BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance declaring September 3 every year as a special public holiday in the city in recognition of the bravery of the Filipino soldiers in the Cordilleras.
The ordinance authored by Councilors Edgar M. Avila, Lilia A. Fariñas, Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon and Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the measure may be cited as the ‘Filipino Soldiers in the Cordilleras Commemorative Day.’
The local legislative measure cited effective September 3, 2017, and every year thereafter, to be automatically declared a special public holiday in the city to commemorate the end of World War II with the surrender of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines.
Under the proposed ordinance, every September 3, activities to commemorate the historic day shall be planned and implemented by the City Mayor or a Committee designated to perform the task.
The proponents revealed the necessary amounts required for the funding of the ceremonies and other expenses shall be included in the annual appropriations budgets of the local government.
The local legislative measure claimed most accounts of World War II focus on battles in Manila, Bataan and Corregidor and the American landing in Leyte and Lingayen, Pangasinan, to reclaim the Philippines from the tyrannic Japanese military forces.
It can be recalled that on September 3, 1945, Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita signed his surrender documents at the American High Commissioner’s Residence in Camp John Hay formally ending the war in the Pacific after he was captured by combined Filipino and American forces in Kiangan, Ifugao a day earlier.
Yamashita, who was dubbed as the Tiger of Malaya, and his remaining Japanese forces, were captured at the Nabulaguian Hill in Kiangan, Ifugao.
The ordinance added the fall of the Japanese military forces also marked the beginning of the liberation of the Philippines after almost five years of Japanese rule, and that the measure seeks to give importance to the role Cordillera soldiers took to bring back the country’s liberty.
The proponents revealed at least in a local scale, the local government will give honor to the bravery, relentless and indomitable spirit of the soldiers for fighting for the liberation of the country from Japanese rule, and that it is in honor of the courage and sacrifice of the Filipino soldiers and to remember that in the history of World War II, Baguio City and its resilient people played a major role in ending the war.
By Dexter A. See