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Sweet freedom



The celebration of Independence Day, the 121st for the nation, becomes more meaningful after the country embarked on an independent foreign policy, which is an initiative of President Rodrigo Duterte anchored on self-determination.

None among the previous leaders had the will to break free from the tight confines of the bondage with the United States and its European allies in the pursuit of diplomatic and security relations with other country.

The innovative policy has a collateral effect of drawing the country nearer to its Asian neighbors as it is considered a pariah in Asia due to the Filipinos’ distinct western-influenced values and traditions that clashes with the rest of the region which see anything from the West as the vestiges of colonization.

The Philippines, nonetheless, has its own form of writing, cultural tradition and even ancient legal codes from the ancient Maragtas and Kalantiaw before it was colonized by the Spaniards for three centuries and more than four decades under the rule of the United States.

The Philippines also experienced a short Japanese occupation during World War II.
Mr. Duterte’s independent foreign policy strengthened diplomatic relations with the East while maintaining its ties with the West.

Diplomatic relations with Russia and China were strengthened and is now being aggressively developed.

Filipinos thus are rediscovering its Asian identity and more importantly, the confidence that they can stand with other countries on equal footing and not as a subject of a colonial master.

“We do not intend to make excuses for the past, neither would we obliterate it. It is now the foundation step towards the doors we open to world,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said of the new tack taken by the Duterte administration.

The greatest gain from the policy is Filipinos regaining their pride as citizens of a sovereign nation.