Monthly Archives: June 2011



All these speculations about President P-Noy as being gay because until now he has not yet tied the knot with the country’s future first lady–whoever she is–will not help improve our economy and life as a nation.
If he is gay and the Filipinos eschew homosexual leaders, he would not have edged the macho man Erap in the presidential race (being single or unmarried does not automatically make someone a gay unless the concerned party will announce it with hoopla on Youtube and Facebook).
But assuming that President P-Noy is gay, the issue is irrelevant in as far`as the affairs of the state are concerned.
As long as he is doing his job as mandated, to hell with the color of blood running his veins.


We did not elect President P-Noy to be lampooned for his sexual preference and ridiculed for picking handsome executives to join his cabinet.
We elected him with hopes to lead us in crushing poverty in particular, and with trust and confidence of ensuring that each Filipino will live in dignity and security amid fight against abject poverty and graft and corruption in general.
The president can always stop critics of his status in their tracks by keeping his romantic life under wraps (he must scold Kris Aquino for her blabbermouth) while he is busy charting the future of the country.
If he does not intend to marry soon or maintain a girlfriend — or boyfriend for that matter (no offense meant; we must call spade a spade here), he should stop being a “trying hard” (euphemism for giving false hopes to ladies he allegedly dated and the gullible public) just to prove his manhood.


But President P-Noy must also be wary of his “role and obligation” as member of the male species.
In ancient Judaism, not to be married was considered abnormal and wrong. “An unmarried man is not a man in the full sense,” says the Talmud.
A similar attitude was prevalent in ancient Greece and Rome, where remaining unmarried was considered an impious affront to the family gods.
Moreover, celibacy seems to have been forbidden by law or subject to certain penalties in ancient Rome, in Sparta and other Greek city-states.
In the revered beginnings of our own religious tradition, the union of man and woman is held to be essential to the attainment of full humanity as well as to the continuance of the human race.
The ancient attitude was that the individual has no right to halt the transmission of the family and racial life that has been handed on to him.


Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Uncategorized




As long as he did not commit a serious crime, the government of the United States will never waste its resources to zero in and deport confessed undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas.
US has a lot of problems to tackle and prioritize than throw the books on the 30-year-old journalist who shared a Pulitzer award with his American colleagues for their Washington Post coverage of the Virginia Tech carnage three years ago.
In fact, we presume Vargas mustered enough courage to reveal his status in a no-holds-barred article entitled “My life as an undocumented immigrant” he wrote for the New Yor Times recently because he was aware of the ongoing efforts of the Democrat Obama administration to tilt on the side of those advocating for the mothballed Dream Act bill, which would give children of illegal immigrants educated in the US the chance to become permanent residents.


As founder of Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform, Vargas is a high-profile personality in immigration reform debates. As a campus figure, he was outspoken and is not a fly in the ointment.
Narrating the circumstances of his case could be part of his mandate as immigration reform activist representing a large group of people with similar advocacy.
The disclosure of chronology of events starting when his mother “woke me and put me in a cab” sometime in August 1993 when he was 12 years old to prepare him for a trip to the US in the company of a fake uncle on fake passport and fake name, was necessary to document his case and gain sympathy.
Having paid his state and federal taxes religiously while working for several newspapers and fast food chains on bogus Social Security card, Vargas is a shoo-in for amnesty which the Obama administration has been reported to be cooking in collusion with some moderate Republicans who admire Ronald Reagan.


