Duterte's Independence Day message: Preserve Philippine sovereignty
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the Filipinos to preserve the country's sovereignty as the nation celebrates its 119th anniversary of proclamation of Philippine Independence on Monday.
In his Independence Day message, the Chief Executive cited how thousands of Filipinos laid down their lives so that the next generations may live with dignity and rights befitting a free nation.
"The journey to freedom was a long and arduous one - which our countrymen paid with blood, sweat and the ultimate act of selfless sacrifice," he said.
Despite the insurmountable hardships, Duterte noted that the patriotism and undaunted spirit of the Filipino lead to the nation's triumph against the shackles of slavery and abuse.
When the Philippines declared independence from the Spanish colonizers over a century ago, he said the Filipinos showed the colonizers and the rest of the world what Filipinos are made of.
"Let us take inspiration from our forebears who valiantly fought and offered their lives so that we may have the liberties that we enjoy today," he said.
"Let us pay homage to their heroism by preserving our sovereignty and performing our own civic rights and responsibilities. After all, it is our inherent duty as citizens to ensure that the Philippines fulfills its destiny as a great and prosperous nation," Duterte added.
The President is set to lead the flag raising ceremony at Rizal Park in Manila on Monday as part of the Independence Day celebration.
But he cancelled the traditional Independence Day vin d'honneur for the members of the diplomatic corps in Malacanang because he has to attend to matters pertaining Mindanao, according to his spokesman. Celerina Monte/DMS