(MENAFN - Gulf Times) As the nation marks its 121st Independence Day, President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday urged Filipinos to aspire for a 'truly independent Philippines.
In his Independence Day message, Duterte called on the public to never forget the lessons of history and honour the sacrifices of the forefathers who fought for the country's freedom.
'I am one with the Filipino people in commemorating the anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence. A hundred and twenty-one years has passed since our forefathers bound their fates, their lives and their fortunes to proclaim the independence of the Filipino people, Duterte 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, he added. The president described the historic occasion marked every June 12 as the '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, Duterte said. 'But the freedom we achieved back then was 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. Duterte is expected to honour the country's heroes who fought for the nation's liberty.
'There must be some special reason, and I'm sure he will say that in his speech, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said, about Duterte's decision to spend Independence Day with government troops.
Duterte has been going around military camps since he assumed office in 2016. He is more likely to talk about the sacrifices of Filipino soldiers in protecting the country from communism and terrorism during his visit.
Last year, the president observed the country's Independence Day celebration in Kawit, Cavite, where hecklers disrupted his speech.