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US, Japan envoys to grace 70th 'Araw ng Kagitingan' observance

MANILA, March 29 -– Ambassadors Harry Thomas of the United States and Toshinao Urabe of Japan will join President Benigno Aquino III in the commemoration of the "Araw ng Kagitingan" on April 9 at the Mt. Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan.

Philippines Veteran Affairs Office (PVAO) strategic communication division chief Jet Fajardo-Rivera announced this on Thursday in a radio dzRB program "Talking Points."

”No less than our President Benigno Aquino III will be the guest of honor because it will be a special event since it is the 70th year of valor of veterans,” Rivera said.

Rivera invited all the veterans community specially the pensioners and veterans and their family members as well to attend the observance of Araw ng Kagitingan.

”We are at the forefront of the program so we take this opportunity to invite our veterans community,” she said.

Actually, Rivera said the observance of the Araw ng Kagitingan started last March 21 when PVAO conducted symposium on the images of valor and victory at the Camp Aguinaldo with Philippine Historical Association president Dr. Celestina Boncan as guest of honor.

”The symposium was held to make our youth aware of the sacrifices of our veterans because they have been given a chance to question our world war veterans,” Rivera said.

The Philippine Veterans Week will official start on April 4 with the holding of sunrise and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City and Review in Honor of the Veterans at the Hunters ROTC Guerilla Field, Philippine Army headquarters.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and PA commanding general Lt. Gen. Emmanuel will lead the wreath-laying rites and sunrise ceremony, respectively.

The PVAO will also conduct tribute to all Filipino heroes on April 7 in Corregidor Island, Cavity City with former Laguna governor and Manila Hotel president Jose Lina Jr., son of a World War II veteran, as guest of honor.

On the other hand, Lina’s brother Alberto Lina, president of Lina Group of Companies, will be the guest of honor in the sunset ceremony on April 11. (PNA) DCT/FFC/JFM

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