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that ful­fill­ing that vi­sion was long and hard since blood was shed and many lives were lost in the process. To­day, more than any other day of the year, we re­mem­ber af­fec­tion­ately those who fought the bat­tle and brave bul­lets of the en­e­mies so that we could build a free na­tion. Let us ded­i­cate this spe­cial day for them,” he said.

He added that to­day is most ap­pro­pri­ate in ex­press­ing our grat­i­tude and honor to them as we com­mem­o­rate their hero­ism, pa­tri­o­tism, na­tion­al­ism and self-sac­ri­fice, all for the sake of free­dom for the country.

Leonar­dia noted that for this year’s theme “Pag­babagong Ipinagla­ban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasa­n”, the change we have been fight­ing for is an of­fer for a bright fu­ture.

“True, in­deed, be­cause the frame­work of de­vel­op­ment we want for the city charts our fu­ture needs. This is chart­ing the fu­ture of our chil­dren and their chil­dren’s chil­dren. Just as free­dom is our legacy from our fore­fa­thers, a Ba­colod City that they can be proud of is our legacy to them,” Leonar­dia said.

He said that to­day there is a need to sup­port, be­lieve in and fight for this de­vel­op­ment frame­work.

“Let us all join in this vi­sion and in this de­sired de­vel­op­ment frame­work as we work to­gether in peace and unity. This is all we need, the will, the strength, the co­her­ence or unity and the tenac­ity to fight against all odds, no bo­los, no blood­shed but only the true and pure spirit of a Ba­colod­non who loves his Ba­colod with all his heart and soul,” he added.

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