Sunday, March 19, 2017
ILOILO City – Six living World War II veterans in Panay Island, now over 90 years old, were recognized during yesterday’s 72nd anniversary of the Liberation of Panay, Guimaras and Romblon.
Retired Lieutenant General Ernesto Carolina, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) administrator, underscored the contributions of the veterans who, for love of country, offered their lives.
They are an inspiration to the Filipino youth today, said Carolina.
One of those who received plaques and medals of recognition for valiant service during World War II was Sergeant Eladio Macasar Peñaranda. Turning 94 years old this July, he is a native of Iloilo City.
Peñaranda joined the 6th Military District on Sept. 25, 1942 and participated in cordoning the Balabago-Bito-on line during the battle for the liberation of Iloilo City.
The commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Liberation of Panay was held at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine, Jaro district.
Meanwhile, Private First Class Cornelio Lustre Areño , 96, was born in Lambunao, Iloilo. He was enlisted on Feb. 13, 1943 and participated in the Liberation of Iloilo City and in the mopping up operations in the mountain towns of Alimodian, Leon and Maasin that eliminated a good number of enemies.
Sergeant Ambrosio Alfeche Ambut, turning 99 this December, is a native of Alimodian. He participated in the guerilla general offensive during the Liberation of Iloilo City and also in the conduct of aggressive offensive assaults that resulted in the capture of Pamul-ogan Hill.
Private First Class Loreto Laru-an Lazo, turning 99 years old this April 12, is a native of Lambunao. He was enlisted as a heavy truck driver on Feb. 25, 1941 and was assigned to the company “A”, 14th Engineers, Philippine Scout and served with “D” company, 1st battalion.
His unit participated in the Liberation of Panay and was also responsible for the capture of the Tering Landing Field in Cabatuan, Iloilo.
In an interview, Lazo recalled his war experiences and how he survived it.
“Would I want to go back and experience again the war I have lived before? Never,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Private First Class Ramon Atintar Oro, turning 100 years old this May, joined the guerilla movement on Sept. 15, 1942 and was assigned to the “G4 61st Guerilla (F23)” that fought the Japanese forces during World War II.
His unit also participated in strategic assaults against the enemies and was instrumental in the liberation of Iloilo City in March 1945.
Private Fernando Alintitud Alecto, turning 100 years old this December, is a native of Dingle, Iloilo. His unit largely contributed in eliminating the enemies when the US 40th Division went ashore on Panay and was instrumental in the liberation of the capital city Iloilo late March 1945 and the subsequent attack on the strong enemy garrison in San Jose.
He was also part of an ambush unit in Buenavista, Guimaras that wiped out an entire enemy detachment, including its commander.
Also present during yesterday’s commemoration were Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. (PNA)