AS THE country celebrates the 121st Independence Day, President Rodrigo Duterte called on the Filipino people to ensure that the Philippines would remain "independent in our lifetimes”.
In his message Wednesday, June 12, 2019, as he joined the nation in commemorating the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence from Spanish colonization, the Chief Executive hailed the gallant efforts of the forefathers to fight for the country's independence.
Duterte expressed hope that the Philippines would continue to be a place where the Filipino people can "live freely."
"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," the President 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 country's independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898 at the ancestral house of the first Philippine president, Emilio Aguinaldo, in Kawit, Cavite.
The President wished the country a "solemn and meaningful observance" of the Philippines's independence.
"It 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," 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 added.
Duterte is scheduled to fly to Lanao del Sur to celebrate the 121st Independence Day Wednesday afternoon.
Last year, the President was greeted by hecklers, who called him "fascist" and sought his ouster, when he led the celebration of the 120th Independence Day in Kawi, Cavite. (SunStar Philippines)