Remarks of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, on the occasion of a luncheon given in honor of the officers of the Presidential Guards at the Malacañan Social Hall, Manila, January 14, 1944.

GENTLEMEN:

I have always wanted to meet the officers of the Presidential Guards but owing to constant pressure of official business and conferences, I have not been able to do so until now. As you know, all my efforts are directed towards making this country a country worthwhile living in, not only for myself, but for my people, and I have come down consoled by the tact that I am not alone in this purpose; that while some of our countrymen may still have doubts as to the sanity and wholesomeness and even the solidness of our purpose, I am, m the midst of these doubts, in the midst of hesitation and even in the midst of suspicion on the part of our people, consoled by the tact, I repeat, that after all I am surrounded by this group of young officers, some of whom have demonstrated that they love freedom more than they love their own lives and whose youth will be spent further in the service of their country and of their countrymen; and I am also consoled by the fact that in this gathering, I have General Francisco, who has willingly joined me in this task of making the Philippines, not necessarily a great and powerful country, but a country that may have a chance some day, not through us any more, perhaps, but through the children of our children, to secure a position in the concert of free nations, or at least claim a place, and a country reconstructed, solidified, and welded into one powerful and determined people, respected by the other peoples, not only of Greater East Asia, but of the whole world. And so, gentlemen (raising his cup), to your Commander, Major Salgado, to your General, General Francisco, and to all of you, I drink in the hope that we may achieve what we propose to achieve—the establishment of a real and lasting Republic of the Philippines.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library