On Independence Day, Duterte highlights 'shared narrative' and healthy discourse

On Independence Day, Duterte highlights 'shared narrative' and healthy discourse
Children from Baseco compound in Manila run with a Philippine flag, representing proud independence and self-determination for the country. Philippines is celebrating the 123rd Independence Day on June 12, 2021.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines —  In separate statements on Independence Day, President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo reminded Filipinos to honor the country’s history and use it as a guide in forging the nation’s future.

The Philippines on Sunday marked the 124th anniversary of the declaration of independence from Spain in 1898. The Philippines later became a US colony before occupation by Japan during World War II. The US recognized Philippine independence in 1946.

President Duterte calls for ‘meaningful discourse,’ unity

In his message, Duterte highlighted the path it took for the country to achieve the freedoms it enjoys today, noting that the country’s forefathers “have walked the mile and made us pioneers of republican democracy in Asia.” 

The president, whose term ends at noon on June 30, also said the country’s “shared narrative” is the basis for the values each Filipino lives by. However, he reminded the public that the country has as much to learn from its present and emphasized the need to engage in “meaningful” discussions.

“Even in exercising our most cherished freedoms, our differences can move us to engage in healthy yet meaningful discourse without sowing hatred and division, as well as push our country towards the right direction,” Duterte said. 

VP Leni: ‘Assert the truths of our history’

Robredo also commemorated the struggles the Filipino people had the endure, saying these are reminders that the hard-fought freedom was achieved with perseverance and courage. 

She said there is a lot the public can do as ordinary citizens to be part of continuous nation-building, such as being helpful to those in need, standing for what is right and true, and asserting “the truths of our history.” 

"Stand firm on a story that can never be changed, stolen, erased—a story that binds us according to a collective past, and gives us the strength to march towards a collective future," Robredo said. — with reports from Xave Gregorio and The STAR / Alexis Romero




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