Guest Editorial | Independence Day

(We yield this space to the speech given by Mayor Sara Duterte at yesterday’s 120th commemoration of the Philippine Independence Day)

We are gathered here today to mark an event that happened exactly a hundred and twenty years ago, an event that has shaped our nation for the past century and influenced our journey to the future.

This morning we raise our flag not only to salute the freedom fighters for their unfailing courage and undying spirit to fight for their aspiration of a free nation, we also pay tribute to the heroes of the present times, the valiant men and women of our security forces who keep us from living in terror; our hardworking OFWs and breadwinners from across all sectors whose daily sacrifice allows their families freedom from lack of basic needs; our teachers who liberate our children from the shackles of illiteracy, and each Dabawenyo, each Filipino working to make this city, this nation, this world a better place to live in.

A hundred and twenty years since the flag was first hoisted, we have been emancipated from foreign occupation, but we remain prisoners of our own design, of our own biases that keep us as a people divided. It is high time that we liberate ourselves from our own prejudices, for if we are to honor the sacrifices of our heroes, we must set aside our differences to constructively lead this nation forward.
As the government works to enhance our country’s infrastructure, so too must we work to strengthen our moral fiber as a people. I call on each one here to rally behind the various programs of the government, to lend a hand when you can, to believe in each other, to criticize constructively, to be mindful of the consequences of our actions and inactions, and to bring genuine, meaningful pagbabago in our communities in any way we can.

As we celebrate our Independence Day, let us acknowledge that the vision of a sustainable, progressive Philippines can only be achieved if we all do our part to safeguard Philippine sovereignty not just from terrorism but from acts of discrimination, oppression, and internal strife. Let this gift, this right, this independence, be the undying legacy we pass on to the next generation and beyond.
Daghang salamat ug Happy 120th Independence Day sa tanan!

Posted in Opinion