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2017 Philippine Veterans Week

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2017 PHILIPPINE VETERANS WEEK

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS) at the Libingan Ng mga Bayani (LNMB) will be site to the Sunrise Ceremony on 5 April 2017, 6:00AM. The 2017 Philippine Veterans Week shall ceremoniously start with the Sunrise Ceremony. Every year, this gathering pays homage to fallen soldiers and patriots with flowers offered before the TUS. Surviving brothers-at-arms of heroes, their families, and, students symbolically meet at sunrise to show gratitude for the sacrifice that our veterans afforded all Filipinos with –the promise of a new day to make new beginnings.

The Philippine Flag will be hoisted as the National Anthem will be sung by attendees that include WWII and Post War veterans; veterans from various veterans organizations led by the Veterans Federation of the Philippines; World War II descendants; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the Philippines; students; representatives of the member Technical Working Committee agencies, and; the Commanding General, Philippine Army (CG, PA) and Guest of Honor, LTGEN GLORIOSO V MIRANDA AFP.

LTGEN GLORIOSO V MIRANDA AFP took upon the role of the CG, PA in December 2016, when the Chief of Staff, AFP position had been filled up by then outgoing CG, PA LTGEN EDUARDO M AÑO AFP. General Miranda began his military career as a Philippine Military Academy Matikas Class of 1983 graduate. Prior to his mandatory retirement by 8 October 2017, General Miranda shall deliver his message at the Sunrise Ceremony this 2017.

The event will be hosted by the Philippine Army, which key personnel are slated to take part in the Program. The Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat ng Pilipinas will be led by Retired 2LT JULIET A BELTRAN PA. The Ecumenical Prayer by the Chief Chaplain, COL FERNANDO G GAILA CHS, shall follow. Likewise, the Commanding General of the Army Support Command, MGEN ELMER C PABALE AFP, shall introduce the Guest of Honor.

Other notable event highlights include the Welcome Remarks by World War II Veteran and Director of the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc., BGEN MIGUEL M VILLAMOR AFP (RET) and the floral offering by the abovementioned attendees as will be led by General Miranda. #

DEFENSE SECRETARY LORENZANA TO HONOR VETERANS

Honorable Delfin N. Lorenzana will lead the Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) on 5 April 1017, 9:00AM on behalf of the Department of National Defense. The Secretary shall institutionally start the series of commemorations for the 2017 Philippine Veterans Week as the Guest of Honor for the event during which he will deliver his keynote speech.

Secretary Lorenzana graduated in 1973 from the Philippine Military Academy Maagap Class. His career as a soldier had been as a Commander for several of his assignments—Special Operations Command (SOCOM), 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion in Malagos, Davao, and Light Armor Brigade. Further, he took part in protecting three Commanders-In-Chief (Presidents Corazon C. Aquino, Joseph E. Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) under the Presidential Security Group. Secretary Lorenzana was also influential in the establishment of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU).

His retirement from the Armed Forces of the Philippines has since been serving the nation well. Secretary Lorenzana contributed to known international agreements of the country such as the Visiting Forces Agreement, Balikatan Exercises, and; other advantageous training and procurement deals. His lobbying of the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation, which awarded $265-M to surviving WW2 veterans during his stint as the Special Presidential Representative for Veterans Affairs at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC from 2004 to 2015 has championed the cause of Filipino soldiers who served in the US Army in the Second World War, who are nonetheless, our veterans.

Prior to the Program proper, the Wreath-Laying Ceremony allows for the institutions behind pension servicing, commemoration of heroic deeds, and, management of veterans welfare and affairs to honor the valiance of our veterans and profession of soldiery. With Secretary Lorenzana, are notable heads of the following offices and organizations: Taguig City Local Chief Executive (Mayor Maria Laarni L. Cayetano); World War II and Post War Veterans leaders; Veterans Federation of the Philippines; Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO); Veterans Memorial Medical Center; National Youth Commission; Veterans’ Sons and Daughters Association, and; servicing banks for veterans’ pension.

PVAO has existing partnerships with these pension servicing banks, who are invited during the event: Philippine Veterans Bank; Development Bank of the Philippines; Land Bank of the Philippines; Asia United Bank; United Coconut Planters Bank; Maybank Philippines; Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loan Association; Air Materiel Wing Savings and Loan Association Inc., and; Composite Wing Savings and Loan Association Inc.
To join the abovementioned institutions are guests among the youth sector that include the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of the Philippines and students from schools in the National Capital Region.

The Program will follow the ceremony, which highlight is the keynote speech of Secretary Lorenzana. Mayor Cayetano shall deliver her welcome remarks; Hon. Eduardo D. Del Rosario, the Undersecretary for Public, Veterans & Retiree Affairs of the Department of National Defense will formally introduce the Secretary. As a tribute for the veterans from the youth, Christian N. Cinco of the Bagong Tanyag Elementary School will take part in the Program. #

CONGRESSMAN ACOP LEAD REVIEW IN HONOR OF THE VETERANS

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) shall demonstrate its gratitude to the veterans during the Review In Honor of the Veterans on 5 April 2017, 9:00AM at the Hunters ROTC Guerilla Field, Philippine Army Headquarters, Taguig City. Hon. Romeo A. Acop of the House Defense Committee agreed to participate as the Guest of Honor. Retired Philippine National Police General Acop previously led the Criminal Investigation Detection Group as its Director and Philippine National Police as its Comptroller.

