#WalangPasok – May 7 2024 declared a holiday in Pampanga

#WalangPasok – May 7 2024 declared a holiday in Pampanga

The nation will be commemorating the 82nd death anniversary of Jose Abad Santos, former Supreme Court Chief Justice and World War II hero, this coming May 7, Tuesday.

It is a special non-working day in Pampanga and in Angeles City as stipulated in Republic Act (RA) 8815, which was became law in 2000 during the term of then-President Joseph Estrada.

A native of San Fernando, Pampanga, Abad Santos served as the Philippines’ Chief Justice from December 1941 until his execution in May 1942 – covering the first five months of the war. Before that, Abad-Santos served as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Early in the Japanese occupation, then-President Manuel Quezon asked Abad Santos to come with him together with other high-ranking government officials in seeking refuge in Australia but he declined it. Abad-Santos was instead appointed as the de facto leader of civil government in areas not yet occupied by Japanese forces, effectively making him acting president.

He was performing this duty when he and his son Pepito was arrested by Japanese forces in Cebu City on April 1942. He was falsely accused of ordering the destruction of essential infrastructures in the city to render them unusable for the invaders. When told that he can be a free man if he collaborates with the Japanese, he rejected the offer.

Shortly before his execution in Malabang, Lanao, Abad-Santos told his son: “Do not cry, Pepito. Show these people that you are brave. It is a rare opportunity for me to die for our country. Not everybody is given that chance.”

It must be noted though that several biographical accounts, including the one posted in the government’s Official Gazette, indicate that Abad Santos’ execution actually took place May 2, 1942 and not May 7, 1942. However, RA 8815 has not been amended.

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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