On June 3, Filipinos in the Northeastern part of America, once again gathered in New York City and celebrated Philippine Independence, which, actually falls on June 12.

The independence of the Republic of the Philippines is defined in the Preamble of its Constitution.

The Preamble outlines the purposes of the Constitution, and defines the powers of the government as originating from the people.

The Philippine Constitution of 1987 contains the following Preamble:

We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

Stressing the sanctity and importance of independence, American statesman and former Sen. Daniel Webster, in his eulogy for John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, said, “It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it will be my dying sentiment- independence now and independence forever.”

Philippine independence, as we know it, was attained by shedding blood and by manifesting extraordinary courage on the part of Filipino ancient and modern day heroes.

It was not easy, since centuries of Spanish colonization, to the cruelty of Japanese military, to benevolence of America for restoring PH independence and an interregnum of dictatorship by Ferdinand Marcos.


After two years in office, President Rodrigo Duterte is being accused of giving a new meaning to Philippine independence.

His critics, inside and outside the Philippines, say Mr. Duterte is a threat to Philippine independence and democracy.

That he has a problem with the rule of law, truth, justice, equality of gender.

His anti-drug policy has resulted in the reported extrajudicial killings of some 14,000 suspected drug traffickers and addicts.

Worst, that he has virtually adopted a foreign policy that is dependent, instead of independent, on China.

That he has supposedly squandered the Permanent Court of Arbitration decision to conserve and develop what rightly and legally belong to the Philippines.

The experiences of Filipinos with Marcos and Duterte are classic explanations why the champion of Philippine independence, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, once raised the question: “Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?”

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