Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte has urged Filipinos to “take heart all the learnings from the past” in a speech ahead of the celebration of the 124th Philippine Independence Day.
He delivered his speech during the virtual celebration of Independence Day and the 21st Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day organized by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).
In his speech, Duterte reminded Filipinos about the importance of celebrating Independence Day on June 12 as a testament to how the country’s forefathers fought for the freedoms that Filipinos enjoy today.
“May it inspire us to take after the courage of our heroes as well as encourage us to use our ability, skills and knowledge for the benefit of our community,” Duterte said.
He also urged the public to “take heart all the learnings from the past”, especially the countless hardships that Filipinos had to endure as a nation.
“Let our rich histories move to translate our love for this country into real acts of goodwill for all our fellow men. Let us also work together so that we could realize our vision of a more harmonious and progressive Philippines. May we have a meaningful commemoration,” he added.
The country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, proclaimed the Philippines’ independence from the Spanish colonial rule in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
From July 4, 1946, the Philippines celebrated Independence Day every July 4. However, the celebration was moved to June 12 by virtue of Proclamation 4166, issued by President Diosdado Macapagal.
Incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for his part, expressed hope that the centuries-old relationship and friendship between the Philippines and China will continue to be of great mutual benefit to their respective people.
“From trade, arts, culture, athletics to regional peace and stability to the employment of opportunities for our people, and all the significantly generous efforts extended to us during the pandemic, the cooperative partnership of our nations continues to reach new heights,” he said.
He said he looked forward to more years of not just diplomatic relations but of continuous, fruitful engagements between China and the Philippines.
The Philippines and China established their diplomatic relations on June 9, 1975.
June 9 of every year is also declared as Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day, by virtue of Proclamation 148 issued by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2002.
Aside from Duterte and Marcos, also in attendance were Vice-President-elect Sara Duterte, Macapagal-Arroyo, lawmakers, and other guests.
The FFCCCII is the umbrella organization of Filipino Chinese entrepreneurs, which brings together over 170 business and trade associations from all over the Philippines. (PNA)