Gesmundo emphasizes sovereignty, safeguarding freedom on 125th Independence Day | Inquirer News

Gesmundo emphasizes sovereignty, safeguarding freedom on 125th Independence Day

/ 07:51 PM June 12, 2023

MANILA, Philippines–Malolos Constitution not only determined the path to take and how to thread it toward the future, but it also emphasized that sovereignty and absolute power lay in the hands of the people, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Alexander Gesmundo said Monday.

“Ano ang ipinapaalala sa atin nito? Una, na ang kalayaan, at ang mga biyaya nito, dapat pinagsasaluhan ng lahat. Kung angkin ng sambayanan ang kapangyarihan, dapat sa kanila rin nakatuon ang paggamit nito. Ang kapangyarihang ito, dapat ginagamit para bantayan ang kanilang kalayaan sa mas malawak at mas malalim na diwa nito–kalayaan hindi lang sa mananakop, kundi sa gutom, sa kahirapan, sa pangamba, sa kawalan ng katarungan,” Gesmundo said as he led the celebration of the country’s 125th Independence Day anniversary at the Barasoain Church in Bulacan which he said is very significant as the place is where the first Philippine Constitution was crafted and is also the first constitution to be crafted in all of Asia.

(What does this remind us of? First, that freedom, and its blessings, should be shared by all. If the power belongs to the people, then its use should be directed toward them as well. This power should be used to safeguard their freedom in its broader and deeper sense—not just freedom from oppressors, but also from hunger, poverty, fear, and injustice.)


He said if having the freedom to live happily, with dignity, love and hope is reserved for a few, the freedom would not be meaningful and complete.


“Kaya tungkulin nating bantayan hindi lang ang ating kalayaan at kapakanan, kundi pati ng kapwa natin, ng bawa’t isa sa atin—at hindi lang para sa mga kapwa nating nabubuhay ngayon, kundi para sa mga susunod na henerasyon ng Pilipino,” he said.

(Therefore, it is our duty to safeguard not only our own freedom and welfare but also that of our fellow citizens, each and every one of us—not just for those who are alive today but for the future generations of Filipinos.)

He also reminded the public of the connected responsibility that must be observed along with the rights and freedoms that each Filipino enjoy.

“Nariyan, higit sa lahat, ang mga tungkulin natin bilang mga mamamayan. Kasama ng tungkulin nating pangalagaan ang ating kalayaan, ang tungkulin nating pangalagaan ang ating kapwa, at ang tungkulin nating pangalagaan ang ating bansa—tungo sa kinabukasan na mas matatag, mas maunlad, at mas makatao para sa lahat,” he said.

(That includes, above all, our duties as citizens. Along with our duty to protect our freedom is our duty to protect our fellow citizens and our duty to protect our country—towards a future that is stronger, more prosperous, and more humane for all.)

As for the Judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice Gesmundo mentioned the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI), which seeks to establish a modern and agile judiciary that delivers justice promptly and is closer to the people. He noted that this objective aligns with the goals set by the Malolos Constitution and the country’s history of struggles for freedom and justice.


“Binabanggit ko ito hindi lamang para maipaalam sa ating mga kababayan ang ating landas ng reporma sa hudikatura, at hilingin na makiisa sila sa pagtahak nito. Binabanggit ko ito bilang paalala na bilang Pilipino, lahat tayo ay may tungkulin na pangalagaan at pagyamanin ang kalayaang minana natin,” he said.

(I mention this not only to inform our fellow citizens about our path to judicial reform but also to remind them that, as Filipinos, we all have a duty to safeguard and enrich the freedom we have inherited.)


Rain fails to dampen Independence Day rites at historic Barasoain Church

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TAGS: 125th Independence Day, Constitution, Justice, Supreme Court

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