AS the country celebrates its 121st Independence Day, several senators appealed to the Filipinos to continue fighting for their advocacies.
In a text message, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said the nation must always be reminded that the biggest war being waged now is to free the nation and its families from the bondage of illegal drugs.
Senator Joel Villanueva meanwhile said the celebration of Independence Day must be a reminder of the people’s continuing battle against abuse, indifference, and corruption that come in the form of lost opportunities, unsafe work environment being suffered not only by local workers but also overseas workers, jobs being stolen by illegal foreign workers, among others.
“Together, let us unite against these ills and build a nation worthy of the sacrifices of our fallen heroes,” said Villanueva.
Senator Leila de Lima for her part urged the public to voice out their collective disgust against threats to the country’s freedom, such as the influx of illegal Chinese workers and the unabated extrajudicial and summary killings in the country.
She said that while the Philippines has long gained its independence from foreign colonizers several decades ago, Filipinos continue to long for freedom from injustices, social inequality, and poverty.
The senator said the independence of Filipinos under the Duterte administration has remained at the mercy of greedy and incompetent leaders whose goal in office is to serve their self-interest and perpetuate themselves in power.
For his part, Senator Kiko Pangilinan is hoping that the commemoration of Independence Day would serve as a reminder that the ways of freedom are never easy.
“Each day, we are always called upon to take action and keep guard to fight for and protect our territory, decent employment, equitable opportunities, and right to truth. It is upon us to nurture the struggles of our heroes who lit the fire toward an independent nation,” Pangilinan said.
He said the country continues to be faced with external and internal challenges that erode the people’s hopes and threaten their freedom.
Another opposition lawmaker, Senator Risa Hontiveros, said the fight for freedom has yet to end and celebrating it means not taking it for granted.
“The civil liberties we enjoy today are hard-fought victories. The responsibility to protect these liberties, to strengthen our democratic institutions and to fulfill human rights for all rests on our generation today,” Hontiveros said.