Also, being a resident of San Franciso Bay Area, Vargas can’t just be easily touched with a ten-foot pole for being an undocumented immigrant.
San Francisco is known as a “Sanctuary City” where illegal immigrants are protected by a local ordinance. Sanctuary policies instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities.
The policies also end the distinction between legal resident aliens and illegal aliens–so illegal aliens often benefit from taxpayer funded government services and programs too.
Even gays like Vargas enjoy equal treatment from the city’s tolerance and liberal atmosphere.
A former Philippine senator afraid of the wrath of the Catholic Church back home for being gay reportedly wore a lady’s dress openly everytime he was in San Francisco.
California is a Democrat state with Gov. Jerry Brown having been catapulted into power through the strong support from the Hispanic community which constitutes the majority in the 11 million illegal immigrants all over the US.
Even if the US Government adopts a hard-line policy on undocumented aliens, Vargas, despite his confession, won’t be locked in jail and sent to the Philippines on the first available flight as his name can not be found in the data of illegal immigrants that have committed serious criminal offenses.
The Obama administration has deported 800,000 illegals in the last three years. But those deportees were hardened criminals involved in drugs trafficking, kidnapping, rape, murder, among other heinous crimes.


The Philippine Government must also refrain from its knee-jerk reaction on Vargas’ case unless he really was serious about wanting to leave the US for good and see his brother and sister in his mother’s second family in the Philippines and he needs travel documents.
Malacanang deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte was reported to have “coordinated immediately” with the DFA after learning of Vargas’ predicament.
Across the United States and all over the world, for that matter, there are thousands of Jose Antonio Vargases longing to go home to see their loved ones and who have either been neglected by the Philippine Government or could not bring to public attention their predicament.
The only difference is that they are unknown and bunched in the “among others” list of faceless individuals. And they have not won a Pulitzer prize.

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized




An amount of US $19,623.60 or an equivalent of Philippine P845,814.80 was wrongly deposited in my (name of bank deleted) California branch checking account recently.
I can withdraw the amount via ATM (or part of the full amount), leave the United States surreptituosly and pretend I’m innocent (unless I have no plans of coming back).
But money is not everything in this world. Peace of mind is.
To have a peace of mind, we must have a clear conscience.
But, my gosh, I badly needed cash; I was going to the Philippines and, believe it or not (I’m not making this up, I swear), I only had Philippine P1,250 cash in my wallet (the P200 I always reserved for terminal fee at the NAIA domestic airport for my Manila to Iloilo PAL flight. Shuttling from the United States to the Philippines back and forth twice in two months proved to be costly for an ordinary journalist).


Clear conscience, can we eat it? Can it help defray for our daily expenses in these hard economic times? No. But it is the moral law that governs our whole moral life. No external laws or sanction are required.
Conscience forbids us to lie to ourselves or do harm to ourselves, as well as to others — in this case, the bank as institution!
Before I was tempted to withdraw part of the amount (and face the consequences later as what normally happens in many cases), I was quickly struck by guilt and zapped by a specific kind of consciousness-moral awareness, an inner sense of right and wrong that has compelling power.
The feeling was so familiar with me as I recalled having experienced a similar encounter, nay clinical test in Pasadena, California when I visited my psychiatrist last year.


Nobody has the monopoly of this unique feeling. Not even saints, demigods and hollier-than-thou moral preachers in the pulpit.
We are all actually bound by it as it commands us–including the ruffians, dolts, money launderers, 5-6 operators, pimps, and bloodsuckers. It is our Pyramid of Cheops.
If we disobey it, we feel remorse or anxiety. To experience or feel it is to believe!
Therefore, the first thing I will do upon my return in the United States is to report the matter to the bank management (assuming that they still haven’t discovered the error yet).
I am embarrassed to admit that I am guilty of not immediately reporting the matter to them. No excuses!


Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized



By Alex P. Vidal13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

AN Irish national now suffering from permanent disability in the back after allegedly being tortured by Catholic priests in Ireland, wants to bring his case in the European Court anew “where justice is fair.”
Tom Toyle, 75, now living in Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City with his wife, Sally, of Batad, Iloilo, and three-year old daughter, Mary Jane, is asking for more damages from his tormentors in Artane, Dublin.
Limping and walking with a cane, Toyle admitted he had been awarded by the European Court with 60,000 Euros or about P2.5 million when he sued his former institution in Artane where the alleged torture happened when he was 10 to 11 years old.
He said the money “was not enough” for a life-long damage to his body. Toyle claimed he suffered fractured bones in the vertebrate “and this will be a lifetime injury that no amount of money can compensate.”


