BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed disappointment over the failure of the national government to give importance to the supposed celebration of National Victory Day every September 3 which signalled the end of World War II in the Asia Pacific region.
Domogan made the reaction after the scheduled celebration of the formal surrender of Gen. Tomoyoki Yamashita, head of the Japanese Imperial Army, Thursday at the Ambassador’s Residence inside Camp John Hay was cancelled at the last minute because of alleged lack of coordination between the Philippine and US governments relative to the said activity.
“We should not confine ourselves in celebrating our bizarre losses to our colonizers like the Fall of Bataan every April 9. Let us also celebrate our victory when Gen. Yamashita signed his surrender documents right in our city,” Domogan stressed.
It was learned that the scheduled celebration of the surrender of Gen. Yamashita to the Filipino and American forces was supposed to be done last Thursday at the Ambassador’s Residence because of alleged lack of coordination by concerned government agencies with the US Embassy.
Domogan cited based on history, the war in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific started and ended in Baguio City because after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on August 7, 1941, a fleet of 17 Japanese warplanes flew over the city and dropped bombs that ruined the John Hay air station gates.
He added that the war ended in Baguio City because it was inside the Ambassador’s Residence in John Hay where Gen. Yamashita signed his surrender documents that officially ended World War II.
It can be recalled that Gen. Yamashita was arrested by combined Filipino and American forces in Kiangan, Ifugao on September 2, 1945 and he was immediately brought to Baguio City where he subsequently signed his surrender documents.
Domogan suggested to concerned national government agencies to work out the declaration of every September 3 as National Victory Day and a supposed official holiday to celebrate the end of World War II in the Asia Pacific region and giving honor and pride to surviving veterans who fought the war up to its end.
Various organizations of veterans and their sons and daughters are supportive of the declaration of every Sepmeber 3 as a national holiday because it will give them a chance to cherish the victory that the war has brought to the country’s independence now being enjoyed up to the present.
The local chief executive asserted it is best to continue educating the present and future generations on the importance of celebrating September 3 of every year as National victory Day because it was the time that officially ended the war and the country gained continuous independence.
He also called on legislators to enact a law that will institutionalize the celebration of National Victory Day every September 3 in order to give justice to the supreme sacrifices made by our ancestors in liberating the country from the tyranic Japanese rule.
By Dexter A. See