ARMY FETES GENERALS LUNA, RICARTE ON THEIR BIRTHDAY

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Philippine Army officials will honor on Monday two Filipino generals who fought Americans–Antonio Luna and Artemio Ricarte–on their 150th birthday.

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Born on October 20, 1866, Ricarte served as Philippine Army commander from March 22, 1897 to January 22, 1899.

He was succeeded by Luna, who served the Army from January 23 to June 5, 1899.

Luna was born on October 29, 1866.

The two are among those who led the Philippine Revolutionary Army during the Philippine-American War.

Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año, the current Army commander, will lead top Army officials in wreath-laying rites at the Libingan ng mga Bayani prior to Monday’s flag-raising ceremony.

Col. Benjamin Hao, Army spokesman, clarified that honoring the anti-US generals has nothing to do with the anti-US stance of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He explained that every year, the birthdays of revolutionaries and late Army commanders are being celebrated but this time it is a little bit special because it is the 150th birthday of Luna and Ricarte.

“[Whether] 50th, 100th or 150th, they are special, that is why we have a special celebration [for them],” Hao said.

Besides Ricarte and Luna, two movie producers and actor John Arcilla, who played Luna in the recent blockbuster “Heneral Luna,” will be cited and given plaques.

Besides history books detailing the heroism of Luna, Hao said, many soldiers supposedly have been inspired by the movie that depicted the revolutionary general’s leadership during the Philippine-American War.

FERNAN MARASIGAN

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