The PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. (PVAI) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea led the commemoration of the 72nd Anniversary of the Korean War held at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City, on June 24, 2022.
Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator, Usec. Ernesto G. Carolina joined the Guest of Honor and Speaker, BGen. Rosalio Pompa, Commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group of the Philippine Army, who represented LtGen. Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., Commanding General of the Philippine Army, in the wreath laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial Pylon.
Also present during the ceremony was Ambassador Kim Inchul of the Korean Embassy in the Philippines, BGen Miguel Villamor, President of PVAI, Mr. Yang Han Jun, Vice President of the United Korean Community Association in the Philippines, Mr. Roh Jun Hwan, Chairman of the National Unification Advisory Committee, Mr. Lee Jon Sub, President of the Philippine Department of the Korean Veterans Association, and Mr. Lee Seo Kwang, Adviser of the Korean Marine Corps Veterans Association in the Philippines.
During his opening remarks, Bgen Villamor warmly welcomed the guests and revisited the memories of the Korean War. “The United Nations recognized the danger to the democracy and peace to the world and asked the members to help South Korea,” he said.
BGen Villamor also noted how the PEFTOK Veterans willingly fought for a neighboring country who is in need of help and recognized their successful mission. “The Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea helped South Korea restore their democracy and preserve their peace,” he added.
Meanwhile, LtGen Brawner, in a message read by BGen Pompa, urged all Filipinos to remember the sacrifices of the PEFTOK Veterans in celebration of the Korean War Victory. “Many of us remember it as the Philippine Army’s victory against the communist forces, but for me, it was more than that, it was a story of gallantry, glory and dedication.”
He also narrated the achievements of the Filipino Veterans in Korea and the battles they fought such as the Battle of Yultong, which was hailed as the first Filipino victory in foreign soil. “It is this kind of accomplishment that serves as an inspiration of the army today as we live up to our core values of honor, patriotism and duty,” BGen Pompa read.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when the North Korean People’s Army invaded the South Korea. The Philippines, being the first Asian nation to help the South Korea fight against communism, sent the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK), composed of five Battalion Combat Teams with 7,420 officers and enlisted personnel.