On commemoration of nation's independence, Robredo reminds: Our freedoms are connected

(Philstar.com) - June 12, 2020 - 12:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — As the country commemorates the anniversary of the proclamation of the Philippine Independence, Vice President Leni Robredo reminded that our freedoms are connected.

“In what we are seeing in the world today — in the face of a pandemic, threats against rights and freedoms, in burning passion against oppression and disregard of dignity of an individual or race — it becomes clear to many: Our freedoms are connected,” Robredo said in Filipino in a taped video message.

“True freedom is freedom for others. At this time when there is a threat to freedom of one, we need to resist, because what is being threatened is freedom of all,” she said.

The Philippines is commemorating the 122nd anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence amid a public health emergency, and a looming new law slammed by multiple sectors as prone to abuse and infringing on freedoms. Across the globe, protests against racism are continuing.

The vice president said that to secure personal freedoms, from sickness and danger, it should be done for all.

“If we want our own freedom to progress, we need to make the system fair because the energy of the economy flows through all: From daily wage-earner, to sellers of vegetables at the corner, to big business; from the margins to center,” she said.

“If we want personal freedoms to express our opinions, we need to secure this for all—because the societal structures that may oppress freedom of others may be use for you,” Robredo also said.

She said that this may be the same ideals that moved our forefathers in fighting the colonizers.

“Fair rights, dignity and freedom of an individual to reach his goals. Let us always strive to embody these ideals,” she added.

While Robredo did not particular cite the controversial anti-terrorism bill in her message, she earlier slammed the “appalling” railroading of the proposed measure. “The spaces of abuse are really serious, that’s why we are strongly opposing it,” she said on June 7.

At the University of the Philippines, Diliman, protesters have gathered—despite rain and threats of charges—to oppose the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that is up for President Rodrigo Duterte. — Kristine Joy Patag

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