- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - The mayor of the hometown of Philippine revolution hero Apolinario Mabini says he looks forward to the day when a statue of Mabini will be unveiled in a Guam village.

Speaking Tuesday during the signing of an agreement to strengthen friendship and cooperation between Tanauan City in the Philippines and Asan in Guam, Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili said he was sad that the statue of Mabini was not unveiled Monday in Asan due to protests from residents, Pacific Daily News (https://bit.ly/1A4ZS4v ) reported.

The covering draped over the statue reminds him of a shroud, he said.

“It’s a little bit sad seeing our national hero who is from Tanauan City, the city where I, that I represent - a national hero … is wrapped like a corpse,” he said during the ceremony at the Asan-Maina community center.

Mabini was exiled to Guam from 1901 to 1903. A life-size concrete monument of Mabini was to be unveiled near the community center.

However, the unveiling was delayed after protesters said they were not informed of the project. They also questioned whether Mabini has a strong connection to the village.

Halili said he’s hopeful protesters will remove their objections. He would be happy to visit Guam again for another ceremony, he said.

The signed “Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation” sets a goal of strengthening friendship and cooperation between the two local governments through exchanges in culture, education and sports and encourages economic development and tourism, according to the Philippine consul general’s office.

The intention for the statue remains, the consul general on Guam said in a statement.

“We stand by our intention for this project, which is for the Mabini statue to be the symbol of the friendship and cooperation that we seek to establish between the village of Asan and the city of Tanauan,” said Consul General Marciano de Borja.

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Information from: Pacific Daily News: https://www.guampdn.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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