A general view of a large Philippine national ﬂag being raised during the Independence Day celebration at the Rizal monument in Manila on June 12, 2019, led by Vice-President Leni Robredo (not pictured). (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)
Vice-President Leni Robredo led the celebration of the 121st Independence Day at the Rizal Park on Wednesday, June 12, while President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit military troops in Lanao del Sur later in the day.
As in the previous years, President Duterte decided to skip the Independence Day ceremonies in Luneta.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that “there must be some special reason” why Duterte again decided to go to Lanao and spend the Independence Day celebration with military troops there.
“I’m sure he will say that in his speech,” Panelo said yesterday at a regular press briefing.
In his Independence Day Message, Duterte said that he was “one with the Filipino people in commemorating the Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.”
“A hundred and twenty-one years has passed since our forefathers bound their fates, their lives and their fortunes to proclaim the independence of the Filipino people,” the President said.
He said that the Philippine independence is the “most significant event in our country’s history.”
“Not only did we put an end to more than three centuries of subservience but we also resolved to determine the course of our own destiny as a nation,” Duterte said.
He said that this freedom was achieved at the cost of the “sweat and blood of our patriots, heroes and martyrs.”
“Let us commit ourselves to ensure that their sacrifices have not been in vain and that their dream of a truly independent Philippines –- whose people live freely in a secure, stable and prosperous society – will be achieved within our lifetimes,” Duterte said.
In 2017, the President also skipped Independence Day rites at the Rizal Park.
Robredo was also the one who led the flag raising ceremony back then.
Last year, President Duterte attended Independence Day ceremonies in Kawit, Cavite but was heckled by a group of protesters while he was delivering his speech.
At the Independence Day ceremonies in Luneta early this morning, Robredo was accorded arrival honors by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
She led the flag raising and wreath laying ceremony, and called on Filipinos to defend and preserve the freedom fought for by the country’s heroes, for the future generations.
In her speech, Robredo said the public should not forget the lessons of history. She reminded Filipinos to honor the sacrifices of the forefathers who fought for the country’s freedom. (Eagle News Service)