“This government will always continue to look after the welfare of our war veterans. For as we commemorate on this hollow ground sanctified by the blood, the life, and the sacrifices of our brave veterans, we cannot allow our memories to lapse,” the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., said during the commemoration of the 78th Anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landings at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, Palo, Leyte on 20 October 2022.
President Marcos also expressed his profound gratitude for the sacrifices made by the war veterans by honoring the memory of our forefathers.
“We commemorate this event but let us remember the courage and heroism demonstrated by our war veterans, fellow Filipinos, Allied Forces, and for that matter, even the Japanese forces who offered their lives in a quest to attain peace and freedom that we now enjoy.”
Further, he addressed the ongoing relationship of the Philippines with other foreign nations with which the Philippines has built a strong and enduring friendship because of the war.
“This bond will continue to be tested well into the future. But I am confident that it will continue to hold as we move forward. Because a fellowship like ours, forged in the fires of war and sealed with the blood and sweat of our patriots and veterans will forever bind our people’s destiny and futures together,” President Marcos added.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator USec. Reynaldo B. Mapagu offered his Solidarity Message. “Today, we from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, under the Department of National Defense, stand in solidarity and in unity with the people of Leyte in remembering not just the Allied soldiers that landed here in 1944, but also remembering the Filipino guerillas who fought and died alongside them.”
“As a grateful nation, it is our moral obligation to ensure that the heroic deeds of our veterans will not fade into obscurity, especially for the future generation of Filipinos,” USec. Mapagu added.
Solidarity Messages were also delivered by key officials such as US Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. MaryKay Carlson, New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Peter Kell, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission Minister Matsuda Kenichi, Embassy of Australia in the Philippines Councilor for Development Mr. Thanh Le, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, and Executive Vice President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) MGen Romeo Alamillo.
Seventy-eight years ago, the Allied forces successfully landed on Leyte with the help of 3,500 Filipino guerillas on the ground, preceded by the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the greatest naval battle in world history – spanning 100,000 square miles of the sea fought from 23-25 October 1944. The ensuing battles in Leyte proved to be among the bloodiest of the war in the Pacific, which marked the re-establishment of the Commonwealth Government in the Philippines, and the beginning of the Philippine Liberation in World War II.