By Rjhay E. Laurea
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato — Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday (September 1) showed her appreciation to Cotabateños who continuously give their effort for the province’s ongoing recovery from the economic, education, and livelihood losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, you have shown that you are driving the road to recovery. And this should not be a lonely road. This should be a collective journey — our journey together — that even when we face challenges and threats, we do not hover, we do not stop and surrender to fear, to disappointments, to energies and forces that injure or break our spirit as a nation,” Duterte said during the province’s 108th “Kalivungan” founding anniversary celebration at the Grandstand of the Provincial Capitol here Thursday morning.
“Instead, we go on braver, bolder, and stronger. And we are braver, bolder, and stronger because we have each other,” she added.
Duterte stressed the Cotabateños’ united solidarity which served as the foundation for the Kalivungan Festival which is a celebration of the development and the peace now pervading across the province.
“At the heart of the Kalivungan Festival is the unity among the people of North Cotabato, who have been emboldened by the unwavering strength that deeply binds them together — nevermind the race, nevermind the religion and beliefs, nevermind the social status,” Duterte said.
“And please allow me to reiterate this — today, more than ever, we should not allow anyone or anything to break us,” she said.
Duterte reminded the Cotabateños to focus on one direction, emphasizing not supporting communist groups who want to bring down the government.
“Kinahanglan isa lang ang atoang direksyon as a province and as a country. Ug dili nato hatagan ug suporta ang mga tawo na gusto gubaon ang atong kalinaw na natangamtam na dinhi sa atong probinsya ug sa atong nasud (We need to have one direction as a province and as a country. We must not support the people who want to destroy the peace that we have in our province and our nation),” Duterte said.
“Let us not support terrorists. Let us not support the New People’s Army,” she added.
The Vice President’s visit was her second time being invited to the Kalivungan Festival. She also took the opportunity to thank the province for their support of her and her running mate, now President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in the last election.
Duterte also gave recognition to the 11 groups of performers who showcased the province’s history through traditional dances by giving them P30,000 per group for them to use in improving their craft in music and the arts.
Prior to the event, Duterte, who is also the secretary of Education, also visited the Amas National High School to check on the teachers’ concerns and to personally discuss with them problems facing the education sector. (ai/mtvn)