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PIA Press Release

PGMA leads 65th 'Araw ng Kagitingan' rites at Mt. Samat in Bataan on Monday

Quezon City (8 April) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be the guest of honor and speaker during the observance of the 65th "Araw ng Kagitingan" (Day of Valor) on Monday, April 9, at the Dambana ng Kagitingan on Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan.

The President, who will be coming from Baguio City where she spent the second half of the Holy Week and celebrated her 60th birthday on April 5, will be accorded full military honors by the Philippine Army ceremonial elements upon her arrival at the Mt. Samat Shrine.

Among those expected to accompany the President to Bataan are Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, Public Works and Highways Acting Secretary Manuel Bonoan, Local Governments Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza, and Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr.

Other guests during the occasion include United States Ambassador Kristie Kenney, Japanese Ambassador Ryuichiro Yamazaki, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Army Chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Rogelio Calunsag, and Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Horacio Tolentino.

After the arrival honors, the President, assisted by two honor guards, will lay a wreath at the Dambana colonnade. She will be preceded by Ambassadors Kenney and Yamazaki in laying the wreaths provided by their respective governments.

"Araw ng Kagitingan' is observed on April 9 of each year to remember the heroism and bravery of Filipino and American troops in Bataan and Corregidor during World War II.

During the commemorative program, Balanga Bishop Socrates Villegas will deliver the invocation, while Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia will give the welcome remarks.

The President will deliver her speech after the messages of the Japanese and American ambassadors, respectively. (OPS) [top]

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