By Martin Sadongdong
In celebration of the Philippine Veterans Week, P/Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), has accepted three World War II medals and awards on behalf of his father who is a war veteran.
Eleazar received the WWII Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal and Posthumous Award on behalf of Staff Sergeant (SSG) Victor Eleazar ASN-UNK, a World War II veteran, during the Sunset Ceremony held at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City late Thursday.
The ceremony’s theme was “Sakripisyo ng Beterano ay Gunitain, Gawing Tanglaw ng Kabataan Tungo sa Kaunlaran.”
SSG Eleazar, or Tatay “Toti” as he is fondly called by the people close to him, was born on May 11, 1927. He joined the guerilla at the tender age of 15.
In a statement Friday, Eleazar recalled his father’s role during the war.
He said his father was tasked to “collect supplies or raise funds to buy supplies for the veterans in the front line.”
According to Eleazar, his father found himself in the front lines as the guerillas battled the Japanese invaders.
He said his father “never asked permission” from his grandfather, Guillermo or Lolo “Memong,” about the secret activities he was engaged in.
“His sense of patriotism at a young age, his sense of camaraderie completely overwhelmed him,” Eleazar stated.
During Thursday’s ceremony, Eleazar expressed his gratitude to the Veterans Federation of the Philippines for “recognizing the heroism and selflessness” of his father.
He also bared that it was his father who served as his inspiration to join the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Eleazar is part of PMA’s Hinirang Class of 1987.
The Metro Manila police chief also encouraged other veterans to join him in the fight for the freedom of the youth against illegal drugs.
“The drug problem is real and as anchors of our country, veterans should raise concern about the plight of our youth today who are being exposed to illegal drugs via evil pushers and even their peers who are already into drugs,” Eleazar emphasized.
The Philippine Veterans Week is being celebrated from April 5 to 11 every year in remembrance of the valor of our Filipino freedom fighters.