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Sereno in favor of declaring January 23 a national holiday

Camille Diola - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno believes government should declare January 23 or the First Philippine Republic Day a national holiday.

Echoing the call of Bulacan local officials, Sereno said in a speech Thursday morning that Filipinos commemorate the important historical event held in Malolos similar to the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day every June 12.

On January 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was declared from the patio of the Barasoain Church where General Emilio Aguinaldo was proclaimed the first president of the country.

Sereno, who graced the local ceremony at the historic church, expressed sorrow for the lack of recognition for the special date that marked a milestone in the Philippines' quest for freedom.

She said the Malolos Republic was established hand-in-hand with the publication of the Malolos Constitution, "the very soul and spirit of democracy and freedom" which present Filipinos enjoy.

The proposal has long been advocated by Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad.

"This is the day when democracy was totally attained. One democracy with own government and Constitution. Due to this, we are recognized as citizens of the Republic of the Philippines," Natividad said in a state news report.

BARASOAIN CHURCH BULACAN GOVERNOR WILHELMINO SY-ALVARADO AND MALOLOS CITY MAYOR CHRISTIAN NATIVIDAD FIRST PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC FIRST PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC DAY GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO MALOLOS CONSTITUTION MALOLOS REPUBLIC ON JANUARY PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
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