Libingan ng mga Bayani Annex, Bayani Road, Taguig City
29 March 2012
President Benigno S. Aquino III honored more than seven thousand officers and men of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) who fought in the Korean War and helped rebuild the Republic of Korea (South Korea at present) from the ravages of the second World War by inaugurating the PEFTOK-Korean War Memorial Hall (PKWMH) at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
The President led the unveiling of the PKWMH dedication marker together with former President Fidel V. Ramos who is a Korean War veteran himself, Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Hye Min Lee, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Korean Minister Park Sung Choon of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, and United Korean Community Association in the Philippines President Lee Won Joo.
The PKWMH serves as an enduring symbol of the great and extraordinary friendship between the Philippines and Korea for more than sixty years and is a reminder of a shining moment in both countries’ history, as well as the special bonds that have tied the fate of the two countries.
In his speech, the President expressed his grave concerns over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (North Korea) plans to launch between 12-16 April “what it claims as an earth observation satellite, but is widely believed to be a long range ballistic missile.”
“The use of ballistic missile technology in any launch violates U.N. (United Nations) Security Council Resolutions, and it presents risks to all concerned. It increases tensions, particularly in the period of uncertainty leading up to the launch – where no one is sure of the trajectory of the missile. Similarly, debris from the launch may potentially land in our territory. This is a needless provocation not only in the Korean peninsula, but in our entire region. It is with our respective peoples in mind that we urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not to proceed with its planned launch,” President Aquino emphasized.
The Philippines is the third nation after the United States of America and Australia to send troops to the Korean War. President Aquino’s late father, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., volunteered as a war correspondent at the age of 17.