Declaration of August 30 as Philippine Press Freedom Day urged

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BULAKAN, Bulacan – Goverment officials and members of the media have called on the national government to declare August 30 of every year as ‘Philippine Press Freedom Day.’

Alvarado said many concerned groups like the PTFMS and NPCP as well as Congressman Sy-Alvarado, the Provincial Government of Bulacan, the municipal Government of Bulakan and the Bulacan Press Club are working together for the declaration of August 30 of every year as Philippine Press Freedom Day.

‘May malaking pagkakahawig ang pagmamahal sa bayan ng ating bayani na si Del Pilar at ang Pangulong Duterte. Parehong may tapang ang kanilang istilo sa pagpapalaya sa bayan sa kuko ng kasamaan,” the governor said.

Vice Gov. Fernando for his part said that Del Pilar is a catalyst of change during a tumultuous period in Philippine history and will always be an inspiration to Filipinos.

“Ang kabayanihan ni Del Pilar ang gumising sa diwa ng mga Pilipino. Ang kanyang mga halimbawa ay patunay na ang bawat isa ay may kakayahang magpatuloy ng pagbabago. Tayo po ay patuloy na magsikap, mangarap para sa tagumpay ng ating bayan,” Fernando said.

Usec Joel Egco, executive director of the PTFMS) and former President of the NPCP, said Sec. Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communication Office has already forwarded the documents and petition to declare August 30 as “Phillipine Press Freedom Day” to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

“Hopefully it will be approved soon and we are hoping that President Duterte will sign an executive order declaring the date as Philippine Press Freedom Day at the shine of Del Pilar as fitting tribute to the father of Philippine Press Freedom,” Egco said.

NPCP President Paul Gutierrez said that he and Egco has been looking for a national icon for Filipino jpournalists and they have found it at the farming village in San Nicolas in this town at the very shrine of Del Pilar.

“Recent historical findings done by young historian King Cortez have shown that Del Pilar was the mastermind of the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonial rule. Del Pilar was very instrumental in the formation of the revolutionary force known as the Katipunan,” Gutierrez said.

He said that according to Cortez, the propaganda newspaper La Solidaridad that Del Pilar edited is known in the tagalong vernacular as “Katipunan”.

Gutierrezs said they are hopeful the next birth anniversary of Del Pilar will be a grand one with a big cake that will be distributed to the people of Bulacan and Filipino journalists.

Rep. Sy-Alvarado said that he has already proposed House Bill 3702 ‘An Act declaring August 30 of every year as the National Responsible Press Freedom Day’ along with the House Bill 3703 ‘An Act renaming North Luzon Expressway to Marcelo H. del Pilar Expressway’, and with the help of his fellow Congressman and Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines Grand Master Most Worshipful Abraham N. Tolentino, hopefully, the said bills will be passed in the Congress.

Sy-Alvarado also encouraged the Bulakenyos on the 167th Birth Anniversary of Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar to continue to do good to others in order to sustain the legacy and heroism of the ‘Father of Philippine Journalism and Philippine Masonry’ held at the Dambana ni Marcelo H. Del Pilar, San Nicolas, Bulakan, Bulacan early morning today.

“Upang hindi maparam ang mga gawa ng ating bayaning del Pilar, kasama ng iba pang mga bayani, ay pilitin nating tumulong sa ating kapwa, kung paano nagbigay ng pagmamahal si Gat Marcelo, bakit hindi natin tulungan ding palayain ang ating kapwa na inaalipin ng karamdaman, kahirapan at kamangmangan. Marami po ang paraan ng pagtulong,” Alvarado said.

Malolos City Natividad for his part said that the Del Pilar’s life is also important to the people of Malolos. He said that it was in Malolos where Del Pilar laid the seeds that bore the fruits of Philippine freedom and Independence.

“May mga document na sinabi mismo ng isang Kastilang heneral na noong panahon ng himagsikan na nasa Cavite ang kaguluhan ngunit nasa Malolos ang panganib dahil ditto ipinunla ni Del Pilar ang pagiging magiting at puso ng malayang Pilipinas,” Natividad said.

Mayor Patrick Meneses of Bulakan, Bulacan also shared the life that his “kababayan” (Del Pilar) lived to help the country fight for its freedom that led to the proclamation of its independence 119 years ago.

“Mula sa may kayang pamilya, nagtapos ng abogasya sa Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas kung saan niya binuo ang samahan ng mga nasyonalistang Filipinong mag-aaral at inilunsad ang Diaryong Tagalog. Ngunit sa Espanya sa pamamagitan ng La Solidaridad na siya ang editor-in-chief higit na nabigyang daan ang labanan para sa reporma at kalayaan. Sa kabila ng lahat, namatay siyang mahirap sa malayong bansa, tinalikuran ang yaman kapalit ng pag-asang makakamit ng bansa ang kalayaan,” Meneses said.

The program started with a parade and followed by a flag raising ceremony, oath to the national flag, and wreath laying activity before the monument of the Del Pilar and was attended by public and private school teachers and students, national and local journalists, Knights of Rizal, the Freemasons and residents of the said town.

Provincial officials headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, First District Rep. Jose Antonio R. Sy-Alvarado, Malolos City Mayor Atty. Christian D. Natividad and Mayor Patrick Meneses together with top executives of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFMS) and the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPCP) are hopeful the next birth anniversary of the “Father of Philippine Press Freedom” Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar will be a grand one with no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gracing the occasion. —EMIL G. GAMOS