BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged the members of the local legislative body to enact an ordinance declaring every September 3 as Victory Day in the city
while awaiting the enactment of the appropriate national law that will declare every September 3 as National victory Day in the country in celebration of the formal end of hostilities between the Japanese Imperial Army and the Filipino-American forces.
The local chief executive under scored the importance of celebrating the victory of the Filipino and American forces against the tyrannical Japanese Imperial Army in recognition of the efforts of the country’s veterans to liberate the country from the tyrannical Japanese rule.
He pointed out it is unfortunate that the country is celebrating the defeat of our Filipino forces like the Fall of Bataan every April 9, the death of our national heroes among others, but we do not celebrate our victory against the Japanese forces.
When he was a member of the 12th, 13th and 14 Congresses, Domogan filed a bill declaring every September 3 as national Victory Day and making it one of the country’s red letter days but it failed to hurdle the Senate.
He claimed in Ifugao, the provincial government enacted an ordinance that declared every September 2 as Victory Day in the province and making it a regular holiday in the province in recognition of the formal surrender of Gen. Tomoyoki Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army to the Filipino American forces in Kiangan town.
After one day, Gen. Yamashita was brought to Baguio City where he officially signed the surrender documents inside the Ambassador’s Residence in Camp John Hay that officially ended World War II on September 3, 1945.
Domogan explained World War II actually started in Baguio city with the bombing of the Camp John Hay gates on August 7, 1941 and officially ended in the City with Yamashita’s surrender.
According to him, the local legislative body is empowered to declare every September 3 an official holiday in the city in recognition of its contribution to the country’s rich history as the venue where Gen. Yamasita signed his surrender documents.
He added it is important for the present and future generations to know that Baguio city played a key role in the start and end of World War II by celebrating Victory Day every September 3 to give honor and recognition to the efforts of World War II veterans in liberating the country from Japanese rule for over four years.
By making every September 3 a local holiday, he claimed people will have a chance to remember this contribution of the city in the country’s rich history.
By Dexter A. See