MANILA – It is the shared history and abiding commitment to democracy that define and anchor the relationship between the Philippines and the United States (US), according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte made this statement to commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the inauguration of the Third Philippine Republic and the Philippines-US Diplomatic Relations.
In these two historical events, Duterte said the Philippines was able to regain its independence.
“By doing so, we reclaimed our inherent right to an independent state and to forge relations with other countries on the basis of sovereign equality and respect,” he said in his speech on Monday.
Duterte acknowledged that ties between the Filipino and American peoples are “deep as they are storied.”
“It is no secret that the United States occupied the Philippines not long after we won independence from Spain through a valiant struggle,” he said.
He admitted that the ensuing Philippine-American War wrought so much “pain and destruction” from which the nation has yet to fully heal.
The Filipino leader, however, also pointed out that the Philippines fought with America to free the world from fascism and oppression during the World War II.
“In a war we neither wanted nor asked for, we fought shoulder to shoulder with America for freedom and dignity. Together, we won alongside the free world,” he said.
Despite differences, he said the Philippines and US have a “common stake” in a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region which makes their longstanding alliance relevant in the face of a changing world.
“Our strong people-to-people ties ensure that bilateral cooperation remains vibrant and responsive to the needs and aspirations of our societies,” he said.
He, meanwhile, urged the public to seize the opportunity to renew the enduring Philippine-US friendship and value their robust alliance that serves “shared interest.”
The inauguration of the Third Republic marked the fulfillment of the long struggle for independence that began with the Philippine Revolution on August 23, 1896 and which was formalized on June 12, 1898 with the proclamation of Philippine Independence at Kawit, Cavite.
On Sunday, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, United States Embassy and other government agencies led the commemoration of the 75th anniversaries of the Inauguration of the Third Philippine Republic and Philippine-US diplomatic relations at the Independence Flag Pole in Rizal Park. (PNA)