Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos at the 78th Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary Commemoration

Speeches 20 October 2022

Thank you to the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government — [Please take your seats.] — Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos for his kind introduction.

Her Excellency, the Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of the Philippines, Her Excellency MaryKay Carlson, and the other Excellencies who are here, members of the Diplomatic Corps; Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco; PMS Secretary Naida Angping; Leyte Province Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla; Samar Province Governor Sharee Ann Tan; Palo Municipal Mayor Remedios Petilla; and the members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines led by Region VIII President Jose Jacla; the members of the Sons and Daughters of Veterans of which I am a proud member [applause and cheers]; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen; distinguished guests, good morning.

It is an honor to be here with you to celebrate this Commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landings.

I thank the Provincial Government of Leyte for organizing the commemoration of this important and historic event. This event that shaped the destiny of our nation and the entire world in our pursuit for independence.

When the allied forces landed on these shores in 1944, the freedom of the Philippines was restored and the bond between our peoples — founded upon the ideals of justice and liberty — strengthened and renewed.

Changing circumstances have tested this bond in the past yet they hold and hold strong to this day. This bond will continue to be tested well into the future, but I am confident that it will continue to hold as we move forward.

Because a fellowship like ours — forged in the fires of war and sealed with the blood and sweat of our patriots and veterans — will forever bind our people’s destinies and futures together.

We commemorate this event, but let us remember the courage and heroism demonstrated by our war veterans, fellow Filipinos, allied forces, and for that matter, even the Japanese forces, who offered their lives in a quest to attain peace and freedom that we now enjoy.

They who have fought and died in and for this land will have their names forever etched in the pages of history.

We express our most profound gratitude for the sacrifices that they had made in reclaiming our freedom and for ushering in a new age of peace for our people and for the world.

This Government will always continue to look after the welfare of our war veterans.

For as we commemorate on this hallowed ground, sanctified by the blood, the life, and the sacrifices of our brave veterans, we cannot allow our memories to lapse. We must always remember that this was the best of Filipinos.

We can never truly repay the price they paid for their gifts of peace and freedom. But we can honor their heroism and their memory by continuing the great work that they had begun.

For when they arrived here, they did not only bring the resolve to pursue the war to its bitter end, but they also carried with them the hopes and dreams of an entire generation for a more peaceful and harmonious world.

The seeds of peace and solidarity that have been planted during that time have blossomed to nurture deep, abiding, and fruitful friendships that we now share with one another.

It is truly heartwarming to see the tides turning for the better since that fateful day with foes becoming friends and friends even becoming closer — all striving to attain peace and harmony in the global community.

It is with gladness to see that, no matter how our differences had once divided us, we are now all together in partnership; working for a better world that is living in accord, understanding, and respect.

Carrying on the legacy of the great work of our forebears, let us continue moving forward by building a future where our relationships are defined not by our circumstances, which are fleeting; nor by our differences, which must be set aside.

Rather, let our relationships be defined by our shared values and ideals, which are stronger and enduring.

We can achieve this by engaging in constant dialogue, by collaborating in mutually beneficial endeavors, and by harnessing our collective strengths to foster goodwill, cooperation, and trust among our peoples.

With such shared aspirations for a more harmonious and more interconnected community of nations, let us build the future that we will be proud to bequeath to succeeding generations.

Ladies and gentlemen, 78 years ago, these shores were witness to the horrors and bloodshed brought by the worst that mankind could bring. Now, we revisit these sands and wash them anew with the goodness that we know we are all capable of.

As your President, you must be assured that this administration will always advocate for peace and for unity. [applause] Domestically, we will strengthen our peace-building efforts, especially in conflict-affected areas.

Externally, we will continue to pursue the enhancement of our relations with all our neighbors towards ensuring security, addressing global issues, and facilitating now the post-pandemic growth addressing climate change and all the existential challenges that our country faces.

Moreover, we will continue to support initiatives that will not only preserve our historical and cultural sites but will also deepen the Filipino people’s sense of national identity and foster a peaceful and inclusive Philippines.

This event that we commemorate today should remind us of the human and economic cost of war. And therefore, it is important that we keep the peace and its role as an enabler of economic growth and development and — a quality of life for all our people. Each of us will have to play a part in achieving this noble endeavor.

And if the Second World War has taught us certain things, one of them is that we can achieve great feats and avoid even greater suffering if only we open our hearts and minds to listen and to talk, so that we can cooperate with each other for the welfare of all.

So, with compassion in our hearts and the wellbeing of all mankind foremost in our minds, let us work together to return the world to its best form and ensure that peace will last for generations to come.

Thank you and mabuhay po tayong lahat!

— END —

SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)