MANILA–Former President Fidel V. Ramos has cited the bravery of thousands of Filipino and American veterans, who fought the much superior Japanese Imperial Army during World War II in defense of freedom and democracy.
Ramos made the statement to commemorate the just-concluded 75th anniversary of the Battle of Bataan that “prevented the invasion by the Japanese Imperial Forces of the crucial but vulnerable islands of the Pacific such as Guam, Australia, and the Hawaiian group which are stepping stones to the prize targets on the US mainland.”
The former Chief Executive turned newspaper columnist made a long narration of the sacrifices of Filipino and American veterans in the Second World War that lasted for over three years.
He cited the bravery of three die-hard warriors – Wendell Fertig of Mindanao, Macario Peralta of Panay, and American Russel Volckmann of northern Luzon, who waged guerrilla war against the Japanese forces in said areas.
“No, Bataan and Corregidor did not fall –t hey fortified and the Filipino-American spirit of resistance, such as strength of will and audacity is known to our former Japanese adversaries, who are now among our strongest allies,” Ramos said.
Veterans’ Week, held in the month of April, is spearheaded by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) presently headed by retired Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina.
“As freedom-loving Filipinos –whether young or old, rich or poor –It is our obligation to encourage friends and relatives to properly pay tribute to our World War II heroes who endured the suffering of the Bataan Death March, and somehow survived more than 100 kilometers. Of brutality under a scorching summer sun to reach the P.O.W. prison camp in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac,” Ramos said, who himself is a former veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars.