 1904 to 1907 and senator from 1916 to 1919.
Antonio was also the founder of the Philippines’s first military academy, which existed during the First Philippine Republic.
Despite his reputation as a brilliant military tactician, Luna is also known to be a difficult person and, like his brother Juan who “accidentally” shot dead his wife in Paris, was prone to fits of temper that offended a number of people, including national hero Jose Rizal.
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