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World | National

After 20 days, Romulo statue upright again, wading ashore with MacArthur

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) workers led by Chairman Francis Tolentino restored the famous McArthur Landing Memorial in Barangay Carandang, in Palo. (Junyee Loyola/News5)

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA--He walks with heroes again.

The statue of Filipino general Carlos P. Romulo, immortalized in the MacArthur Landing memorial in Leyte, is back where it belongs: standing upright, beside the American general wading ashore at the head of the US’ biggest naval deployment, to fulfil his war-era promise to Japanese-occupied Philippines, “I shall return.” 

With the help of a welding torch, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) workers led by Chairman Francis Tolentino restored the famous McArthur Landing Memorial in Barangay Carandang, which was among the casualties of super typhoon Yolanda’s fury as it barrelled across the Visayas on November 8. 

MMDA workers used a welding torch to re-erect Romulo’s statue, seen in photos lying face down on a shallow pond, then reinforced it with concrete.

The downed statue was one of six bronze figures comprising the Leyte Landing Memorial led by US Army General Douglas McArthur.Romulo’s downed statue had been left unattended 20 days after Yolanda struck the town of Palo, of 70,000 people. 

“This historical monument that depicts our history should not be neglected. By restoring this memorial, we hope to inspire the Leyte people to rise again. Like General McArthur declared, we shall return,” the MMDA chief said Thursday. 

The Leyte Landing Memorial depicts McArthur’s “I Shall Return” landing during World War II in Red Beach, Palo on October 20, 1944, triggering the final showdown between US forces and the Japanese occupation forces that had brutalized the Philippines for three years of World War II. 

McArthur’s arrival was the prelude to the “Battle of Leyte” between the US military and the Japanese Imperial forces from October 20 to December 31, 1944.

That historic battle had been recalled with some irony recently, as US, Japanese and Filipino forces were seen again in Leyte Gulf’s vicinity, this time for a peaceful, noble cause--helping the millions affected by typhoon Yolanda. It is considered one of Japan’s largest humanitarian deployment of its self-defense forces since the war. 

Meanwhile, Tolentino said the MMDA is humbled to be the first one to restore the damaged memorial, as part of its repair and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-damaged areas in Eastern Visayas. 

On November 10, just two days after Yolanda hit, the MMDA had sent its first rescue and relief units to Tacloban City and Samar.

To date, the MMDA has a total of 304 men in the devastated provinces doing round-the-clock relief work. The agency also sent vital equipment and relief goods and closely worked with local and international agencies in rehabilitating typhoon-damaged localities.

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