President Benigno Aquino 3rd this morning opened the celebration of the 115th Independence Day by raising the Philippine flag at Liwasang Bonifacio.
There were simultaneous flag-raising rites at several sites.
Vice President Jejomar Binday led the ceremonies in Luneta, Sen. Franklin Drilon at General Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite; Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. at Barasoain Church, Malolos City, Bulacan; Lone District Mandaluyong City Representative and Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzalez 2nd at Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine, San Juan; Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Ernesto Carolina at Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion, Manila North Cemetery; Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri at Bonifacio National Monument, Caloocan City and NHCP Commissioner Dr. Ferdinand Llanes at Pamintuan House, Angeles City, Pampanga.
The President also laid a wreath of flowers before the statue of hero Andres Bonifacio.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, head of the National Historical Commission, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario accompanied Aquino.
Students from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila taking their ROTC as well as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts also attended.
There will be various activities for the public throughout the day such as film showings, job fairs and concerts.
President Aquino will also lead the Vin d ‘honneur in Malacañang where he will welcome the diplomatic community.
Last year, the President led the freedom day celebration at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE