PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday asked Filipinos to honor the sacrifices of the nation’s heroes by realizing their dream of a “truly independent Philippines.”
In his message for the 121st anniversary of Philippine independence, the President said the proclamation marking the Filipinos’ liberation from Spanish colonial rule was the “most significant event in our country’s history.”
“Not only did we put an end to more than three centuries of subservience but we also resolved to determine the course of our own destiny as a nation,” he said.
Duterte reminded the public that the country’s freedom was achieved “not without cost.”
“The tree of liberty blossomed on these lands because it was nourished by the sweat and blood of our patriots, heroes and martyrs,” he said.
“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,” the President added.
Duterte was set Wednesday to attend the Independence Day celebration at the 6th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
Philippine independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 at the house of the country’s first president, General Emilio Aguinaldo, in Kawit, Cavite.
The mansion, originally built out of limestone and hardwood in 1849 to replace the nipa-and-thatch that the Aguinaldos had built on the lot, was donated to the Philippine government by the former president in 1963, a year before he passed away.
The mansion, now called Aguinaldo Shrine, is maintained by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as a museum.