The Philippines and South Korea will continue working together in responding to various challenges and threats, Philippine Army (PA) commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said on Wednesday.
“Our love for our countries, families, ways of life, and democracy will keep the lessons of the Korean War contemporary. Against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), terrorism, or even calamities, our great veterans will remind us to be resilient, and win together with other members of the community of nations,” Sobejana said during the commemoration of the 21st Korean War Veterans of the Philippines Memorial Day and the 46th anniversary of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) Veterans’ Association, Inc.
The occasion was observed through a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial Pylon, Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.
Sobejana led the commemoration honoring the PEFTOK’s gallantry and service in the Korean War in 1950 where five battalion combat teams fought in a foreign land alongside United Nations forces to aid South Korea against invading communist forces.
Meanwhile, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man expressed Seoul’s gratitude to the contribution and sacrifices of the Filipino veterans whose service led to the freedom of the Republic of Korea.
“Korea will not enjoy democracy without the contribution and sacrifice of Filipino and Korean veterans. Today, on Remembrance Day, we remember their sacrifice, valor, dedication, devotion, and contribution for the freedom of Korea and the world,” he said.
Han also shared the message of President Rodrigo Duterte to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, saying the Philippines will forever stand with Korea to defend freedom.
Sobejana also acknowledged and extended his gratitude to the Filipino veterans of the Korean War for their bravery that led to their victory in the battles of Yultong and Eerie Hill.
“Today, we are again given the privilege to honor the deeds of our predecessors, savor their continuing tradition of valor, and celebrate freedom with our South Korean ally. To our veterans, your courage earned not only the admiration of many nations but raised the pride of our own. Your triumph in the Battle of Yultong somehow reminds us that we have already been a world-class Army all along,” he added. (PNA)