So.Leyteños to observe 1st Col. Kangleon’s memorial on Feb. 27
MAASIN CITY—February 27 beginning this year will be a provincial memorial day for Col. Ruperto Kangleon here in Southern Leyte.
This after Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado officially declared the said date by virtue of an executive proclamation to commemorate the death of Colonel Kangleon, legendary World War II hero from the region.
As a guerrilla commander, Kangleon successfully led his men in resisting Japanese forces , particularly in Leyte and Samar areas.
Also, his war exploits greatly helped Americans in liberating the country from the Japanese Imperial forces.
He was born on March 27, 1890 at San Roque village in Macrohon, Southern Leyte and died on February 27, 1958.
During the liberation period, American government then awarded him with Distinguished Conduct Star, Distinguished Service Star, and the Visayan Campaign Medal, for his bravery, outstanding moral conduct and heroism.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur led in giving him the awards.
Kangleon also served as appointed military and civil governor of Leyte on October 23, 1944 and in 1945, respectively.
President Manuel Roxas then appointed him as Secretary of National Defense in 1946.
Later, he ran and won as senator in 1953.
Kangleon was married to Valentina Tagle of Imus, Cavite with 10 children.
Reportedly, a bigger statue of Kangleon is being constructed in Macrohon town.
On February 27, Kangleon’s remaining family will lead in the unveiling and turn-over ceremony of a new hero marker, altogether with other local and provincial officials.
Meanwhile, Camilo “Yel” Cobile, retired US decorated army soldier and nephew of Kangleon, expressed appreciation to the efforts made by the province.
“As a descendant of the Kangleon and Cobile families, I am proud to be related to the aforementioned gentlemen whom I’ve always regarded as fierce freedom fighter. In all honesty; they were my beacon lights from the time I entered active duty in the U.S. Army as an enlisted man to the time I exited as a decorated chief warrant officer.”
Cobile, however, said the recognition and commemoration of the famous Kangleon has been overdue for some time.
“My cousins, Cong. Roger Mercado and Gov. Damian Mercado, being in such government capacities, should engage in an initiative that will ultimately allow the nationalization (or declaration for that matter) of Colonel Ruperto Kangleon as a national hero. After all, he just didn’t fight for the Filipinos during WWII, but for the Maasinhons or Southern Leytenos as well, “ Cobile added. (RONALD O. REYES)
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