Marcos appeals for ''unity and solidarity'' in Independence Day speech
By Robina Asido
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appealed for "unity and solidarity" as he led the 125th anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence Day at the Quirino Grandstand on Monday morning.
After he led the wreath laying and flag raising ceremonies in front of the monument of Jose Rizal in Luneta Park, Marcos delivered his Independence day speech which was done by a president for the first time after more than a decade at the Quirino Grandstand.
It can be recalled that the last president who delivered his speech at the Quirino Grandstand during the celebration of Independence day was the late President Benigno Aquino III.
As the government laid down the Philippine development plan for the next six years, Marcos assured that his administration will implement it with vigor and consistency.
"I have said it before. I shall say it once more. I will be with you on that long and uphill road to achieve our dream of freedom, freedom from hunger, freedom from neglect, freedom from fear, but as integral actors in our democracy, we are all involved in this collective pursuit of real freedoms," he said.
"That duty rests with all of us. So once again, I appeal for unity and solidarity in our efforts to perfect our hard fought freedom and achieve genuine national progress. Heeding this call will indispensably require patriotism, and a strong sense of community, diligence, industry and responsibility from all our citizens," he added.
As he stressed the significant developments that have happened in the country since the Philippine Independence was proclaimed by the country's first President Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898, Marcos said that the "heroes of our liberation would be proud to know that we have thrown off the “ominous yoke of domination”; never again to be subservient to any external force that directs or determines our destiny."
"We have evolved into a healthy and vibrant Republic, with a stable government, supported by growing institutions and mechanisms, all of whose mandate and authority ultimately emanate from and are owed to the Filipino people. Then as now, it remains an unassailable, self- evident principle that sovereignty resides in our people," he said.
"Ours is a government peopled by men and women of laws. We have a legal framework firmly in place that can enforce public order and bring justice which operates within a judiciary designed as an independent and impartial tribunal," he added.
Marcos noted that "in spite of these evolutionary developments which are the hallmarks of a free, independent, and democratic state, we still have a long, daunting journey ahead to fulfill the dreams of our forefathers."
"It is said that there are manifold 'unfreedoms' prevailing in society that stand in the way of human development. These are the corrosive, political, and social conditions that make the nation not as free as we would like to profess and to believe, such as: poverty; inadequate economic opportunities; disabling rather than enabling living conditions; inequality and apathy," he said
Marcos stressed that the Philippine "independence was not the end, but merely the principal means to achieve full development of the Filipino."
"Our success and the pursuit of happiness are not just the ultimate goals of our independence; these are to be seen as the expanded notions of human freedom."
"We will strive to remove the unfreedoms. We will aim to feed the hungry, free the bound, and banish poverty. These are primordial moral and existential imperatives that are laid upon your Government. Through wise policies, we will foster a highly conducive and enabling environment in which the exercise of true human compassion shall allow for the full development of the Filipino."
A parade was held at the grandstand, the first time in 18 years.
Philippine Independence Day was celebrated every July 4 from 1946 to 1961. However, it was moved to June 12 by virtue of Proclamation No. 28, series of 1962, of President Diosdado Macapagal.
The celebration of Independence Day every July 12 was started after the Congress passed Republic Act 4166 in 1964. DMS