Lee wants PPPO renamed as ‘Camp Palaris’

LINGAYEN—The police provincial director of Pangasinan requested the provincial board to name the Provincial Police Office (PPO) as Camp Palaris (Juan Dela Cruz).

In a letter signed by Senior Superintendent Ronald Lee, addressed to the provincial board of Pangasinan dated Sept. 26, it said, “It will be the pride and honor of every PNP Personnel of Pangasinan and the Pangasinenses to rename the Police Provincial Office to Camp Palaris (Juan dela Cruz)”.

Palaris was the nome de guerre of the revolutionary leader Juan de la Cruz, one of the great heroes of the revolution in Pangasinan during the Spanish time.

Lee said among the four provincial headquarters of the PNP in Region 1, only the Pangasinan PPO has not yet been named before any distinguished native of the province.

Ilocos Norte PPO was named after Captain Valentin S. Juan, Ilocos Sur after President Elpidio Quirino, La Union PPO after a revolt leader of the Ilocos Diego Silang who was the counterpart of Palaris in Pangsinan and the Police Regional Office 1 after the late PC Regional Commander, BGen Oscar M. Florendo, Lee said.

Lee added that in the province of Pangasinan, the headquarters of the Provincial Public Safety Company was named after the late Narciso Rueca Ramos who was a journalist, lawyer, assemblyman and ambassador of the Philippine government and the father of former Pres. Fidel Valdez Ramos.

The research undertaken by Lee on the life of Juan de la Cruz showed the latter was born to couple Santiago de la Cruz and Catalia Ugnay, both of the town of Binalatogan (now San Carlos City).

On March 1, 1763, Palaris forces defeated the Spanish forces under the command of Alfonso Arayat. At the height of the uprising, Palaris commanded 10,000 men. He was in communication with Silang with whom he was coordinating a bigger offensive against Spain.

However, when the Seven Years War ended on February 10, 1763 and the assassination of Diego Silang on May 28, 1763, the Spanish forces were able to muster forces to deal with Palaris.

In the Spanish offensive, Palaris was defeated in the Battle of Mabalitec. He made a last stand in the town of San Jacinto where his closest advisers were captured.

He was able to escape in that battle and hid among his supporters. However, he was betrayed by his own sister Simeona when she told the gobernadorcillo of Binalatongan, Agustin Matias, of his whereabouts.

Palaris was arrested on January 16, 1765 and brought to the provincial capital, Lingayen, for trial. While in detention, he confessed being the leader of the revolt and was hanged on February 26, 1765. He was 32 years old.

In his recommendation, Lee wrote, “It is most respectfully prayed and hoped that the area occupied by the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office be named as Camp Palaris (Juan dela Cruz) who was a native of San Carlos City, Pangasinan in consideration of his heroic feats during one of Pangasinan’s historic fights for freedom against the Spanish government.” (Eva Visperas/Leonardo Micua)

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