Beng, Celso, Wesmincom chief pay tribute to WWII veterans PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:20

Mayor Beng Climaco led Zamboanguenos in paying tribute to World War II veterans in commemoration of the 72nd Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), in simple yet meaningful ceremonies held Wednesday, April 9.

Climaco individually recognized the 6 Zamboangueno WWII veterans present during the activity—Leonardo Jamiro, Irineo Comprendio, Antonio de la Cruz, Aquilino Calandria, Roberto Macaso and Daniel Peneranda—for their sacrifices and efforts in defending the country against foreign aggressors.

“We acknowledge everyone who served and continue to serve in defense of our country. We also recognize the contributions of the modern day heroes who help in the construction of the bunkhouses and in the recovery  of the victims of the September siege as well as and the rehabilitation of the city”, the mayor said.

The mayor in her speech likewise thanked the spouses and sons and daughters of WWII veterans. She also cited the experience of her uncle, Benjamin Cortez Climaco, who was one of the Filipino soldiers who perished in the gruesome death march in Bataan on April 9 some 72 years ago.

“Thank you for your valor and gallantry. We are here enjoying the fruits of your labor,” she told the veterans.

For his part, District I Celso Lobregat in his message during the program also expressed deep gratitude to the veterans and all others who answer the call of service for their fellowmen and country such as the policemen, soldiers, firemen, teaches, doctors and nurses and most especially those who defended the city from the malefactors during the Zamboanga siege.

Western Mindanao Command chief LGen. Rustico Guerrero also recognized the efforts of the veterans in his inspirational message during the program after the formal flag raising rites at the Rizal Shrine fronting City Hall.

City, police and military officials including representatives from different local and national agencies including non-government organizations participated in the floral offering that highlighted the commemorative program.

Araw ng Kagitingan marks the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942. It highlights the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers during World War II when Japan conquered the Philippines.

April 9 was first declared as Bataan Day in 1961 after Congress passed Republic Act 3022. After 26 years, it was renamed to “Araw ng Kagitingan or Bataan and Corregidor Day.” It marks the day when Luzon Force commander Major General Edward King Jr. of the US Army surrendered more than 76,000 Filipino and American soldiers to the Japanese. — Sheila Covarrubias