President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said eradicating illegal drugs, corruption, terrorism, criminality, poverty, and environmental degradation were among his priorities as he called on Filipinos to join him in fighting these social ills during the 120th celebration of Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite.
In his speech, the President admitted that he could not do it alone and would need the support of the people to succeed.
“This time, we face the modern challenges of poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, terrorism, criminality and illegal drugs,” Duterte told the crowd.
“I have made it my personal mission to rid our nation of these ills, but I 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,” the President said.
In honoring the patriots who have given their lives for the Philippines’ liberty, President Duterte urged Filipinos to be worthy of the “great sacrifice.”
Duterte led the flag raising ceremony at the Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo. It was on June 12, 1898, the Philippine flag was waved, following the proclamation of independence from Spain.
“Our generation, and those who will come after us, will never be able to pay in full the debt that we owe to the heroes that founded this nation,” Duterte said.
“The least that we can do is to see to it that the sacrifices they made, so that we may enjoy these freedoms, were indeed worth it,” he said.
“Today, we honor and remember the patriots who have given their lives in the name of liberty and freedom. As heirs of this great sacrifice, let us all be worthy of their legacy,” the President added.
The President said Filipinos remember today the past filled with optimism for a future that can be proudly bequeathed to the next generations.
“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,” he said.
But Duterte said the nation still faces challenges from within.
“Sadly, more than a century since our heroes liberated us from foreign subjugation, our nation still has to face enemies that attack from within,” he said.
At the same time, Duterte reiterated his campaign promise to stop graft and corruption.
“I have a few more years. And I will do my best especially in the matter of graft and corruption,” he said.
“I said I will stop graft and corruption and I’m doing it,” he added.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.