Ricciardone visits Pangasinan
by Venus May H. Sarmiento
DAGUPAN CITY (13 January) -- This ‘bangus city’ played host to United States Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone Jr. and other diplomatic guests in their visit to Pangasinan to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied Forces’ landing at the Lingayen Gulf in World War II last January 9.
City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim accompanied Ricciardone to the former headquarters of Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur now known as the Gabaldon Building of the West Central Elementary School here. Ricciardone vowed to help resolve the controversy on the true first landing point of the famous general in 1945, whether it was Bonuan beach in Dagupan or the Lingayen beach in Lingayen.
“I'll send an e-mail to Caspar Weinberger, US 15th Defense Secretary, who was an aid to Mac Arthur, to inquire on the true landing site of the General as soon as I get back to office” Ricciardone said while looking at Mac Arthur’s pictures and facilities in the general’s former headquarters including a bath tub that the famous American general used during his stay.
He added that they will also look at US military records to gain facts on the path of the journey and landing site of Mac Arthur in the Philippines.
Lingayen town is the staging area for the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Lingayen Landings.
San Fabian, another coastal town, is also claiming that the general landed on its beach land.
Mayor Lim in his speech, however, said ”witnesses can testify and documents will show that Gen. MacArthur landed here in Dagupan in 1945.”
Other diplomatic guests during the barrio fiesta dinner and entertainment tendered by the city of Dagupan were the following Ambassadors : Ryuichiro Yamasaki (Japan), Salem Adam (Libya), Christian Tanghe (Belgium), Yeho-shua Sagi (Israel), Dinh Tish (Vietnam); Japan Defense Attache Col. Yukio Yusunaga, UNDP representative Kyo Naka, Canada Senor Trade Commissioner Ruth Zeisler, India Counselor Shamma Jaln, Mr. Sanusi of Indoesia, Meckham Silykhoune of Laos; group captains of Jim Mcmillan of New Zealand, Robert Balley of United Kingdom; Col. Chris Burns of Australian Defense Attache; Navy Captain Dennis Williams of US Defense department Attache and Vice Consul Jennifer Vamp Trump of US embassy.
Ricciardone and Japanese Ambassador Yamasaki praised the tasty Dagupan bangus (milkfish) and promised Lim to help market it in their countries. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]