FILIPINOS can honor the sacrifices and legacies of past heroes by uniting under good governance and bringing the nation to its development goals, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Friday as the country celebrates Independence Day.

“One hundred seventeen years ago, our country gained its independence. Our gratitude to our forefathers – our heroes – who gave their lives to make this possible, has no bounds,” Drilon said in Iloilo before government officials and guests led by President Benigno Aquino III.

“However, the best way to honor their legacy is to unite and bring our beloved country to its development goals on the wings of good governance,” he added, noting that good governance is the key to a successful and progressive nation.

[READ: Pres. Aquino's Independence Day speech]

Drilon said Flipinos need to unite and put their collective interest before individual interest in order to create change.

Although many Filipinos are confronted with struggles, Senator Nancy Binay encouraged everyone to continue to persevere, be confident of their will and resolve to face the odds and prevail over adversity.

“Today, we face many challenges that threaten to divide our nation and polarize our citizens. I am optimistic that despite the hardships, we Filipinos remain united behind our flag and our Constitution and we will not let the heroic deeds of generations before go to waste and tear us apart," Binay said in a statement.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Filipinos should revive the bravery and resoluteness of the past heroes who revolted and died for the sake of country's freedom.

Marcos added that poverty, violence, ignorance, and attrition should be unlaced in the country.

Senator Grace Poe, in her speech in San Juan City, said she hoped that modern Filipinos would emulate what the past heroes have done in liberating the country from foreign rule. (Sunnex)