President Sergio Osmeña’s State of the Nation Address - Part 9

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - October 12, 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.

“When the Philippine Assembly in 1907 formulated the first official petition of the Filipino people that it be granted independence, it did so fully aware of the responsibilities which the new status would impose on us with respect to our security. The Jones Law of 1916 offered us independence as soon as we had organized a stable government, and we accepted it in spite of the fact that such a law did not contain any promise giving us the protection of America after the attainment of our political freedom. In 1934 the Filipino people had occasion in a plebiscite to accept or reject an independence law without adequate American guarantee for its maintenance. The people accepted the offer by an overwhelming majority. With America now offering us protection which assures the permanency of our independence, it would be inconceivable for any Filipino to vacillate.

“The program of independence, initially written with the blood of the heroes and martyrs of our history, which took root in the days of the first Philippine Assembly in 1907, which acquired consistency throughout the long period of Filipino-American collaboration resulting in the approval of the Jones Law in 1916 and the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1935, is a program definitely accepted by the Filipino people. Those of us who are temporarily in charge of the affairs of state are mere trustees of the sacred ideal of our people. We have no right to turn back—we shall not turn back—cowed by imaginary dangers or swayed by the desire to lead a life of ease and plenty. We cannot sell our liberty for a mess of pottage.

“When Andres Bonifacio and his men uttered their now historic First Cry of Balintawak, they were not held back by fear of the enemy, or by any love of earthly goods. When we took over the banner of liberty from those that fell in the night of our defeat, we asked only for freedom and for nothing more. When we were asked in 1934 if we preferred liberty to prosperity, our people answered overwhelmingly that they desired liberty above everything else. Now that the United States, in recognition of our role in this war, has declared itself our ally and, with liberty, offers us security, it is our duty and our choice to accept.

“So I say to every Filipino and to all other elements in our state, that the die is cast. Our course is straight and inflexible. We are going forward to the achievement of our national aspiration.” (To be continued)

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