Pangasinan WW II veterans bestowed US congressional gold medals
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The United States Congressional Gold Medal was awarded Thursday to 36 Pangasinan veterans of World War II in a ceremony held at the Purok Marcela Resort here.
Private Santiago Genetiano was the oldest surviving veteran, at 100 years old, to receive a medal from Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator (PVAO), and Tracey Betts, Pacific director of US Veterans Affairs.
Genetiano was a Philippine Scout, belonging to the “G” Company, Second Battalion of the 14th Infantry Regiment, which engaged the invading Imperial Japanese Army in the provinces of Pangasinan and Tarlac.
A briefing material describes the American Congressional Gold Medal as “the highest civilian award… [which is bestowed on] an individual or unit who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the US.”
Carolina also unveiled the marker of 3Lt. Leopoldo Bataoil, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class (PMA) of 1943 who died in Bataan and was awarded a congressional gold medal on October 25, 2017 in Washington DC. Former police general and now Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil is the war hero’s nephew. /kga
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