“My life was never the same again. They hit my back with hockey stick (as a form of punishment),” Toyle, who is now on his third marriage, revealed. “I collapsed several times.”
He described the atmosphere in the Jesuit-controlled learning institution in Artane as “hellish” saying he suffered from “sadistic mentors” for five years.
“They required us to attend the church rituals twice a day — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If we failed, we get whacked by hockey stick and other blunt objects in the different parts of the body. They were ruthless and abusive,” Toyle sobbed, referring to their priest administrators.
Every now and then, his back pain has been recurring and is excruciating, he said. Toyle had been in and out of the hospital and his retirement benefits have been eaten up by his medical bills, he said.
He decided to seek justice in the European Court “because there is no justice in Ireland; the government is involved.”


He estimated that there are about 14,000 other alleged victims of abuses by Catholic authorities in Dublin alone. Most of the cases, he said, are sexual abuse and maltreatment.
Toyle said his tormentors had committed sexual abuse on him when they removed his dress and whipped him. “Their act of removing my dress already constitutes sexual abuse,” he stressed. “That’s the law in Ireland.”
Toyle worked as chef and dietician at St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney, Australia for 15 years. He also had a brief stint as civilian personnel during the Vietnam War.
He said he disliked his father, Thomas, who had served in the British and Irish army. Toyle grew up with his three brothers when their mother died at 31 in 1946.
“I don’t like him (Thomas). He didn’t do anything (to protect and give me justice) because he drank booze with the priests,” Toyle bewailed.


Toyle’s first marriage with an English woman collapsed “because she was a heavy drinker.” His second wife, a Filipina he met during a visit in Manila, “took all my money and mismanaged our supermarket business.”
Sally was “referred” to Tolye by a friend in Manila. They have been married for eight years and have put up a printing business. “Even though I am not educated, I’m a businessman,” he quipped.
Because of his bad memories in Artane, Toyle said his views about faith and religion have changed.
“I believe in God, but I don’t believe in the Roman Catholic Church because they don’t teach you religion,” Toyle boomed, “but I don’t stop my wife (a devout Catholic) and kid from going to church.”
Authorities in Artane could not be reached for comment.


Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Uncategorized



“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error. Marcus.”

–Tullius Cicero

By Alex P. Vidal13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

Soren Kierkegaard was right when he cautioned that we must understand life backward and live it forward.
Before we die, we must at least be able to to know the truth and understand the roots of our sufferings, what precipitated our ignorance and why many of us are ashamed of our culture and why we are wallowing in insecurity and lack of pride as a nation.
The murder of Ferdinand Magellan by Lapu-Lapu sealed our fate.
Although Magellan’s death delayed the Spanish colonization of the Philippines by more than 40 years, what happened next became a horror which had unleashed irreparable damage and wrought unimaginable havoc on our psyche until today in the computer age.
Desperate to enslave the Filipinos after efforts to conquer them by force had failed, the Spaniards shifted to Plan B: they instituted an organization which would disable the development of our critical thinking, an IQ reducation program aimed at making the natives dumb.
And they succeeded!


According to Dr. Carlos Alfonso Santos, this program was called the National IQ Reduction Commission (NIQRC) founded in 1521 “by a bunch of starving Spanish conquistadores in Limasawa.”
“The conquest was not doing well,” wrote Santos. “They were hopelessly lost (they were really looking for Malacca) and Lapu-Lapu had just killed Magellan. The Spaniards realized that if they wanted to claim the land, they would have to make the natives dumber. So they began a number of IQ reduction programs, all coordinated by the NIQRC.”
The most successful initiative at the time, according to Santos, was taken by the Catholic Church. “The fraile (Spanish word for “horny cretin”) pretended to preach the Gospel, but actually aimed to impose blind obedience and servitude.”
“Every Sunday, homilies throughout the archipelago essentially revolved around one them: You are dirty, uneducated, learning impaired idiots who need white men to manage your affairs.”
Santos revealed that when the Americans bought the Philippines three centuries later, they asked the Spaniards what the secret was to holding on to a colony for so long. A former governor general reportedly answered: “It’s simple: keep them stupid.”
“The Americans took this advice to heart and did their utmost in keeping our IQs low. Instead of using the Church, however, they established the public school system,” Santos narrated.


