On what could be his last Independence Day function as the highest official of the land, President Duterte led the 124th commemoration of the country’s independence at historic Rizal Park in Manila on Sunday, June 12. PRRD’s six-year term ends on Thursday, 30 June 2022.
With President Rodrigo Duterte are ranking administration officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin, Executive Dept. Chief Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Bong Go, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, and Manila Mayor-elect Honey Lacuna.
In 2017, Duterte was supposed to commemorate his first Independence Day as president at Rizal Park but later decided to skip it because he was “not feeling well. “
He celebrated the 120th and 121st Independence Days at the historic balcony of Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite in 2018 and the 6th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur, respectively.
This year’s celebration bears the theme “Kalayaan 2022: Pagsuong sa Hamon ng Panibagong Bukas” (Rise Towards the Challenge of a New Beginning).
Various government officials lead the flag-raising and wreath-laying rites simultaneously conducted in different historical landmarks throughout the country.
The country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, proclaimed the Philippines’ independence from the Spanish colonial rule in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
From 1946 to 1961, the Philippines celebrated Independence Day every July 4. However, it was moved to June 12 by virtue Proclamation No. 28, series of 1962, of President Diosdado Macapagal. In 1964, Congress passed Republic Act 4166 formally designating June 12 of every year as the date on which the country celebrates Philippine independence.
Independence Day is a regular holiday under Proclamation 1236.
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/ai/mtvn/With reports from PNA)