June 23, 2018, 6:01 am
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On Independence Day

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to be inspired by the country’s heroes and defend “cherished democratic ideals. “Through the patriotic fervor shown by our forefathers, we have freed ourselves from colonial subjugation and proved to the world that we stand united as the pioneer of republican democracy in Asia.”

The President also called on loyal Filipinos to seek inspiration from their forefathers to effect “meaningful and lasting change in our communities as we collectively battle the social ills of corruption, illegal drugs and criminality that impede our progress as a nation....

“By cherishing the sovereignty that is borne out of the sweat and blood of our heroes, we stand firm and unwavering in our conviction to create a brighter and better future for all Filipinos – regardless of their status in life.” 

Vice President Leni Robredo said that like the country’s heroes in history, Filipinos must continue fighting threats to their freedom in the present day. In the face of all these, the Filipino will not be daunted. Instead, the Filipino I know will bravely stand up for our freedom. There is the universal hope for a peaceful and progressive Philippines, where every Filipino may live loyal to the country and live with dignity. “I trust that we have the power to uplift our countrymen from poverty, the courage to stand up for our rights, and the capability to defend our country’s freedom from various threats.

“As we celebrate independence on this day, may we have renewed strength to preserve the spirit that our heroes fought for – aspiring for and upholding a country that truly upholds the freedom of every Filipino. Happy Independence Day to all!”

In commemoration of the Philippines’ 120th Independence Day, Sen. Loren Legarda urged Filipinos to be open to all kinds of change, but to never forget the importance of protecting and preserving our culture and identity as Filipinos.

“I urge Filipinos all over the globe to embrace change. It is inevitable and it is part of growth and development, both as individuals and as a country. Move forward, take in all the new things that this rapidly changing world has to offer.

“But in the midst all of these changes and developments, always make sure that you will never lose your mark and identity because it is what makes you Filipino. It is what has brought you to where you are today,”

An advocate for the preservation of culture and heritage, she said that change and development are components of the society that are meant to advance, but not to disregard what has been achieved. “What is also important is to make sure that changes or reforms — whether economic, political, social, environmental, among others — do not become an excuse to place other people or another sector at a disadvantage or be neglected.

“Developmental progress, economic growth, and technological advancement among others are forces of the society that are meant to upgrade our welfare and our being, but of being a Filipino,” Legarda said. Filipinos, in striving to achieve progress and development, should ensure that they are taking a path where no one is taken advantage of and where each and everyone benefits equally.

“Our past is a reflection of ourselves. Our heritage gives us an understanding of our identity and helps us unite as Filipinos. In a globalized world, where foreign influence in our daily lives is quite evident and strong, let us not let our culture, arts, and living traditions be just another part of our history. Instead, let all these boost our pride in being Filipino,” Legarda said.


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