BAGUIO CITY – A local artist drew inspiration from the Special Action Force heroes in his painting during the ’Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom’ of the 21st edition of the Panagbenga or Baguio Flower Festival.
Johji Yokota, a third year Mass Communication student of the Saint Louis University, painted a SAF trooper giving a salute and filled the canvass with floral design.
Yokota said that he was inspired by the heroism of the SAF commandos who sacrificed their lives in the Mamasapano encounter in Maguindanao last year. He said he wanted people to remember the sacrifices and the bravery of these 44 policemen who were killed during the Mamasapano clash. The painting is also a way of calling for justice for the fallen SAF troopers.
“To commemorate the lives that were lost because of terrorism and war, I hope that the SAF 44 will meet justice soon,” said Yokota.
It could be remembered that at least 44 elite police officers, 14 of them Cordilleran’s , died while on a mission to capture international terrorist Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir also known as Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman on January 25 last year.
With the theme “Bless the Children with Flowers,” hundreds of children and adults including local artists from all over the city and nearby provinces participated in the ’Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom’ , Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio which is one of the major activities of Panagbenga.
The SAF inspired painting will be paraded during the Panagbenga Grand Street Parade on February 27 together with the hundreds of paintings by local artists including children./JDP/RMC & Rhona Hadap-PIA/ SLU Intern