Unmasking a hero: Ret. Col. Fidencio M. Laplap
Date Posted: April 7, 2009


Col. Fidencio M. Laplap He stands among the great heroes of the city, and yet, ironically, he never received honor from his own people.

Col. Fidencio Laplap's ame does not even ring a bell. To many he is just one of the senior citizens who, once in his life served as an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. But unknown to many, Col. Laplap was not an ordinary officer.

In October 1945, he was awarded and decorated with a Silver Star Medal for Gallantry and Action, it was the third highest military decoration of the U.S. Armed Forces given by the late General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of the Armed Forces of Western Pacific curing World Was II.

In December of the same year, when the 4th Military Area, Infantry Division of Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City celebrated its annual anniversary, Col. Laplap was again awarded with a Purple Medal for "Gallantry and Action". The award is equivalent to the "Silver Star" medal of the U.S. Armed Forces.

According to a published article written by journalist L.M dela Serna, Col. Laplap was among those who fought singlehandedly to redeem the city from the hands of the Japanese Army.

Under his able command, his troop won the battle of Cagayan without any help from outside forces. They stayed in the city from January upto September of the same year.

The Americans arrived in the year September 15, 1945 after which Col. Laplap and his men continued moppong operations toward Bukidnon where the Japanese Forces had retreated from the city.

The operation resulted to the surrender of about 1,000 Japanese soldiers who were then turned over to the Prisoners of War (POW) Command stationed in Cugman.

The herioc acts of Col. Laplap is contained in the Bool Guerilla Padre in Mindanao written by Fr. Edward Haggerty, S.J.

After the war, Col. Laplap continued his military service. He became Adjutant and Farm Administrator of EDCOR Settlement Farm of Armed Forces in Buriasan, Kapatagan, Lanao de Norte. The EDCOR was established pursuant to an Executive Proclamation of President Ramon Magsaysay as an agency responsible for the rehabilitation of surrendered and/or captured members of the Hukbalahaps (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon) from Central Luzon.

Later he was appointed Intellegence Officer of Headquerters IVth Military Area at Camp Evangelista.

Col. Laplap served as the Chief of Police of Cagayan de Oro from July 1972 to December 31, 1975.

He then retired from the government service and became the Security and Assistant Logging Manager of Findlay Milla Timber Company in Kolambugan, Lanao de Norte, Deputy Police Superindent for Administration of the PC/INP Misamis Oriental Command; transfered to Deputy Regional Director for INP Operations and was later assigned as Deputy Regional Directory for INP Administration until he availed of the compulsory retirement from government service on July 1987.

Although retired from the service, the be-meddled officer has not however sat on his laurels. Today, at 79, he still actively participates on matters pertaining to police matters a member of the city's People's Law Enforcement Board (PLEB).

In all this, Col. Laplap has proven that true heroism and nationalism does not fade away with time. It lingers in the hearts of men with or without the acclaim of others.

-- LC Requiroso


Press Release:

  » PIA Press Release: FVR to grace MacArthur Marker inauguration in CdeO
  » The Mindanao Current: MacArthur Marker inaugurated
  » CDeO Official website: MacArthur Marker inaugurated




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