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QTV: Arroyo leads Rizal Day rites in La Union


MANILA, DECEMBER 30, 2009 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - President Arroyo will lead the nation today in commemorating the 113th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

Mrs. Arroyo would preside over the ceremony at the Plaza Salcedo in Vigan at 7 a.m. where she would lead the simultaneous flag raising ceremonies nationwide for this year’s theme, “Kabayanihan ni Rizal: Daluyan ng Kagitingan at Pagkakaisa” in honor of the country’s national hero.

After ceremony, Mrs. Arroyo will make an inaugural drive through the newly completed Quirino Bridge in Banaoang, Bantay in the province.

The Quirino Bridge, one of 17 bridges constructed under the administration’s Bridge Program in the Ilocos region, is 456 meters long with total project cost of P625,614,182.56.

The President will then proceed to Sudipen, La Union, to unveil the marker for the 535-meter Amburayan Bridge, which will connect the town to Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.

Last year, Mrs. Arroyo led the Rizal Day rites in San Fernando, La Union. Previous Rizal Day celebrations with the President were held in Mindanao and Baguio City.

Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., for his part, said the commemoration of Rizal Day should also focus on the struggle of the country’s heroes against oppression.

He said Rizal became the inspiration of other heroes to continue the struggle against oppressors to gain the nation’s freedom.

According to Villar, Rizal should remain as the youth’s inspiration and role model, particularly those wallowing in poverty, in bettering their lives and reaching for their dreams.

Villar said it is disheartening that the very same problems and challenges that confronted Filipinos during the time of Rizal still hound Filipinos today.

Villar said he would lead the NP to continue to fight for the cause of the poor, oppressed, and the youth through the party’s platform and advocacies. – With Christina Mendez, Teodoro Molina

GMA urges Pinoys to set aside differences (The Philippine Star) Updated December 30, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo has urged Filipinos to set aside differences and welcome the New Year expecting to have a better economy.

In her New Year message, Mrs. Arroyo also assured the people that the first nationwide automated elections would push through next year.

“In 2010, we shall have the first nationally automated exercise of our right to suffrage, one of the 10 points in the agenda of our administration,” she said.

“This year, too, will hopefully see the continuing recovery of the rest of the world. These are gifts from an unfolding future that we greet with hopefulness.”

“In this spirit, let us cast away the things that set us against each other. Let us thank the Lord for good health, glad tidings and good cheers.”

Mrs. Arroyo said the challenges brought by the year about to end have proven again the resilience of the Filipino and the effectiveness of government reforms.

“The global recession failed to break our unprecedented record of economic growth in every quarter under our watch,” she said.

Mrs. Arroyo said the size and strength of the domestic economy were backed by OFW-fuelled consumer spending and massive government commitment to human and physical infrastructure.

“Our people responded with grit to the super typhoons forced upon us by the harsh realities of climate change... Our people opened their hearts and hands with generosity to the victims,” she said.

Filipinos emerged from the year 2009 with a “more solid faith, courage and concern for their brethren and greater determination to work harder to achieve even more,” Mrs. Arroyo said.

Mrs. Arroyo also led the nation in thanking God for being with Filipinos through difficulties. – Paolo Romero

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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