CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Mayor Edwin Santiago has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Pampanga First Engineering District to have the planned monument of the late Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos placed in a better location and not an island along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa) here.
Santiago told SunStar Pampanga on Tuesday that he has asked the DPWH not to continue with the initial plan.
He said that monuments should comply with requirements by government agencies in charge with historical monuments.
He added that the monument should instead be placed in a bigger area to give prominence to the said edifice.
The monument in concern is a planned base-mounted life-sized statue of the late martyr Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos.
It could be remembered that DPWH Pampanga First Engineering District chief Engr. William Bustos said that the monument of Abad Santos was initially planned in front of the former Paskuhan Village along Pampanga’s “Ayala Avenue.”
Bustos said the idea of setting up the monument came from Public Works Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, a native of Candaba town. Yabut and his brother, former provincial Board Member Ric Yabut, went to Lanao early this year to inspect the site where Abad Santos was supposedly buried after his execution in efforts to exhume the hero's remains.
Bustos said DPWH Regional Director Antonio Molano directed the district office to facilitate the installation of the monument for it to be unveiled to the public on May 5. Plans for the unveiling have already been cancelled.
Asked for comment, Bustos said that the DPWH has listened to the concern of the city mayor and they are now scouting for a place that matches the request of the city mayor.
The DPWH is looking at the space near the North Luzon Expressway to accommodate the said structure, he added.
Bustos has also asked the help of Governor Lilia Pineda for the said project.
"This monument will constantly remind us about the heroism of Abad Santos and also educate the public why the former Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo road was renamed Jasa," Bustos said.
As for the base, the DPWH plans to turn it into a post for a welcome signage for the province.
Abad Santos was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during World War II, when Japanese invaders were advancing in Philippine soil. He was appointed acting president when then President Manuel L. Quezon left for the United States. Abad Santos was eventually arrested by the Japanese and was subsequently executed in Malabang, Lanao when he refused to swear allegiance to the foreign invaders.
The Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Highway was later renamed Jose Abad Santos Avenue in honor of the late hero.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on May 04, 2017.
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