The Fateful Day: Captain Pedro Janolino and Felipe Buencamino

Originally authored on September 20, 2015

The first man General Luna met in Cabanatuan to respond to the summon of Aguinaldo was Captain Pedro Janolino, whom he disarmed in Angeles for cowardice. Together with the Kawit Battalion, they refused to take orders from Luna during the Battle of Caloocan in February 1899 and as punishment, Luna had disarmed and relieved them of their duties. On the way to Aguinaldo’s office his famous temper provoked by the failure of sentry to salute him thus, he slapped the slack guard. Upon being informed that Aguinaldo had left for San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, he ran upstairs and found Felipe Buencamino instead. They exchanged heated words.

When a rifle shot was heard, the General rushed down to investigate. Sprang from behind the door, where he had been concealed, Janolino attacked Luna from behind, inflicting a severe wound with a bolo. The Kawit Battalion mobbed the General and stabbed with daggers and shot. Mortally wounded, he still managed to wobble to the street away from his assassins. He fired his pistol but failed to hit anybody. Colonel Paco Roman came to his defense but  was shot to his death. Captain Rusca also tried to assist the stricken General but he too was shot and took refuge in the nearby church. As Luna fell on the convent yard, Aguinaldo’s mother Trinidad Famy Aguinaldo was said to have watched the killing and even managed to ask “Nagalaw pa ga iyan?” One of the assassins nudged Luna’s body with his boot to validate.

The following day, Luna was buried with military honors with Aguinaldo conferring however, the assassins went free. After Luna’s death, Aguinaldo ordered all chiefs of brigades under Luna arrested. Some were killed like Major Manuel Bernal, who was tortured first and his brother Captain Jose Bernal, who was released but was later assassinated in Candaba, Pampanga. Aguinaldo also ordered the disarming of two companies he suspected as pro-Luna.

“ANG ATING KALABAN AY HINDI ANG MGA KASTILA O AMERIKANO KUNDI ANG ATING SARILI!”

* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures