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Aquino urges rekindling of love for country, pledges to uphold the Constitution, defend it from abuse


MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan - President Benigno S. Aquino III urged the people to preserve the spirit of love for country and the principles of the national heroes, saying that the real essence of freedom and independence lie on cooperating with the government in its efforts to address the various social issues which will free the nation from corruption, hunger and injustice.

In his speech during the 114th Philippine Independence Day celebration at the historic Barasoain Church here Tuesday, President Aquino assured to uphold the Philippine Constitution and defend it from unscrupulous individuals who are engaged in pursuing personal motives rather than the interest of the country and the people.

“Makakamtan lamang ang tunay na kalayaan kung handa ang bawa’t isa sa atin na magkakalyo ang talampakan at diligan ng dugo at pawis ang ating lupang sinilangan… taas-noo rin tayong maglakbay tungo sa isang Pilipinas na malaya hindi lamang sa panggigipit ng mga dayuhan kundi lalo na sa korapsyon, gutom at kawalang katarungan… buwagin natin ang bartolina ng kadamutan at pagkakanya-kanya. Kumalag tayo mula sa tanikala ng pagbabatuhang sisi at pagwawalang bahala, ito ang kahulugan ng tunay na kalayaan,” the President said.

“Tangan ang mandato ng Saligang Batas, hindi na natin hahayaang bukbukin, dungisan at gamitin ito ng kahit na sinuman para lamang manlamang sa kapwa at magpakasasa sa kapangyarihan. Ito ang ipinapaalala sa atin ng Barasoain Church,” he added.

The Chief Executive also assured the government’s commitment to implement developmental programs and reforms that will enrich the lives of the people and sustain the country’s progress.

“Ngayon pong naka-buwelo na ang ating bayan sa tuwid na landas, hindi natin hahayaan pang maligaw tayo sa dilim ng nakaraan gaya ng nakasaad sa Saligang Batas. Sa taumbayan nag-uugat ang lakas ng ating bayan kaya’t makatarungan lamang na sila rin ang makikinabang sa bunga ng ating mga pagsisikap," the Chief Executive said, noting the importance of the event in pursuing and maintaining the democracy of the nation.

Present during the event were members of the Cabinet led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Communications and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva, and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino.

Also in attendance were members of the Diplomatic Corps, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Jessie Dellosa, Philippine National Police Chief Director-General Nicanor Bartolome, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Bulacan Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, Bulacan District 1 Rep. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado and Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad.

During the celebration anchored on this year’s theme, “Kalayaan: Pananagutan ng Bayan para sa Tuwid na Daan," the President led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies which were held simultaneously at the Rizal Monument in Manila, led by Vice President Jejomar Binay; at the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite led by Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II; and at the Bonifacio National Monument in Caloocan City led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Barasoain Church, which is also known as the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, was the Cradle of Democracy in the East for its proverbial importance in the country’s quest for independence in the 1890s.

It was proclaimed National Shrine through Presidential Decree No. 260 on August 1, 1973 in recognition of its significance in Philippine history.
Founded by Augustinian Missionaries in 1859, the Barasoain Church is renowned for its architectural design and internal adornments. It holds the distinction for having hosted the Malolos Congress, which was convened on September 15, 1898; the drafting of the Malolos Constitution on September 29, 1898 to January 1, 1899; and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899.

by: PNA

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