Celso, Erbie lead ZC Independence rites PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 14:36

Mayor Celso Lobregat and District 2 Congressman Erbie A. Fabian led in the city’s observance of the 114th Independence Day yesterday that was highlighted by the recognition of 5 oldest World War II veterans.

The celebration, held amidst the inclement weather, at the Rizal Park fronting City Hall was one of the well-attended Independence Day celebrations the past few years.

The activity kicked off with the flag raising ceremony led by Mayor Lobregat, Cong. Fabian and Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde. City Veterinarian Mario Ariola led in the recitation of the Panatang Makabayan, which was followed by the floral offering by the different heads of agencies and representatives from different sectors.

In his keynote message, Mayor Lobregat urged all constituents to be vigilant for anyone who will threaten independence. “Let us work as a team, like the 98 men who signed the Philippine Declaration of Independence and the nameless, countless others who fought so hard with their lives so we can enjoy our independence today”.

“As we celebrate the country’s independence, let us not forget that the freedom we enjoy today was born of the sacrifices of thousands of men who gave up their lives so others may live freely. Most importantly, let us share in the responsibility of protecting our freedom and sovereignty, not only from foreign forces but even from our own people,” the mayor stressed.

Independence Day he said, marks the day when the national flag was first unfurled and the national hymn was first played in Kawit, Cavite. It has been 114 years ago when General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the country’s independence, cutting off allegiance to the Crown of Spain and severing political ties between the two countries and  prior to this historic moment, ninety-eight men affixed their signatures on what was to become the Philippine Declaration of Independence.

He stressed that the present generation should remain grateful to the gallant men and women who fought for independence during the 2nd world war. And as a show of gratitude to the veterans, the city government yesterday awarded 5 oldest living WWII veteran.

The awardees were Federico Braulio, Bonifacio Padawan, Medardo Jamiro, Sergio Dalguntas and Luis Biel Sr. Each of them were awarded with plaques presented by Mayor Lobregat, Cong. Erbie Fabian, Vice Mayor Iturralde, Western Mindanao Command chief LtGen. Noel Coballes and Police Regional Director PCSupt. Atty. Napoleon Estilles.

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University Concert Band provided the recessional while the Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale entertained the guests during breakfast at the City Hall lobby after the short but meaningful program. — Sheila Covarrubias