Inside out

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Villar: ‘Poverty is threatening our independence’

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 19, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 14:35:00 08/19/2008

MANILA, Philippines — As the nation marked the 130th anniversary of the birth of Manuel L. Quezon, Senate President Manuel Villar on Tuesday called on government officials not to let politics get in the way of serving the people.

Speaking at rites in Quezon City, Villar said the Philippines has found itself back to fighting for its freedom, no longer against foreign invaders but against poverty.

“Ngayon nakikita natin na kinakailangan na namang ipaglaban natin ang ating kalayaan laban sa kahirapan [Today, we see that we again need to defend our freedom against poverty],” he said.

The lack of jobs, the high prices of commodities, and the deteriorating quality of education are just some of the other problems Filipinos face, Villar added.

And the only way to solve these problems, he said, is to not let politics get in the way of serving the people.

“Bagamat kayo ay nasa magkabilang panig, huwag nating kalimutan ang ating tungkulin at huwag isaalang-alang ang ating tungkulin. Sana makita natin na kahit iba’t ibang ahensya tayo sa pamahalaan, kahit na nagaaway-away tayo, unahin pa rin natin ang kapakanan ng ating bansa [While we may be on opposing sides, let us not forget our duty and not make light of that duty. May we see that, even if we belong to different agencies in the government, even if we quarrel, the interest of our country comes first],” he said.

Speaking at the same rites, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte said the local government would work to create a “model city” against poverty.

“[Quezon City] must be a city of the productive man. Ang ka-kumpetisyon na natin ngayon ay ang ibang mundo [Our competition today is the whole world],” he said.

Villar and Belmonte led local officials in laying wreaths at the grave of Quezon and his wife, Aurora.


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