PNoy: We're Indebted To War Veterans

MANILA, Philippines - Saying the country is forever indebted to their bravery and sacrifice, President Benigno S. Aquino III Monday assured the surviving Filipino veterans of World War II of the government's continuing assistance.

The President paid tribute to the veterans in ceremonies at the Mt. Samat Shrine in Pilar, Bataan marking the 70th anniversary of the Araw ng Kagitingan.

President Aquino said there are now 599 hospitals accredited by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) as regional and provincial extensions that provide medical services to war veterans such as cataract operations, coronary angiogram, and cardiac bypass operations.

He also said the government continues to clean the list of war veterans to ensure that they would be able to receive benefits due them.

Araw ng Kagitingan celebrates the Filipino veterans' bravery and love for country as their sharpest sword in fighting for freedom 70 years ago, Aquino said.

''We are indebted to our war veterans in ensuring that their sacrifices would not be put to waste,'' Aquino said in Filipino.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe expressed ''deep apology and a deep sense of remorse to the tragedy,'' referring to the Bataan Death March.

In 1942, 76,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war who surrendered to the Japanese army were forced to march 128 kilometers from Mariveles to San Fernando in Pampanga, where they were packed into trains and taken to Capas, Tarlac.

Thousands of prisoners were killed during the march.

''We pay tribute to those who endured hardships and pain,'' Toshinao said. ''The Japanese today are a far cry from the Japanese in those days.''

He said the Philippines and the Unites States are now among Japan's closest allies, noting the assistance from the two countries during the Japan earthquake and tsunami last year.

US Deputy of Mission Leslie Bassett, representing Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., said the US Embassy has provided a total of $220 million to over 18,000 Filipino war veterans.

President Aquino said the Philippine government continues to modernize the armed forces.

He said that aside from the Hamilton class cutter BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the US will be donating another cutter to the Philippine military by May.

Aquino said four utility combat helicopters had arrived and four more will be delivered in November.

President Aquino also assured that his administration is weeding out the culture of corruption in the military. (Additional report from Mar T. Supnad)

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing
    EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has given Thailand six months to drastically crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing or face an EU seafood import ban, but has lifted the threat of similar action against South Korea and the Philippines. …

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines
    Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault vehicle with Philippine and U.S. troops on board storms the beach during a joint exercise at the Naval Education and Training Command center in Zambales province, northwest of Manila. The Zambales shore faces the disputed Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese vessels were reported to have driven away Filipino fishermen with a water cannon and seized some of their catch in early April. Philippine military officials say the maneuvers with …

  • Pinoy team wins global disaster preparedness competition

    The Philippines was one of the big winners at the 2015 Global Innovation Competition last week for a cloud-based information system for disaster. The project, called "Balangay," is the brainchild of cousins Frei Sangil and Paolo Sangil. …

  • How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map
    How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map

    Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, but not everyone around the world uses it in the same way. Here in Asia, the way a person from the Philippines uses bitcoin is probably very different from how it’s used in Thailand, and both are very different from the typical user in Taiwan. Despite bitcoin being hailed as …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media
    Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media

    The Philippines is nothing more than the "cute little submissive" of the United States, a Chinese tabloid with close ties to the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday, criticising Manila for military exercises with Washington. The English-language editorial came a day after the Philippines launched giant 10-day war games with the US and Australia, partly aimed as a warning shot to Beijing amid competing claims in the South China Sea, home to vital shipping routes. "Of all the countries …

  • Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China
    Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China

    The Philippines said Tuesday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defences, as it faces Chinese "aggressiveness" in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, military chief General Gregorio Catapang told AFP he was drafting a "wish list" for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for "equipment and training", when Foreign …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options