My warmest felicitations to the officers and members of the Bataan-Corregidor Foundation of New Mexico and to the citizens and local officials of Albuquerque City, New Mexico, USA on the occasion of the formal dedication of the Bataan Park Memorial to the 1,800 men of New Mexico who fought in the defense of the Philippines during World War II.


Today, which also marks the 60th Anniversary of the surrender of allied defenses in the Philippines, I join our people and the citizens of Albuquerque City in honoring the heroism of the soldiers of the 200th and 515th Coastal Artillery Units who fought for our country. We honor those who fought alongside our own Filipino soldiers in Bataan and Corregidor, and those who suffered in the Bataan Death March. Many of them died so that we, the future generations of Filipinos, may live to enjoy the blessings of freedom and peace.


The ties that bind the people of the Philippines and the citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico, are now stronger than ever. On behalf of the Filipino people, I give thanks and pay tribute to the gallantry of these 1,800 American soldiers from New Mexico. Let their heroism and sacrifices serve as an inspiration in our current battle to win the war against poverty and terrorism in these times.


More power and MABUHAY!





April 7, 2002


Fn: BataanCorFound/Rick