ILOILO CITY (PIA) - - A flag raising, wreath laying and a program will be held to mark the celebration of the 78th Victory Day in the islands of Panay, Romblon and Guimaras tomorrow, March 18.
The commemorative activities will start at 7 A.M. at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine in Brgy. Quintin Salas, Jaro, Iloilo City.
Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) – Iloilo Officer-in-Charge Glen Castanares said 10 living veterans, who served and fought during World War II, will be honored and recognized during the celebration.
Per PVAO-Iloilo record, Castanares said there are only 25 WW II veterans alive within their area of jurisdiction.
“It is only fitting and proper that we recognize their services, sacrifices, and bravery,” said Castanares.
Six honorees have confirmed their attendance and the four others will be represented by their respective families during the awarding.
PVAO Assistant Secretary Restituto Aguilar, representing Administrator Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu, will lead the celebration. He will be joined by Veterans Federation of the Philippines Executive Vice President MGen. Romeo Alamillo and VFP Region VI President Col. Hannibal Lipardo.
Officials of the province and city of Iloilo, including Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr.,
Representative Julienne Baronda and Mayor Jerry Treñas, were invited to the event expected to be participated in by the veterans and their sons and daughters, students and representatives of national government agencies and local government units.
Pursuant to Proclamation No. 430, s. 1989, March 18 of every year is declared as a non-working special day in the islands of Panay and Romblon including the cities of Iloilo and Roxas.
The proclamation emphasized that “March 18, 1945, is of great historical and sentimental significance to both the veterans of the 6th Military District and the people of Panay and Romblon because it was the day when the Free Panay Guerilla Forces launched the final assault on the Japanese Occupation Forces coinciding with the landing of the American Liberation Forces at the Tigbauan beach as prearranged between Col. Macario Peralta, Jr., founder and overall commander of the Free Panay Guerilla Forces and Lt. General Robert L. Eichelberger, Commanding General of the 8th United States Army.”
It further said that “Panay and Romblon annually observe Victory Day on March 18 to commemorate the liberation of the islands and the sacrifices and valor of the Free Panay Guerilla Forces.” (JBG/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)