The Philippine Independence occurred on June 12, 1898, where Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain after the latter was defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
Great stories of heroism and martyrdom had been written in the historical archives that portrayed patriotism in different forms. Today’s educational system includes many stories of persecutions and oppressions by the colonial forces. Filipino writers soon began spreading the ideals of nationalism as early as the 1700s which later included the much bolder contributions of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Soon, radical patriots started to mobilize, the most prominent of which is the Katipunan lead by Andres Bonifacio. Since then, a more violent revolution ensued with the ultimate goal of breaking out from tyranny and pursuing the independence of a nation.
In Koronadal, events of familiar struggles for independence and freedom from a tyrant regime took place almost simultaneously during the opening of the National Land Settlement Administration or the NLSA created under the Commonwealth Act No. 3 which was signed into law by President Manuel L. Quezon on June 19, 1939. This law declared Koronadal and Allah Valley as settlement reserve areas. The NLSA was headed by the General Manager, Ex-Army Gen. Paulino Santos, Sr.
The new struggles came when the Japanese Emperial Forces started its campaign in the Visayas and Mindanao with the bombing raid of Davao on December 8, 1941, launched in coordination with the Japanese air offensive, barely 24 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The 101st Infantry, stationed in the place, offered only slight opposition in the face of heavy artillery and naval fire.
Realizing that armed resistance against the Japanese will be futile to the settlers, Gen. Paulino Santos decided to come in peaceful terms with the invaders. The Japanese commander and General Santos signed an agreement where the “Japanese will not molest or abuse civilians in all districts of Koronadal valley but with the condition that the people will cooperate and never commit any wrong move otherwise they will feel the repressive force of Japanese displeasure.” The latter also continued to function as Director General of the settlement under the direct supervision of the Japanese, serving as the intermediary between the people and the foreign occupants. This move by Gen. Santos is the primary reason for the relative peace in the Koronadal Valley during the foreign interregnum.The local government of the City of Koronadal, under the leadership of the Hon. Fernando Q. Miguel, with special performance by the Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe, the city’s frontline performing group, and in celebration of the Philippine Declaration of Independence , is proud to present, “Never Again: Koronadal during the Japanese Interregnum”. A theatrical recollection of the distant past and attributions to the people who endured pain and shed tears and blood and even gave their lives to realize independence and freedom from tyranny in this part of the Philippines.