6th Infantry Battalion Headquarters, Malabang, Lanao del Sur
June 12, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte paid tribute to the heroes of the past who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the Filipino people as he led the ceremonial commemoration of the 121st anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the 6th Infantry Battalion Headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.

“Today we remembered a storied past while looking towards a better future worthy of the sweat and blood that were shed by our forbearers for more than a century ago,” President Duterte said.

He also acknowledged the bravery and honor of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, who was killed by the Imperial Japanese troops when he refused to change allegiance during the invasion.

“A true patriot even in the last moment, he told his son to be brave and not to cry for it is an honor to die for one’s country as not everybody has the chance,” the President stated as he retold the famous last words of the late judge before he was executed by the invading Japanese troops through a firing squad.

Furthermore, the Chief Executive not only recognized the valor of the past Filipino people, but also gave his nod to the 6th Infantry (Redskin) Battalion, who has been involved in armed engagements against the Maute Group, Dawiah Islamiyah, and other lawless elements that continue to threaten the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank the brave men and women of the Redskin Battalion for your bravery, selflessness service, and unconditional love of country. Your valor has indeed earned you a place among the valiant heroes who built this nation 121 years ago,” he said.

With the modern threats of poverty, corruption, illegal drugs, environmental degradation, terrorism, and criminality, President Duterte urged the Filipinos to look back and learn the lessons from the past to ensure that the threats centuries ago will not infringe on the people’s right to live in peace, safety, and comfort.

“Let us all work together so we may preserve this gift of liberty that all our children deserve to inherit,” President Duterte ended.

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