MANILA-- A Catholic prelate urged Filipinos to exhibit loyalty to the country and set aside personal interests.
"May we Filipinos be more patriotic, that is to be truly one and united to love and labor for the good of country, not for our personal interest nor for own political agenda," said Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos as the country celebrated the 119th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on Monday.
He added that the people should also work hand in hand for a better Philippines.
"We should work together to build our country, not to break, to do our best and be a blessing to one another, not divide nor destroy our country," the Bataan prelate said.
He added, "May we all pray for peace and work together to achieve it. Let us use our regionality, religious beliefs and political affiliations for peace and prosperity of our country."
For his part, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes believed that Independence Day is a celebration of freedom in many aspects.
"Independence Day is essentially a celebration of freedom for all citizens - freedom from political oppression from a foreign nation, freedom from coercion from officials in one's own nation, freedom from want for the necessities in life, freedom to worship God in his chosen religion, freedom for self-expression but in consonance with propriety, freedom to assert one's right as a human person and as a law-abiding citizen of the country," he said.
The 2017 Independence Day is observed with the theme, Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-Samang Balikatin.
Source: Philippines News Agency