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On General Luna's 152nd birthday.. What if..?

Of course party poopers will raise up the fact that General Luna never won a big battle. That is true and the fact made Historian Teodoro Agoncillo fall from the Apo Lakay Ferdinand's graces. Apo Ferdinand wouldn't tolerate any slight to an Ilocano's honour!
There will be a "what if" question still. What if he were not assassinated? How will the war been prosecuted? Here there are no clear and easy answers. The war may have lasted longer enough for the Americans to reconsider and seek a political settlement. That would happen 75 years later in the Paris Peace Talks, for a different war with similar aims, national liberation. The war would not end until the Americans recognised the North Vietnam republic as a sovereign belligerent state.
Luna's guerrilla tactics may have likely worked. It did work 43 years later. The Japanese occupiers were really able to hold the main urban centres of Manila, Iloilo etc. Elsewhere they guerrillas were killing them off. Proof is that the Laurel Republic's authority hardly ever extended beyond Manila.
It is more likely that given the radical direction of General Luna's idea in building up a people's army, the army would have been in a position to seize revolutionary power in such a short time. Luna however will have to team up with a revolutionary ideologue. Who could that have been? Luna, the scientist-general and non-politician couldn't have done that alone. Here we don’t have answers. The ideologue Apolinario Mabini had given up the revolutionary ghost when he saw the corruption of the Aguinaldo government.
Historians and writers like the late Mrs Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil and F Sionil Jose are agreed that if the Republic had forced the Americans to recognize it as a sovereign belligerent entity, civil war would have occurred within a few years. This is a revolutionary civil war and its seeds were all over the first half of the US colonial period. The American insular government and even Quezon’s Commonwealth were threatened by this. The American recognized 1946 Republic never solved the the threat and neither does the 2018 republic of Duterte. And so Luna’s revolutionary ideology has to be studied for it may hold the key to understanding the final triumph of the 1896 Revolution. It is ironic the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Philippine Left has never held General Luna as a historical icon. However the only historical character who really understood Luna’s revolutionary significance and possible threat to his regime if people really understood it was none other than
Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.


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