The Philippines just celebrated 123 years of independence yesterday.
We salute the courageous men and women who sacrificed themselves to free our country from 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.
Then came the Americans who taught us the democratic way of life and drove Japanese intruders so we may live in peace.
But since then, we hardly could see our country to be truly independent. An independent foreign policy has been declared but we remain weak in defending our country against internal and external aggressions.
We still import basic goods like rice, meat, fish, and other essentials that could be easily produced here to balance supply and demand.
Filipinos are in a bleak scenario and face an uncertain future.
Taxes are being corrupted because of greed and vested interests and we depend on foreign loans, which now stand at P10 trillion for government projects and services but which are not wisely spent.
Freedom of expression and doing something beneficial to the community are suppressed. Criminality abounds and we live in fear.
The Philippines will never attain real independence if detrimental acts continue to take place.
There is a need to have competent, honest, humane, and dedicated leadership and unified public support to achieve self-reliance, peace, and prosperity. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City