Random Thoughts

Another proof on MacArthur landing

By Leonardo Micua

SECOND District Board Member Liberato Villegas, now on his third term of office, rejoiced over the claim of University of the Philippines professor, Ricardo T.  Jose, that General Douglas Mac Arthur first landed in his hometown of San Fabian and not in Dagupan or Lingayen as many Pangasinan historians long claimed it to be.

I was one of the few newsmen who listened to the lecture of Professor Jose at the Pangasinan Trade and Development Center II from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on January 8 under the auspices of the Center for Pangasinan Studies and the National Historical Commission.

By the way, this was only the first of a series of lectures he will do on the sites of big World War II battles, that will take him to Cabanatuan City, Laguna, Bataan, Corregidor, Manila, Leyte, Mindoro, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur where the Bessang Pass is located, and Kiangan, Ifugao where General Yamashita and his soldiers surrendered to the Filipino and Americans.   

By his narration, there were also big battles that took place in Damortis, Pozorrubio, Binmaley, and Cabaruan Hills in Urdaneta, as well as in Baguio and Mountain Province, Dalton Pass in Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya.   

I joined that forum because I wanted to know more about the history of my province and the significant role that it played during the war years being a son of a late Filipino veteran myself. 

I was especially interested to know from Prof. Jose on what his take is on the debate that raged on in Pangasinan for decades, as to the exact place where Mac Arthur first landed when he and his troops came to finally liberate Luzon from the Japanese on January 9, 1945.

Through a slide presentation, he showed a black and white photo taken by MacArthur’s official photographer Carl Maidan showing the general being assisted by two soldiers while disembarking from a landing barge at 2:15 p.m. on January 9.

He said the photo and the other photos in that segment were taken by Maidan in San Fabian, the first town in Pangasinan MacArthur set his foot on. But, unfortunately, according to him, these photos were suppressed and not released to the press.

What was released and published, he said were the other photos taken three days later by Maidan in Dagupan showing MacArthur walking in the sand dunes of Bonuan along with his staff officers.

Board Member Villegas was beaming from ear to ear when he heard Prof. Jose’s version about Mac Arthur’s first landing in San Fabian through Dante Cera of Aksyon Radio Dagupan saying San Fabian was lucky for being the first town in the province where MacArthur stepped on.  

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The slaying in broad daylight on January 9 of retired General Marlou Chan, a former police provincial director of Pangasinan, by gunmen allegedly on board two motorcycles while aboard his car, appeared to be the handiwork of professional guns-for-hire. 

Chan, a no-nonsense police officer and a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Class 1985 with a sterling performance in all his assignments, did not deserve such a bloody end. 

What a bloody end it was.  He did not die while fighting hoodlums in the streets and other anti-government forces when he was in the service but died in that dastardly manner when he was no longer with the police.   

P/Colonel Redrico Maranan, provincial director, formed the Special Investigation Task Group Chan led by the Regional Investigation Division to investigate the incident and arrest the perpetrators and the mastermind.

I hope the Task Group can unravel the mystery behind General Chan’s killing and bring all those involved before the bar of justice.     

I hope this high-profile slaying will not become another cold case and join other cases that are yet to be solved by the police.

Because of General Chan’s high stature, the Pangasinan media expect no less from the provincial PNP a regular update on the progress of the investigation of the case. A news blackout should be out of the question. Right, Cesar?      

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