Army recalls sacrifice, heroism of ROTC in retaking Fort McKinley in 1945
The Philippine Army paid tribute to the sacrifice and heroism of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) who fought to retake Fort William McKinley from the Japanese Imperial forces in 1945.
Col. Xerxes Trinidad, Philippine Army public affairs chief ,said the commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the retaking of Fort William McKinley, now known as Fort Andres Bonifacio was held at Larangang Hunters Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) marker in Taguig City on Wednesday.
The event which includes a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the Hunters-ROTC guerillas was led by Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, Jr., and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina.
Trinidad said during the ceremony, Brawner "paid tribute to the gallantry of the cadet soldiers and encouraged the troops to instill the values they exhibited during the momentous event."
“Certainly, our forefathers have lived up to the Philippine Army’s core values of honor, patriotism, and duty. Therefore, may their valiant sacrifices motivate us to exemplify and uphold the highest standard of service and excellence as servant leaders of the Filipino people,” he said.
It can be recalled that the Hunters-ROTC was created in 1942, recruits from various ROTC components were gathered and organized to form a fighting unit.
According to the Philippine Army, the retaking of Fort McKinley began on February 4, 1945. The operation was led by the 47th ROTC Division of the Hunters-ROTC Guerrillas with other Hunters units.
Hunters-ROTC launched their offensive against the Japanese resistance and overcame the superiority in arms and numbers of the opponent by penetrating enemy lines under cover of darkness on February 12.
After days and nights of heavy fighting, the Filipino with the American forces finally overwhelmed the Japanese Naval forces on February 15 to 16, 1945. The rest of Philippines were eventually liberated from Japanese rule. Robina Asido/DMS