MANILA – The bravery of Filipino troops in the front lines of Bataan during World War II 78 years ago is an inspiration to present-day heroes in containing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak, the country’s military chief said.
“It is very timely that the Day of Valor is being commemorated in a period where our country is at war against an unconventional enemy which is the deadly coronavirus disease. Today, we shall reflect on how our forebears showed extraordinary heroism, ardent patriotism, and selflessness, and seek to find within each of us the will to carry on in this modern warfare,” said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., in a statement sent to reporters late Wednesday, ahead of the country’s commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor).
Santos said every present-day soldier, airman, sailor, and marine continues to draw strength from the sacrifices made by heroes in the past to achieve peace and security for the country.
“Our veterans bestowed to our generation the treasure of a peaceful life and it is up to us to continue fighting for it,” he added.
With courage and determination, Santos said all Filipino soldiers manifest the same resolve to win over all kinds of battle not only against the dreaded disease but also against the virus of the communist terrorist group, local terrorist group, and other enemies of the state.
“For this, the AFP salutes our modern-day heroes who continue to fight as one in the name of patriotism and the undeniable love for humanity. Let us continue to work hand in hand, confident that we will emerge triumphant as one nation against any kind of crisis,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) urged Filipinos to ponder on the sacrifices and heroism of front-liners amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic which coincides with the observance of Holy Week.
“Today, let us honor our heroes by being heroes ourselves. In this time of Lenten season, let us honor Jesus Christ by emulating the sacrifices He made —for our family, for our community, for our nation,” PNP deputy chief for operations, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a media statement.
He urged Filipinos to do their part in containing the spread of the disease.
“A simple act of obedience by staying at home is already a big contribution to contain and eventually defeat this virus. A simple act of compassion and understanding would make a strong tie that would bind us into one and eventually overwhelm the weapon of divisiveness and infighting that our Covid-19 enemy brought along. And a simple act of optimism by turning the home quarantine as a precious time to bond, to pray and to reflect for the Lenten season is a potent weapon to show to the world what Filipinos are really made of,” he added.
Meanwhile, PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa said the police force is one with Filipinos in the battle to overcome the pandemic.
“Ang duyan ng magiting ay hindi malulupig. Buong-giting nating balikatin ang laban na ito para sa bayan, para sa Pilipino at para sa sangkatauhan sa ating pambansang pagkilos (The cradle of the brave cannot be defeated. We will fearlessly face this fight for our nation, for the Filipino and for mankind through our collective action). ‘Bayanihan to heal as one’,” he added. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)