91-year-old WWII veteran says PHL using right approach against China

MANILA, April 9 (PNA) — Having witnessed the horrors and brutality of war, 91-year-old World War II veteran Ricardo Madayag said the country is using the right approach in dealing with China regarding the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

He said the Philippine government effort to settle the territorial row via the United Nations arbitral tribunal is the right approach to such matters.

“(The use of) might in settling such matters is no longer accepted in the civilized world,” Madayag, a member of the Hunters ROTC Guerilla, stressed.

He also hopes that the matter will be resolved amicably and peacefully between the two countries.

Madayag was a freshman at the Zamora College when the Japanese attacked and invaded the Philippines in Dec. 8, 1941.

The 91-year-old World War II veteran said that he and his other friends immediately joined the guerrilla movement in an effort to free the country from Japanese control.

Madayag added that their efforts at that time mostly consist of hit-and-run attacks against Japanese troops patrolling the countryside as they then lack modern weapons.

These attacks were aimed to upset and prevent Japanese soldiers from totally consolidating their hold in the Philippines and keep them on the defensive.

Madayag and his fellow guerrilla fighters kept conducting hit-and-run attacks against the Japanese invaders until American and Allied forces began liberating the country by October 1944.

By that time, Filipino guerrillas were working side-by-side with Allied Forces in freeing the country from the Japanese Imperial Forces.

Madayag was pleased to disclose that he took part in the Battle of Bessang Pass.

Initial fighting started in February 1945 around the town of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.

Bessang Pass was the last stronghold of the Japanese forces under Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, known as the “Tiger of Malaya” and conqueror of Singapore.

It was part of the triangular defense of Yamashita in the north, namely the Balete Pass, Villaverde Trail and Bessang Pass, guarding the Ifugao-Benguet-Vizcaya borders.

Its fall on the hands of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines on June 14, 1945 paved the way to the entrapment of Yamashita’s forces in the Cordillera until his surrender in September 1945. (Philippine News Agency)