Heneral Antonio Luna, Andres Bonifacio, and Rodrigo Duterte

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 28, 2015 - 9:00am

A day before Bonifacio Day, perhaps it is apropos to think of the Great Plebian and compare him to General Antonio Luna. In the face of ''tanim bala'' in NAIA and'' tanim armas'' in Bilibid. Perhaps we need a new Heneral Luna like Mayor Rody Duterte today. We need a strong leader who shall have the guts to enforce ARTICULO UNO'' in a society that suffers from a malignant social cancer. We need a leader who can discipline all the criminals, the corrupt and the inept, lazy and uncaring free riders in a struggling society ruled by the elite and the ilustrados, indifferent and uncaring. We should see the movie again and be accordingly guided come May of 2016. Duterte is both a Luna and a Bonifacio.

It is once in every blue moon that I go and see Tagalog movies nowadays because, with due respect, I have no time for commercial slapsticks with no redeeming social value. The greatest of the great movie makers are long dead and today's breed of directors and producers are all driven by greed and mediocrity, far removed from the caliber of Lino Brocka. But  some weeks ago, I made an exception with HENERAL ANTONIO LUNA. Honestly, while inside the theater, I thought of Mayor Duterte as both the new Luna and the new Bonifacio. He is the one that can solve today's problems.

It was well worth the efforts and the time. All my five children and their respective spouses as well as the boyfriends and girlfriends of the unmarried ones, have been unanimous in endorsing the movie for my wife and myself to see. The last time, this happened was in the movie, BONIFACIO. It is seldom that a movie can generate acclaim from both the baby boomers and the Generations X and Y, including the millennials. Luna and Bonifacio had the same fate. They both died in the hands of their own compatriots. The suspect is the same person relative to their respective assassination, no other than Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo of the Magdalo.

The lessons I learned from LUNA include the painful truth of the Filipinos' s propensity to fight each other, instead of with each other even during a revolution against a foreign colonizer. This fate happened to the Magdalo faction of Aguinaldo and the Magdiwang of Bonifacio. In LUNA, General Emilio Aguinaldo was suspected again of having ordered the assassination or liquidation of the bravest Filipino general who ever lived. The reason, of course, was the intrigues propagated by the sycophants in the inner circle of the Cavite kingpin, that Luna was becoming a threat to the leadership of the revolution. That was the same dirty tactic that the Magdalo partisans used against the Katipunan Supremo. Duterte should watch his back now. There are many traitors around.

The movie HENERAL LUNA makes us very proud as a Filipino. This Filipino masterpiece indeed deserves to be chosen as our entry to the OSCARs award and even qualifies as our entry to Cannes and in all other foreign film competitions. We already know the story since our history classes in high school.  But the excellence in its execution are unsurpassed in the history of film-making. All aspects, including cinematography, musical scoring, directions, the scripts and the editing were all superb, amazing and indeed worthy of all the accolades and raves that they receive. There are no words that are eloquent enough to describe its totality. The best way to assess it is to see the movie if by this time, it is still showing in some moviehouses.

The dialogues were commendable. The words would evoke in every Filipino the compelling need to love our country, to be mindful of the welfare of our fellow Filipinos. The message of the movie is very strong that even the millennials who are known to be neglectful of things patriotic and nationalistic, have found some inspiring notes from the life, the principles, the actions and decisions of the greaatest Filipino generals. Today, when the image of the Philippine military and police has been reduced to virtual nil, the movie HENERAL LUNA has brought to every Filipino soldier and policeman, to all men and women in uniform, a renewed sense of pride, a new determination to do good and do the right things.


Another lesson that I learned from this movie is that superior officers are not necessarily right all the time. Sometimes, the subordinate is more right and is more correct. But then again, for the sake of the whole organization, for the whole nation, there is also an imperative to follow the chain of command. When it comes to matters of fundamental principles however, some subordinate officials are justified to follow another path than that ordered by the overall commander. what matters most is that both the superior and the subordinate are pursuing the same goal. The tactics may differ but the strategic objective is one. The President should not be a micro-manager. He should leave the tactics to operating frontliners, and field commanders.

The greatest lesson that matters most is that the Filipinos can succeed only when we are united. To achieve unity, we need a strong leader who can both inspire and discipline us. For inspiration without disciline often leads to chaos. Discipline without inspiration is a formula for oppression and  In choosing the next Philippine president, we need to look for the leadership qualities of Heneral Antonio Luna, the greatest Filipino general of all time. We do not need a '' teka teka'' president, or an American president, or one whose honor has been totally ''pulvorized'' by an avalanche of charges.We also can not risk the leadership by handing it over to one whose health is under a cloud of doubt. The only option left is Mayor Rudy Duterte.

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