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Forty-year ordinance implemented: Street renamed after WWII ‘martyr-gov’

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 13,2018 - 10:23 PM

The former Progreso Street in Barangay Ermita is renamed Jose Leyson, the name of a former Cebuano governor, who was killed during the Japanese occupation in World War II.

AFTER forty years since the ordinance was passed, Progreso Street at Barangay Ermita, Cebu City, has finally been renamed to Jose S. Leyson Street in honor of the Cebuano governor who died as a martyr during the Japanese occupation.

Michael Braga, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) administrative officer, said that the ordinance was passed in 1971 but was not enacted for unknown reasons.

This year, the City Council requested the ordinance to be implemented as a part of cultural movement in the streets of Cebu.

“Jose Leyson was a hero and martyr for the Cebuanos during the Japanese occupation, and he deserves to be remembered by the Cebuanos of today,” said Braga.

The remaining children of Leyson said they waited for the last 40 years for the promised street to be renamed in honor of their late father.

“We were on a peak of the mountain when they (the Japanese) found us. They told my father that if he didn’t go down, they would kill us and all the people in the community. So, he went down the mountain and served as the governor of Cebu under the Japanese government. All the while helping the guerilla movement fight the Japanese,” said Fe Leyson-Quan, one of the last living daughters of Leyson.

Fe was 8 years old when her father disappeared and her last memory of him was Leyson telling her mother that the family had to leave Cebu through a boat going to Bohol.

Fe and her siblings never saw their father again and only heard accounts of his execution by the Japanese forces days after.

Leyson is now remembered for his sacrifice during his term as a governor from 1944 to 1945.

He married Lourdes Velez, who was the niece of Estefania Chiong Veloso, the wife of Don Sergio Osmeña. Sr. Leyson and his wife had six children: Jose Jr., Fe, Josefina, Esperanza, Caridad and Gabriel.

J.S. Leyson Street is among the three streets renamed this year with Cebuano heroes’ names included Elorde Street in Barangay Mambaling and C. Borces Street in Barangay San Jose.

Braga said that the renaming of streets with Cebuano heroes’ names is a commemoration of their contributions to the city and province of Cebu and a celebration of the freedom they represented.

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TAGS: Gov, implemented, ordinance, street, WWII, YEAR

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