The historic Battle of Bessang Pass, the greatest victory scored by Filipino guerrillas against the mighty Japanese Imperial Army in World War II, will be commemorated with elaborate ceremony in Ilocos Sur on Thursday at the site where the battle occurred 73 years ago.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has designated Defense Secretary Lorenzo N. Lorenzana to represent him during the anniversary celebration at Bessang Pass, Ilocos Sur, according to retired Brig. Gen. Resty Aguilar, chief of Veterans and Historical Division of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, in Camp Aguinaldo.
It was in Bessang Pass, the strategic mountain fortress in Ilocos Sur occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War, that Filipino guerrillas mounted a series of attacks that lasted for almost six months from Jan. 1, 1945 until June 14, 1945, when the Japanese forces were crushed.
American warplanes and artillery bombardment supported the brave Filipino guerrillas who engaged the Japanese soldiers during the last few days of the fighting that culminated in the victory of the Filipinos on June 14, 1945.
This writer was commissioned by retired Lt. Gen. Nesty Carolina, PVAO administrator, to write a book about the historic event entitled “Victory at Bessang Pass” which was launched at Fully Booked Store at Global City in Taguig in 2013.