Press Release
April 9, 2018


As the nation celebrates Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor, Senator Richard J. Gordon pointed out that we are not just commemorating the courage and bravery of the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor but it is also a reminder of what we can achieve as a nation if we are united and with our love of country in mind.

"Today, we are not just giving honor to the brave men and women who courageously fought against the Japanese invaders. We should also be reminded of the very moral fiber of the men and women who fought against the invading Japanese. We also honor the intangible virtues drawn upon in times of struggle. The willingness, the courage, the valor of thousands of ordinary Filipinos -- with or without formal training but took up arms anyway; soldiers who had not surrendered or had escaped; and civilians who provided logistical, intelligence, and moral support -- to find ways to continue the struggle against the occupation forces," he said.

Gordon pointed out that today the country is also facing different threats and divisive issues that every Filipinos are called upon to make a stand against.

"Araw ng Kagitingan reminds us of the valor of our heroes but we should not forget that valor is not exhibited only in times of actual war. Araw ng Kagitingan should also be an opportunity for Filipinos to remember moments of our past, of strength and courage against overwhelming odds, and to call upon that strength once more in the face of the threats against our country today. We should take inspiration from their unity and love of country and continue their fight. Hence this year's theme, 'Kagitingan at Pagmamahal sa Pilipinas Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago' is very apt," he said.

The Araw ng Kagitingan or the Day of Valor is celebrated every April 9 as a national memorial day for the brave souls who fought in Bataan on April 9, 1942 during the WWII. The holiday also pays respect and tribute to the thousands of soldiers and Filipino prisoners of war who died on the tragic Death March which started from Bataan and ended in Tarlac.

During his first term as senator, Gordon had been one of the prime movers in getting the United States give recognition to some estimated 13,000 Filipino veterans who fought alongside American soldiers in the WWII. He authored the law which allowed Filipino veterans to continue receiving pensions and benefits from the Philippine government without rescinding similar benefits from the US government.

Gordon, also sought recognition for Visayans who fought foreign colonization by having the Lapu-Lapu Monument installed at the Luneta Park. Recently, he also authored Senate Bill No. 108, which seeks to declare April 27 of every year as Lapu-Lapu Day or Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu and a special working public holiday throughout the country and a non-working holiday in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. The proposed measure had been approved in Congress last month and was transmitted to Malacanang for signing into law.

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