President Sergio Osmeña’s State of the Nation Address - Part 6

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - October 2, 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.

“Shocked by the sad news, I hastened to express to his successor the most profound condolences of the Filipino people. I flew to Washington to attend the funeral services. In the passing of President Roosevelt we, with the entire world, have suffered an irreparable loss. I recommend the erection, by public subscription, of a national library to be named “Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Library” as a lasting tribute to him who was a true friend of the Filipinos and a great champion of human rights and liberties.

“President Roosevelt had suggested that our next meeting be at the White House on April 19. On that date President Truman received me and we conferred in the presence of the Secretaries of State, War, Navy and the Interior. This was followed by another conference the next week in which President Truman accepted as his own President Roosevelt’s commitments with respect to the Philippines and decided, with my concurrence, to send Senator Tydings of Maryland as his special envoy to the Philippines.

“The object of the Tydings Mission was not to collect data here, since all the necessary statistical and other information were already available to Senator Tydings before he left Washington. The mission desired, firstly, to obtain a personal impression of the situation in which the war had left us, and secondly, to contact personally the officials of the Philippine Government, the Military Command and other interested parties, with a view to coordinating their suggestions and fitting them into the rehabilitation plans already under consideration. Deeply moved by what he saw in Manila, Senator Tydings decided to return immediately to Washington to report to the President of the United States. Indicative of the sympathy, zeal and industry of the Tydings Mission is the four-point program for the rehabilitation of the Philippines which it has publicly announced. I am confident that action on this and other programs will soon be forthcoming.

“First and foremost in our minds, as Filipinos, is the question of our political future. In this matter, no greater and nobler message has been given to the Filipino people than that of President Roosevelt when, on August 13, 1943, reiterating his previous promises on independence made on December 28, 1941, he expressed himself in the following words:

“On December 28, 1941, three weeks after the armies of the Japanese launched their attack on Philippine soil, I sent a proclamation to you, the gallant people of the Philippines.

“I said then:

“’I give to the people of the Philippines my solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their independence established and protected. The entire resources in men and materials of the United States stand behind that pledge.’

“We shall keep this promise just as we have kept every promise which America has made to the Filipino people.” (To be continued)

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