KIANGAN, Ifugao, Sept. 18 (PIA)- - The clamor of the Ifugao people to make September 2 each year a national holiday is supported by three officials of Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Philippine National Police.
September 2 is celebrated in Ifugao province as Victory Day to commemorate the defeat and physical presentation of Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita to American Forces in Kiangan on September 2, 1945 before he was flown to Baguio City the following day where he formally signed the surrender papers that ended World War II in Asia- Pacific.
VFP Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Raul Urgello, Brig. Gen. Jesus Cambay Jr of the PNP Directorial Staff and PAF Col. (Ret.) Agerico Amagna of PVAO all agree that this memorable day should be made a national holiday because of its significance in the war history of the Philippines and that of the world.
They issued these statement of support in their messages during the 74th WWII Victory Day Anniversary celebration held at the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine last September 2 with the theme "Freedom: An Engine for Inclusive Growth."
Last year, Malacanang declared Sept. 2 of every year a special non-working holiday in the Province of Ifugao.
"Victory Day is not only for the Ifugao people to celebrate but it is a remembrance of the bravery and heroism of every Filipino who spilled their blood and sacrificed their lives so that our country and our people remain to be free," Cambay said.
Noting that war-related historic events celebrated in the country are about defeat like the "Fall of Bataan" and "Fall of Corregidor", he said declaring September 2 as a national holiday will show the world of our collective pride that the quiet, little town of Kiangan in Ifugao was the place where the seed of peace and unity was planted 74 years ago and that Filipinos all over the world must take cognizance of this life-changing event in Philippine history.
Urgello said this event should not be trivialized but given importance for those who made this occasion possible and it is this day that the lives of the veterans be given due accordance and be dignified.
Amagna added that the past and present generations are anchored with the heroism of the veterans that marked the last stand of the Japanese in Kiangan and it is here where history was made and victory was won.
Just this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11216 declaring September 3 of every year a special working public holiday throughout the country, in commemoration of the surrender of the Japanese military forces led by General Yamashita in Baguio City. (JDP/DBC- PIA CAR, Ifugao)