By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY — Presidential daughter Mayor Sara Duterte urged the Filipinos to have the courage to help the marginalized and less fortunate in fulfilling the independence that the country gained 121 years ago.
In her speech during the celebration of 121st Philippine Independence Day on Wednesday, Duterte said that unless Filipinos learn to help one another, the freedom that the country gained from occupying foreign forces will be meaningless.
Duterte said Filipinos could show how they value freedom by showing concern or “malasakit” for one another.
“The freedom we gained 121 years ago will be nothing if we do not help each other out today, if we will not work together to build our communities and create a strong nation,” she said.
She said the freedom that Filipinos enjoy today was achieved through “tapang (courage)” and that they should also use the same trait to help those in need, to assist an overburdened colleague, volunteer free time to charitable causes, to aid those who are in the immediate community without expecting anything in return.
“Everywhere we turn, there is always someone who will benefit from any help we can give – children who go to school sans shoes, women who are victims of abuse, the sick and the destitute, the elderly who are left to fend for themselves,” she said.
Duterte also asked Filipinos to help recently elected leaders and rally behind the administration to unify the entire country.
She said independence also means people freeing themselves from the shackles of indifference.
“Let us reach out to our fellow men and women. Let us empower the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. Let us be brave enough to care,” she said.