Cebu News

Araw ng Kagitingan we will continue to fight - War veterans

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Post war veterans made a timely pronouncement during the commemoration of the Day of Valor yesterday as they expressed their interest in joining the Armed Forces again if needed to fight foreign aggressors. 

 "We, the post war veterans, as mandated by our laws, are very willing to join our armed forces again to fight any foreign aggressor," said Mario Marasigan, officer-in-charge of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines for Region 7, in an event at Plaza Independencia for the  74th Araw ng Kagitingan ini-tiated by the Cebu City government.

Marasigan made the declaration as he recalled the Spratly Islands dispute between China and the Philippines.

"The bullying acts of China in our own territorial water are a big insult to us," he said during his speech.

He said even at their age right now, they can still show their love for their country, even if it means being engaged again in military actions.

"Giving our lives in the service of God, country and people is our supreme sacrifice," said Marasigan.

Marasigan also expressed their opposition on communism, saying it will not prosper in the Philippines because Filipinos are God-fearing and peace-loving.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama also reminded the public to reflect on what the Filipino ancestors have gone through just to free the country from colonization.

"Are we deserving of their blood? Do we deserve on their stand for what we believe? I see colors of uniform representing different organizations and I have always been very clear that uniform is nothing if your heart does not act upon what is the ideal of what you represent for," he said.

Rama also took the opportunity to remind the public to choose the candidates who believe in God and are loyal to the country. He, though, said he is not telling them to choose his candidates but to choose those who they think deserve the position.

"Soldiers during war, they are adored. But when time of peace comes, they are not remembered. Now that this is peace time, let the blood, let the struggle, let all that our veterans will not be in vain. Choose the right candidates," said Rama.

However, he also said "the real heroes of today are the traffic enforcers, garbage collectors, loaders, teachers and all those that are there in the ground."

Rama said these employees deserve the same respect given to heroes who fought and died for the country as they have also contributed a lot in the cleanliness and orderliness in the city.

"And I'm talking about real people showing courage under the heat of the sun," said Rama.

Yesterday's commemoration was started with a Mass and was ended with an offering of flowers dedicated to all those who died for the country.

Meanwhile, the Anakpawis Party-list urges the public to continue on commemorating Araw ng Kagitingan by "joining the clamor for justice for the farmer victims of Kidapawan violence, as well, as the immediate freedom of the 79 illegally and immorally arrested, including senior citizens and a pregnant women."

"There is no more applicable way to remember the sacrifice of Filipino freedom fighters during World War II than helping the farmers in Mindanao, we urge various sectors to express their support by demanding justice and the immediate and unconditional release of the arrested farmers," said Anakpawis Representative Fernando "Ka Pando" Hicap in a statement.

Last Monday, Hicap, together with Makabayan lawmakers such as Bayan Muna Neri Colmenares, filed House Resolution No. 2684, urging a congressional inquiry through committees on Human Rights, Agriculture and Food, and special committee on Food Security, on the bloody dispersal.  Anakpawis also supported House Resolution No. 2685 "urging congress to condemn the atrocious human rights violations against hungry farmers."

"We urge the house leadership to act on the resolution, these are of utmost importance and being busy with the elections is no excuse not to serve the welfare of starving farmers in the country," Hicap said.

The party-list group is holding the Aquino presidency and his cabinet members accountable for the alleged barbarism against the farmers. 

Further, Anakpawis has denounced agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala's downplaying of the effect of El Niño to the farmers. 

"We could only wish that the Aquino government is actually aiding farmers affected by drought, but we have now established, wet or dry season, criminal negligence of Aquino is consistent," Hicap said. (FREEMAN)

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