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Posts Tagged ‘114th Independence Day Celebration’


Talumpati
ng
Kagalang-galang Benigno S. Aquino III
Pangulo ng Pilipinas
Sa ika-114 anibersaryo ng Proklamasyon ng Kalayaan

 [Inihayag sa Simbahan ng Barasoain, Malolos, Bulacan, noong ika-12 ng Hunyo, 2012]

Noon pong nakaraang taon, nagtipon tayo sa Kawit, Cavite, sa balkonahe ni Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo kung saan unang iwinagayway ang ating bandila. Doon, unang kumumpas ang martsang Lupang Hinirang, sabay sa pintig ng puso ng mga rebolusyunaryong Pilipinong, sa wakas, ay kalag na sa tanikala ng mga dayuhan. Doon, unang pinasinayaan ang karapatang makapamuhay nang malaya at nagsasarili ang bansang Pilipinas.

Ngayong umaga, ginugunita natin dito sa simbahan ng Barasoain—ang duyan ng ating Saligang Batas—ang ika-isandaan at labing-apat na taon ng proklamasyon ng kalayaan. Dito nagtipon ang mga kinatawan ng iba’t ibang probinsya upang magkasundo kung paano aarugain at payayabungin ang ipinaglaban nilang kalayaan. Dito itinatag ng Kongreso ang Unang Republika ng Pilipinas, gayundin ang pagpapatibay at pagpapatunay sa Konstitusyon ng Malolos, ang unang Republikanong Konstitusyon sa kabuuang Asya. Dito, napagpasyahan nilang panghawakan ang kinabukasan ng ating bansa, at patunayan sa mundong ang Pilipinas ay para sa Pilipino.

Noon pa man, mulat na ang ating mga ninuno sa prinsipyong bumubuhay sa ating demokrasya: ang ganap na kapangyarihan ay nagmumula at angkin ng sambayanang Pilipino, kaya’t sa kapakanan ng Pilipino rin ito dapat nakatuon. Pumili sila ng mga kinatawan, hindi para maghari at pagsilbihan, kundi para mamuno at itimon ang bansa tungo sa tamang direksyon, at paglingkuran ang karaniwang mamamayan.

Nang nagpunta sa Malolos ang pitumpung kinatawan mula sa iba’t ibang probinsya, pangunahing bitbit nila ay ang mga adhikain ng sarili nilang mga lalawigan, at ang pangarap ng nag-iisang bayan. Inuna nila ito kaysa sa personal nilang interes. Nakaatang sa kanilang balikat ang obligasyon na isulat ang mga alituntunin na sinang-ayunan ng taumbayan, upang magsilbing gabay kung paano sila mamumuhay at makikitungo nang tama, patas, at makatarungan sa isa’t isa.

Hindi nila tayo binigo. Matagumpay nilang ipinunla ang isang saligan na bukal ng katarungan, magtatanggol at magtataguyod ng kabutihan, at sisiguro sa pantay na karapatan para sa lahat.

Nang nagsisimula pa lang tayo bilang kinatawan ng Tarlac, naging sandigan ko na ang Saligang Batas. Lagi kong binabasa, pinag-aaralan at sinusuri ang mga probisyon nito. Bukod sa napapaloob dito ang mga batayan na dapat kong sundin bilang Pilipino, ginagabayan din ako nito kung paano ko magagawa nang mas mahusay ang obligasyon ko bilang lingkod-bayan.

Hindi ko maiwasang madismaya minsan, dahil matapos ang pinagdaanang ratipikasyon ng ating Saligang Batas noong 1935 at 1987, hindi pa rin nauubos ang mga walang pakundangan pa ring naghahanap ng butas upang gamitin ito sa pansarili nilang kapakanan. May mga opisyal na harap-harapan kung lumabag sa batas, at harap-harapan ding tinatakasan ang pananagutan. Ang Konstitusyon na dapat ay natatakbuhan ng karaniwang tao ay nagiging laruan na lamang ng mga naghahari-harian. Kung umasta sila, animo’y hawak nila ang piring ng katarungan, para bang lisensyado silang palitan, bawasan, ibahin at baliktarin ang Konstitusyon.

Naging saksi ang buong bansa nang nilitis si Ginoong Corona, ang dating Punong Mahistrado.  Inabot ng limang buwan ang prosesong ito. Gayumpaman, pinatingkad nito ang diwa ng ating demokrasya. Karapatan ng mga Pilipinong malaman ang katotohanan at maramdamang buhay ang demokratikong sistema sa bansa. Muli rin nitong idiniin sa ating mga lingkod-bayan na ang kapangyarihang ipinahiram sa kanila ni Juan dela Cruz ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad at pananagutan.

