SENATORS Panfilo Lacson and Loren Legarda led the celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day in Kawit, Cavite and Malolos, Bulacan on Monday as the rest of the country marked the event in simple ceremonies with a prayer for peace in Mindanao.
In Cavite, Senator Lacson led the wreath laying with Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Gov. Crispin Remulla and Kawit Mayor and Aguinaldo grandson Angelo Emilio Aguinaldo at the grave site of General Emilio Aguinaldo. Then the flag raising on the balcony of the Aguinaldo Shrine followed.
Lacson underscored the importance of celebrating Philippine independence in the wake of obstacles the country is facing: corruption, terrorism and drugs. He added, the event was not only a tribute to Aguinaldo and the revolutionaries who fought and sacrificed their lives for our independence, but also the men and women who are now fighting to save Marawi City and other areas in Mindanao.
The senator’s speech was briefly interrupted when a small group of militants claiming to be members of Bayan-Southern Tagalog and Gabriela, shouted “huwad na kalayaan” (false freedom).
Civilian security immediately stepped in and handed the five protesters over to the police who brought them to the Kawit police station; they were later released without charges.
Officials it was not the first time this happened since most guests of honor have been interrupted during the same celebrations in the past.
‘Diversity in unity’
“Let our diversity be the tool to our unity. Let not our differences in religion or in beliefs be the dividing force that will divide us as a nation. On the contrary, it brings about our richness, our ethnicity and our differences. It brings about the wealth of our nation,” Sen. Loren Legarda said to thousands of Bulacan officials and residents at the historic Barasoain Church in the City of Malolos.
“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 added.
Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado encouraged Bulakenyos to continue the fight and to acknowledge the sacrifices
of the countless individuals who sacrificed their lives for our independence.
Meanwhile, local officials and police officers in Bataan held separate celebrations to honor the heroes of
Mayor Generosa dela Fuente of Samal town offered a wreath at the foot of the Rizal monument. This was followed by the singing of the Pambansang Awit or National Anthem and a group of students did an interpretative dance depicting the country’s march towards independence.
In Quezon province, Lucena Councilor Benito Brizuela led the unveiling of Gen. Antonio Luna’s monument on the Heroes’ Lane at Pleasantville Subd., in Barangay Ilayang Iyam.
At Heroes’ Lane, Gen. Luna joined other heroes: Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, GomBurZa and Hermana Fausta.
with FREDERICK SILVERIO, JERICA SANTOS, JEMIE MANGALINO, ERNIE ESCONDE AND BELLY M. OTORDOZ