By Anthony Giron
KAWIT, Cavite – Reelected Senator Cynthia A. Villar on Wednesday called on the citizenry to unite and help free the country from poverty.
Speaking at the 121st Independence Day celebration at the Aguinaldo Shrine here, Villar said “it is in unity, self-motivation, resiliency, and goodwill that “we can attain the freedom from poverty.”
Villar, the event’s guest of honor and speaker, led the wreath-laying at the tomb of General Emilio F. Aguinaldo and the flag-raising ceremony at the nearby Shrine veranda.
Last year, it was President Duterte who led the Independence Day rites at the shrine.
The 174-year-old Aguinaldo House/Shrine and grounds were the site of the independence declaration from Spain 121 years ago.
Villar came early for the event that was deemed as the simplest and shortest in years. The event started at 7:50 a.m. and was over in 35 minutes.
Present were provincial and local officials led by Governor Jesus Crispin C. Remulla and Kawit Mayor Angelo Emilio G. Aguinaldo, other Aguinaldo descendants, military and police officials led by Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo and General Edward E. Carranza and Colonel M. Segun, and other luminaries.
The beret-wearing former President Fidel V. Ramos was also in attendance.
In her eight-minute speech, Villar cited the patriotism, bravery, and sacrifice of the country’s forefathers in gaining independence from Spain and the modern-time moves and actions against poverty which continue to prevail in the country.
“We should reminisce the nationalism, travails, and gallantry of our heroes, the battles that they went through in freeing us from foreign invasion. Now that we don’t have war, we still have to move and fight and that is for freedom from poverty,” Villar said.
She called on the youth, which she described as a “powerful force,” to join the fight against poverty. “The freedom from poverty can be attained if we are united, resilient and has the goodwill in helping each other especially those in poverty,” she said.
Interviewed later by the media, Villar: “We will create more bills that will tend to the farmers, the fact is there were bills that have been passed in the past only it was not being implemented well, we have to act on it.”
Villar also clarified that she has no intention of becoming Senate president. “My concern is only the chairmanship of committees (in the Senate) for my party mates (referring to Nacionalista Party mates), nothing more. Congress should be united, I want my colleagues (in the Senate) to move on and be united so that we can do what is best for the country and the people,” the 68-year-old legislator said.
Meanwhile, the Cavite Police Provincial Office (PPO) reported that at least 10 members of a militant group were arrested for chanting anti-government slogans outside the shrine area.
The militant action did not disrupt the activities at the Shrine.
The militant members were brought to the Kawit police station.
Security was tight because of a rally of the Bagong Alayansang Makabayan and other groups on a road leading to the shrine.