Panay war vets awarded US congressional medal

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—World War II veteran Cirilo Frigillano did not hold back tears as the song “Bayan Ko” was played during the 74th Victory Day for Panay, Guimaras and Romblon Islands in this city.

Frigillano is one of the 27 veterans from Panay who finally received the bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by the United States Congress.

World War II veteran Cirilo Frigillano (right) cries at the 74th Victory Day for Panay, Guimaras and Romblon Islands in Iloilo City.  The 93-year-old is one of the 27 veterans from Panay Island who received a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States Congress. (TARA YAP / MANILA BULLETIN)
World War II veteran Cirilo Frigillano (right) cries at the 74th Victory Day for Panay, Guimaras and Romblon Islands in Iloilo City. The 93-year-old is one of the 27 veterans from Panay Island who received a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States Congress. (TARA YAP / MANILA BULLETIN)

During the ceremonial awarding last Tuesday, the 93-year-old Frigillano re­called the hardships of Fili­pino guerilla fighters who launched the final assault against the Japanese army in Iloilo and paved way for the return of American forces.

“We want them to feel in their remaining years that we recognize and value their service to our country,” add­ed Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina of Philippine Veter­ans Affairs Office (PVAO).

Tracey Betts of the US De­partment of Veterans Affairs also awarded the Congres­sional Gold Medals to Mo­ses Medina, Jesus Lozarito, Braulio Cabrera, Clemente Mission, Flaviano Constan­tino, Ricarido Jaculina Sr., Ricardo Hechanova, Ciriaco Villar, Claro Daulo, Castor Gonzales, Eladio Peñaranda, Domingo Daylusan, Antero Armentia, Policarpio Amon, Hospicio Camino, Narciso Casaquite, Loreto Lazo, En­rique Mamon, and Maria Sirilan.

Macario Peralta, the gen­eral who led the Panay gueril­las and later became a sena­tor and defense secretary, were among the posthumous awardees.

Other posthumous awardees were Efrain Tre­ñas, Santiago Defensor, Felomino Flamiano, Felipe Alagos, Jose Miraflores, and Adriano Pipardo.

 
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