In the AFP’s tradition, the review is accorded only to its highest-ranking officials, dignitaries, which will be also fittingly conducted for the veterans. The ceremonial parade of the veterans forms part of the review that also includes the entry of troops, presentation of command and honors, and, inspection of troops.

The AFP as the event host shall welcome the veterans and other attendees with the Chief of Staff, AFP GENERAL EDUARDO M AÑO AFP, to give the opening and welcome remarks. General Año belongs to the Philippine Military Academy Matikas Class of 1983, who previously had duties as the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP, and, Commanding General of the 10th Infantry Division.

The event celebrates veterans, who shall be awarded personally and posthumously. Representative Acop shall recognize the following posthumous veteran-awardees: COL LEONARDO T MICIANO PAF (RET); COL CARLOS A DATU SR. PC (RET); VET LORETO C VALASOTE PAF; MAJ MARCELO G CASILLAN; CAPT MARCELO GUILLERMO G CARDENAS, and; PVT DAVIDE E ARROYO. In attendance will be the living veteran-awardees: 2LT CRESENCIANO R VEDASTO; BGEN PEDRO F ZAFRA AFP (RET); PVT ALFREDO E SABATER; SGT ROBERTO B GACAYAN; PVT JOSE S BANDIN; SSG IRENEO L RECINTO; PVT WILFREDO G VALENZUELA; PVT PEDRO P DE JESUS; PFC WILLIAM G PASIWEN; PVT DAVID E ARROYO, and; PFC DIOSCORRO G VALENZUELA.

The Philippine Army Chief Chaplain, COL FERNANDO G GAILA CHS (ecumenical prayer) and Hon. CARIZA “Aiza” Yamson Seguerra, Chairperson of the National Youth Commission (introduction of the Guest of Honor) are guests to perform their respective parts in the Program. To give the response from the veterans, COL PATERNO V VILORIA PA (RET) Ph.D., President of the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. has been invited. #

MAAP PRESIDENT PAYS TRIBUTE TO ALL FILIPINO HEROES

VADM EDUARDO MA R SANTOS, AFP (RET), President of Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) will lead veterans and the youth in a “Tribute to all Filipino Heroes” ceremony on 7 April 2017 in the historic Corregidor Island in the province of Cavite.

Admiral Santos has held various staff positions of major responsibility that prepared him for the various Commands he has occupied with distinction. He was the 22nd Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy of the Philippines from 1996 to 1999. His public service earned him various outstanding awards and upon his retirement from the Armed Forces, Admiral Santos became the first President (1999 to date) of the MAAP.

The occasion aims to honor all Filipino heroes, patriots, and, defenders, who fought and died for country’s freedom and liberty – from the time of Lapu-Lapu to the Revolutionary and World War II era up to the present, including the veterans of anti-dissident campaigns. It also honors Filipino defenders, who fought in the Korean War, Vietnam War, veterans of military campaigns, members of humanitarian contingents to other countries and our modern-day veterans, who render honorable military service in defending the country in times of war or peace and in faithfully upholding their duty to preserve our sovereignty and national security.

The event will be attended by veterans and other guests from Manila, Bataan or Cavite to be ferried by the vessels of the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and Sun Cruises. The comfortable cruise of the veterans via MV Sun Cruiser was made possible through the sponsorship of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), a member of the Technical Working Committee organized for the preparation for the Philippine Veterans Week and Araw ng Kagitingan celebration.

The program proper will feature a “Tolling of Bell” to be led by COL HANNIBAL S LIPARDO AFP (RET) with Ma. Lilibeth S. Lapena, Student-Division of Cavite to recite a pledge extolling those, who sacrificed their lives for their love for the Philippines and vowing to keep the flame of patriotism ever burning in the hearts of Filipinos of all generations.

After the program, the guests will be given a tour around the historic place, including the lights and sound show at the Malinta Tunnel after the program. #

PRESIDENT DUTERTE TO LEAD ARAW NG KAGITINGAN OBSERVANCE

The 75th Araw ng Kagitingan with the theme “Ika-75 Taon: Parangal sa mga Beterano, Tungo sa Bayan na Nararapat sa mga Pilipino, mga Pilipino na Nararapat sa Bayan” at the Mount Samat Shrine on 9 April 2017 will be celebrated with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as Guest of Honor and Speaker. The Shrine of Valor will be donned with offerings of a grateful nation as well as tribute from Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa of Japan and Ambassador Sung Yong Kim of the United States of America in the Wreath-Laying Ceremony to be led by President Duterte. The dignitaries from Japan and USA will also deliver messages during the Program.
By virtue of Executive Order 203, s. 1987, Araw ng Kagitingan every 9 April became a national holiday. Moreover, Araw ng Kagitingan honors the memory of World War II heroes, whose gallant efforts to secure freedom will eternally mark the history of a proud nation.

