CELEBRATION of Victory Day or the signing of the instrument of surrender by General Tomoyuki Yamashita at Camp John Hay every September 3 in the city has been institutionalized after Mayor Mauricio Domogan signed last week city council Resolution No. 229 series of 2016.

The council committee on tourism, special events, parks and playgrounds chaired by Councilor Elmer Datuin recommended the institutionalization to give more meaning and significance to the momentous event.

Earlier, the United States Army Forces in the Philippines-North Luzon Inc. Baguio-Benguet chapter (USAFIP-NL-BBC) adopted Resolution No. 12 asking the city officials to celebrate Victory Day in the city.

In the resolution, the veterans stressed the importance of the date in the city’s, if not the entire country’s history and the need to mark it as a special day.

“The Filipino guerillas of Baguio and Benguet has fought alongside with the American forces during the liberation campaign under 66th Infantry Regiment, USAFIP-NL as duly organized guerilla unit,” the resolution noted.

The measure noted every municipality of Benguet and Cordilleras is now celebrating its local town’s day of freedom or liberation day – “the Victory Day wherein Yamashita surrendered himself physically on Sept. 2m 1945 which is celebrated annually in Kiangan, Ifugao.”

“The USAFIP-NL, an organization to uphold awareness of the community about the sacrifices and events that took place during World War II, has come up with an idea which was also encouraged by the speech of (Mayor Domogan) in every occasion we attend,” they noted.

“April 9, Araw ng Kagitingan, Day of Defeat is being celebrated yearly, we should also be celebrating our Day of Victory, Sept. 3, 1945 which is the formal surrender of Gen. (Yamashita)… The war started and ended here in Baguio City,” the mayor said.

The veterans said they would prefer the celebration to be held at Camp John Hay “for us to have a chance to personally visit the exact building where Gen. Yamashita signed the surrender document.

As such, the city government will prepare the program and activities for the celebration. (Aileen Refuerzo/PIO)