• War veterans commemorate fall of Tomoyuki Yamashita

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    WORLD War II Veterans from Northern Luzon together with their families as well as well as dignitaries from the United States and Japan are attending the 68th anniversary of the surrender of a Japanese Imperial Army General on September 1 and 2.

    Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita surrendered in Ifugao 68 years ago which signaled the end of World War II, also known as the Yamashita fall, which took place on September 2, 1945.

    Yamashita’s remaining forces were in a position of great strength and security in Kiangan’s Nabu-laguian Hill. They were holed up before and eventually yielded following almost a month of bombardment by the Allied forces.

    Yamashita was brought to Baguio City the following day by a chopper; there he formally signed documents of surrender before the American forces at Camp John Hay.

    During the war, Yamashita at the age of 60 was once called Tiger of Malaya. After his surrender, he was tried and sentenced to death for war crimes in December 1945 by an American military tribunal in Manila. On February 23, 1946, he was hanged to death at Los Baños Prison Camp.

    Gov. Denis Habawel will lead local officials and townsfolk during the two-day Yamashita fall commemoration starting on September 1, which will take place at the Bantayog ng Kiangan in Barangay Linda; here a War Memorial Shrine dedicated to those who fought the Japanese invasion now stands.

    There will be a medical mission, ballgame competitions and trade fare on September 1, which will mark the start of the yearly commemoration activity. September 2 will start with a parade followed by a re-enactment of Yamashita’s surrender.

    Defense Undersecretary Er-nesto Carolina will be the guest of honor and speaker in behalf of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    Under Republic Act 4695, Ifugao became a province on June 18, 1966 with the Kalinga-Apayao, Benguet and Mountain Province, all part of the vast old Mountain Province or Bontoc.

    Ifugao officials have called the national government to declare September 2 a national holiday to commemorate Filipino victory against the Japanese forces. They said the date is a more appropriate day to celebrate instead of highlighting the country’s losses to foreign invaders.

    However, Aquino has declared September 2, which falls on a Monday, as a special (non-working) day in the province of Ifugao to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the surrender of Yamashita.

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