LAOAG CITY, Philippines- Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Wednesday enjoined all Ilocanos to follow the path of patriots and be inspired by the heroism of Filipinos like the late Governor Roque Ablan, Sr., who is being considered as a local hero.
Andanar, who graced today’s program to celebrate Ablan’s 111th birth anniversary, lauded the Ilocano community here for remembering the late former provincial chief executive.
The celebration was attended by Ilocos Norte mayors, government workers from the different local and national agencies, students and other visitors.
Ablan’s statue here is well-kept and being adorned with fresh flowers especially every 9th of August, a declared non-working holiday in the province of Ilocos Norte.
In his short speech during today’s program, Andanar recalled how the old Ablan is being remembered with respect and admiration for his genuine love and great service to the province and the country.
“There can be no better inspiration than the heroism of Filipinos like Roque Ablan Sr. And as we commemorate the memorable lessons of his life, we likewise acknowledge how our people today continue to support our president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte who has discerned the inherited evils surrounding our country today and boldly resolves to eliminate them with political and personal capacity,” he told Ilocanos present during a simple commemoration rite held at the Ablan Shrine, this city.
The occasion gives tribute to Ablan Sr. for his service to the country as governor and labor leader, as well, as an Ilocano hero who fought against the Japanese regime during World War II.
Ilocano war veterans remember the great Ablan as the only governor in Northern Luzon who did not surrender when the Japanese landed in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. He refused to extend his cooperation to them as the governor of Ilocos and instead left the provincial capital of Laoag to avoid arrest and transferred the seat of government to a remote barrio near the boundary of Ilocos Norte and Apayao.
From there, he built his army force called the “Ablan-Madamba Guerilla Group of Northern Luzon” together with Lt. Feliciano Madamba of the Philippine Army . (PNA)