Celso calls for unity in action vs present war PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:12

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday led Zamboanguenos in paying homage to World War II veterans for the sacrifices they endured in the name of freedom stressing that Araw ng Kagitingan should also be a time for people of this generation to reflect on what they can do to serve the country and particularly the city.

The mayor expressed his appreciation and admiration for the heroism and gallantry of the Filipino fighters of 2nd World War.

“And as we honor our heroes today, we—the people of this generation—should take time to reflect on what we can do to serve our country and particularly our city, to help bring about peace, tranquility and growth and development”, the mayor said in his keynote speech during the celebration marking the greatness of World War II veterans held at the Freedom Fighters’ Memorial Shrine in Rizal Street near City Hall.

He acknowledged the fact that the country and the city are no fighting against foreign invaders “but our own countrymen who have no qualms in killing the innocents to terrorize people”.

“Once again, the city is beset with diverse challenges and trials, and to confront all these is not to point fingers or blame others for these adversities. Like our World War II heroes, we should all dedicate our efforts and work for the common good. We must all show courage and fight the wars of our times.  We must work hard together towards a healthier economy, better understanding and acceptance of one another”, the chief executive declared.

Araw ng Kagitingan, he stressed, should also be a day to remember all Filipinos and Zamboanguenos who offer their time, efforts and resources for the well-being, safety and protection of others. These include the military and policemen who continue to fight against terrorism and criminal elements; the teachers who sacrifice a lot to give quality education to the youth; the doctors, volunteers and other individuals who answer the call of duty to serve their fellowmen.

The local observance of Araw ng Kagitingan was organized by the Veterans Federation of the Philippines-Zamboanga City Veterans District under Commander Veteran Raul Roldan in cooperation with the City Government. It kicked off with the flag raising ceremony in front of City Hall at 7 am, followed by the short but meaningful program at the Freedom Fighters’ Memorial that was also graced by Councilors Rey Candido, Luis Biel III and Rudy Lim; Western Mindanao Command Chief MGen. Noel Coballes; 3rd Air Division Commander MGen. Tony Villarete; 530th Wing Commander BGen. Emeraldo Magnaye; Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief Rear Admiral Armando de Guzman; Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Buenaventura Pascual, District I Cong. Beng Climaco (represented by Kenneth Beldua), City Schools Superintendent Pete Natividad, surviving veterans, spouses and sons and daughter of veterans and many others.

Mayor Lobregat during the program also offered cash gifts to two surviving veterans present during the program- Medardo Jamiro and Aquilino Calandria and some surviving spouses. 

“We have to give credit where credit is due but today credit is good but we need cash”, the mayor said in jest as he handed over cash gifts to the veterans.

In their individual inspirational messages, Gen. Coballes and Cong. Climaco extolled the bravery and gallantry of the WWII fighters and likewise called on the people to emulate the examples of the veterans by helping and supporting current programs intended to help ensure peace, growth and development of the country. — Sheila Covarrubias