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HomeRegional NewsArmy 3ID Joins Commemoration of 79th Victory Day of Islands of Panay,...

Army 3ID Joins Commemoration of 79th Victory Day of Islands of Panay, Romblon and Guimaras

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CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – The Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division joined the commemoration of the 79th Victory Day of the liberation of the Islands of Panay, Romblon, and Guimaras on March 18, 2024, at Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine, Quintin Salas, Jaro, Iloilo City.

March 18, 1945, holds historical and sentimental significance for both veterans and residents of Panay and Romblon. It marks the day when the Panay Guerilla Forces launched their final assault on the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces. Guimaras is included in the proclamation due to its status as part of Iloilo Province in 1989.

In 1989, then-President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 430, also known as “An Act Declaring March 18 of every year as Victory Day in the Island of Panay and Romblon, including the cities of Iloilo and Roxas.” This proclamation established it as a special non-working holiday for these regions.

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301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade Commander Brigadier General Michael G Samson represented the Division on behalf of the 3ID Commander, Major General Marion R Sison, in the said activity.


BGen Samson acts as the Military Host in the wreath-laying ceremony, a tribute to the veterans of World War II who rendered their highest service to the province and country.

The activity aims to give the widows, sons, daughters, and kin of veterans, present heroes, and the younger generation an opportunity to pay their respects to World War II heroes in Panay, Romblon, and Guimaras.

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Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Governor Arthur R Defensor Jr., who served as the guest of honor and speaker; Pastor Rick Martin, Iloilo Baptist Church Mission, who led the Eucharistic Prayer; Hon Jerry P Trenas, Iloilo City Mayor; Hon Julienne ‘Jam’ Baronda, District Representative, Iloilo City Lone District; MGen Romeo D Alamillo AFP (Ret), National President, Veterans Federation of the Philippines; Undersecretary Reynaldo B Mapagu, Administrator, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office; and Veteran Hannibal S Lipardo, Regional President, Veterans Federation of the Philippines R6.

Also in attendance were VFP and post-war veteran leaders; descendants of World War II heroes; government agencies including Lieutenant Colonel Ramedinthine C Tolentino, Group Commander of Tactical Operations Group 6, Philippine Air Force; Police Brigadier General Jack L Wanky, Regional Director, Police Regional Office 6; Director Ramir B Uytico, Regional Director of the Department of Education, Region 6; and Local Government Units, Servicing Banks and Veteran Servicing Institutions.

vets recognition

In his message, Gov Defensor expressed his unending gratitude for the selfless sacrifice of the veterans and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who liberated the people and the country from foreign dominion during World War II.

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“I cannot overstate my gratitude, nor can the yearly commemorations of this event suffice merely to express thanks for the sacrifices of our veterans and armed forces so that we can be free from oppression. The best way to honor the sacrifices of our veterans and the AFP is to continue the fight, finish the fight, and eventually see the Philippines as a truly free country, not only free from foreign domination but freedom from poverty and freedom from other threats we are facing. Our best defense against the threats we face is development, which is urgent; we must cooperate and collaborate for our development now,” Gov Defensor said.

For his part, MGen Sison emphasized the significance of the said celebration, reminding us of the heroism of our veterans who fought bravely against Japanese forces to liberate the people of these islands.

“As the nation commemorates Victory Day, let us remember the bravery and sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom. This day is a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience and unity that defines the collective heritage of Panay, Romblon, and their neighboring communities,” MGen Sison said.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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