CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar — In her second day of visit in the Visayas, Vice President Sara Duterte praised the Samarnons for their resilience in surviving disasters.
As the guest speaker for the province’s 181st anniversary, Duterte said the Samarnon’s strength was shaped by their experiences in overcoming various challenges including the forces of nature.
“Samar Day celebrates the undying will of people to survive in the face of adversity. You give us the real definition of the word resiliency,” she said.
Withstanding the adversities of time, Samar has also evolved into a province with honed resources and economic assets.
“Now classified as a Class A Province, Samar is proof that relentlessness, determination, and hard work are essential in the pursuit of our collective aspirations,” she said.
“Ang Samar province, tungod sa kaagi niining mga bagyo ug uban pang pagsulay, pwede nato himuong modelo sa usa ka lugar nga dili basta-basta magpadaog ug magpapildi sa kalisud,” she added.
Dutere said she hopes that these values would “inspire and unite the entire nation as we aspire to make the Philippines stronger.”
Meanwhile, Duterte asked the Samarnons’ support in her thrust in peace building to achieving national security.
“I call on the people of Samar to support the government in building a nation that is more than equipped and ready for disasters. And more than that, I request you to not give your support to groups or people who want to destroy or bring down our government. Ang gobyerno ang inyong kapares, partner in nation building. And the government will always be behind the people of Samar. That is our commitment,” she said.
“Gusto ko lang klaruhin, baka kasi hindi maintindihan kung ano ang ibig sabihin ko na mga tao o grupo na pilit pinapabagsak ang gobyerno, mag diretsohan na tayo, ang ibig ko pong sabihin ‘yung mga kaibigan ninyo na nasa New People’s Army o mga NPA,” she added.
Duterte, who previously served as Mayor of Davao City, recalled their journey from struggles of service delivery due to the concentration of rebel groups.
“A part of Davao City has been a stronghold of NPA since the 1980s. Noong una akong naging mayor, 2010-2013, nahirapan talaga akong ipasok doon sa lugar ng Paquibato District namin ang serbisyo ng gobyerno,” she said.
“Dahil nakinig kami sa mga tao at yung problema nila, in four years nagawa naming maging insurgency-free ang Davao City,” Duterte said.
This anti-insurgency program of the city government is known as ‘Peace 911’ — which influenced the disintegration of the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 55.
Duterte stressed that the government is committed towards protecting the people and the nation, but also emphasised to Filipinos that the advancement of this cause relies heavily on community participation and faithfulness to the country.
“I am here to reiterate the commitment of government to everyone. It will not be easy, as it is has not been easy for the past 50-100 years for the Philippines, but if we work together in one direction, there will be small gains that will add up each day to become a very big change for our country,” she said.