Independence Day in Iloilo City highlights heritage, peace

Mayor Jerry Treñas Facebook Page Photo

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

The Iloilo City government’s simple but solemn commemoration of the country’s 126th Independence Day on Wednesday, June 12, emphasized the importance of preserving culture and heritage while promoting peace and order as key aspects of freedom.

A wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of Jose Rizal was led by Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, who was accompanied by city councilors, barangay officials, and representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Education, and other national government agencies, as well as local Boy and Girl Scout troops.

Ganzon, reading a prepared speech by Mayor Jerry Treñas, who was on medical leave, highlighted the city’s theme, “Preserving our Filipino Culture and Heritage to Unite Generations.”

The speech referenced Republic Act No. 10555, which declared the Arevalo Plaza, Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex, and Plaza Libertad Complex as Cultural Tourism Heritage Zones.

“Our culture and tradition are legacies that we pass down to future generations, ensuring that they too can take pride in their identity as Filipinos,” Ganzon read from the mayor’s speech.

“It is through coming together as one people with unity and resilience that we find strength to overcome challenges and build a more inclusive and harmonious society,” he added.

Police Brigadier General Archival Macala, Deputy Regional Director for Administration of the PNP Regional Office 6, was the ceremony’s guest of honor.

In his speech, Macala emphasized the importance of promoting peace and order to maintain the people’s right to freedom.

He noted the significance of Plaza Libertad in the country’s history as the site where the flag of the First Philippine Republic was unfurled on December 25, 1898.

This event marked the surrender of the last Spanish forces in the country to Filipino revolutionary troops led by General Martin Delgado, after whom the regional police headquarters is named.

“The destiny of the PNP service will forever be interwoven with our nation’s fight against oppression and subjugation. Our theme, ‘Kalayaan, Kasaysayan, Kinabukasan,’ is fitting and appropriate, considering the numerous local and foreign forces that threaten our integrity as a sovereign and independent nation,” Macala said.