KALIBO, Aklan -- The National Historical Institute (NHI) officially declared Thursday afternoon, April 25, the Aklan Freedom Shrine as a national shrine.
The declaration manifest, which is NHI resolution number 8, series of 2019, was signed by NHI Commissioner and Chairman Rene Escalante.
NHI board members Abraham F. Sakili and Cesar Gilbert Q. Adriano, together with ex-officio members Jeremy Barns, Victorino Mapa Manalo and Loduvco Badoy, also the acting executive director, signed the resolution.
The resolution states that the Aklan Freedom Shrine features the 19 Katipunan martyrs who were summarily executed under the orders of then Spanish colonel Ricardo Monet for their participation in the failed uprising against the Spanish colonial government. The martyrs were led by General Francisco Del Castillo.
Among the 19 is the infamous Candido Iban of Malinao town who became a Filipino sea diver in Australia. Historians said he won a lottery and he used the proceeds to purchase a printing machine, which was later donated to Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio.
The remains of the 19 martyrs was exhumed from their original burial grounds and re-interred into what is now the Aklan Freedom Shrine, where their names were inscribed in perpetuity along with that of their paramount leader General Castillo.
The resolution also stated that the Aklan Freedom Shrine has been sanctified by its purpose as the final resting place of the aforementioned martyrs and continues to serve as an enduring memorial to their sacrifice in the name of freedom from foreign oppression.
The Kalibo Historical Society has welcomed the NHI declaration. (SunStar Philippines)