No President Duterte in Independence Day celebration in Mactan, Cebu

By Rosalie Abatayo |June 11,2019 - 07:03 PM

This the statue of Datu Lapulapu at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City. CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Liberty Shrine in Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City will be the center of the country’s 121st Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, June 12.

Dubbed as Kalayaan 2019, the program will also be one of the events organized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) in anticipation of the quincentennial anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte will not be able to make it to the celebration because of a prior commitment, according to NHCP Chairperson Dr. Rene Escalante.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones will be representing the President in the event.

“I think there is already an official communication. The President will not be there. He will be represented by a Cabinet member, Secretary Briones of DepEd,” Escalante said.

“He has another appointment so he will be attending the Independence Day activities near the venue of his appointment,” he added.

On Tuesday morning, June 11, personnel from the Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Office and NHCP conducted an ocular inspection at the Liberty Shrine as part of the final stages of the preparation for the Independence Day event.

The Independence Day program will start with the nationwide simultaneous flag raising ceremony at 8 a.m.

This will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the shrine.

Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Officer Hembler Mendoza said the Independence Day activity is significant in making people recognize Datu Lapulapu, the first Filipino hero who fought against foreign invaders.

“This is very significant for the place and for the first Filipino hero Datu Lapulapu and that is the main reason why we are having the celebration here. This is in preparation also for people who want to see the heritage site (Liberty Shrine) restored,” Mendoza added.

The NHCP announced in May 2019 that Mactan’s Liberty Shrine is the center of the Independence Day celebration. / celr

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