“Practically every government ministry was eventually turned over to a Filipino–except the Department of Education. With a condescending smile and a great deal of false charm, the Americans taught English and Math and the Boogie, but left critical thinking out on purpose.”
The Americans reportedly were afraid that if anyone actually started thinking, “we would realize that it was just a little bit weird that the United States, itself a former colony that had to wage a bloody revolution to win its freedom, was now taking the rights to self-determination away from another people.”
After World War II, the Americans left when they reportedly realized it was too expensive to fix a war-torn country and kept Guam for posterity sake.
In the history of Western thought, according to Dr. Mortimer Adler, freedom has a number of distinct meanings:
A man is said to be free when external circumstances permit him to act as he wishes for his own good.
A man is said to be free when he has acquired enough virtue or wisdom to be able willingly to do as he ought, to comply with the moral law, or to live in accordance with an ideal befitting human nature.
All men are said to be free because they are endowed by nature with power of free choice–the power to decide for themselves what they shall do or become.


Meanwhile, Santos said the Philippines’ new leaders retained the NIQRC and is now “a major albeit invisible force.”
“They had to find another way of keeping us stupid though. Sunday Mass was no longer effective since no one went to church anymore and those who did invariably fell asleep after the entrance hymn.
“The public school system, on the other hand, was too expensive. If the government had to build schools, pay teachers and buy books, there would be hardly enough funds to set aside for graft and corruption which eats up 50 percent of the budget.
“So under the auspices of the elected officials of the newly independent Philippine Republic, the folks over at the NIQRC received a new mandate: set up a cost-effective IQ reduction program. They, of course, outdid themselves and cooked up the best scheme yet: the soap opera.”
Santos said, “it is a scientifically proven fact that soap opera decrease an average human’s IQ by half a point per episode. The characters and story lines are so flat and utterly lacking in depth that the viewer’s IQ almost invariably drops.”
It’s never too late actually to unshackle our minds from the bondage of this age-old system. We all watch TV and today’s sophisticated cable network offers a smorgasbord of programs. The choice is ours.


Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized



By Alex P. Vidal13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

LET’S now stop reciting the oft-repeated mantra that “in the long run, China will win.” They’ve already won. a long time ago.
In fact, the Chinese have become dominant in almost all endeavors and levels of competition and trade globally–except winning the NBA championship and the FIFA World Cup.
We won’t be surprised if a Chinese boxer will soon be the one to send Manny Pacquiao into forced retirement now that all those Mexican taxi drivers have been flattened one after the other.
Was it a Chinese chessplayer who scalped women’s longest reigning world champion Maya Chiburdanidze?
In a mall in Nagoya, Japan in 2001, two Japanese salesmen laughed when I requested a “Made in Japan” bulb, not “Made in China.”
They could not explain it in English, but I was able to read between the lines as they tried their best to speak: “We sell mostly made in China products here.” Including a Sony stereo!


The biggest mall in the Philippines — and in the entire Asia for that matter — and the country’s flag carrier are owned by Chinese tycoons. Our major telecommunication firms and banking institutions are also controlled by Chinese executives.
A known philantrophist in Iloilo is a low-profile Chinese trader who owns a mall a stone throw away from the Capitol.
They are remarkable in the sense that they have pumped adrenaline on our arid economy and generated employment opportunities to many Filipinos for several decades now.
According to our favorite author, Dr. Will Durant, the No. 1 greatest thinker of all time was Confucius, a Chinese teacher. Greece’s classical heroes Plato and Aristotle, with all their glory and grandeur, are only second and third, respectively.
In business and international trade, China is notches higher than those in the second pack. “Made in China” products flood the markets in Europe, Asia, United States, Canada, Africa in dizzying fashion — from nails to woods, electronics, garments, medical supplies, toothbrush, watches, brooms, toys, perfumes, railways, submarines, space shuttles, etcetera.


