Gen. Antonio Luna
Bill seeks to rename Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Antonio Luna
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A senior administration lawmaker has filed a bill at the House of Representatives that seeks to rename the main headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from Camp Emilio Aguinaldo to Camp General Antonio Luna. 

House Bill 4047 of Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel also seeks to amend Republic Act 4434 or the 1965 law that changed the name of then-Camp Frank Murphy to Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo.

He issued the statement on today’s occasion of National Heroes Day. 

Pimentel, former chairman of the House committee on good government, noted that the feisty Luna has been “described by historians as the most brilliant and capable of Filipino generals during the Philippine-American War.”

Luna, who was only 32 years old then, was chief of staff of the Philippine Revolutionary Army for 134 days during the Philippine-American War until his brutal assassination on June 5, 1899.

“Luna deserves greater recognition for his patriotism and military prowess,” Pimentel said.

“We are counting on our bill to rouse all Filipinos, especially soldiers across the three branches – the Army, Air Force and Navy – to emulate and live up to Luna’s positive qualities, particularly his strong love of country and exceptional skills,” he added.

Pimentel, however, clarified that his Antonio Luna bill will “in no way seek to reduce Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines, and the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Revolutionary Army after Luna’s assassination.”

“Aguinaldo has been fittingly honored over the years, especially with the 41.4-kilometer Emilio Aguinaldo Highway,” he said, referring to the network of primary and secondary public roads passing through the busiest cities and municipalities of Cavite.

Luna had been widely credited for bringing “guerrilla warfare” into play way ahead of China’s Mao Zedong and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap, the Mindanao lawmaker pointed out.

He also cited Filipino revolutionary leader Apolinario Mabini’s estimation of Luna, which goes: “If he was sometimes hasty and even cruel in his resolution, it was because the Army had been brought to a desperate situation by the demoralization of the soldiers and the lack of ammunitions: nothing but action of rash courage and extraordinary energy could hinder its dissolution.”

Luna was hailed even by the best US military officers during the Philippine-American War. 

Pimentel also mentioned James Franklin Bell, a US Army captain, who said that Luna “was the only general the Filipino army had.” Bell received the US Medal of Honor for actions during the Philippine-American War. Bell later became chief of staff of the US Army.

Congressman Pimentel cited Frederick Funston, a US Army colonel, who called Luna “the ablest and most aggressive leader of the Filipino Republic.” Funston was promoted to brigadier general for cleverly engineering the capture of Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela.

Funston also received the US Medal of Honor for actions during the Philippine-American War, and later rose to major general of the US Army. 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CAMP EMILIO AGUINALDO CAMP GENERAL ANTONIO LUNA
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