Kung tutuusin, naging talamak ang korupsyon, hindi lamang dahil dumami ang naging sakim sa kapangyarihan, kundi dahil dumami rin ang bilang ng mga manhid at nagwalang-kibo. Naging pundido ang parola ng demokrasya dahil walang nagkukusang alagaan at panatilihin ang alab nito.

Ngayon pong nakabuwelo na ang ating bayan sa tuwid na landas, hindi natin hahayaan pang maligaw tayo sa dilim ng nakaraan. Gaya ng nakasaad sa Saligang Batas, sa taumbayan nag-uugat ang lakas ng ating bayan. Kaya’t makatarungan lamang na sila rin ang makikinabang sa bunga ng ating mga pagsisikap. Kaya naman bawat repormang itinutulak natin—mula sa trabahong naihahandog natin sa ating kababayan, hanggang sa pagtataguyod ng katarungang panlahat; mula sa pagkukumpuni ng sistemang panlipunan, hanggang sa matuwid na paggugol ng ating pananalapi—ay dapat sumasalamin sa prinsipyong pinagtibay sa loob mismo ng simbahang ito noong 1898.

Sa susunod na taon, ipagdiriwang natin ang proklamasyon ng araw ng kalayaan sa Pinaglabanan. At ang plano po natin ay sunod na gunitain ito sa Visayas, at maging sa Mindanao. Bakit taun-taon tayong lumilipat sa iba’t ibang makasaysayang lugar? Upang iparamdam na ang ating kasarinlan ay hindi lamang nangyari sa Kawit, o dito sa Malolos, o sa Luzon lamang. Angkop lamang na maramdaman ng bawat Pilipino—mula sa mga pinakaliblib na bulubundukin, hanggang sa pinakamalalayong isla, kasama na rin ang mga kababayan nating nakikipagsapalaran sa ibayong dagat—na ang ipinagdiriwang tuwing ika-labindalawa ng Hunyo ay selebrasyong pambansa; na ang diwa nito ang araw-araw na nagpapaalab sa adhika nating maging malaya.

Tunay na demokrasya para sa lahat ng Pilipino: ito ang kaluluwa ng ating Konstitusyon; ito ang dugong dumadaloy sa puso ng ating malayang Estado. Tangan ang mandato ng Saligang Batas, hindi na natin hahayaang bukbukin, dungisan at gamitin ito ng kahit na sinuman para lamang manlamang sa kapwa at magpakasasa sa kapangyarihan.

Ito ang ipinapaalala sa atin ng Barasoain Church. Noong 1898, nagtipon ang ating mga ninuno dito sa Malolos upang itindig at patibayin ang ating Republika. Ito rin ang nangyari noong 1986 sa EDSA nang buwagin natin ang diktadurya. Ganito rin ang naganap sa halalan noong 2010 na nagbigay daan sa ating mga reporma. Patunay ang mga biyaya ng kasaysayan: makakamtan lamang ang tunay na kalayaan kung handa ang bawat isa sa ating magkakalyo ang talampakan, at diligan ng dugo’t pawis ang ating lupang sinilangan. Taas-noo rin tayong maglakbay tungo sa isang Pilipinas na malaya, hindi lamang sa panggigipit ng mga dayuhan, kundi lalo na sa kurapsyon, gutom at kawalang-katarungan. Buwagin natin ang bartolina ng kadamutan at pagkakanya-kanya; kumalag tayo mula sa tanikala ng pagbabatuhang-sisi at pagwawalang-bahala. Ito ang kahulugan ng tunay na kalayaan.

Magandang araw po. Maraming salamat po sa lahat.

ENGLISH VERSION:

Speech
of
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
During the 114th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence

 [English translation of the speech delivered at Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan on June 12, 2012]

A year ago, we gathered in Kawit, Cavite, on General Emilio Aguinaldo’s balcony, where our flag was first unfurled and waved. It was there where our national anthem, the Lupang Hinirang, was first played—its rhythm matching the pulsating hearts of Philippine revolutionaries, who were finally freed from the shackles of foreign rule. There, the Philippines claimed its right to be a free and independent nation.

This morning, we commemorate the 114th year of the proclamation of our independence in Barasoain Church—the cradle of our Constitution. It was here where the representatives of different provinces came together to decide on how best to care for and nourish the hard-won freedom they had fought so hard for. It was here where Congress established the First Republic of the Philippines; here too where the Constitution of Malolos, the first Constitution of a Republic in Asia, was ratified and promulgated. It was here where our forebears decided to take the future of our country into their own hands, and show the world that the Philippines is for Filipinos.

Even in those days, our predecessors were well aware of the principle that keeps our democracy alive: that true power emanates from and belongs to the Filipino people, and that it must necessarily be used for their benefit. They chose representatives not to rule, or to reign supreme, but to guide our country to the right direction, and to serve the common citizen.

When those 70 representatives from different provinces journeyed to Malolos, they brought with them the aspirations of their provinces, and the dreams of our nation. They put these ahead of personal interest. They carried on their shoulders the obligation of codifying the rules the populace had agreed to, the rules that would guide how they would live and relate to others in manner that was proper, fair, and just.

These representatives did not let us down. They laid down a Constitution that acted as a wellspring of justice, that protected and upheld the common good, and that ensured equal rights for all.

And it was our Constitution on which I relied heavily, back when I was starting my term as a representative of Tarlac. I became familiar with it, often reading, studying, and analyzing its provisions. It set for me guidelines I knew I had to follow as a Filipino citizen, and more importantly, it showed me how I could best fulfill my responsibilities as a public servant.

There were times when I could not help but be dismayed, because even after the ratifications our Constitution underwent in 1935 and 1987, it seemed as if there were no shortage of those who sought to discover loopholes to further their own selfish interests. There were some officials who blatantly violated the law, and just as blatantly escaped accountability. The Constitution that was meant to be the refuge of the common citizen became a plaything in the hands of those who wielded power with impunity. They acted as if they held the blindfold of justice in their hands, as if they were licensed to amend, reduce, change, and distort our Constitution.

The whole country bore witness to the impeachment trial of Mr. Corona, the former Chief Justice. This was a process that took five months. And it was a process that strengthened our democracy. After all, Filipinos have the right to know the truth, and the right to know that the democratic system is alive and working in the Philippines. It was a process that once again underscored to all public servants that the power lent to them by Juan dela Cruz comes with responsibilities, and accountability.

Perhaps it may be that corruption became widespread not only because the numbers of the power-hungry grew, but also because the numbers of the apathetic and the silent grew. And so the beacon of democracy went dim, because no one took the initiative to nurture its flame.

Now that our nation has gathered momentum along the straight and righteous path, we will not allow ourselves to lose our way in the darkness of the past. The Constitution states that it is from the people that our country draws its strength. So it is only just that they are the ones who benefit from the fruits of our endeavors. This is why all the reforms we institute—from the jobs we are able to give our countrymen, to our thrust to ensure justice for all; from the reconstruction of our social systems, to the responsible allotment of our funds—mirrors the principle that was strengthened in this very church in 1898.

Next year, we will celebrate the proclamation of our independence in Pinaglabanan. And we have laid out plans to celebrate it in the Visayas, and after that, in Mindanao. Why do we hold our yearly celebrations in these historical places? We do this so we can emphasize that we did not just gain our freedom in Kawit, or in Malolos, or in Luzon alone. It is only fitting that each Filipino—from those in the most secluded mountainsides, to the farthest islands, and those seeking their future on other shores—feels that what we commemorate on the 12th of June is a nationwide celebration; that its spirit is what fuels our desire to be free.

True democracy for all Filipinos: this is the essence of our Constitution; this is the lifeblood of our free State. Cognizant of the mandate enshrined in our Constitution, we will not allow it to be infected, sullied or used by anyone who seeks only to best his fellow men, or wallow in power.

This is what Barasoain Church reminds us of. In 1898, our ancestors gathered here in Malolos to uphold and strengthen our Republic. This was what took place in 1986, in EDSA, when we uprooted a dictatorship. And this too was what took place during the 2010 elections, which paved the way for our reforms. History’s blessings teach us: we will only achieve true freedom when each of us is ready for his soles to be callused, when each of us is ready to give his blood and sweat for our country. With heads held high, we will forge on towards a Philippines free not only from the clutches of foreign oppression, but also and more importantly, from corruption, hunger and injustice. Let us dismantle the bars of selfishness and disunity; let us break free from the culture of finger-pointing and indifference. This is the meaning of true freedom.

Thank you, and good day.

(Source: http://www.gov.ph)

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