President Rodrigo Duterte, in his Araw ng Kagitingan message, urged the Filipino people to resist any affront to sovereignty and independence of the Philippines.
“Seventy-six years passed since Filipino and American troops fought side by side in defense of our democratic way of life. Immeasurable sweat, blood and tears were shed and countless lives were lost during this dark chapter in our history to ensure that our people may pursue their endeavors freely,” he said.
“It is thus disquieting that our commemoration of this historic occasion comes at a time when the very freedoms that the heroes of Bataan fought for are once again imperiled,” he added. “Forces who wish to see a weak and submissive Philippines continue in their unbridled disrespect for the institutions and laws that embody our aspirations as a people.”
He noted that it is the Filipinos’ “sacred duty and obligation to defend the honor of our motherland.”
“We owe it to our forefathers to demonstrate the same courage and valor that sustained their gallant stand more than seven decades ago,” he said. “Let the spirit of Bataan inspire us to resist any affront to our dignity and inviolable rights as a free, sovereign and independent nation.”