MALOLOS, Bulacan-- Senator Loren Legarda on Monday morning led the commemoration of the 119th Independence Day at the historic Barasoain Church in this city.
In her speech, Legarda paid homage to the fallen government troops in the Marawi siege, including the 13 marines killed in clashes with terrorists and the 11 soldiers that were killed in a "friendly fire".
"Let us dedicate today's Independence Day Celebration to those who have invested their lives so that we would have freedom not just for Marawi but for the whole country," Legarda said.
The lady senator described the historic Barasoain Church as a "symbol of change" representing significant events that paved way for the country's attainment of freedom.
The Barasoain Church was the historic site of the First Philippine Republic. It was also the site where the First Philippine Congress convened, otherwise known as the Malolos Congress, which drafted the 1898 Malolos Constitution.
Legarda also called for unity and compassion to heal division amid threats to national security.
"Let our diversity be our tool to our unity," she said.
The commemorative rites were highlighted by flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies.
Among the provincial officials present in the event were Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad.
The central theme of this year's celebration is Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin.
Source: Philippines News Agency