We’ve noticed, however, that there seems to be two kinds of “Made in China” products now scattered around the world– the ones suspected to be of inferior quality dumped in the Philippines and other Asean countries and the ones of superior quality shipped to the United States, Canada and Europe. Double standard?
Some Americans and Canadians as well as Europeans and Africans love to collect “Made in China” stuffs bought from within their countries because those items pass the quality standards.
Some Filipinos and their neighbors in Asia, on the other hand, view “Made in China” products with absolute skepticism and suspicion because some of these products are either substandard or unsafe. Is WTO at fault?
Israel is reported to be the second strongest military in the world next to the United States, but China is still superior numerically and logistically. China can afford to take on all comers in a winner-takes-all fracas involving the Spratlys tumult.
China can also now afford to send to moon or mars not only ape but a computer literate human being.
By the way, didn’t we just elect a Chinese president in P-noy “Coo Huang Coo” Aquino?


Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized




Ilonggo philosopher-lawyer Ernesto “Ernie” Justiniani Dayot once brought me in his mini library in Brgy. Nanga, Guimbal, Iloilo to show his collection of books, many of them classical and philosophical.

The authors were star-studded: Voltaire, Plato, Bertrand Russell, Baruch Spinoza, Saint Augustine, my all-time favorite Will Durant of the Story of Civilization fame, Deepak Chopra, John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, Mortimer Adler, and, believe it or, Shirley Maclaine, to name only a few.

“I started collecting some of them in the early 50’s,” explained Don Ernie, a look-alike of Pope Benedict XVI, according to some readers of the Visayan Tribune, where he maintains a regular column.

Don Ernie, now seventy something, actually continues to collect books as a habit until today and don’t be surprised if one of these days, you will bump in the “Book Sale” store somebody who looks like Pope Benedict XVI, err Don Ernie.


Anyway, we both agreed that the real measure of a person’s intelligence is not when a person has perfected a quiz or when a person can memorize the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

A person may be considered really intelligent if that person is culturally literate.

A conquest and rationalization of fear and creativity and ability to synthesize are also true measures of intelligence.

Cultural literacy includes knowledge about world literature, philosophy, religion, world history, proverbs, idioms, The Bible, mythology and folklore, business and economics, life and earth sciences, medicine and health, technology, world politics, world geography, physical science and mathematics, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

Although it may help a lot, reading — and not just collecting of — books is an ideal vehicle to cultural literacy. When we collect books and don’t read them, cockroach, ants and pests will do their job.


There is evidence that reading increases our creativity. We must remember that Albert Einstein failed math in grade school, yet he developed the Theory of Relativity while working in the patent office, where he read voraciously.

Abraham Lincoln never got past grade 2, yet he finished law school because he read books. Marcus Aurelius always carried a book of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey even during the war. So was Alexander The Great and Andres Bonifacio.

Books build a love for learning as well as open the mind to creativity. Reading has thus produced generation after generation of great men and women. A book, a story, a dream, a future—the love of reading is the best gift we can give to our children.

Having been a book collector myself like Don Ernie, I had the privilege to acquire some of the great books during my travel in Canada and the United States and I am proud to mention that I will soon donate some of them in the Philippines now that school year has beckoned.



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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


Doctor, we are (are we really?) sick

By Alex P. Vidal13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

I have learned that the most difficult person to deal with in this world is not a person with empty stomach or somebody who has been jilted by a lover.

That person is neither someone who flunked the HIV test nor somebody who lost a sexual appetite to diabetes.

The most difficult person to deal with is somebody who thinks he or she is a conqueror of the universe or one that behaves and acts opposite of everything that is normal.

Having encountered a very difficult personality in the United States recently with a suspected case of schizophrenia, I can’t help but share the “check list” courtesy of the World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders on how to identify abnormal behavior among people– or among us– and get them–or ourselves– to see a doctor.

