President Rodrigo Duterte paid tribute to Filipino soldiers and called on everyone to take inspiration from the lives of soldiers who died in the Korean War on the 70th anniversary of the battle.
More than 7,000 Filipino troops were sent when war broke out in the Korean peninsula in 1950. The Philippines was the first Asian nation to respond to the United Nations to send troops to defend South Korea against a communist invasion.
“We must recognize bravery is not easy to muster. We must remember heroism is very seldom seen and we must reaffirm values so sacred they form the bedrock of our special bilateral ties,” the President said in a message.
“As the world faces emerging challenges yet, let the memory of those who fell in the Korean War inspire us all to rise together jointly in solidarity,” he said.
The President remembered the Philippine contingent whose heroism and sacrifice helped defend South Koreans in battles such as the Battle of Yultong and Battle of Hill Eerie. He defended such troop deployment abroad saying Filipinos have never hesitated in defending freedom.
“South Korea owes a debt of gratitude to more than 7,400 Filipinos shipped to the Korean peninsula beginning in 1950 to defend Seoul from invasion by North Korea. Of this number, 112 died in action. Mustering bravery is never easy but the public can draw inspiration from valiant Filipino soldiers who fought during the Korean War in overcoming today’s challenges, Duterte said.
He said more than 7,000 young Filipino soldiers joined allies in the Korean War. From the great battle of Yultong to the battle of Eerie Hill, Filipinos never faltered in defending freedom and democratic way of life.
“We honor the Filipinos and soldiers of all nations who fought valiantly in that war. There is no other way,” he said.
The occasion comes amid renewed tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the COVID-19 pandemic