Duterte calls on Filipinos to unite vs virus on Independence Day

President Rodrigo Duterte | Presidential Photo

Today, June 12, 2020, marks the 122nd Independence Day of the country and President Rodrigo Duterte calls on unity among his countrymen to fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In his Independence Day speech aired on Friday during the rites at Rizal Park in Manila, the President said the battle against the virus is a chance for us to show “gallantry of spirit”, which was demonstrated by our ancestors that led us to independence.

“One hundred and twenty-two years ago, our forefathers proudly proclaimed the birth of the Filipino nation. Today we honor them for their bravery, heroism and sacrifice as well as we thank them for the gifts of democracy and freedom,” Duterte said.

“As we wage a united battle against Covid-19, we now have the opportunity to demonstrate that we possess the same gallantry of spirit and nobility of character as the heroes of our past,” he added.

The president also inspired the Filipinos to have “courage, hope, and optimism as we overcome this pandemic.”

“Mabuhay tayong lahat. Mabuhay ang Republika ng Pilipinas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte explained that he skipped he Independence Day rites in Manila to avoid drawing huge crowds.

“Ang problema po talaga ‘pag nandyan ang Presidente, dadami po ang tao ang nais lumapit sa kanya. ‘Di po maiiwasan ‘yan, kahit saan po tayo mag-celebrate, sa Luneta o sa Davao (The problem is if the President is present, the number of people who want to go near him will swell. That cannot be prevented, whether we celebrate it in Luneta or in Davao),” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said on Thursday.

The president was represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea during the Independence Day ceremony.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the celebration of Independence Day, but it should be limited to 10 people only.


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