CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Recognizing themselves as Filipinos and not living under the influence of colonial mentality is an indicator of being an independent people, a national government official said during the 120th Independence Day celebration here on Tuesday, June 12.

“People should attain a certain level of values and see their real selves as Filipinos, not as westernized individuals, for this is what independence is all about,” Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary for Barangay Affairs Roosque Calacat said during his message to the local government officials of Misamis Oriental.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the fruits of independence must be enjoyed and felt by everyone in the entire country.

“Everybody must feel and enjoy the growth and prosperity that the country is gaining and the freedom that the country has,” Moreno said.

The mayor has also called for strong partnership between local governments and the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority “to prepare the children in strengthening independence,” with the health department to sustain good public health, and the DILG, the National Police and the Armed Forces to improve peace and order.

Meanwhile, dozens of militants from different progressive also held their own activity called “Hindipendence Day” in which they emphasized that there’s nothing to celebrate as the majority of the Filipinos are still suffering from poverty.

The members of Bayan and Kalumbay, for their part, said in a statement that the Filipinos are not truly free as their leaders are still the puppets of the world’s superpowers, particularly the United States and China.

“The Independence Day that the country is celebrating is fake. To this day, we are still being controlled by the imperialists out economy, politics, culture, even our pro-US Armed Forces including Pres. Rodrigo Duterte,” the groups said. (

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