Ifugao WW II veterans commemorate Victory Day
by Vency D. Bulayungan
KIANGAN, Ifugao – "There can be no progress without peace."
Thus stressed Governor Teddy Baguilat Jr. during the celebration of the 62nd Anniversary of the surrender of Japanese forces under General Tomoyuki Yamashita here last September 2.
"The surrender of Yamashita ended the war in the Philippines and ushered an era of peace in our country," Baguilat said as he urged children and youth here to be proud to tell that they come from this historic town.
Addressing more than 300 veterans and sons and daughters who came from Nueva vizcaya, Mt. Province, Kalinga and Apayao, Baguilat said that while he thanked the veterans for the gift of peace, today, we are fighting a different kind of war, the war against poverty, the war against illiteracy and the war against corruption, he pointed out.
Baguilat, who was the guest of honor, proudly announced that the most peaceful province in the Cordilleras is Ifugao. He disclosed that in terms of crime incidences, there were only two crimes/month per 100,000.
"During the last elections, while they were killing congressmen, governors, there was no election violence in Ifugao. We are passionate about our political convictions but we do not go overboard', he said.
Baguilat said that there are also no insurgency related incidences here, not even a confirmed sighting.
"I am sure that the war veterans are happy that the peace they fought for endures to this day," Baguilat said.
He attributed the peaceful condition of the province not only to the law enforcers and officials but also to the community.
Baguilat said that the province is facing a different war and that is a rise in the violence against women and children. He therefore urged the people to stop treating rape and child abuse family problems and start convicting the perpetrators as criminals.
He also vowed to fight the battle against corruption. "No to SOP, no to bribes, no to illegal gambling and no to jueteng," he said.
The governor has ordered the police forces to stop jueteng and warned the "cobradors", operators and even the policemen who protect them that if they don't stop jueteng, his administration will banish them the way the veterans banished Yamashita from Ifugao 62 years ago.
Baguilat solicited the cooperation of the community to win the battle against jueteng. "This is a guerilla war and like our veterans who survived the last war because they were supported by the community, the war against jueteng can also be won if the people will cooperate with the authorities to end this illicit activity," he said. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]