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70 war vets
receive US
Congressional
gold medals
By RAFFY VIRAY

Over seven decades after World


War IL 10 Filipino war veterans re-
ceived the US Congressional Gold
Medal vesterdav.
Priv'ates Firit Class Florentino
Platero, Macario Roqre, Rogel ViraY,
Leopoldo GunsaY, Francisca dela
Fuente and Democrito Domingo
attended the awarding ceremonies
vesterdav at Emiliana Hall' Barangay
tenejero'in Balanga CitY, Bataan
Posthumous awards were given
to the four others: PFC Lewe Do-
ninso, StaffSgt. Gabriel Lay'ug Capt'
Quiiico Evan-gelista and Maj. Pedro
Ouezon,
- cererwr)Arqri$ids w (that)
"..The
the cost of freedtjnf i$fioi medsured
in pesos and dollars, but in the sons
ani daughters, fathers and mothers,
husbanis, neiehbors and friends
who lost their liives to defend it," US
embassv DePutv Chief of Mission
John Liw said YlsterdaY during the
77th Araw ng Kagitingan comrnemo-
ration at Moun-t Samat National
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" Tponv, PAg€'/
(1)
otic exploits of Filipino-American
10 war Frompasel soldiers during Wo rld War 2.-
The PNP yesterday held flag-
raising rites and wreath-laying
Villapando also pushed for an ceremonies in all its police camps
Shrine in Bataan. educational program to enrich the in honor of the war heroes.
Law also emphasized the duty knowledge of the youth aboui the ' For their part, the Bulacan
-
of keeping alive the legacy of th'e Second World War. police conducted ceremonies for
fighters, preserving their memr-,ry For his part, Bataan Gov Albert Cen. Aiejo Santos for his contri-
and ensuring that their fight was Raymond Garcia cited Mount bution during the Japanese oc-
not and will never be in vain- Samat National Shrine as one of cupation.
"Because of their exceptional the tourism zones in the country. tol. Chito Bersaluna, policei
legacy of valor, the (Filipino) Few survivors commander of Bulacan, said a
people and the Philippine nation wreath was laid at the bust of the
wilJ always have from the people About 5,000 World War II vet-
erans are living and their number general in Camp General Alejo
of the (US) our greatest resp'ect Santos Provincial Police Office in
ard our most profor"rnd thani<s,,, is dwindling.
Due to deteriorating health, Malolos City.
Law said. Santos is best remembered
Among the guests at the ceremo- an average of 295 veterans die
every mon*; the PVAO said as it as the founder of the Bulacan
nies wer€ Assistant Dircctor Kevin Military Are4 the main gueffilla
Mcallister of the US Department provides support {or their welfare
and families: movement in the province thdt
of Veterans Affairs; Departrnent of had 23,000 men under ils com-
National Defense Undersecretary The PVAO is managing the
pension accounts of nearly 160,000 mand.
for civil veterans and retiree affairs
Reynaldo Mapagu and Defense veterans of World War If Korean Peace plocess
Undersecretary Emesto Carolina, and Vietnam wars and the de- Presidential Adviser on the
' pendents of deceased or totally Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr.
administrator of the Philippine Vet- .
erans Affairs Office @VAO). disabled veterans. urged yesterday Filipinos to draw
Also present were Japanese Interior Secretary Eduardo courage from the heroes of Bataan
Ambassador Koji Haneda and Aflo, who represented president to achieve peace in the country.
Papal Nuncio Archbishop Cabri- Duterte at the commemoratior; ' 'Letus remember the gdllantry
ele Caccia. told the audience of the presi- of these heroes who, even in the
The Congressional Gotd Medal, dent's directive for the PVAO to face of deatfu demonstrated to
the highest civilian honor qiven speed up the processing of-month- our nation and the whole world
by the US Congress, is award-ed to ly pensions of veterans, their immeasurable love for our
Filipino veterans for their achieve- Aflo also announced that a motherland," Galvez said.
ments and contributions during P50-million monthly support will Meanwhile, the Philippine
Wodd War II. be g,lven lo the Veterans Memo- Army and local government unit
rial Medical and pension in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
tr/Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III rncrease lromCenter P5,000 to p20,000
of B4taan's 2nd district cited the have consbructed a bust in honor
heroic deeds and patriotism of has been sl of Col. Osito Bahian.
the veterans. lnspibation to pNp Bahian and eight of his men
Speaking before the veterans
' Philippine National police were on their way to negotiate
and their relatives, guests and (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albavalde a peace accord with the New
People's Army when thev were
local officials, Garcia sid
Con-Lhe said the heroism shown by Flll-
ambushed in fhe outskirti of Bu-
gressional Gold Medal is a ,,much pind-veterans during the ]apanese
deserved and long awaited recog-
tuan City.
occu'Fation in World War Il serves Bahian's heroism inspired his
nition of bravery and valor of our as dn inspiration to the entire sons to ioin the uniformed ser-
Filipino World War II veterans.,, 1 90,000-strong police force. vices.
He said the medal recognizes "The undying galiantry of the Robert Roy Bahian is now the
what veteran-heroes have sacri- Filipino heroes of Bataan and provincial police commander in
ficed during the war. Corregidor lives on in the ranks Camiguin province. YoungesI son
"But more importantly, this of the police service, immortal- Neil Osito Bahain graduated from
medal symbolizes and acclaims ized by modem day heroes who the Philippine Military Academy
their indelible contribution in offered the suprcme sacrifice for in 1995 but died in 1999 when
keeping the flame of freedom God, countrv and people; and his trainer aircraft crashed in
buming brightly," Garcia said. those who continue^to *age the Balangas. - With Pia Lee-Brago,
Bataan provincial board mem- national cfusade against crime, Emmanuel Tupas, Ramon Efren
ber Jose Villapando Sr. com- drugs, terrorism and corruption,,' Lazaro, Jose Rodel Clapano,
mended the "gallantry and patri- he said in a statement. ]aime Laude
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