BALANGA CITY–A 99-year old World War II veteran who lost his hearing due to cannon fires during the war on Sunday described President Rodrigo Duterte as the best president the Philippines ever had.
“Sa 16 presidente, ang tunay na presidente si Duterte. Bale wala ang iba, pinakamagaling si Duterte. Matapang, maayos, itinatapon ang mga mapagsamantala sa gobyerno. Nakatapat tayo ng Presidente, ng magaling na presidente na matapang, makatuwiran, ayos,” Daniel Villanueva said.
Villanueva was born on July 21, 1918 and resides in Sibacan, seaside village of Balanga City.
“Ipagpatuloy mo ang iyong gawain, tama yan, ayos yan,” he told the Chief Executive and the present administration.
Villanueva is a government pensioner receiving PHP5,000 monthly pension from the Government Service Insurance System and PHP6,700 a month as WWII veteran.
“Hiling ko sa gobyerno, pensiyunan ako ng malaki dahil ang mga kasama kong kinilala, tumatanggap ng PHP45,000 a month,” the old man said when asked what he wanted from government.
Apparently, he was referring to veterans recognized by the United States government.
“Ako ang chief PHPP6,700 lamang pero ang mga mababa sa akin PHP45,000 kaya tinatawanan ako,” Villanueva said.
He was staff sergeant under Colonel Federico Lumbre of Orani and Col. Monico Dominguez of Samal, both in Bataan under “C” Company/Infantry, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment of Bataan Military District attached to 38th Infantry Division, USA.
“Nabingi ako dahil sa putok ng kanyon, sa pagsasaksak ng bala sa kanyon,” he said.
He evaded joining the Death March from Bataan to Capas in Tarlac or a distance of 160 kilometers.
“Mula sa Orion, Bataan naglakad ako papunta sa Manila Bay. Tumakas ako para hindi mapasama sa Death March,” Villanueva said.
A high school graduate, he worked as supervisor of the Bataan National Park during the Martial Law years.
He has 10 children, one a former chief of police and another a supervisor of the Department of Education.