By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday reminded Filipinos of their responsibility to defend their freedom as the country celebrated its 121st Independence Day.
“Sa paggunita natin ngayon ng ating kasarinlan, sana ay balikan natin kung paano, bilang isang lahi, ay pinili nating sundin ang sarili nating landas, magtayo ng sarili nating gobyerno, at magtatag ng sariling estado,” she said in her 2019 Independence Day message. (In today’s commemoration of our independence, I hope we remember how we, as a nation, chose to follow our own path to establish our own government and state.)
“Sa pagtutulak ng interes na ito, inako natin ang responsibilidad na gumawa ng isang lipunang malaya, makatarungan, at makatao. Isang lipunan kung saan ang bawat Pilipino ay may oportunidad na mabuhay nang sagana at mapayapa,” Robredo added. (In pushing for this interest, we assumed the responsibility to make a free, just and humane society. A society wherein every Filipino has the opportunity to live in properity and peacefully.)
The Vice President honored the Philippine flag and national hero Jose Rizal during the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at the 121st Independence Day celebration at Luneta Park in Manila.
Robredo was accompanied by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and other ranking government officials.
On Independence Day, the country’s second highest official called on the public to never forget the lessons of history and sacrifices of Filipino heroes who fought for the country’s freedom.
“Kinikilala natin ngayon ang mga sakripisyong ginawa ng magigiting na bayani ng ating kasaysayan, na nagbigay-daan para sa mga kalayaang tinatamasa at iniingatan natin ngayon,” Robredo said. (We recognize today the sacrifices made by the heroes of our history, which led to the freedom that we now enjoy and protect.)
“At hanggang sa araw na ito, nakaatang ang responsibilidad na ito sa bawat isa sa atin. Ito ang pinaglaban ng mga nauna sa atin, at ito na rin ang tungkuling iniiwan sa atin upang gampanan,” she added. (And up to this day, each one of us carries this responsibility. Our forefathers fought for our freedom and it’s also the duty they left us to fulfill.)
Robredo said the Filipinos should draw strength from the commemoration of Independence Day in the hopes that this would also make them remember their love for the country.
“Paghugutan sana natin ng lakas ang araw na ito upang harapin ang mga hamon na hinaharap ng bansa (I hope we draw strength from this day to face the challenges the country is facing),” she said.
“Nawa’y pukawin ng pagdiriwang na ito ang isang malalim na pagmamahal para sa bayan, at maging paalala sa bawat isa ng kung ano ang kaya nating marating sa ating pagbabayanihan,” she added. (May this celebration wake up our deep love for the country and serve as a reminder of what we can achieve as a nation.)