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07-07-2019 12:43

Address by the President of the Republic Mr Nicos Anastasiades on the occasion of the 121st Philippines Independence Day

The address was read by the first Lady, Mrs Andri Anastasiades

From the outset, I wish to express the President’s sincere apologies since he had planned to attend today’s event but, unfortunately, following the minor health incident he had, he is not able to join your celebrations as initially scheduled.

To this end, as a token of gratitude and appreciation to your vibrant community, he has authorized me to represent him and read his address. 

I am truly delighted to be here with all of you at the Saint Catherine Catholic Church in Limassol to commemorate the Philippines Independence Day.

On this auspicious occasion, I wish to extend the Government’s and the people of Cyprus’ heartfelt congratulations and warmest wishes for further progress and prosperity to the friendly people of Philippines.

Today’s event is a fitting occasion to pay homage to your country’s heroes who led the long and difficult journey towards independence. A journey during which the attributes which characterise the people of Philippines were most aptly demonstrated: unity, courage, bravery and the readiness to fight and sacrifice for justice, liberty and independence.

Further, on this great day of celebration, it is a great opportunity to express my Government’s genuine satisfaction for the excellent bilateral relations that exist between our two countries.

Without any doubt, the strong people-to-peoples ties and contacts form the solid foundation of these sound relations. As we commemorate the anniversary of the Independence of Philippines, we also pay tribute to the active Filipino Community in Cyprus, one of the largest overseas communities on the island.

A community of more than ten thousand members which throughout the years established an indispensable bond between our citizens and has contributed significantly to the development of mutual respect and understanding between our countries.

At the same time, we look forward to continue working closely with you for the further enhancement and deepening of our relationship, based on shared values and aspirations, and I am confident that our partnership will continue to flourish in the years ahead.

I also avail myself of this opportunity to express the sincere appreciation of the Government and the people of the Republic of Cyprus for Philippine’s principled stance on the Cyprus Issue and your continuous support to our efforts to end the occupation and reunify the island.

Although today is a day of celebration, I would like to express - yet again – the deepest condolences, both mine and of the Government and the people of Cyprus, to the families, relatives and friends of the victims of the recent appalling crimes whose country of origins, amongst others, was from Philippines as well.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, who, needless to say, have our full support during these extremely difficult times.  

These hideous crimes do not reflect the moral values of our multicultural society, our sense of compassion and our inherent respect to all those people who have searched for a better future in our country and have become an integral and valuable part of our lives. 

We feel deeply frustrated, but, above all, ashamed that the acts of a person and the disregard of human life that he showed have cast a shadow over the above-mentioned.

What is most frustrating is the stance of all those responsible as regards exercising their duties in investigating the reports for missing persons, which was one of sheer negligence and inefficiency and definitely not guided by any racist motives.

To this end, we stand ready to hear any suggestions you might have that might prove useful in improving internal procedures within the police, particularly in adopting preventive measures and improving procedures that will allow us not to have a repetition of adopting this casual and careless approach. 

In concluding, I would like to convey the President’s best wishes to all of you celebrating the Philippines Independence Day, here in Cyprus and around the world.

Happy Independence Day and I have no doubt that you will upholding the noble values of your nation, remaining united and steadfast commitment to the ideals of freedom and democracy.