1. Withdrawing completely from family, friends and workmates.

2. Afraid to leave the house (particularly in daylight hours).

3. Sleeping or eating poorly. Sleeping by day and staying awake at night, often pacing around.

4. Being extremely preoccupied with a particular theme, for example, death, politics or religion.

5. Uncharacteristically neglecting household or personal responsibilities, or personal hygiene or appearance.

6. Deteriorating in performance at a school or work, or leaving jobs.

7. Having difficulty concentrating, following conversation or remembering things.

8. Talking about or writing things which do not really make sense (Do we have Facebook friends who write like Adolf Hitler and sometimes like Mother Teresa? I know a lot).

9. Panicking (being extremely anxious or markedly depressed, or suicidal).

10. Losing variation in mood, being flat. Lacking emotional expression, for example, humor, friendliness.

11. Having inappropriate emotional responses, for example, giggling on hearing sad news.

12. Hearing voices that no one else can hear.

13. Believing without reason, that others are plotting against, spying, or following them and having extreme fear of, or anger with, those people.

14. Believing that they are being harmed or influenced to do things against their will — by television, radio, aliens or the devil, for example.

15. Believing they have special powers, for example, that they are important religious leaders, politicians or scientists when this is not the case.

16. Believing their thoughts are being interfered with or that they can influence the thoughts of others.

17. Spending extravagant and unrealistic sums of money.

If a friend or relative, or neighbor, or if we ourselves find ourselves having some of these symptoms, let’s go see a doctor. There is nothing to feel ashamed about having something that is not quite right checked.

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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized




LAKE FOREST, California — Philippine history is replete with tragedies and oddities.
Among these historical aberrations were the wrongful conviction and execution by Spanish colonizers of a brilliant priest who would have equaled if not eclipse Dr. Jose Rizal’s achievement and the state-sponsored murder of dish washer Leo Echegaray who was made as sacrifical lamb to satisfy the bloodthirsty and grandstanding politicians.
Teary eyed until the final hours of his date with afterlife, Fr. Jose Burgos should not have been in the execution chamber when the garrote snuffed out the lives of Gomburza — Fathers Mariano Gomez, Burgos, Jacinto Zamora on Feb. 17, 1872, when Rizal was 11.
The modern day carnival-like killing via lethal injection of Echegaray and several other condemned inmates after him before death penalty was expunged, plunged the only Christian country in Asia into moral abyss.
Convicted of raping his own daughter, Echegaray was the first in line when death penalty was imposed under the Erap administration. Up to his last breath, he maintained his innocence. But it was not his vacillation that made his execution repulsive in the eyes of anti-death penalty advocates; it was when ecclesiastical interference failed to dampen a presidential prerogative.
“Wala akong kasalanan. Patawarin kayo ng Diyos,” was Echegaray’s farewell statement.
Among the three martyred priests, historians consider the conviction for rebellion of the young Burgos as farce. He was an accidental hero, many of them wrote.
“His death, which is the fate of mortals but which made him immortal notonly in heaven but here on earth, was therefore not heroic,” wrote former Asiaweek copy editor Manuel F. Martinez in his essay “The Ultimate in Intrigue: The Extirpation of Burgos.”
“But it must be conceded that his struggles and ideas throughout his life were not accidental, but deliberate and willed, and as such he could not be dismissed as a fortuitous hero.”
Burgos’ total shock when brought before the garrote is understandable, observed Martinez, not just because, by his brilliance and personality, he was the most promising and the best situated among all Filipinos, lay and cleric alike, or because he was too young to die at 35.
He did not know it would cost him his life when he started his Filipinization fight with the friars. According to Martinez, Burgos “underestimated the power, and the evil, of his adversaries.”
Gomez was superplacid. He blessed with his hand the multitude of Filipinos gathered, “who took off their hats to salute him and had fallen on their knees as he passed by.”
Antonio Ma. Regidor, who wrote an eyewitness account — “a very detailed and very partisan account,” according to Martinez grimly recalled that “Burgos was not reconciled to his fate.”
When he reached the stage and was asked to go up, Burgos paused and made a final protest. “But for what? I am innocent. This is an iniquity.”
“My God, I am innocent,” Burgos cried loudly while on the scaffold, seeing thousands upon thousands of mournful and silent Filipino faces.
Like Gomez, 73, who was calmed and resigned, Burgos eventually commended his spirit to God. “Before the litany ended,” Martinez narrated, “he was dead, the garrote being an instrument of torture and death that disposed of its victims in less than a minute of breaking the neckbone.”

