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‘ARAW NG KAGITINGAN’: Bongat, Army, veterans to lead heroes’ rites

NAGA CITY --- City Mayor John G. Bongat and Major General Jesus A. Manangquil, commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army will lead the ceremonies during the 76th Araw ng Kagitingan (National Day of Valor) and Philippine Veterans Week on Tuesday next week, April 10, at the City Hall grounds. The annual celebration will also honor the heroic death of Lt. Defin C. Rosales, a Nagueno guerilla who died in battle while trying to save a wounded comrade amidst a hail of enemy fire. The ceremonies, to be attended by city hall employees, city hall officials, World War II veterans and their families, guests, and the general public, will include the raising of the Philippine Flag, to be followed immediately by the laying of wreath. Soldiers of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army will serve as honor guards for the duration of the ceremonies, render the 21 volley fire, and render hand salutes, together with the unified troops composed of personnel from the Naga City Police, Naga City Fire Station, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. To give their messages, aside from Mayor Bongat and Gen. Manangquil, are Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, Vice President Salvador Parco of the Philippine Veterans Federation, Camarines Sur chapter, and Dr. Lorenzo M. Rosales, a descendant of Lt. Rosales. The Naguenos’ gallant stand during World War II On April 9, 1945, Major Juan Q. Miranda led the guerrilla forces of Camarines Sur in an attack that would liberate Naga. A young lieutenant, Delfin, then 22 years old, took the helm of a combat platoon of the 7th AIB/PAAC Unit, putting his self in the front line along with others as they relentlessly attacked the enemy garrison. According to Bicol historian Jose V. Barrameda, the young Rosales did not have to die. But he took the risk—and lost his life—to save a wounded Philippine Scout who had been hit by Japanese sniper fire at the western side of the bridge at Panganiban in the battle for the liberation of Naga, Barrameda wrote. He continued: “His comrades watched in helpless horror as he doggedly pulled the wounded Scout to safety despite three bullets in him: one in his right chest; another through his right cheek, which exited at his left jaw; and a third in his right buttock. Rushed by Agrifino Rañola and Honesto General and two other guerrillas to doctors Jesus Hidalgo and Francisco Gomez in Camaligan (Camarines Sur) for medical aid, Delfin died from loss of blood shortly thereafter, his fingers lifted in the victory sign Churchill had made famous during the war.” jbp

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