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Cebu News

LGUs mark ‘Independence Day’ from COVID-19

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas considered this year’s Independence Day as a special one as the city and the rest of the country are finally feeling the freedom from COVID-19, thanks to the medical frontliners who sacrificed their lives for others.

“Today we celebrate our Independence Day. This is a special day for our country because it reminds us of how we were able to achieve our freedom,” Gullas wrote in a Facebook post, even as he was out of the country for a quick vacation in Singapore.

Gullas said the country has achieved freedom, thanks to the known and unsung heroes.

“The freedom we have today is because of the dedication and sacrifice of those who died and fought for our independence years ago. This year's Independence Day is truly a special one because we are also close to finally escaping our two-year battle with COVID-19,” he said.

For over two years, new heroes came to fight for independence against Covid-19, according to Gullas.

“Our medical frontliners dedicated their lives to ensure we can move on and move forward from COVID. We owe our lives to our frontliners. If not for them, we will not be here,” Gullas said.

As a Covid survivor himself, Gullas said, he is very thankful to the medical frontliners for their tireless efforts to help the patients.

“As a former Covid-19 patient myself, dako gyud akong pasalamat aning atong mga medical frontliners. Saksi gyud ko sa ilang pagpaningkamot ug ilang kahago in fighting this invisible enemy. That is why today we celebrate all our heroes. We celebrate the heroes  who fought for independence in the past, but also the heroes who are currently fighting for our independence in the present,” he said.

“Salamat sa tanan na ni hatag nato ug kadaugan ug independence from the trials and enemies of the past and the present,” he added.

Other Celebrations

In Mandaue City, officials headed by Mayor Jonas Cortes led the 124th Independence Day celebration by parading old Philippine flags on the city streets. Department heads also offered flowers in front of the Mandaue City Hall.

Cortes, in his speech, remembered and thanked the heroic deeds of our ancestors who fought for the freedom and independence from foreign rule.

He also urged Mandauehanons to do heroic deeds for the betterment of the community.

Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado, for his part, said that this year’s Independence Day commemoration theme -- “Kalayaan 2022: Pagsulong sa hamon ng panibagong  bukas” -- inspires the people to rise continually as a new beginning is welcomed.

“Unlike our national heroes who have fought colonizers by means of sword and pen, our generation’s battle for freedom lies within the parameters of defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news and false information, social justice, and poverty among others,” said Alegado during the celebration.

Alegado also urged his constituents to honor the legacy of our heroes through small acts of heroism, especially during this difficult time when we are facing a global crisis.

“As we commemorate this Independence Day, let us honor our modern day heroes-our healthcare workers, law enforcement officers and other frontliners who have been instrumental in our fight against COViD-19 pandemic,” Alegado added.

‘Oppression’

Meanwhile, BAYAN-Central Visayas vowed to “eternally condemn the fascist US-China-Duterte regime for the continued oppression of the Filipino people and the deprivation of our freedom through the different anti-people policies implemented over the last six years.”

In a statement, BAYAN-Central Visayas said that the Filipino people continue to be enslaved by neoliberal policies that have worsened under the Duterte regime.

“Workers and ordinary citizens suffer from these policies this in the form of low wages, contractualization, unsafe working conditions, and high oil prices, among others,” it said.

It added that the Filipino people are greatly struggling with high prices of goods and services due to the privatization of the oil industry as implemented by the Oil Deregulation Law of 1998.

The prices of basic needs, such as rice, meat, and vegetables, have also increased because of the Rice Liberalization Law and the entry of the Philippines into the World Trade Organization with the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT), which hastens and amplifies the export-oriented, import-dependent nature of our economy.

“The Labor Export Policy has allowed our skilled workers to leave the country only to be left behind and placed in vulnerable conditions that do not protect them or their families,” it said.

It added that the people who are fighting for genuine liberation and democracy are red-tagged, illegally arrested, charged with trumped-up charges, and even killed.

“There is no genuine democracy in a country where the majority of people remain poor and kept poor by the people in power. There is no genuine democracy in a country controlled by foreign powers. There will be no genuine democracy under the coming illegitimate regime of the Marcos-Duterte tandem as they continue the policies of the previous regimes and remain puppets of imperialist countries like the US and China and institutions like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization,” it said.

The Filipino people, according to BAYAN-Central Visayas, will continue to reject the Marcos-Duterte tandem and the anti-people policies “it will no doubt implement.”

“Just as our ancestors who fought bravely for our independence, we, too, will continue the struggle until genuine liberation is achieved,” it said. — Caecent N. Magsumbol, JMD (FREEMAN)

INDEPENDENCE DAY

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