REPS. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd district, Cagayan de Oro) and Maximo Rodriguez of Abante Mindanao has filed House Bill No. 4735 which seeks to rename Camp Edilberto Evangelista, the base of Philipine Army’s 4th Infantry Division, into Camp Jose Montalvan, a native Kagay-anon who fought valiantly against the Japanese invaders.
Camp Edilberto Evangelista, located in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, is the largest military camp in Mindanao with an area of 129 hectares. Its external jurisdiction covers the Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.
The camp was named after Don Edilberto Evangelista, a Manilan who was a civil engineer who graduated from the University of Ghent in Belgium. He put his services at the disposal of the insurrection and directed all the entrenchment and defense works which would give the Spanish forces so much trouble and Evangelista, who was conducting the defense of the Sapote River, died fighting heroically on the 17th February 1897.
In their joint resolution, the two congressmen said that while there is no questioning the bravery and the contributions of Evangelista, it is more proper if a military camp located in Cagayan de Oro be named after a local Kagay-anon who also fought for our country against foreign invaders.
Jose Manuel Corrales Montalvan was born on March 17, 1903, in Cagayan de Oro. He was a Commissioned First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1928 and trained with the U.S. Army Extension Courses.
He was also an instructor in Military Science & Tactics in Ateneo de Cagayan, from 1933 to 1937. He resigned from the U.S. Army Reserve and was commissioned First Lieutenant, Infantry Reserve, Philippine Army on July 16, 1936 and was called to active duty training at Camp Murphy Training School for Reserve Officers (Infantry), assigned Company Commander of the training officers company, and graduated No. 5 with a general average of 90.7% in 1938.
Montalban was further called to an extended tour of active duty and assigned as Cadre Commander of the 2nd Misamis Oriental (Machine Gun) Cadre at Camp Bulua (Now Camp Evangelista), Cagayan de Oro from January 1, 1939 to Dec. 31, 1939.
He was appointed Camp Commander and Mobilization Center Officer from January 1, 1940 up to outbreak of World War II.
He was taken POW by the Japanese and detained at the campus of Ateneo de Cagayan and when he escaped from the camp he proceeded to Misamis Occidental to join the Guerrilla Movement of Col. Wendel Fertig. He is a holder of the following awards and decorations: Philippine Defense Medal; American Defense Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Philippine Republic Unit Citation Badge; and U.S. Distinguished Unit Badge.
“It is readily apparent that Major Montalvan is a war hero who has fought against the Japanese in order to ensure that the Philippines retain its independence. He gave up his best years in his life to fight for our country. It is therefore appropriate that he be honored by renaming Camp Evangelista into Camp Jose Montalvan, in honor of a Kagay-anon who risked his life for our country,” the Rodriguezes said.