RG Hataman on the 117th Philippine Independence Day Celebrations
Today is the day when we not only look back at the bravery and greatness of our Filipino heroes, but also look forward to a better future as we reap the gains of their courage and selflessness.
But we also remember the Moro martyrs who fought for our land. Their stories may have been forgotten by time or missed by history books.
We pay tribute to them.
To Sultan Alimudin and Datu Ache of Sulu. To the Rajah of Buayan, Silongan. To Sultan Mawallil Wasit Bungsu of Jolo. To Datu Akadir Amai Pakpak and Datu Ampunagus of Lanao. To Kapitan Laut Buisan of Maguindanao. To Sultan Kudarat of Maguindanao. They are just some of the Moro heroes.
We are forever indebted to them because they offered their lives in the name of freedom. They died for us and our children. They are our patriots whose legacy of valor and courage became our own source of strength and enthusiasm – that we can become a free people, a free nation.
Today, we mark our celebration of independence with more meaning and significance, as the Bangsamoro fights the enormous battle for self-determination. This is the flame that fueled our valiant forebears.
In the Bangsamoro, self-determination will allow us the freedom to prove that we can rise to the challenge of impacting positive change in our lives and our communities.
As we fight for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, other challenges lie ahead of us – the fight against poverty, the fight for justice and peace, the fight for equality, the fight for self-determination.
As Moro people, we have inherited the greatness of our own heroes and the spirit to persevere and triumph despite the storm. We take inspiration from these heroes as we take on and win the challenges of our generation.