AS the country commemorates the 77th anniversary of the Battle for Manila, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday urged Filipinos to emulate the patriotism and love of country of our courageous countrymen who fought for independence as the country fights the current battle against the global scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We may forget the gruesome scenes of the Second World War but the valor of our heroes will endure in the annals of our history, ever to be immortalized by fellow Filipinos as models of patriotism and love of country,” Moreno said during his speech at the University of Sto. Tomas where the month-long Battle of Manila started 77 years ago with the liberation of thousands of war internees.
“The situation at present may be different from that during the war, but the challenges are the same. We are now in the middle of a global pandemic and the loss of lives are inevitable as the virus has progressed into variants that has proved to be more fatal since its inception,” Moreno said.
Much like the ferocious battles experienced by the people of Manila, the 47-year-old presidential aspirant said the Filipino people are now in the middle of a worldwide conflict against a virus that has left no one unaffected.
And just as the brave soldiers whom the Filipino people relied upon during the armed battle, Moreno pointed out that we also have our courageous frontliners who never turned their backs on us when we needed them the most, with many even dying in the defense of our people against COVID-19.
But no matter how courageous and selfless our frontliners may be, and no matter how government, both national and local, do its best to lead the people out of this health crisis, Moreno said it will all be for naught without the cooperation of the citizenry.
The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet thus urged everybody to join hands with the government in this battle against the dreadful virus for us to win the war the soonest possible time.
“I am also posing this challenge to each and every one of you, every one of us, the private sector, communities, corporations big and small, and down to our very own households, please let us be supportive of the programs of our government in reference to our fight against the virus spread,” Moreno said.
“The government is doing its best to defeat this, but without the cooperation of our people, this program would mean nothing. No matter how great the desires of the government, coupled with excruciating piles of research and studies to address the problem, it would only be an attempt in futility,” he pointed out.
Moreno said if there is a lesson that the Battle for Manila will serve for us as a people, it is that “whichever side we are in, love of one’s country is nothing if we don’t have the genuine care and compassion for your brothers and sisters.”
Moreno also took the time to thank members of the diplomatic corps present at the event for their respective country’s generous support to the City of Manila and to the Filipino people in general in surviving the pandemic.
“Your excellencies, the city will always be grateful to you for your selfless gestures and generous support to us in trying to survive this pandemic. Your help to the city, pandemic or not, has come a long way, and will always be a testament to our close ties as allies towards world peace, progress, and development,” he said.
“As I speak, the city will always be grateful to all of you, no exemption. This is living proof that the existence of the modern allied forces, uniting in the fight against the global pandemic, and in unison to the universal aim of a healthy citizenry, is a tool towards global progress and development,” said Moreno.