SEVENTY-four years after the end of World War 2, labor leader Democrito Mendoza’s heroism in the fight against the Japanese Empire was recognized by the United States Government.
Mendoza was among the 40 Filipino war veterans who were conferred with the US Congressional Gold Medal on Aug. 29, 2019
The recognition, led by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, was held at the BTW World War 2 Museum n Veterans Center in Taguig City. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States.
Mendoza’s family received the award, including the United States flag that had been flown at half-mast at the US Congress in Washington, D.C.
Mendoza had a rank of first lieutenant when he saw action against the Japanese Imperial Forces.
The associated Labor Union founder, who was also a lawyer, died in 2016 at age 92. He was the patriarch of the Menca Development Corp.
The recognition elated Mendoza’s family who hails from Liloan, a town in northern Cebu. The Mendoza clan and Menca Development Corp. expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the persons, including Gerry Alfafara, who helped in getting the recognition for their patriarch, who was fondly called kito.
“The family is really very happy,” said Marily Mendoza-Lantz, the awardee’s daughter. “We appreciate the highest honor, it is really a great honor.”
Menca Development Corp. owns the Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Liloan, Estaca Bay Gardens Conference Resort in Compostela and Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary in Lapu-Lapu City.