Independence day messages

BAGUIO CITY- Freedom from pessimism and the ability to accept the need for positive change is Independence day speaker Police Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong's message last Tuesday at the Baguio Convention Center.

Speaking in Filipino and in consonance with the theme, "Kalayaan: Pananagutan ng Bayan Para sa Tuwid na Daan" (Freedom: the Accountability of a Sovereign Nation of Responsible Citizenry), Magalong mentioned his department's recently being in the spotlight for misdeeds committed by some irresponsible members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Despite of this, he said, the PNP shall continue to fight corruption and crime within the ranks and bring to the fore, genuine change as to President Benigno Aquino Jr.'s vision of transparent and good governance.

This, he added, is being brought nearer to the goal through the PNP Integrated Transformation Program thru the Performance Governance System: a thorough process which would bring to justice any erring top-ranked or lowly employee of the organization. Wrongdoing and corrupt practices within the government should not go unpunished, he said, and should be a warning to all. He thus asked everybody's cooperation in maintaining peace and order; and urged members of the PNP to work diligently with the citizenry as such, that they can proudly declare: "Pulis Ako, Pulis Nyo Po."

Magalong also recalled that a hundred and fourteen years has passed since our forefathers waved the first flag signifying freedom from foreign rulers, in Kawit, Cavite. "It was the day when our forefathers proclaimed: 'Yesterday is the last day I was deemed a down-trodden being in my land of birth. Today, I proclaim my being an individual, God's creation, someone free to dream and toil towards the achievement of such aspirations!' " he said.

Magalong, however cautioned against being comfortable in this freedom, bought by our forefathers' blood and sacrifices. We also have to look for our countrymen who are bound by poverty and hardships due to other people's greed and unkindness, he said.

The independent day speaker is a Baguio boy; born, bred and schooled here in the city, and currently assigned as Regional Director of the Provincial Regional Office-Cordillera Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan meanwhile spoke on liberty being "the best thing that we have in this country," and thus, being hard-earned, should be instilled in our hearts, action and spirit. We should be responsible citizens with the accountability to protect the path towards freedom with righteousness in every thing that we do and say, the mayor said.

"Freedom is a double-edged sword which could help to build, help and serve but could also destroy. We should use it to accomplish what we should against poverty, criminality, traffic, garbage, squatting, laziness, illiteracy, and hunger in the city," the mayor said.

We also have the flag which continually reminds us of love, truth, equality and patriotism, as seen in the red, white and blue colors, accentuated with the yellow stars and sun, he added.

In us runs heroes' blood and genes of greatness as we move towards the future using our freedom to work for what is good, he ended.

Congressman Bernardo Vergara echoed this in his message as he urged the citizenry to "make our lives worthy of the heroes, martyrs and patriots who died for us."

Meanwhile the celebration of Independence Day goes on until the end of June with the viewing of the first flag at the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, Salud Mitra Barangay. Clean-up drives, tree-planting, and sports activities shall go on, sponsored by corporate and civic groups at different venues, as with the birth anniversary celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal next Tuesday, June 19 at the Rizal Elementary School and Baguio City National High School Rizal Annex.-juliegfianza

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