On Independence Day, ex-SC justice Sereno urges Filipinos to fight for rights
MANILA, Philippines — Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday urged Filipinos to continue fighting for their rights “so we might truly become ‘the sovereign Filipino people’ envisioned by the Constitution.”
Sereno made the call as the country celebrates its 122nd Independence Day—with various groups holding physical protests despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and bad weather brought by Tropical Depression “Butchoy.”
“I encourage my fellow citizens, especially the youth, to continue fighting for the rights of our people so we might truly become ‘the sovereign Filipino people’ envisioned by the Constitution, who in full faith implore the ‘aid of Almighty God’ to help us establish a ‘just and humane society’,” Sereno said in a statement.
According to Sereno, democracy does not suddenly establish itself and that it is something that is “sown, tended, and prayed for.”
“It is not like a gift that comes suddenly on one’s birthday, but is like a child who must be reared until it grows into maturity and strength,” Sereno said.
“Today’s events like this ‘citizens’ sounds of free expression’ prove that we continue to nurture the seed of democracy planted by our forefathers when they rose as a people against the tyrannical Spanish regime more than 120 years ago,” she added.
Further, Sereno underscored the importance of not giving up that one day, “we will finally be free from oppressors.”
“The colonizers taught us to rely on the generosity of patrons and not self-governance, and many communities still need to find their voices. So a long and patient struggle faces us,” Sereno said.
In her Independence Day speech, Vice President Leni Robredo also highlighted that freedom transcends oneself and that its true meaning is freedom for other people.
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