By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has declared September 2 of every year a special holiday in Ifugao province to commemorate the surrender of Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita at the end of World War II.
In Republic Act No. 11120, the President directed concerned government agencies to hold commemorative activities to honor the heroes who contributed to the country’s liberation from Japanese forces.
Yamashita, then commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines, surrendered in Kiangan, Ifugao on September 2, 1945. He was later found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death in 1946.
“September 2 of every year is hereby declared a special nonworking holiday in the Province of Ifugao, in commemoration of the surrender of Genearl Tomoyuki Yamashita, Commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines, in Kiangan, Ifugao,” the law read.
“The Provincial Government of Ifugao, in coordination with the municipal government of Kiangan, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Military Shrines Service (MSS), shall lead appropriate and meaningful commemorative programs and activities to be participated by officials and employees of the national, provincial and municipal government agencies and instrumentalities, and civic, religious, nongovernment, business and civil society organizations, in order to give significance and honor the heroes and heroines who contributed to the Philippines’ liberation from the Japanese forces,” it added.
The law, signed by the President last October 30, takes effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper.