By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon called on Filipinos yesterday to work together to achieve the true independence that the brave men and women in history envisioned and fought for.
“Today, we mark our Independence Day. We must give recognition and honor to our heroes who sacrificed their lives for our country to be free from the colonial invaders. But we must also take time to ask ourselves – ‘have we continued what they have started and worked hard for the Philippines to become truly independent’?’” he said as the country marked the 120th Anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence,
Gordon pointed out that after the wars – the World Wars and civil wars have ended, countries such as the United States, Korea, Israel, and Singapore, among others, became stronger nations, developing strong militaries and respected education systems after getting their independence.
“Other countries like Israel, they had to get their land back bit by bit and in 1948 when they got their independence, they were recognized by the UN (United Nations) And up to now, they are still fighting for it,’’ he said.
‘’To ensure that the sacrifices of our brave heroes would not be for naught, we should work hard to achieve economic development and strengthen our military so that the country could enjoy true independence and would be taken seriously,’’ he added.
The Philippines, Gordon pointed out, should look at its neighbors’ capability and look at our own intentions.
‘’ What is our national interest? ‘’ he asked.
‘’Kaya ba nating ipagtanggol ang ating bansa? The struggle for independence is a struggle for Bagumbayan – a new country. Dr. Jose Rizal did not see it but he meant for us to build it. And if it’s to be, it must be up to us,” he said.