“Kagitingan at Pagmamahal sa Pilipinas Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago”

(We take the liberty of printing the speech of Mayor Sara Z. Duterte during the 76th Araw ng Kagitingan commemoration on April 9, 2018 at the Dambana ng mga Bayani.)

Philippine history is filled with stories of courage and defiance, borne out of love for family, for country and for freedom. Throughout the years, Filipinos have refused to submit without a fight – displaying both the courage to fight against all odds and strong defiance against oppressive rule.

Today we gather to commemorate the Fall of Bataan and salute not only those present at that historic battle but all the soldiers and civilians across the country who put their lives on the line in the wars throughout our nation’s history. And we are honored and humbled to be joined by some of them this morning.

To our veterans, you are a source of inspiration to all of us. The difficulties we face today pale in comparison to what you had to endure, and your bravery and sacrifice teach us that we must be ready to make hard decisions and stand up for things that are worth fighting for. Daghang salamat.

To all of us here enjoying our freedoms because of what our veterans have done, the challenge is to live our lives worthy of their sacrifices and to remain vigilant, for in this time of relative peace, the call to valor remains. Let us look out for each other, let us condemn acts of terrorism by those who wish to undermine the peace and progress in our city, let us support the efforts of our security forces and all those who work day and night to uphold the law, maintain order, and keep us safe.

It is the opportune time as well to recognize the bravery and resiliency of Filipinos for confronting everyday struggles, withstanding calamities, combating poverty, resisting the life of crime and drugs, and battling corruption.

Each one of us can do our share to help the nation change for the better. Let us inspire one another to be courageous, to take a stand on matters of great importance, and to create genuine and positive change in our communities. Starting this Araw ng Kagitingan, let us strive to be magiting for our veterans, for our families, for our Philippines.

Posted in Opinion