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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


Shouting, slapping incident turns into grisly murder

-Were soldiers drunk when they butchered Gen. Luna?


LAKE FOREST, California — If this crime happened recently, today’s more liberated and technologically literate Filipinos would have raged and wept endlessly by its sheer brutality; and Youtube and Facebook would have recorded the ugly episode for all the universe to see — and denounce.
He was ganged up and butchered like a pig. Shot repeatedly by a group of rank-and-file Filipino soliders and hacked with a bolo until his intestines came out in front of horrified civilians in a public plaza in the Philippines.
This was how historians narrated the terrible execution of General Antonio Luna by soldiers equivalent today to the Presidential Security Group (PSG) on June 5, 1899, a week before the June 12 first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Perhaps the greatest general and one of the most brilliant patriots to ever serve the Philippine revolution, Luna’s horrible murder from die hards of President Emilio Aguinaldo, became a blot in Philippine history as it gave credence to the French Revolution’s famous dictum that “Revolution devours its own children.”


At 32, Luna, an Ilocano, was five years older than 28-year-old President Aguinaldo, of Kawit, Cavite, when the president’s men known as “Kawit soldiers”, extirpated him.
Luna, director of war and overall Central Luzon commander, was supposed to meet President Aguinaldo who established his headquarters in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, after receiving a telegram, purportedly signed by President Aguinaldo, ordering him to proceed to Cabanatuan from Bayambang, Pangasinan.
Until today, nobody has confirmed that the telegram was about a “Cabinet revamp” and President Aguinaldo supposedly was to appoint Luna premier or chief of the Cabinet. Was it a trap?
It was widely known then that Luna and Foreign Affairs Secretary Felipe Buencamino were at loggerheads after Luna arrested and jailed Buencamino and incumbent Premier Pedro Paterno for negotiating with the Americans for peace and autonomy calling them traitors and cowards.
President Aguinaldo, however, sided with the two high-ranking Cabinet officials and released them.


Many historians have diligently ferreted out conflicting and different records and accounts from various sources in the Philippines and abroad, but Manuel Martinez, a 1971 Constitutional Convention delegate, pointed to University of the Philippines Dean Vivencio Jose as having presented “the most finished and the most careful account, which appears to be fair at all” in Jose’s book, “The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna.”
Here’s Jose’s account, according to Martinez in his book, “Assassinations and Conspiracies”:
Luna entered the convent door (leaving his two companions outside). The guard, upon seeing him, got so unnerved that he did not know what to do. Luna, apparently peeved, turned to him and asked whether he knew what he was doing. The soldier got more bewildered and was unable to answer. Luna, vexed at this unexpected reaction from a soldier, slapped him on the face.
Not far off, Luna saw another soldier, an officer, whom he remembered was disarmed at Kalumpit. “Don’t you remember that I disarmed you because of your cowardice?”
The officer, Captain Pedro Janolino, could not answer. He stood there, stiffly, before Luna who was now beside himself with anger. “And you still have the courage to face me?” Luna asked, adding, “Who reinstated you?”
“The officers up there were the ones, sir, who did.”
“Well,” Luna said, “I will settle you all presently.”
Then he hurriedly proceeded upstairs. Up there in the convent, whom should he see but the autonomist whom he hated very much, Felipe Buencamino, now obviously free. To add more to his consternation, Luna learned further that President Aguinaldo had earlier left and was on the way to Tarlac, apparently not complying with the appointment.
“Why didn’t they tell me that they were going away?” Luna said, further angered…In a moment at all, hot words were exchanged between him and Buencamino. And soon they were quarreling while below the presidential guards kept coming and going, whispering tensely among themselves.


