Vice President Leni Robredo led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony in celebration of the 121st Philippine Independence Day, held at the Rizal Monument in Manila on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. VP Leni was joined by outgoing Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito-Estrada and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)'s vice chief of staff Lt. Gen. Salvador Mison. (
Office of the Vice President/released
On Independence Day, Duterte asks Filipinos to realize a 'truly independent Philippines'
( - June 12, 2019 - 10:10am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Filipino people to commit to building a "truly independent Philippines" as the country marks the 121st year of its independence.

In his message, Duterte recalled the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes and asked the Filipino people to build on their contributions and realize their dream for our country.

“The tree of liberty blossomed on these lands because it was nourished by the sweat and blood of our patriots, heroes and martyrs,” Duterte said.

“Let us commit ourselves to ensure that their sacrifices have not been in vain and that their dream of a truly independent Philippines—whose people live freely in a secure, stable and prosperous society—will be achieved within our lifetimes,” he added.

Robredo: We bear the responsibility to build a better society

Vice President Leni Robredo, in her Independence Day message, noted the pivotal moment when the Filipino people “chose to follow our fate.”

“In pushing for this interest, we took on the responsibility to create a society that is free, just and humane. A society where every Filipino has an opportunity to live in prosperity and peace,” she said in Filipino.

Robredo led the Independence Day ceremonies at the Luneta Park, early Wednesday morning.

“To this day, each of us bears this responsibility. This is what those who came before us fought for, and this is the duty we accept: To ensure that we will live in a Philippines where each of our countrymen can elevate themselves,” Robredo added.  

The vice president also reminded Filipinos that our commemoration of Philippine Independence could show our strength as a united people.

“May we draw strength from this day to face the challenges our nation has. May this event invoke in us a deep love for our country, and remind each of us of what we can do with helping each other,” she added.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, for his part, said that the commemoration of our independence is a reminder that the winning of our country’s freedom was fraught with challenges.

“It is upon us to nurture the struggles of our heroes who lit the fire toward an independent nation. We should plant, plant, plant—food, trees and seeds of love of country for the survival of our people, our future and our planet,” he added. — Kristine Joy Patag

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