President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the Aguinaldo Mansion in Kawit Cavite on Tuesday, June 12 for the celebration of the 120th Independence Day of the Republic of the Philippines. This year’s celebration marked Duterte’s first celebration as he failed to participate in last year’s flag raising rites in Luneta Park.
Yet right before Duterte delivered his speech, he was immediately interrupted by several protestors gathered under the rain, chanting “Duterte Traydor” and “Huwad na Kalayaan” continuously. He then directed the Philippine National Police to exercise maximum tolerance and to deal peacefully towards the protestors.
“Patawad na po. I would have wanted to make it earlier with you,” Duterte said as he continued with his speech. He also added that his protestors and critics only exercise their freedom of speech. Duterte said he understood his protestors since they cannot agree with him at all times.
“But at least we have this exercise once every six years I suppose under this new Constitution and you can elect the leaders that you want to
run the country,” he addressed. The chief executive is often criticized for his brutal war against illegal drugs that killed almost thousand lives in just a short period of time, he countered it through saying that he loves everybody and the country, including his critics and protestors.
In the celebration of the 120th independence of the nation, Duterte wants the people to remember the past filled with optimism for a future that can proudly bequeath the next generations of Filipinos. Indeed, the story of how our forebears fought for our sovereignty and established the Filipino nation shall forever inspire us to cherish the freedoms that we enjoy all of us today.
The chief executive admitted that the country is facing the modern challenges of poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, terrorism, criminality, and illegal drugs, emphasizing his war against illegal drugs. Duterte, who was blunt during the presidential campaign to clean up illegal transactions in the country, said it became his personal mission to get rid these ills of the nation but also admitted that he cannot do it alone.
“At this crucial juncture in our history, we need to draw strength from the lessons of our past to ensure that these ills do not cause any more damage to our future,” Duterte said. He also took a swipe in his continuous ‘firing-spree’ of government officials saying that he had fired so many and will continue to fire everybody as long as it is about the matter of graft and corruption.
He also took time to honor and remember the patriots who have given their lives in the name of liberty and freedom and addressed that as heirs of this great sacrifice, we are all worthy of their legacy by leaving behind a nation.
At the end of his speech, Duterte addressed the issue on Maria Sison and left his word of honor to keep the latter safe until it returns to the airport.
“ I’m willing to walk the extra mile to have peace in our land,” Duterte said.