Women’s party wants Feb. 4 declared as day for Phil-Am War heroes

Lawmakers  from the  Gabriela  Party-list  want  to  commemorate  the bravery of  Filipinos who  fought  and  died in the Philippine-American War every February 4.

Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan  and  Emerenciana De Jesus filed  House  Bill No. 1387  to remember, honor and pay  respects  to the forgotten Filipino  heroes who fought  and  died during the war that  stretched from  February 4 1899 up  to  1913.

The proposed measure hopes to rectify the historic injustice perpetrated against the heroic Filipino forebears, Ilagan and De Jesus said.

Ilagan and De Jesus lamented the fact  that  the Filipino heroes during the Philippine  American  War were not  given  acknowledgement in the  same  degree  as those who  joined the struggle  against Spain and  the Japanese Imperial  forces.

The government even neglected its obligation to honor the heroes and martyrs of the Philippine-American war, the lawmakers said.

Filipino resistance against the American colonizers was so popular and widespread that the United States had to deploy over 100,000 of its troops to fight the war.

The Filipino death toll was estimated to reach over one million making it the bloodiest war in the country’s history, surpassing even the Filipino death toll during World War II.

What makes it even sadder, the lawmakers said, is that “the vast majority of Filipinos  today-  young  and  old, know  little  about the  Philippine-American  War because the American  colonizers  made effective  use of  the educational system  to obliterate  all knowledge  of  the said war.”

The  proposed bill now  seeks  the  declaration  of  February 4 every year as  “Araw ng  Pagdadakila sa mga  PIlipinong  Nagbuwis ng  Buhay noong Digmaang Pilipino Amerikano.”

It compels government  agencies and  instrumentalities, government owned and  controlled corporations, local government  units, and employers in the  private sector  to  encourage and  allow their employees to  engage and  participate in any activity  or  ceremony to commemorate the  bravery of the Filipinos during said war. D’Jay Lazaro

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