In an address broadcast over Independence Day rites at Rizal Park in Manila, President Rodrigo Duterte honored past Filipinos who fought for freedom throughout the country’s history. “One hundred 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,” he said.
The president also called on the Filipino people to show “gallantry of spirit” in the fight against COVID-19. “As we wage the battle against COVID-19, we now have the opportunity to demonstrate that we possess the same gallantry of spirit and the ability of character as the heroes of our past.”
The Philippines currently as 24,175 positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Department of Health. Of those, 443 new cases were reported on June 11, and 1,036 have died.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea represented the president at the rites while the president remained in Davao City. Attendees to the event were limited to 10 guests to conform with the Inter-Agency Task Force directive on gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippines’ 122nd Independence Day was also commemorated at a number of other cities around the Philippines, including the historic Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. Celebrations are also planned online.