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Antonio Luna

He was born in Urbiztondo Street, Binondo, Manila on October 29, 1866 to Don Joaquin Luna and Doña Laureana Novicio, both from prominent families of Badoc, Ilocos Norte. He entered the Ateneo de Manila where he bagan to take interest in literature and chemistry. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1881. At the University of Santo Tomas, he won first prize for his composition “Dos Cuerpos Fundamentales de Quimica,” on the occasion of the elevation of Fr. Ceferino Gonzales to the Cardinalate. At the invitation of his brother, Juan, he left for Europe. He got a Licentiate in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona. The Central University of Madrid conferred him his Doctor of Pharmacy in 1890.

In Spain he wrote El Hematozoario Paludismo, acclaimed by leading bacteriologist in Europe as thorough and exhaustive scientific work. Using the pen name Taga Ilog, he published in the La Solidaridad “Impresiones” a satirical observation of Spanish customs and idiosyncracies. After completing his studies, he toured Europe and came in contact with prominent bacteriologists. In 1894, he returned to the Philippines where he wrote less but was more vocal in advocating that the Philippines be made a province of Spain with the Filipinos enjoying the rights and privileges of Spanish citizens. He was not sympathetic to the Katipunan but advocated liberalism which caused his imprisonment in Madrid. After his release, he left for Belgium where he studied the art of military strategy under General Leman.

In 1898, he surveyed the Manila-Dagupan terrain for possible defense perimeter against the American troops. In 1899, he was appointed Chief of War Operations with the rank of Brigadier General. After the fall of La Loma on February 5, 1899, he saw the urgency of reorganizing the army. A military academy was created at Malolos to train officers for field command. Officers of the 1896 revolution were recruited. A Red Cross chapter was also organized. To impose discipline among the officers and men, those who failed to follow military orders were disarmed, and in some instances, summarily executed. For instance, the members of Cauit Battalyon under the command of Col. Pedro Janolino were disarmed for refusing to attack during the battle of Caloocan. Due to his exacting disciplinary measures, he created enemies among the military and civilian officials, especially those close to Aguinaldo. Matters were exacerbated when he withheld the troops requested by Aguinaldo, claiming these were needed in the front lines.

After the fall of Marilao, Bulacan on March 29, 1899, he was crushed not only by the defeat but by the lack of discipline among the Filipino troops. He tendered his resignation but Aguinaldo did not accept. He continued to fight in the fields of Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan against the Americans.

On June 4, 1899, he received a telegram from Aguinaldo ordering him to go to Cabanatuan for a conference. He arrived at the Cabanatuan Catholic Church Convent only to learn that Aguinaldo had left for Pampanga. Greatly provoked, he uttered insults at the President and berated the guards who were the same men he disarmed after the battle of Caloocan. When going down the stairs of the headquartes, the assassins riddled him with bullets and he was stabbed. After he was buried in the churchyard, Aguinaldo took command of the troops and relieved Luna’s officers and men of their duties in the field.

Antonio Luna y Novicio (October 29, 1866 - June 5, 1899) was a Filipino pharmacist and general who fought in the Philippine-American War. He founded the Philippines's first military academy.

General Antonio Luna

The greatest general of the revolution. Younger brother of Juan Luna, the famous painter. Editor of La Independencia, whose first issue came out on September 3, 1898. Born in Binondo, Manila, on October 29, 1866. He was one of the propagandists in Spain who were working for political reforms in the Philippines. He contributed articles to La Solidaridad. He was assassinated in Cabanatuan City, on June 5, 1899.

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