Press Release
June 11, 2006


I join the Filipino people in celebrating Independence Day today. Indeed there have been one too many threats to our precious democracy. However difficult it may seem for us to remain free to express our opinions and beliefs, we remain free to experience many civil liberties which other countries and other citizens living in starvation or war cannot freely experience. There is still much to be grateful for, but we have to remain vigilant nonetheless.

More than a hundred years ago, our ancestors were determined to become free. Our country has come a long way since. With the same courage and determination, we need to wage a war to fight poverty, misgovernance, disempowerment and mediocrity in public service. Every Filipino needs to participate actively in this crusade so the country can truly move ahead. It is high time that as we celebrate again our independence, we fervently pray that we be able to celebrate a restored faith in our capacity and ability to overcome any crisis that we may face. For as long as our countrys citizens refuse to take action towards reforms, then we will never be free from the shackles of extreme want, apathy, and despair, that have oppressed our people for generations.

As we celebrate another year of independence, may the Filipino people be finally truly free, so that our country may have the chance to realize the endless possibilities of freedom and equality, which are just within our reach.

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