Proud daughter! Arroyo hails father Dadong Macapagal for moving Independence Day to June 12
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Former President and now outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has lauded the legacy of her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal for his decisiveness in moving the country’s Independence Day celebration to June 12 more than five decades ago.
In her speech during the 121st Independence Day celebration at the historic Barasoain Church in, Malolos City, Bulacan, Arroyo said she was proud about the achievement of her father for standing ground and believing that it was wrong to commemorate the the country’s freedom and sovereignty on the same date with the former colonial masters—the Americans.
“Malaking karangalan ng aking pamilya na ang nagtakda ng Araw ng Kalayaan sa tamang petsa na ika-labindalawa ng Hunyo ay walang iba kundi ang aking ama, si Pangulong Diosdado Macapagal,” said Arroyo.
On May 12, 1962, Macapagal, barely five months in his presidency, issued Presidential Proclamation No. 28. moving the Philippine Independence Day celebration from July 4 to June 12, nearly two decades after the United States formally set the country free from its colonial rule.
Arroyo explained that her father strongly believed that July 4 was not the right day for Filipinos to celebrate their independence since it somehow connoted dependence on the United States.
“Kongresista pa siya (Macapagal), naisip na niya na hindi tamang gunitain ang ating paglaya sa ika-apat ng Hulyo, ang dating petsa ng pagdiriwang… tuwing idaraos ang ating Araw ng Kalayaan sa ika-apat ng Hulyo, sumasabay tayo sa bansang dating sumakop sa atin. At parang nakatali pa rin tayo sa Amerika at patuloy na umaasa sa kanyang tulong at pagtatanggol,” Mrs. Arroyo stressed.
Mrs. Arroyo said her father stood ground during his time and initiated the first step to further enhance nationalism among Filipinos.
“Karapat-dapat na ilipat ang Araw ng Kalayaan sa ika-labindalawa ng Hunyo — ang petsa nang ihayag ni Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo sa Kawit, Kabite, noong 1898, na bansang malaya tayo, may sariling paninindigan, nilalayon, at mga karapatang gaya ng iba pang malayang bansa,” said Arroyo.