For the 75th observance, a commemorative stamp will be presented by the Postmaster General Joel L. Otarra to President Duterte. Bataan, the host of the memorial shrine and other 75th Anniversary events, shall welcome guests through the remarks of Governor Albert S. Garcia. In the same gesture, Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, D.D. of the Diocese of Balanga will begin the Program. The ceremonial bell-tolling will be led by Vet. Pepito C. Quimlat, Vice President of the Veterans Foundation of the Philippines-Morong and Ashley Warla A. De Leon, a student of the Pablo Roman National High School.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, lead agency of the 75th Araw ng Kagitingan observance, shall provide an overview from its Officer-In-Charge and Chairman, Commissioner Rene R. Escalante, Ph.D. The Program is also set to hold a recognition ceremony for the nationally-held historical photo and essay-Writing contests, which winners will be awarded by President Duterte.

President Duterte is set to give his address at the 75th Araw ng Kagitingan, his first Observance as the President of the Republic of the Philippines. #

PANGASINAN 2ND DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE LEADS PAGGUNITA SA CAPAS

Chairperson of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare, Leopoldo N. Bataoil will spearhead the “Paggunita sa Capas” on 10 April 2017. The Paggunita sa Capas is one of the lined commemorations of the week-long celebration of the Philippine Veterans Week 2017. The event shall honor the World War II soldiers, who were held Prisoners of War (POWs) at Camp O’Donnell by the Imperial Japanese Forces. It will be held at the Capas National Shrine in Capas, Tarlac, the site of the said concentration camp that served as the final stop of the infamous Bataan Death March.

The “Paggunita sa Capas” will start with a Wreath-Laying Ceremony to be led by Representative Bataoil. He will be joined by the members of the Technical Working Committee (TWC) headed by Hon. Eduardo D. Del Rosario, Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs (CVRA) and Chairperson of the TWC; LtGen. Ernesto G. Carolina, AFP (Ret), Administrator of the Philippine Veterans affairs Office (PVAO) and Hon. Ludovico D. Badoy, Executive Director of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

His Excellency, Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa, Jr. of Czech Republic, Hon. Susan Yap, Governor of the Province of Tarlac, and Capas Mayor Reynaldo L. Catacutan, will also offer wreaths before the “Obelisk”, the towering structure of the shrine. The other wreath offerors include successors of World War II veterans: Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (DBC) Inc.; Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP), Philippine Veterans Legion (PVL); and youth representatives from the Sangguniang Kabataan, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Girl Scouts of the Philippines and other students of Tarlac.

The program will start with an ecumenical prayer to be led by Re. Fr. Jason C. Aguilar, Parish Priest of St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish Church followed by the “Tolling of Bell” by Veteran Felix M. Miguel, VFP Vice President, Region III and Jan Christian S. Atis, a student from Capas West Central Elementary School. The highlight of the program is the recognition ceremony to posthumous veteran awardees.

To honor the gallantry of the soldiers as well as to evoke environmental consciousness among people, the Capas National Shrine features a mini-forest with more than 30,000 trees where every tree represents each of the 6,000 Americans and 25, 000 Filipinos, who sacrificed their lives during the last World War. #

SUNSET CEREMONY CULMINATES 2017 PHILIPPINE VETERANS WEEK

The observance of the 2017 Philippine Veterans Week is to begin with a Sunrise and to close with a Sunset Ceremony at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on 11 April 2017, 5:00PM.
Veterans, widows, children and great grandchildren of veterans – both alive and fallen—will gather before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier like one big family, sharing their personal reflections on how their lives were touched by a shared experience of being a war veteran or having a veteran in the family.

The Guest of Honor and Speaker for this event is LTGEN EDGARDO E BATENGA AFP (RET), Chairman and President of the Association of Generals and Flag Officers. He was also a Former Acting Administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

The event also feature the recognition of posthumous veteran-awardees: Pvt. Marcos A. Abenales; Pvt. Ciriaco E. San Rafael; Pvt. Moises D. Lacorte; Pvt. Marcelo P San Diego; Cpl. Emiliano V. Baldomar; Sgt. Godofredo A. Santos; Msgt. Audencio P. Espejo; 3Lt. Mateo C. Reyes; 2Lt. Dominador E. Ricarte; 1Lt. Isaias J. Vida; Capt. Ramon M. Buenviaje; Capt. Anatalio G. Dela Cruz, and; Ltc. Francisco M. Tan Gana (Ret).

The Sunset Ceremony will conclude with a Pledge of Patriotism as well as the lighting of candles to be led by Derick Timothy Jalando-on, student of Silangan Elementary School. This ceremony shall take place as the sun recedes in the horizon, which will set the mood for a dramatic and solemn gesture of remembering the veterans’ heroism and validating their heroism by affirming the people’s commitment to contribute to nation-building and preserve the freedom, peace and democracy they had fought and died for. #


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