(JUNE 12, 2019) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged Filipinos to ensure a “truly independent Philippines” as the country commemorates the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence.
“[The] freedom we achieved back then was not without cost The tree of liberty blossomed on these lands because it was nourished by the sweat and blood of our patriots, hero, and martyrs,” he wrote in his message.
Duterte called on the public to honor and value the sacrifices of their forefathers.
“Let us commit ourselves to ensure that their sacrifices have not been in vain and that their dream of a truly independent Philippines–whose people live freely in a secure, stable and prosperous society–will be achieved within our lifetimes,” he said.
The president is set to lead the Independence Day celebration at he 6th Infantry Batallion Headquarters in Lanao del Sur.
For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to defend and preserve the sovereignty fought for by the country’s national heroes.
“Sana ay balikan natin kung paano, bilang isang lahi, ay pinili nating sundin ang sarili nating landas, magtayo ng sarili nating gobyerno, at magtatag ng sariling estado,” she said in her Independence Day message.
“Sa pagtutulak ng interes na ito, inako natin ang responsibilidad na gumawa ng isang lipunang malaya, makatarungan, at makatao.”
Joined by outgoing Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Robredo led the 121st Independence Day rites at the Rizal Park earlier today. She also headed the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies.
Other key officials who led the simultaneous Independence Day ceremonies were House speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Barasoain Church and Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin at the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Senator-elect Francis Tolentino, meanwhile, spearheaded the rites at the city’s Rizal Park.