Provincial officials and thousands of Bulakenyos on Monday paid tribute to one of the province's most illustrious sons and statesmen, the late Gat Blas F. Ople, during the commemoration of his 93rd birth anniversary held in front of the Livelihood Training Center in this city.
Governor Daniel Fernando led the annual celebration with this year's theme, Pagtugon sa Tawag ng Tungkulin Tungo sa Dakilang Mithiin.
Gat Blas F. Ople is Bulacan's gift to the world. Every year, we will never stop remembering you, what you have contributed to our country. And for the generations to come and be a leader one day, we will tell them. What you have done in Bulacan cannot be destroyed and forgotten, Fernando said.
Also present were Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, City of Malolos Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr., Board Members Erlene Luz Dela Cruz, Allan Andan, and Alex Castro, volunteer workers, senior citizens, Boy Scouts of the Philippines members, and employees of the provincial government.
Former Board Member Felix V. Ople, son of Ka Blas - as the late statesman was fondly called - spoke on behalf of their family and paid tribute to his father's dedication to serving the public.
Until the very end, he always offered his life on behalf of our people and up to his last breath, he was serving for all of us, he said.
Meanwhile, Carolina, who was the guest of honor, encouraged young Bulakenyos to serve with integrity and to help promote welfare in the country.
Although his heroism is read or heard in the celebrations like this, I encourage young people to be honest and to serve our country as Blas Ople and to help support the welfare of the people, he said.
Ka Blas was born on Feb. 3, 1927 and died on Dec. 14, 2003.
He was a journalist and politician who held several high-ranking positions in the executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government, including Senate President from 1999 to 2000, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 2002 until his death.
Ka Blas also fought during the World War II as a teenager under the Del Pilar Regiment and the Buenavista Regiment of the Bulacan Military Area founded by the late Bulacan Governor Alejo Santos.
Source: Philippines News Agency