Independence Day: Senators reassert Philippines' sovereignty battle | Inquirer News

Independence Day: Senators reassert Philippines’ sovereignty battle

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 10:13 AM June 12, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Independence Day reiterated that the Philippines is still fighting for different liberties, ranging from national sovereignty from foreign powers to freedom from issues within the country like poverty.

Opposition leader Sen. Risa Hontiveros said that Independence Day is a reminder of the Philippine ancestors who had made sacrifices for freedom.

“What ignited our fight for independence then are the same battles we are waging now. Today, we are also making a stand for a more just and equitable society. Time and again, we stand up against oppression from poverty, abusive foreign powers, and the tyranny of some of our own,” said Hontiveros in a statement.


While Hontiveros does not specify which foreign powers were abusive, the country has long dealt with aggression from China over territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.


READ: Aggression in West PH Sea: China’s maritime ‘Great Wall’ plan

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada also alluded to “pressing issues” affecting the Philippine sovereignty in a separate statement.

“We must likewise address the pressing issues that affect our sovereignty and regional stability. As a nation, we have always valued diplomacy and peaceful dialogue as the means to address conflicts,” Estrada said in a statement, without alluding to a specific issue.

Both Estrada and Hontiveros also point to internal issues plaguing the country, such as human rights violations and labor rights.

According to Hontiveros, heroes from history did not just fight against foreigners, but they also fought oppression, inequality, and lack of opportunities.

“It is disheartening to think that we are repeating the same mistakes. Today, just as before, poverty, corruption, and inequality are still rampant. Historical revisionism, disinformation, and the violation of human rights are also just some of the many issues that hinder us from reaching our full potential,” said Hontiveros.


Estrada also said that the country’s progress now is built on the labor of Filipinos.

“As a labor advocate senator, I pledge to continue championing their cause, to tirelessly work towards the advancement of workers’ rights, and to push for policies that foster a fair and equitable labor environment as many of our workers continue to face exploitative conditions, inadequate compensation, and a lack of job security,” said Estrada.

Sen. Joel Villanueva, on the other hand, reiterated that heroism still prevails.

“Mula po sa mga bayaning nagtanggol at nag-alay ng buhay para sa bayan noon, kitang kita pa rin po natin hanggang sa ngayon ang kabayanihan ng mga Pilipinong patuloy na nag-aangat ng bandila ng Pilipinas sa apat na sulok ng daigdig. Nawa’y patuloy po na magbigay ng inspirasyon ang Araw ng Kalayaan upang lalo po tayong magbigkis bilang isang bayan,” said Villanueva in a statement.

(From the heroes that defended and offered their lives for the country, we can see that until now, the heroism of Filipinos continues to raise the flag of the Philippines in all four corners of the world. May this Independence Day continue to inspire us to unite as one nation.)


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