MANILA – South Korean Ambassador Han Dong-man on Wednesday thanked anew the Philippines for being the first Asian country to send combat forces to help his beleaguered country in fighting communist invasion.
Han made the remarks in a speech before surviving members and families of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on Thursday.
The Philippines sent 7,240 Filipino troops when war broke out to the Korean Peninsula in 1950, making it the first Asian country to respond to the call of the United Nations (UN) to help South Korea when it was invaded by Chinese communist forces.
Han said South Korea will never forget the goodness of the Filipino people for helping his country at a time it needed most.
He lauded the sacrifices of the Filipino troops during the Korean War that preserved freedom and democracy.
Han said such a magnanimous act has “deepened the strong ties” between South Korea and the Philippines through the years.
During the war, Filipino troops from the 10th, 14th, 19th, 20th and 1st Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs) fought side by with South Koreans and allied forces against Chinese and North Korean troops.
PEFTOK president, 97-year-old retired Maj. Max Young, led Korean War veterans during the ceremony at Diamond Hotel.
Young was a tank commander of the 10th BCT during the war where his unit figured in the great Battle of Yultong.
Other PEFTOK members who displayed their outstanding fighting capability were Capt. Conrado Yap, who was killed in action when he tried to rescue his men trapped in the fighting, and then Lt. Fidel V. Ramos, who led his troops in overrunning Eerie Hill occupied by Chinese forces.
Also during the program, retired Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina, administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), cited the strong friendship between the Philippines and South Korea that continues to flourish through the years. (PNA)