Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sept. 2 special non-working day in Albay for General Simeon A. Ola’s 151st birth anniversary
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA) —- President Rodrigo Duterte has issued Proclamation 54 declaring Friday, September 2, as a special non-working day in Albay so the province could mark the 151st birth anniversary of General Simeon A. Ola, the last revolutionary general to surrender to the American forces during the Philippine-American War.

Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea signed the proclamation dated August 26 that honors Ola’s heroism during the Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century.

The regional police command located in this city, which has been named Camp Simeon Ola after the Albay hero, built his statue inside the camp to serve as a continuing reminder to the present generation of Albayanos of the hero's life.

According to Mandirigma.org, website of Kapisanang Mandirigma, a research organization dedicated to cultural research, Albay’s revolutionary hero was born in Guinobatan, Albay to Vicente Ola and Apolonia Arboleda.

The cultural research group said Simeon Ola enrolled at the Mater Salutis College Seminary in Daraga town in Albay where he studied Philosophy. He was, however, unable to complete the course.

Ola joined the local branch of the Katipunan and later became its leader. He was promoted to the rank of captain after the battle of Camalig in Albay in 1898. After a daring ambush mission that led to the capture of three Americans, Ola was again promoted to the rank of major.

The Albay hero led subsequent bold attacks in the towns of Oas, Ligao and Jovellar. He later surrendered on the condition that his men would be granted amnesty. Ola was put on trial and proven guilty of sedition before being meted a 30-year prison term in November 1903.

On Oct. 8, 1904, he was granted executive clemency by the American government. Ola then returned to his birthplace and in later years served in the municipal government.

Mandirigma.org said Ola entered politics in 1910 and won as town mayor of Guinobatan, which he served until 1913. He was re-elected to the same position in 1916 and served the term until 1919.

Simeon Ola died on Feb. 14, 1952 at the age of 86 and was interred at the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Guinobatan.(PNA) LAP/GVR/CBD