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By Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine flag was raised at the main camp of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Crame in Quezon City Wednesday morning as the country celebrates the 121st declaration of the Independence Day.

PNP holds flag-raising ceremony earlier at the main police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City to celebrate the 121st Philippine Independence Day. (PNP-PIO / VIA MARTIN SADONGDONG / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP holds flag-raising ceremony earlier at the main police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City to celebrate the 121st Philippine Independence Day. (PNP-PIO / VIA MARTIN SADONGDONG / MANILA BULLETIN)

Across the country, Philippine flags were also raised in various police camps such as in Apayao in Cordillera Administrative Region; Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon; National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in Metro Manila; Roxas City, Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Capiz in Western Visayas; and General Santos City in Region 12 to name a few.

Police General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, urged the 190,000-strong men and women of the police organization to remember and imitate the heroism of those who fought for the country’s independence from foreign invaders.

This year’s theme for the Independence Day celebration was “Kalayaan 2019: Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan.”

“Sama-sama tayong magbigay-pugay sa ating mga ninuno at bayaning lumaban, nagsakripisyo at nagbuwis ng buhay upang makamtan natin ang ating kalayaan mula sa dayuhang mananakop (Let us join together in honoring our ancestors and heroes who fought, sacrificed and offered their loves so we may attain the freedom from foreign invaders),” Albayalde said in a statement read by Police Lieutenant General Fernando Mendez Jr., the PNP’s deputy director for administration.

Albayalde, who was in Lanao del Sur for a separate flag-raising ceremony, also paid tribute to the country’s “modern heroes” who continue to risk their lives for the country.

“Sa araw na ito, ipinagdiriwang natin hindi lamang ang kagitingan at katapangan ng ating mga bayaning lumaban para makamit ang kalayaan kundi ang ating makabagong bayani na patuloy ding naglilingkod at nag-aalay ng dugo’t pawis para sa kaligtasan, kaayusan, at kaunlaran ng ating bayan (Today, we celebrate not only the gallantry and bravery of the heroes who fought for our freedom but also the modern heroes who continue to serve and toil blood and sweat for the safety, orderliness, and development of our country),” Albayalde said.

“Kabilang dito ang magigiting na pulis na katulad natin, sundalo, bumbero, guro, magsasaka, metro aid at iba pang lingkod-bayan at mamamayang nagsasakripisyo, nagtatrabaho at nag-aalay ng buhay para sa sambayanang Pilipino. Ang araw na ito ay para rin sa kanilang lahat (This inlcudes the gallant policemen like us, soldiers, firefighters, teachers, farmers, metro aid at other public servants and citizens who sacrifice, work and offer their lives for the Filipino people. This day is for them, too),” he added.

Despite being independent, Albayalde said the country still faces different problems and difficulties which include corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs among others.

He then urged the policemen to ignite their passion and heart for service so that the country may finally solve the ills of the society and achieve the change that it wants.

“Para sa Pambansyang Pulisya, panahong muli upang paigtingin ang ating pagkakaisa, at sama-samang isulong ang ating misyon tungo sa kaayusan, kapayapaan at kaligtasan ng bawat lansangan at komunidad sa buong bansa (For the PNP, this is the time to unite and push for our mission towards an orderly, peaceful and safe streets and communities across the country),” Albayalde stressed.

“Ipakita natin ang tunay na puso ng pulis, ang pusong may malasakit at handang mag-alay ng buhay para sa sambayanan, ang pusong magiting at matapang sa harap ng anumang hamon at panganib at ang pusong may takot at tiwala sa Diyos at nag-aalab ang pagmamahal sa bayan (Let us show the true heart of a policeman, a heart that has a genuine concern and ready to risk one’s own life for others, a heart that is gallant and brave in facing whatever challenges that may thrown his way, a heart that fears and trusts the Lord, and has a great love for the country),” he noted.

After the flag-raising ceremony at Camp Crame, Mendez, along with other top police officials and PNP personnel, released white doves and waved their flaglets in celebration of the Philippine Independence Day.