BAGUIO CITY – September 1 is observed as Charter Day in this mountain resort but September 3 unknown to many is of equal significance not only to the city but to the country.
This week, Mayor Mauricio Domogan issued memorandum 280 series of 2015 for all city officials and employees, government workers and barangay officials to commemorate the end of the war at 8 am September 3 at the US ambassador’s Residence in Camp John Hay.
September 3 marks the formal surrender of lt. General Tomoyuki Yamashita at the United States Ambassadors Cottage in Camp John Hay.
On this special occasion, no other than his Excellency President Benigno Aquino III will be the guest of honor and speaker and will be spearheading the Wreath Laying Ceremonies to commemorate the end of war in the Philippines.
The United States of America will also be represented by his excellency US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chair Maria Serena Diokno will also be present giving more meaning to the event including Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, other national and city officials, foreign allies and guests.
History shows General Yamashita was nicknamed the ‘Tiger of Malaya’ for his victorious attack on British and Commonwealth Forces in Malaya and Singapore and leading Japanese Forces into the country during the 2nd World War.
On September 2, 1945, Yamashita surrendered his troops in Kiangan, Ifugao after a fierce battle with US and Filipino forces.
He was transferred to Baguio City where his formal surrender to US Lt. General Jonathan Wainwright and British Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival was accepted at the US Ambassador’s residence on September 3, 1945 leading to the end of the Pacific war.
Domogan has always stressed the importance of September 3 marking it as an impressive occasion not only for the city but for the country to celebrate its victory day./Paul Rillorta