MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday expressed optimism that the Philippines would become “victorious” in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In his 122nd Independence Day message, Andanar enjoined his fellow Filipinos to value the foundations and goals set by the country’s forefathers by keeping the nation “united, secure, and prosperous.”

“Ensure that their sacrifices have not been made vain,” Andanar said. “If we work together and rise as one, we will emerge victorious from the threat of Covid-19, and become stronger from it, as we look toward the brighter prospects that lie ahead.”

Andanar hoped that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Filipinos would continue to observe a “solemn and meaningful” commemoration of Independence Day.

He said the independence the country achieved from Spanish rule 122 years ago should be celebrated.

“This moment in our history is a milestone, which helped pave the way to our independence as a nation. A nation that enjoys its sovereignty and its capacity towards self-actualization,” Andanar said.

One of the most significant dates in the Philippines’ history is June 12 because it marks the country’s independence from Spanish rule.

It was on June 12, 1898 when the first Philippine president Emilio Aguinaldo and Filipino revolutionary forces raised the Philippine flag and played the national anthem for the first time to celebrate the nation’s freedom.

Andanar acknowledged that despite the freedom the country is currently enjoying, there are still challenges that need to be faced.

He told Filipinos to emulate the gallantry of the country’s ancestors to ensure the successful fight against Covid-19.

“As we collectively face our present struggle, in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic, may we find the courage to weather this health crisis and rise from the challenges it has brought despite our worries and fears,” Andanar said.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has recorded 24,175 Covid-19 infections, with 1,036 fatalities and 5,165 recoveries. (PNA)