Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Negros Occidental Gov. Bong Lacson, and Mayor Rhumyla Mangilimutan lead the unveiling of the shrine in honor of Negrense war hero, 1Lt. Lolinato To-ong Sr., at the Cabacungan Elementary School grounds in La Castellana town, Thursday (May 13).
1Lt. Lolinato To-ong Sr. was an officer of the Philippine Marine Corps and sacrificed his life in a clash between government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in year 2000; he was also a posthumous recipient of the highest military award for courage, the Medal of Valor.
Gov. Bong Lacson said that the unveiling of marker and wreath laying in honor of the late 1Lt. To-ong is a way of immortalizing his valor and heroism, both for the present and future generations.
“The sacrifice made by 1Lt. To-ong when he risked his life during the campaign against the Moro Islamic Front on April 30, 2000 in Matanog, Maguindanao, along with the sacrifices of our past and present heroes, is another proof that the freedom we have is not free, that a lot was paid for us to be in this free and democratic society,” said the governor.
“Let us honor 1Lt. To-ong’s sacrifice by giving back in gratitude, not in words, but through our actions, by being conscientious, active and responsible members of our community and society,” he added.
Mayor Mangilimutan also expressed pride in honoring a war hero who was raised in their town.