President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graces the 124th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Rizal Park in the City of Manila on June 12, 2022. 

A video is available at this link:


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The past two years have seen us weathering the worst of the pandemic. There was the challenge of staying productive and hopeful, of running not to fall back, and sustaining relationships and preserving economies amidst health and travel restrictions that became commonplace. While the pandemic is still very much with us, we have managed to get out of the lashing arms of the storm but not into its eye for more to come. We have survived this far, and with continued caution and vigilance, we are getting out of this altogether to create a yet better future.


This Philippine Independence Day, Filipinos all over the world are called to “rise to the challenge of a new tomorrow”. If there is anything the pandemic taught us, it is to never underestimate humankind’s capacity to evolve and adapt. We have seen this in ourselves, our families, and communities. We, in the Department of Foreign Affairs, did not let a pandemic stop us from cultivating foreign partnerships, securing much-needed vaccines, upholding our sovereign rights, getting overseas Filipinos out of distress, and sharply increasing already considerable consular services. We rose to the occasion even as our compatriots abroad tenaciously served on the front lines while supporting their families in the Philippines. Overseas Filipinos will always be a source of pride and inspiration, they are the subjects of royal honors; the gratitude and admiration of foreign nations. The DFA is privileged for the opportunity it has gripped with both hands to be beside you in a perilous journey and never leave you behind.


Our endeavors, our struggles have borne fruit, just in time for our country to exercise democracy through free and fair elections with no restrictions other than those commonsense self-imposes. The sovereign will of the Filipino people through free, fair and unrestricted elections – an extension of our national independence – found its fullest expression and produced a clear and incontestable winner I was proud to announce this to the American President and the US Congress. This enables us to set the vision of the “new tomorrow” we will all be working for. Thank you, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for making it happen; the only President in our history to end his term with nationwide 70% approval and zero disapproval in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This good man was vilified by so-called democracies that are racist, divided, unable to produce majorities and are at best confused about purpose.


As we now begin a new chapter in our nation’s history, I offer my very best wishes and profound appreciation to my colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs. It has been my honor to serve our country and people by your side. There remains so much to do and still so many challenges to overcome, but my faith in the DFA, like my faith in the Filipino, is strong and unwavering. 


With this, I greet you for the last time as Secretary of Foreign Affairs: 


Maligayang Araw ng Kasarinlan!


Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at ang Sambayanang Pilipino!

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