Senators honor Bataan defenders on Day of Valor

Senators honor Bataan defenders, modern heroes on Day of Valor

/ 12:31 AM April 09, 2024

NATIONAL SHRINE OF MT. SAMAT marcos day of valor

Collonade of Mt. Samat National Shrine in Bataan INQUIRER PHOTO/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — In time for the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), three senators expressed their “wholehearted tribute” to all soldiers who fought during the siege of Bataan against the Japanese forces during World War II.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda said the Philippines is a democratic and free country because of the “blood, sweat, and unquestionable sacrifice” that these soldiers offered.


This prompted her to air her appeal to all Filipinos: Do not forget their heroism.


READ: Day of Valor: LRTA offers free rides on April 9

“With the passage of time, let us not bury their heroism in oblivion. Let’s also recognize the emergence of modern heroes who have aspirations similar to the patriotic spirit shown by our heroes who fought in Bataan—the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who venture abroad to bring comfort to their families,” said Legarda in a statement in a mix of English and Filipino.

Modern heroes

Apart from OFWs, she said among those modern heroes include policemen, educators, health officers, farmers, and ordinary Filipinos who continue to give unconditional help and love to others.

“May the message of Araw ng Kagitingan remain alive in our spirit and may it continue to be a beacon for us to continue facing life’s challenges with determination, courage and love for the people,” Legarda added.

‘Ensure the care and support they need’

Senator Grace Poe, on the other hand, said it is the Philippine government’s duty to make certain that war veterans get the necessary support they need.

Poe said she is one with the people commemorating the Day of Valor and the Philippine Veterans Week.


“The unparalleled valor and gallantry displayed by our war veterans against expansionist ambitions have kept the Philippine flag flying supreme over our land and waters. We owe it to our veterans and their families  to ensure that they receive the care and support they need,” said Poe in a separate statement.

Poe then noted that she and her office remain committed to work on more legislation that will advance war veterans’ welfare.

“May the heroism and courage of our veterans live on in every Filipino, especially those at the forefront of defending our territory and sovereignty against present threats,” she said.


For her part, Senator Imee Marcos said now, more than ever, is the time to revive the Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) program, which she called “long overdue.”

“[O]n this important day when we pay tribute to the valor of our soldiers in Bataan, I am pressing on with the need for us to revive the Self-Reliant Defense Posture program, which has long been overdue. Filipinos do not suffer from a lack of talent, skills or expertise to produce our own defensive weapons, but suffer from gross government neglect and a lack of appreciation for the importance of and wisdom in relying on ourselves for our defense,” said Marcos in a statement.

In the same breath, Marcos likewise mentioned the Philippine government’s supposed shortfall in basic weapon and ammunition production in 2023 despite higher funding.

“This is sad news about basic weapons for our soldiers and policemen. Money is being wasted. Will the lives of our men in uniform be wasted as well?” the senator asked, noting the heightened tensions in Philippine waters.

READ: Imee Marcos questions bid to raise PH-China case to UN

She said there is a need for multilateral discussions among all claimant countries in the South China Sea. These include the Philippines, China, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

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Marcos, who chairs the Senate panel on foreign relations, then noted that the country needs to move past the issuance of note verbales and actually “take up” the issue at hand before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United Nations.

TAGS: araw ng kagitingan, Day of Valor, Grace Poe, Imee Marcos, Loren Legarda

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