Duterte, Robredo to lead Independence Day rites

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President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo will together attend the celebration of the 119th anniversary of Philippine Independence on Monday in Manila, according to National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairman Rene Escalante.

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In a news conference, Escalante on Thursday said both Duterte and Robredo are expected to grace the flag-raising and wreath-laying on the morning of June 12 at the Rizal Park (Luneta) along Roxas Boulevard in Manila before the monument of national hero Jose Rizal.

Escalante said Robredo already confirmed with organizers that she will be joining the event, which will start at 8 a.m.

The President will immediately proceed to Malacañang to lead the traditional morning reception or vin d’honneur for the diplomatic corps.

Escalante said simultaneous commemorative rites would also be led by some government officials and senators in other parts of the country, including Kawit, Cavite; Malolos City, Bulacan; Angeles City, Pampanga; Calamba City, Laguna; Davao City; Baguio City; and Iloilo City.

This year’s commemoration of the country’s independence is themed “Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Babalikatin.”

Among the activities in the Independence Day celebration are the Balik-Tanaw cultural heritage tour at the Pasig River, cultural performances at the Paco Park in Manila, simultaneous job fairs nationwide, trade fairs and several public exhibits.

Escalante said the Department of Health would offer medical, dental and optical services while the Agiculture department would distribute free agricultural seeds and seedlings.

The Department of Transportation, he added, would also offer free Metro Rail Transit 3 and Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 rides the whole day of June 12.

On the night before Independence Day, there will be a parade in Luneta called “Parada ng Paanyaya” sponsored by Association of Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Firefighters of the Philippines.

Escalante reminded the public to be alert and vigilant as the country commemorates Independence Day.
“Alam naman natin na marami tayong problema ngayon at talagang ‘yung tawag ng panahon ay kailangan talaga magkaisa tayo. Hindi natin ito masusugpo kung tayo ay mananatiling watak-watak [We know that we have a lot of problems today and the times call for our unity. We cannot solve these problems if we stay divided],” he said.

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