Then, as if in preconcerted signal, a rifle shot tore through the blazing afternoon. Hearing the gun report, Luna disengaged from his verbal duel with Buencamino. He went hurriedly rushing down the stairs, where he met Janolino and some soldiers.
Luna shouted, “Who among you fired? Now I am more convinced than ever that you don’t know how to handle a gun.” Luna was indeed seething with uncontrollable rage. Janolino, thinking that Luna would attack him, whipped out his bolo and hacked the general, hitting him on the temple above the ear.
The Kawit soldiers then joined the fray, firing and stabbing at the hapless general. In spite of his wounds, the surprised Luna managed to pull out his revolver and, withdrawing to the streets, tried to press the trigger. Pain and loss of blood were slowly blurring his vision and he missed when he fired.
Luna’s two staff officers, who waited outside, Col. Francisco Roman and Captain Eduardo Rusca, ran to help their boss, whom they saw “staggering towards them, chased and attacked by the Kawit soldiers.”
“The presidential guards fired repeatedly also at Roman who was hit, fatally. Rusca sustained a wound on the leg and fell on his knees, and while crawling got hit again and fell unconscious, and survived to tell his story,” narrated Martinez.
“While Janolino and his companions were butchering Luna with a mixed brew of bullets and blades, many other soldiers were ready behind concrete walls. Luna now reached the plaza, his fist clenched, trying to return the fire of his assassins as copious blood gushed out from his many wounds.


“A bit later it was seen that his intestines were already out. He suffered at least 40 wounds. Each of some 30 of the wounds was said to be fatal. The horror of it all. Never in the course of human assassination was so much wrought by so many on one fellow.”
Luna, in one last great effort, showed the will to fight…to the bitter end, as he muttered audibly, bravely, “Co…wards! Assa…ssins!” Then, strength leaving his body and will weakened to its last gasp of life, Luna slumped to the ground, face upward, his fist still clinched, as if challenging his murderers, his teeth gritting in rage.
Before expiring, he instinctively turned on his right side. So great must have been the soldiers’ fear of Luna that, when they thought that he would stand up in the last grasp of his breath, those in the front line hastily stepped backward pushing those behind them who fell down!
For one hour, Luna’s badly mangled body laid unattended at the center of the plaza.
For no apparent reason, the soldiers reportedly returned and started hacking Luna’s body again “in sadistic glee.”
“Some took off the uniform and among themselves divided the loot of money and jewels. After this dastardly act, they wrapped the body in an old and tattered mat and brought it to the ruined church…There, when darkness crept and settled down the earth, only the bats and other night birds remained the (two) dead men’s sole companions,” Jose added.
“Luna and Roman were buried the next morning with honors, with brass band and funeral march, attended by Gregorio Aglipay, and officials of the government led by Luna’s foe, Buencamino.
The soldiers who had committed the deed were presumably there. Even if they were identified, they were not accosted or arrested or investigated. The place may have been occupied almost wholly by anti-Luna partisans.”


The demise of Luna, the most brilliant and capable of the Filipino generals, was a decisive factor in the fight against the American forces. Even the Americans developed an astonished admiration for him. One of them, General Hughes, said of his death, probably relishing the irony, “The Filipinos had only one general, and they have killed him.”
Subsequently, Presidenty Aguinaldo suffered successive, disastrous losses in the field, retreating towards northern Luzon. In less than two years, he was captured in Palanan, Isabela by American forces, led by General Frederick Funston and their Kapampangan allies, the Macabebe mercenaries.
President Aguinaldo was later brought to Manila, and made to pledge allegiance to the United States.
They may have destroyed Luna, a first-rate polemicist and publisher of La Independencia, but they did not defeat him as history became kind to him.


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