‘Independence binds all Filipinos’: Senator calls for unity

SAN JUAN CITY-- Despite differing views, independence binds all Filipinos together, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said Monday as he called for unity during the Independence Day flag-raising ceremony at the Pinaglabanan Shrine.

Speaking before San Juan City government officials, staff, and students, Angara said that this year's celebration of Independence Day was tinged with sadness amid the ongoing conflict in Marawi City which killed at least 58 soldiers. However, he said that now, more than ever, was also a time for unity.

May halong lungkot ang paggunita natin ng Kalayaan ngayong araw dahil nalaman po natin as of 11 pm last night, there are 58 sa ating sundalo at kapulisan na pumanaw sa labanan sa Marawi (There is a mix of sadness as we observe Independence Day because we found out 11 p.m. last night that there are 58 soldiers and police who died in the ongoing conflict in Marawi), Angara said.

Angara expressed hope that the conflict would be resolved and that terrorism would be eventually be defeated.

Magkaisa tayo para paabutin sa mga mamamayan ang dasal na sa gitna ng putukan, na sana sila ay ligtas at sa mga sundalo at pulis na magkaroon sila ng lakas ng loob upang tuluyang ipaglaban ang ating bandila (Let us unite to extend our prayers to our countrymen amid conflict, that they are hopefully safe and that our soldiers and police have the courage to continue fighting for our flag), he added.

Angara also said that independence also served as a reason to stop pointing fingers and start supporting each other instead.

Kalayaan ang nagpapabuklod sa atin, iba-iba man ating pananaw, pananalita o kulturang kinagisnan. Kalayaan ang pinagmula ng ating paniniwala na bawat tao ay pantay-pantay na wala dapat nahuhuli o nanlalamang. Kalayaan ang dahilan bakit pinagdidiinan natin na kailangan sa isang demokrasya hindi ang sisihan kundi ang damayan (Independence binds us, whether we have different beliefs, language and culture. Independence comes from the belief that we are equal and that no one should be left behind or come first. Independence is the reason why we insist that in democracy, there should be no blaming but supporting), Angara said.

The senator, meanwhile, likened the fallen soldiers to the Katipuneros who fought for Philippine independence but noted that it did not take a war to threaten independence.

Hindi lamang sa digmaan sinasalakay ang ating kalayaan. Nangyayari din ito tuwing laganap ang kahirapan, tuwing kulang ang trabaho, kulang ang edukasyon, kulang ang kalusugan (It is not only during war when our independence is threated. It also happens when there is widespread poverty, underemployment, lack of education, lack of health coverage), Angara said.

Wala kasing totoong malaya kapag nagugutom, kapag may sakit, kapag takot o tuwirang ignorante (Freedom is not real until someone is hungry, someone is sick, someone is afraid or someone is ignorant), he added.

Angara, meanwhile, stressed the importance of active citizenship as a way of honoring and thanking revolutionaries for their efforts to achieve independence.

Mahalaga na sinusubukan ng bawat isa ang maging mabuti't aktibong mamayan, sumusunod sa batas, nagbabayad ng tamang buwis, inaalam ang mahahalagang pangyayari sa lipunan at higit sa lahat tumutulong sa kapwa tao (It is important for each of us to try to be good and active citizens who follow the law, pay taxes, are aware of national concerns and help the community), Angara said.

Sa ganitong paraan sa paggamit ng kalayaan para ikabubuti ng bansa makakabigay nakakapag bigay tayo ng totoong pagpupugay at pasasalamat para sa sakripisyo ng ating mga ninuno (This way of using our independence for the good of our country is a way of honoring and thanking our ancestors for their sacrifices), he added.

Aside from the Pinaglabanan Shrine, simultaneous flag-raising and wreath-laying rites were held in various parts of the country including Rizal Park in Manila; the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite; the Barasoain Church Historical Landmark in Malolos, Bulacan; Bonifacio Monument, Caloocan City among others.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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