By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA, Feb. 15 (PNA) — The Philippine Army (PA) will be commemorating the 71st anniversary of the retaking of Fort William Mckinley (now Fort Bonifacio) by Allied troops against Japanese troops in World War II this Tuesday.
It will be highlighted by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers (TUKS), Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City at 7: 30 a.m.
PA commander Lt. Gen. Eduardo M. Año and Mayor Lani Cayetano of Taguig City will lead the simple commemoration of this historical milestone, which is among the significant events of the Philippines’ liberation during World War II.
Retaking of Fort William Mckinley is celebrated every Feb. 15-16 each year as per Presidential Proclamation No. 653 dated Sept. 18, 1995.
It is one of the many battles that eventually led to the liberation of the Philippines against the Japanese invaders.
Fort William Mckinley, now Fort Andres Bonifacio, is the national headquarters of the Philippine Army. The camp was named after Andres Bonifacio, the revolutionary leader of the Katipunan during the revolution period of the Philippines against Spain.
During the incumbency of President Ferdinand Marcos, Fort Bonifacio became the home of the nation’s defenders in recognition of the noble role of the Filipino soldiers in the defense of the country’s freedom and democracy.
Now, Fort Bonifacio provided soldiers with decent and affordable housing and a commissary and exchange grocery store affordable to military personnel and their dependents as well as civilian personnel.
An elementary school was established inside the camp for the benefit of the dependents of the soldiers. Likewise, Fort Bonifacio itself provided employment for many civilians inside the camp, most of whom were dependents of military personnel. (PNA)