|PSI Tria honored at 70th Catanduanes Liberation Day|
Photo via PIO Catanduanes
Gov. Araceli Wong, in an address to the public at the Capitol Lobby at 8 A.M., said that Tria showed a “heroic act” “as part of the PNP-SAF [troopers] who stood their ground defending the nation from Moro Islamic Terrorists.”
“We showered PSI Tria’s heroism with outpouring love, care, and affection as we bade goodbye last Saturday, February 7, 2015, complete with recognitions and full military honors to our present-day hero,” the provincial chief executive said.
Wong likewise recognized the gallantry and patriotism of Retired Col. Salvador Arambulo Rodolfo.
Rodolfo, who was known as “Phantom” rallied the Catanduanes Liberation Forces as they fought for their freedom.
“Our Catandunganon guerrilla fighters were about to retreat at the sight of the two sea vessels [as they were] exhausted, wounded and [running] out of supplies.
She added that the guerilla fighters, while preparing for another volley of fire-fight, saw American planes appear from nowhere.
Col. Rodolfo, at that instance told his troops: “The enemies are coming. I have two options for you. We can go to hills and save ourselves and wait there until the Americans arrive. But I assure you that all civilians left behind will be massacred by the incoming Japanese, or we can repeat what happened in the Battle of Thermopylae and stand our grounds. Most of us will die, but we will live forever in the pages of history as the men who fought for the liberation of Catanduanes,” Gov. Wong said.
The troops battled the Japanese soldiers in the area where the Virac Municipal Building and the Virac Parish Church now stand, historical accounts say.
It ended with the guerrillas taking full control of the Japanese barracks.
Col. Rodolfo finally declared the independence of the island province on February 8, 1945.
Gov. Wong lamented that the Catandunganons had not been able to confer Col. Rodolfo with the same recognition that they were able to grant PSI Tria.
To prevent the same from happening, Wong took the opportunity to thank the Catangunganon veterans and their families.
“Sa inyong mga naritong mga veteranos, salamat. Kung hindi sa inyong katapangan at kagitingan, hindi nakamtan ng Catanduanes ang kapayapaan at kalayaan,” she declared.
Wong further revealed that the Provincial Government, through a Resolution by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, will give P200,000 to fund the activities of the veterans.
Also in attendance were Vice Governor Jose “Bong” Teves, Jr., members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, head of provincial offices, and members of the local police.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM