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President Aquino vows to protect country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom of Filipino citizenry

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President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the 115th Philippine Independence Day celebration at Liwasang Bonifacio Wednesday morning, (June 12). In his speech, the President is determined to continue, in a peaceful way, to fight for the protection of the country's sovereignty. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the 115th Philippine Independence Day celebration at Liwasang Bonifacio Wednesday morning, (June 12). In his speech, the President is determined to continue, in a peaceful way, to fight for the protection of the country’s sovereignty. (MNS photo)

MANILA, June 12 (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III vowed on Wednesday that his administration will protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity and freedom of Filipino citizens at all times.

In his speech during the celebration of the 115th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Liwasang Bonifacio on P. Burgos St., Manila, the Chief Executive assured his administration’s unwavering commitment and perseverance to hurdle the challenges of the present times in fulfilling its mandate to protect the Filipinos’ hard-fought independence.

“Habang nagbabalik-tanaw at binibigyang halaga natin ang ating kasarinlan, mulat ang pamahalaan sa tungkulin nitong pangalagaan ang kalayaang ito. Kaya naman naninindigan tayo para sa ating mga karapatan bilang bansang may sariling soberanya, bilang bayang nagbuwis na ng buhay para sa kalayaan, bilang Pilipinas na may sariling bandila na kapantay ng lahat,” President Aquino said.

The President said the administration will defend the territorial sovereignty and integrity through peaceful means.

“Hindi kailanman naging polisiya ng Pilipinas ang manlamang sa ibang bansa. Kung may di-pagkakasunduan, saksi ang mundo sa kahandaan nating umupo at makipagdayalogo sa mapayapang paraan,” he said.

“Wala tayong ibang hinihingi kundi ang igalang ang ating teritoryo, karapatan, at pagkatao, tulad ng paggalang natin sa teritoryo, karapatan, at pagkatao ng ibang lahi. Ginagawa natin ito dahil mulat tayong ito ang susi upang mapanatili ang stabilidad, at nang sa gayon ay magpatuloy ang pagtungo sa malawakan at pangmatagalang kaunlaran, hindi lamang sa loob ng ating bansa, kundi sa ating rehiyon, at maging sa buong daigdig,” he stressed.

With the signing of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act last December, President Aquino expressed confidence that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can now better perform its mandate of upholding the sovereignty and defending the territorial integrity of the country at all times.

“Pitumpu’t limang bilyong pisong pondo rin ang mailalaan natin sa Tanggulang Pambansa sa susunod na limang taon dahil sa pagsasabatas ng New AFP Modernization Act,” he said.

“At habang naninindigan tayo para sa ating mga karapatan, at nakikipag-ugnayan sa lahat ng panig upang maghari ang hinahon at pagkakaunawaan, kailangan din nating iangat ang kakayahan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas. Kasabay nito, kailangan din nating isaalang-alang ang kapakanan ng milyun-milyong Pilipinong maaaring maapektuhan ng ating mga desisyon bilang pinuno,” he said.

The President also reminded the people of our patriotic oath to serve our beloved country.

“Si Andres Bonifacio na mismo ang nagsabi, “Itinuturo ng katuwiran na tayo’y magkaisang-loob, magkaisang-isip at nang tayo’y magkalakas na maihanap ang naghaharing kasamaan sa ating bayan. Panahon na ngayong dapat na lumitaw ang liwanag ng katotohanan; panahon ng dapat nating ipakilala na tayo’y may sariling pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya, at may pagdadamayan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim said this was the first time that the celebration was held at Liwasang Bonifacio which has for its theme “Kalayaan 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran.”

During the event, the Philippine Postal Corporation presented the commemorative stamp marking the 150th year anniversary of Malacanang Palace to the Chief Executive.

Also in attendance were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Maria Serena I. Diokno, Philippine Postal Corporation Board Chairman Cesar Sarino, Postmaster and Chief Executive Officer Josefina M. dela Cruz, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista; Police Director General Alan Purisima, members of the diplomatic corps and other government officials, among others. (MNS)

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