President Sergio Osmeña’s State of the Nation Address - Part 3

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - September 27, 2020 - 12:00am

This State of the Nation Address was delivered on June 9, 1945 when the country was about to rise from the damage of World War II. This speech should be integrated in our school curriculum so the youth will understand our war history.

“As stated in Leyte, in praising the guerrillas we should not be forgetful of the loyal civilians who were left behind and, at the risk of their lives, supported the resistance movement. Included among these civilians were those who, at the beginning of the war, were civil service employees or holders of subordinate positions in the government, and who remained at their posts to protect the people and extend to them all possible aid and comfort. They should, as a general principle, be recalled as soon as their services should be needed; only for strong reasons should they be deprived of their privilege to serve. This policy applies as well to elected provincial and municipal officials who were chosen in the election of 1940, thus giving due consideration to the will of the people as expressed at the polls.

“Filipino loyalty to America is an incontestable fact. It is the more remarkable when we consider that right from the start of the war the Filipinos were subjected to a terrific barrage of anti-American propaganda. Claiming invincibility and professing a brotherly spirit toward the Philippines, Japan declared that she had come to our country to free us from the American yoke, and offered us a place of honor in here much vaunted Co-Prosperity Sphere. But we contrasted these soothing words with the factual, liberal and generous record of America. Against the obviously empty promises of Tojo was the solemn pledge of President Roosevelt to the Filipinos that “their freedom would be redeemed and their independence established and protected.” This pledge was later enlarged to include the promise that the Philippines would be “assisted in the full repair of the ravages caused by the war.”

“It was in quest of the fulfillment of the promises of President Roosevelt that President Quezon and his Cabinet accepted his invitation to transfer the Commonwealth Government to Washington. In the course of this session, I shall have occasion to report to you the activities of our government in the United States. In this message I propose to discuss only the salient phases of that labor.

“When we reached the United States, this country was entirely preoccupied with the problems of her mighty war effort and her attention was concentrated on the European front. She was straining all her means and resources towards the fulfillment of her resolution to crush Nazi Germany first. It was then extremely difficult to divert American attention to the Pacific, but determined to present our cause before the American people, President Quezon held conferences with President Roosevelt and appeared before the Senate and House of Representatives.” (To be continued)

SERGIO OSMEñA
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