REMEMBERING THE FIRST PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC. Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra leads the offering of flowers at Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's monument at the Barasoain Church in Malolos City, as the nation commemorates the 120th Anniversary of the First Philippine Republic on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Photo by Manny Balbin)
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday encouraged Bulakenyos to join a continuing effort “to end all forms of slavery and free Filipinos from all forms of oppression.”
Guevarra made the call as guest of honor in the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic held at the historic Barasoain Church in this city.
“Let us work together to liberate our people from those who abuse; defend the well-being of the oppressed; and end all forms of slavery. Let us justify justice for the freedom to fight for, liberate our neighbors and ourselves in all kinds of oppression,” he said.
Guevarra also said that history is one vital part of everybody’s entirety and the lessons that it imparted to Filipinos serve as a guide for the future.
“This history is written through sweat and blood. This is the story we are honoring, but moreover, we ought to examine its teachings, because the war of independence is not yet through. The face of our opponent is different. This is the fact that war for independence is a fight for justice,” the justice chief added.
Furthermore, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said he is grateful that the "First Republic in Asia" was born in Bulacan for it led the province to a more meaningful journey to development.
“The blessing of the First Republic has continued to flourish while new events re-shape our province," he said, noting that new projects are in line for the province.
The governor cited the ongoing projects in Bulacan, such as the construction of the Metro Manila Skyway project, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 7, Bulacan Bulk Water Project, the international airport, which is 10 times bigger than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and will feature a modern terminal and runways, a road network, connection to MRT, and ferry services.
City Mayor Christian “Agila” D. Natividad, on the other hand, said the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the First Philippine Republic is one of the most important days for Filipinos.
“Some 120 years ago, our Filipino people were called Indios, those who were lame and weak but after the founding of the First Philippine Republic, our people are now called citizens of the free Republic of the Philippines,” Natividad said.
It was on Jan. 23, 1899 when the First Philippine Republic was established, marking the beginning of Filipino democracy.
Wednesday's program began with a flag raising ceremony, followed by a wreath-laying activity at the monument of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippine Republic.
Present also in the program were Vice Governor Daniel R. Fernando, Rep. Jonathan R. Sy-Alvarado, Malolos City Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, Bulacan Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Executive Director III Ludovico Badoy, and provincial board members Therese Cheryll Ople, Felix Ople, Alex Castro, Norma Roque, Perlita Delos Santos, Allan Andan, and Joseph Andrew Mendoza. (PNA)
Photo by Manny Balbin/PNA