PHILIPPINE Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez yesterday extolled the “malasakit” (compassion) and heroism of Filipinos during war, especially the veterans who fought for the country’s democracy.
Romualdez, president of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), paid tribute to the sacrifices of war heroes and their families as the nation commemorates this Tuesday the Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as the Day of Valor.
“Let’s not forget their malasakit, heroism, greatness and sacrifices in liberating the country from invaders. The democracy we have been enjoying was carved by blood on the pages of history because of their selfless dedication and invaluable service to keep our freedom alive,” said Romualdez, a lawyer who was endorsed by presidential daughter and Davao City Rep. Sara Duterte, chairperson of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), as the Speaker of the incoming 18th Congress.
“We have to ensure a meaningful observance of Araw ng Kagitingan by always giving due respect and recognition to their heroism and to continue finding compassion inspiration, hope, and love in their greatness and patriotism,” said Romualdez, a House Independent Bloc leader of the previous 16th Congress, referring to the greatness and heroism of Filipinos and American soldiers when the Japanese occupied the Philippines during World War II.
Joining Romualdez in honoring the veterans, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte pushed for his twin proposals for the grant of a P3,000 across-the-board increase in the current monthly pension of war veterans and the provision of similar benefits as well as health insurance coverage for Filipino comfort women.
Villafuerte said his proposal under House Bill (HB) No. 9047, which is expected to benefit around 7,000 living Filipino war veterans residing here or out of the country, also seeks to amend the current law to allow their surviving spouses or eldest children to receive the benefit.
Another Villafuerte bill -- HB 9046 -- seeks the grant of a P3,000 monthly pension to Filipino comfort women during World War II and free full Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) coverage for them.
Romualdez recalled that Filipino freedom fighters during the war selflessly risked and offered their lives to ensure democracy.
“Let’s remind our youth about their deep love for the country through their bravery and heroic services rendered for the country’s freedom,” said Romualdez, a three-term congressman from Leyte’s first congressional district who is running again for his previous post.